Weekly Word for May 29, 2015

June 15th, 2015

Click here to download a PDF of the most recent Monthly Message.

Memorial Services This Weekend

Memorial Service for Ann Henrie
Friday, May 29 at 2:30 pm (Church)

Memorial Service for Christian Youtz
Saturday, May 30 at 11 am (Church)

Education for Ministry (EfM)

Come for the content and discover God speaking to you through the community.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Our church has been developing various tools to help its members deepen their faith so that they can more confidently serve at Epiphany and in all other contexts in which God has placed them (neighborhood, work, family, friendships, etc.). One of our newer spiritual formation offerings will start up again this Fall.

There will be two information sessions in the next month, including one THIS SUNDAY after the 9:30 am service. Read more here.

What is Education for Ministry (EfM)?

EfM is a program designed to help men and women in the church develop a stronger knowledge of the Bible, church history, and theology—and to become more confident in theological reflection in their day to day lives. It is a four year program of study, meeting weekly through the Fall, Winter, and Spring, comprised of a group of parishioners who sign up for a year at a time, but are encouraged to complete all four years. EfM is meant to enrich one’s spiritual life through expanding one’s knowledge base, but more especially by enhancing the participants’ spiritual journey through personal reflection, exploration, and discussion with group members, practicing and reflecting on God’s presence in lives that are not static but always are growing in the knowledge and love of God and Christ. The word “ministry” refers to the natural outgrowth of that Christian formation and development: the sharing of one’s faith in community.

Though there are many ways to think about ministry, people often shy away from applying that word to their daily activities because they think of ministry as something ordained leaders do—and they may feel like they don’t know enough about the Bible or the church to be a “minister.” However, each of us is a minister in some form, living out a calling to be the person God uniquely created us to be.

Why do people attend EfM?

The program contributes to their own spiritual growth and helps to answer a yearning to explore and develop their faith in God. I personally discovered in EfM a place where I could study both those elements of my faith that are foundational, as well as explore my faith relative to a multicultural world, rich with the history of many peoples.

Most appealing, however, was that my fellow EfM students on this faith journey became a source of insight and wisdom, through whom my own understanding of myself as a follower of God and Christ developed and grew in a positive and richly rewarding way, within what became a community of faith. I am deeply grateful to them for these four years together, and I look forward to mentoring the next classes of EfM.

Now, I must be honest with you—EfM is a significant commitment. Those who register need to commit to attending weekly meetings for nine months. Each EfM gathering lasts two and a half to three hours, on a day chosen by the EFM class, starting around September 14, 2015. In recent years, EfM has met every Monday from 6-8:30 in the Christie House Library, with a few breaks during the year for Christmas, Holy Week, some holidays, and Summers off. The first year involves a significant amount of reading and most participants spend about 4 hours a week preparing for their group session. Additionally, because of the cost of course materials and the administrative efforts of the University of the South, each participant pays $350. Participants will receive a course outline, instructions, and weekly lessons—as well as instructions for key activities to help apply what is being learned to your life and ministry contexts.

The EfM experience is similar to a story of St. Francis given in Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, An Altar in the World:

“Francis also built a church. In a vision he had, as vivid as Jacob’s vision of the divine ladder, God called upon Francis to rebuild the church. Unsure what church God meant, Francis chose a ruined one near where he lived. He recruited all kinds of people to help him build it. Some of them just came to watch, and before they knew it were mixing cement. Others could not lift a single brick without help, but that worked out, since it led them to meet more people than they might have if they had been stronger. To most of them, building the church became more important than finishing it. Building it together gave people who were formerly invisible to each other meaning, purpose, and worth. When it was done at last, Francis’s church did not stand as a shelter from the world; it stood as a reminder that the whole world was God’s House. I knew that when I was young, and then I forgot.”

I invite you to come and build the church together. The people you meet will become to you fellow Christians on the path to your further spiritual development. Your reading and discussion will become for all of us a rich and deep exploration of the presence of God in our lives. I invite you to come and see!

There are two information sessions coming up to provide an opportunity to ask questions and to experience a taste of the EfM program:

  • Sunday, May 31, after the 9:30 am service in the Christie House Library
  • Monday, June 29, at 6:00 pm in the Christie House Library

Please let one of us know if you are interested and would like to join us for the information session to learn more, or feel free just to show up. I look forward to seeing the ways in which you will continue to grow into the ministry God has given you to do.

Peace be with you,
Robin Mondares
Charissa Bradstreet
Emily Linderman

Choristers Wrap-Up: See You Next Year!

Dear Epiphany,

With the excitement and upheaval of construction this year, Choristers and CITs have kept moving along and spreading their wings. Beginning with St. Francis Sunday, our Choristers sang for service each month, during high holy times, and in our surrounding community. CITs (Choristers-in-Training) took leaps and bounds this season, joining the Choristers to sing in the community as well as at Christmas and Trinity Sunday. The growth of each young singer has been quite noticeable!

As we forayed beyond services, the Choristers & CIT sang together in community performances. At Parkshore in November we sang spirituals, our anthems, Broadway tunes, and patriotic pieces with gusto! To keep with this trend, our young singers gave another concert in the beginning of May at Aegis on Madison. This time we sang our anthems, Broadway tunes, and a great collection of folks songs from around the world. The children worked long and hard to prepare these more challenging programs. The joy of the residents, parents, and singers alike was abundant, and we were immediately invited back!

A great new part of our weekly rehearsals on Thursdays was community dinner. This came forth as a way to benefit families with children in both ensembles, those rushing to or from other activities (our Epiphany kids are busy!) after or before rehearsal, and ultimately as an opportunity for our young singers to engage socially and build bonds. The connection they’ve built is obvious as they converse, tell stories, play games, and work as a team.

We have had a good season! I so look forward to the youth singing again in the coming year. Music is such an integral part of our community and worship at Epiphany. We are blessed with families contributing their time and talent!

Start Planning for Next Year!

  • CITs (K–4th): Thursdays. 4–5 pm
  • Community Dinner: Thursdays, 5–5:30 pm
  • Choristers (3rd & up): Thursdays, 5:30–6:30 pm
  • *NEW!* Senior Choristers (ensemble name TBD, open to 6th–12th grade with informal audition): Thursdays 6:15–7:15 pm

Please contact me if you are interested in any of these programs.

—Kathea Yarnell, Music Associate for Choristers

Youth Group Wrap-Up 2014–2015

Dear Epiphany,

The Epiphany Youth Group will celebrate a successful year with a party on May 31. We met most Sunday evenings during the school year, and each week we started the same way: sharing the best and worst parts of our week and something we are looking forward to in the near future. This icebreaker often led to a freewheeling conversation about school, sports, and life in general that continued over a shared meal provided by one of the families. Together, we celebrated accomplishments and commiserated over difficulties.

The Epiphany Youth Group has become a unique community where everyone is valued and loved as individuals away from the competition and stresses of the rest of their lives—a group where everybody perfectly belongs even if they don’t fit together.

We’ll be taking the summer off from our weekly gatherings. In June, eight of our youth will go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. In July, we will inaugurate our new separate High School and Middle School groups with outings, and in August both groups will come together for paintball. In September we’ll start the two groups in earnest with staggered times and a combined dinner.

Special thanks to Jacob Moody, Terry Carlisle, and Joseph Staub for volunteering their Sunday evenings to join the group. I am looking for more volunteers to join us in the fall. Please let me know if you are interested.

—Laura Sargent, Youth Group Convener

Parish Prayer List

Click here to download this week’s prayer list.

Sunday Lectionary Corner

May 31, 2015
Trinity Sunday
Isaiah 6:1–8
Psalm 29
Romans 8:12–17
John 3:1–17

Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany

Click here to view the calendar on the website!

This Week at Epiphany

May 31: Trinity Sunday Service Schedule
9:30 am service in the Church – This will be our last service in the Church for a while. LCL will begin renovations in this building on June 1.
5:00 pm service in the Chapel – The evening service will take place in the Chapel until the Parish Hall is completed.
Click here to download the infographic with the worship times and locations for the summer.

May 31: EfM Information Session
Education for Ministry is a 4-year course of study led by a trained facilitator, Robin Mondares. A new class forms each fall and we are looking for new people for the upcoming class. If you are interested, join Robin and Charissa at 10:45 am this coming Sunday in the Christie House Library for an information session. We’ll have another information session on Monday, June 29, at 6 pm in the Christie House Library.

June 1: Church Closes for Renovation
The day after Trinity Sunday, the Church will close and be handed over to LCL to begin construction. Beginning on June 7, we will worship at 9:30 am in the Epiphany School Gym and at 5 pm in the Chapel. Morning nursery care will be available. Activities for children in Kindergarten and under will be offered in the Huckleberry classroom. For a complete schedule of worship times and spaces during the summer, click here.

June 4: Pilgrimage-in-Place—Plymouth Labyrinth
Walk the labyrinth at Plymouth UCC in downtown Seattle (1217 Sixth Ave). We’ll meet at Plymouth between 11 am and 11:30 am, walk the labyrinth, and then have lunch together at a nearby restaurant of the group’s choice. Contact Ann Lockhart if you’d like to participate. Read more about the Pilgrimage-in-Place here.

Events Down the Road

June 7: Pilgrimage-in-Place Table
After 9:30 am & 5 pm services, visit the Pilgrimage table to get your Pilgrimage-in-Place Passport and learn about planned events during the summer. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about the Camino de Santiago, check out the resources we have available, and connect with other parishioners who will be walking together to earn 490 miles. Read more here.

June 7: Pilgrimage-in-Place—Ignatian Prayer Exercises
Come learn about the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola on Sunday, June 7, at 10:45 am in the Christie House Library. This event can count toward our parish’s pilgrimage miles for the summer. Read more about the Pilgrimage-in-Place here.

June 7: Pilgrimage-in-Place—Operations Nightwatch Walk and Dinner
After the evening service on Sunday, around 6:15 pm, we’ll meet and walk to Operation Nightwatch and cook dinner. We’ll be doing the usual Teen Feed menu (enchilada casserole, salad, bread, fruit, cookies). You can do any part of this evening that you’d like—walking, cooking, serving, cleaning up—or all of it.

June 9: Calendar Meeting
At our regular staff meeting on Tuesday, June 9, at 11:15 am in the Christie House Library, we will be putting all the regular events of the 2015-2016 program year onto the master calendar. All parishioners are invited to join us to get a sense of what the next year will look like in the life of Epiphany. RSVP to Emily if you would like to attend.

June 14: Newcomer Reception
If you have recently started attending Epiphany and would like to get to know some parishioners, join the Rev. Kate Wesch and other parish leaders for an informal social hour after the 5 pm service on June 14 in the Memorial Garden. Appetizers and light refreshments will be served. Children are welcome, but child care is available from 5–8 pm. RSVP to the Parish Office.

Community Events

June 13: Silent Retreat Day at St. Anne’s House of Prayer
Situated in Queen Anne, St. Anne’s charming setting and quiet surroundings offer an ideal venue for personal days of reflection, guided seminars, times of prayer and spiritual direction. On the second Saturday of every month, they offer quiet days from 9 am to 4 pm. Refreshments and lunch are included for a suggested donation of $50. Contact the St. Anne Parish Office to register. St. Anne’s House of Prayer also offers spiritual direction and facilitated contemplative prayer. Visit their website for more info.