Weekly Word for October 13, 2017

October 13th, 2017

Rowan Williams, Most Recent Past Archbishop Of Canterbury, Will Be Preaching at Epiphany Parish


Dear Epiphany,

I have some great news: former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, will be preaching at Epiphany on November 12, at both the 8:45 am and 11 am services. Mark your calendars. Tell a friend. We are a most fortunate neighborhood parish, and I could fill this page with all of the ways we are blessed. Heck, I could begin by just printing all of your names. But what occupies my prayers as I consider our blessings is not that we are blessed, but why we are so blessed. What has God imagined we could be, and how are we living toward that reality? What are we doing or could we be doing more of that reveals the authentic Christian community that we are becoming? And how, as Christians, are we called to act to bring about, as I said in a recent sermon, “On Earth as it is in Heaven.”

Rowan Williams’ visit casts my mind back to my September 10 forum on Epiphany as a 500 year church. Master Williams (known as such because of his current role as Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge) has been to many 500 year churches and has even lived in a few. I consider his presence in our midst an outward and visible Holy Spirit reinforcement of the idea that Epiphany, in these boom years of Seattle, is called to redouble our efforts around long-term preparation for the future Epiphany AND short-term evangelism of Christianity now.

We speak often of the seven spiritual disciplines practiced at Epiphany. They are: daily prayer, weekly worship, patterning our life on the liturgical calendar, Sabbath, pilgrimage, fasting, and tithing. The first five are disciplines of time, which mean they are times we set aside for God. The last two disciplines, fasting and tithing, are disciplines of the material and are constructed to help us manage the tyranny and idolatry of our bodies and our possessions.

I review these disciplines with you for two reasons. The first is that these disciplines worked on the soul of a person 500 years ago in the exact same way that they work on souls today and as they will work on souls in the next 500 years. That is the genius of the Christian spiritual journey; it taps into something true and real about what it takes to draw a person more and more into their own beauty, authenticity, and belovedness. The second reason is that the disciplines fortify us for evangelism now, in preparation for the Epiphany of the future.

Evangelism, in the Epiphany style, means inviting someone to church, because you have found something here that you’d like to share. Because you have been blessed, rewarded, inspired, consoled by worship and community, you’d like to offer that exposure to someone you know. That is all. That is evangelism. You need not be embarrassed by it, nor do you have to be able to fully explain it. It is enough to invite. We are inspired to invite because of our prayer, worship, patterns of eating and spending, times of rest, and hopes of pilgrimage lifestyle. When we practice our Christianity, we are more comfortable sharing our Christianity. And it is only through sharing our Christianity that we ensure that Epiphany will be here in 500 years.

As we prepare for Master Williams’ visit, I would like to recommend to you one of his many books on the Christian Life, Being Disciples. It is a short book, chock-full of wisdom about and hope for our being and becoming the people God imagines we can be.

Rowan Williams was the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. That is a lot of Archbishops. And yet, I believe there will be at least another 104 more because of faithful people who prepare for the church of the future while sharing the Good News of Jesus right now. My hope is that we are awed and encouraged by Master Williams’ visit, and mark it as a moment in time when we, as a neighborhood church in the Pacific Northwest said yes, a resounding yes, to our transformation as followers of Jesus today and our place as a 500 year old church.


Please bring donations of pumpkins, carving sets and candy to church
by Sunday October 22. Collection bins are in the Parish Hall by the Fireside Room doors.

Verger’s Voice
What is an Acolyte?

The dictionary describes an acolyte as follows:

Acolyte – 1. one who assists a member of the clergy in a liturgical service by performing minor duties. 2. one who attends or assists a leader; follower.

The history of acolytes can be traced back to the early Christian church, when they were a clerical order along with deacons, subdeacons, cantors, readers, and doorkeepers (the predecessor of the verger). Acolytes were lay persons trained to carry the cross and candles and incense in procession and to assist the other worship leaders during the service. Some say that acolytes have an even longer history – that Samuel, who assisted Eli in the Old Testament temple, was really the first acolyte.

Not until the 1980s were girls and women allowed to serve. One of the least changed aspects in the role of the acolyte may be the title itself, which comes from the Greek akolouthos, meaning follower, attendant or servant.

Acolytes are ministers of the church. They are part of a long tradition in the Christian church, bringing to each celebration of the liturgy a necessary, useful, and special ministry. That’s a tradition worth protecting and preserving.

At Epiphany acolytes carry candles, the Gospel book, or a processional cross as the ministers and choir enter the church at the beginning of the service. They assist with the Gospel Procession when the Gospel is read from the center of the church. They also help with receiving the offerings from the congregation, and assist during the serving of communion.

Being an acolyte is much more than just wearing a white alb and doing tasks during the service. It can also be a way for youth to engage in spiritual exercises which will form and transform them as Christians on their spiritual journeys. Being an acolyte is an opportunity to worship in a different way. Acolytes are attentive to what is happening during the service. They are serving God by following a set of guidelines that are meant to enhance worship for all in attendance. Service and obedience are spiritual exercises which help us to focus more on God and less on ourselves.

Anyone in fifth grade or older is eligible to become an acolyte. Epiphany’s Acolyte Master, Wellesley Chapman, Laura Sargent, Doyt, and I will be co-hosting a luncheon, information session, and initial training on Sunday, October 22nd, following the 11:00 service in the Fireside Room. This gathering is for all current acolytes and those who would like to learn more about acolyting. Please email me at verger@epiphanyseattle.org and let me know you are coming.

Diane Carlisle, Verger

Acolytes 2016
Acolytes 2016

Hal and Steve
Hal and Steve Clemons

Saint Francis Day at Epiphany

IMG_3542 IMG_3543 IMG_3545   ST FANCIS DAY 2017
Epiphany celebrated Saint Francis Day and the Blessing of the Animals last Saturday, October 7th. The event was attended by both two-legged and four-legged creatures who all seemed to have a tail-wagging good time!
See you next year.

20s & 30ish Spice O’ Life Get Together
October 27 at 6 pm in the Fireside Room

apple &sticks
An evening of fellowship. Bring your favorite fall savories & sweets. Beverages provided, including a seasonal cocktail.

For inquiries, please call Joseph at 206.402.8467 or email musicdirector@epiphanyseattle.org Join our group on Facebook for updates and more information.

The Commemoration of All Faithful Departed Solemn High Eucharist and the Reading of the Parish Necrology
Saturday, November 4 at 7:30 pm in the Chapel

St. Augustine said, “If we had no care for the dead, we would not be in the habit of praying for them.” The Commemoration of All Faithful Departed (also known as All Souls’ Day) began being celebrated in the Middle Ages to offer special prayers for those who had died in the past year.

Solemn Mass (Latin: missa solemnis), sometimes also referred to as Solemn Eucharist, Solemn High Mass, or simply High Mass, requires parts of the service to be sung and the use of incense. Sanctus bells will also be used during the service to call attention to particular moments in the liturgy.

Epiphany Choir will sing at this service.

Upcoming Baptisms at Epiphany
All Saints’ Day
Sunday, November 5, 2017 at 11:00 am


Baptism Preparation Class and Rehearsal for Families and Godparents
Saturday, November 4. 9:00 am – 10:30 am

Please contact The Reverend Todd Foster for more information at 206-324-2573 or todd@epiphanyseattle.org.

Wyatt Smith, Organ Scholar at Epiphany Parish, played a program of Bach and Buxtehude this Wednesday evening for the first round of the Canadian International Organ Competition in Montréal. Below is the link to the CIOC YouTube channel where you can watch his performance.


Wyatt copy


Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Exodus 32:1-14
Psalm 106:1-6, 19-23
Philippians 4:1-9
Matthew 22:1-14


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