Being Called into the Day
A reflection by the Rev. Doyt L. Conn, Jr.
As part of my morning prayer pattern, I get down on my knees, and I set my head against the floor. I suppose it is very much like how Muslims pray. I can’t tell you exactly how it developed or if it will always remain, but today it is part of my morning dance with the Holy Spirit. This morning, with my forehead pressed against the floor atop a rug Kristin and I bought when we were in Turkey on our honeymoon, my mind wondered about all of the other husbands and wives, moms and dads, and grandfathers and grandmothers who this very morning were getting up out of bed.
I wondered what their morning rituals were like. Did they bow down to pray? Did they shuffle to the shower? Was a cup of coffee or steaming tea handed to them, or were they the ones who put the pot on the stove? Perhaps they were the ones who collected the wood behind the house to fuel the stove in the first place! I wondered if they cursed the day ahead of them, or if they looked toward it with excitement.
Every day the sun cycles into our lives, and we are called to meet it. We are called to step out of the slumber put upon us and into creation to participate. Images of people going to work with a pail or a rucksack, arriving to stand behind a counter selling falafel or pumping gas or stocking shelves; images of people firing up their computers to check their email or to review their calendars; images of people feeding the sheep, harnessing the bullock, or firing up the tractor all swept over me this morning as I knelt with my head to the ground. And I wondered, is there joy inherent to this? Is there intrinsic honor to getting up to meet the day? And I think not. The day comes with no guarantee. The only promise is the duty put upon us: the duty to get up and to step upon the path laid before us. We rise in response to the call, or shall I say, the calling of the new day, nothing more. Duty does not awaken in the soul of humanity for the sake of achievement, glamour, or accolade. It is neutral.
We have a decision to make each morning about how we are going to meet the day. We have a new opportunity to be expectant and maybe even a little excited about the surprises God has in mind. I hope that most of your new days are predictable. I hope that in general your life and the lives of all humankind have rhythm and pattern, because it is in the flow of the rivers of routine that we see the rocks and eddies, the low-slung branches that fell the night before. We are invited to see the change and share in the curiosity of what happened and what it might mean. All of us are set in this place at the start of a new day.
I invite you to start each new day with your head pressed against the ground… not literally necessarily, but in a posture, whatever that is for you, of invitation to God to be present in a new and gracious way. May this posture also be a posture of gratitude and thanksgiving for what you are going to meet. Think of whom you will meet and whom you hope to greet on this new day. For me, it starts with my wife and then my family. The people on my calendar come next, then the church, then the Madrona neighborhood. It spreads out from there! I remember once reading that the Pope prays for the whole world every morning. I used to think that was a bit much, but now, with my head pressed to the carpet, made by hands I’ll never meet, made by people called into the morning to dye, weave, and sew, I begin to understand.
My prayer for you is simple: that you meet the new day, each day, with invitation and gratitude; that irrespective of what the pattern is, or the promise might be, you might know that indeed God will be there, in the ripples, rapids, and rocks. Know too that you are called. That is what your awakening is: God’s call upon your life. So, sleeper, awake to the new day and give thanks to God!
Adult Formation at a Glance
Still deciding how to participate in adult formation? Confused about the difference between a minyan and a class? Download this helpful cheat sheet for information.
You’re Invited to Be a Member of the Music Guild
“The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.”
—Johann Sebastian Bach
On behalf of the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild, I hope you have had the chance to attend at least one of our inaugural events and “refresh” your soul. It has been a very exciting beginning for our first season of the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild. The Launch Concert in May was spectacular, many have said world-class. A selection of the finest musicians in the region played works by Purcell, Handel, and other composers to a packed church. This summer, the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild welcomed our new Hamburg Steinway piano, an anonymous donation by a member of our parish, with two recitals given by Peter Mack and Byron Schenkman & Friends. And last Sunday, Carole Terry, Professor of Organ at University of Washington and Artist-in-Residence here at Epiphany, played a set of inaugural concerts on the brand-new Pasi organ in the chapel. Over 150 people attended!
The Epiphany Seattle Music Guild was founded to assist in Epiphany’s outreach to our neighborhood and the greater Seattle area. We use the beautifully restored church and chapel, with their new, specially enhanced acoustical properties, as our performance spaces. We work in close collaboration with the standing music program at Epiphany and are truly blessed to have one of the finest Anglican music directors in the country, Thomas Foster. Tom is integrally involved both with the church’s music and the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild.
Our mission is to be one of the primary community outreach initiatives of the parish with a consistent program of top quality, soul-refreshing music. We are currently a small dedicated volunteer team focused on including others at Epiphany in an effort to continue to produce amazing musical events that bless our community, neighbors, and city.
As such, we would like to invite you to join us for our first members meeting. It will be September 18, immediately after the 11 am service, in the Great Hall. Join us to hear more about the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild, and, if you are then so inclined, get involved in sharing the great music being made at Epiphany!
If you have any questions prior to the meeting, please contact me by email or phone at 425-943-1001. We look forward to seeing you on the 18th of September!
Executive Committee Member
Youth Formation During Everybody Hour
Have you ever wondered why youth who have gone to church most of their lives so easily drift away from Christian community when they leave home? That was a question asked by Nisqually tribe members here in the Northwest about their own youth abandoning their traditions and culture. And what the Nisqually found is that they were able to turn this trend around as they began to tell the story of what it means to be Nisqually to their youth. They taught their children their traditions, incorporated their children into the celebrations, and gave their children peer communities through which to wrestle with the big questions in their lives. And, most importantly, they had the elders of the tribe teach the stories, and tell their own stories, of how the Nisqually character informs who they are in the broader world.
At Epiphany, we have taken a page out of the Nisqually playbook and developed a curriculum to help our children understand the deep value of being a Christian. We are doing this by creating four pods of learning that, in their sum total, will help our youth know their identity as Christians and the value it has in their lives and in the broader world. These four pods are: confirmation preparation, master classes, community building, and liturgical service.
Confirmation: Instead of running a traditional confirmation class in anticipation of the Bishop’s visit June 2, 2019, we are weaving classes on specific Christian topics into our Sunday morning youth curriculum. These designated blocks of classes will enrich our youth who have already been confirmed and count towards confirmation for youth who would like to be.
Master Classes on the Christian Life: These classes are a way of showing our youth how Christian life is lived out in the world. These classes will feature wise members of Epiphany telling their stories and talking about their work and how it is influenced by their faith or about topics that have sparked their passion. It is our hope that the youth ask them how work, relationships, and God all mix together to define who they are and how they are in the world. These classes will meet the weeks there are not confirmation classes or brunch.
Community: In the Kingdom of God, relationship is primary. We say that all the time here at Epiphany. That being the case, it is always our hope to be building community among our youth. We want to do this in a multitude of ways, including: once a month youth group on Sunday evenings, singing with the Choristers, participating in the Christmas pageant, or helping out with service and activities.
Liturgical Service: As many of you know, the order of our common worship can be a great comfort and inspiration in and throughout our lives. As part of the formation of our youth, we have organized Sunday mornings so they can regularly attend worship services and participate in the service as well. Liturgy works on the soul in a way that brings lightness and peace, particularly in times of difficulty and darkness. Regular participation creates habits of the heart that can have an impact on our youth for their entire lives. We believe this is important and hope they participate in both the Everybody Hour and worship.
We fully recognize our youth cannot participate in all of these offerings. We understand that. Our goal is to make available rich options that bring to their mind’s eye a new perspective on the church and living the Christian life. We believe that best happens through a combination of education, storytelling and modeling, community building, and worship. It is our prayer that our youth come to see, through their experience of Epiphany, how their Christian faith and life can bring to them a deeper sense of God’s grace and what it means to live the good life.
Please feel free to contact me with questions or if you would like to volunteer.
—Laura Sargent, Youth Convener
Love God, Love People, Serve the World: A Retreat for Small Groups
Saturday, October 15 at 8:30–11:30 am
A relationship with God is more than going through the motions. A spiritual retreat can quiet your soul and renew your faith. Attend this half-day retreat with your small group and experience worship, workshops, and extended time together! For more information or to RSVP for your group, contact the Rev. Kate Wesch.
We are hoping to be able to provide childcare during this event. Please email Elizabeth Walker by October 1 if you and your family will need childcare.
Open Registration for the Spring Walking Pilgrimage in England
The spring Walking Pilgrimage from London to Canterbury is open to enrollment. This pilgrimage starts and ends at Evensong at Westminster Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral. In between are nine days of beautiful countryside walking averaging 10–12 miles per day with lots of time for writing, reflection, prayer, and fellowship along this holy and sacred pilgrimage route. The dates are set for March 10–23, 2017, during Lent. There will be a maximum enrollment of ten people for this trip, so sign up early! For more information or to commit a deposit to hold your place, please contact George Moberly.
The deadline for deposits is Monday, October 17.
Parish Prayer List
Periodically we go through and clean up the prayer list. If we have removed any names in error, please let us know and we will put them back. If you have any further updates on the people we are praying for, let us know that too. Thanks!
Click here to download this week’s prayer list.
Sunday Lectionary Corner
September 18, 2016
Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
1 Timothy 2:1–7
Upcoming Events in the Life of Epiphany
This Week at Epiphany
September 18: Adult Forum – Under Our Skin, Part 1
In early summer, the Seattle Times launched a video project called, “Under Our Skin.” It features 18 people from Western Washington, including Bishop Greg Rickel, explaining what terms like “racism,” “microaggression,” and “white privilege” mean to them. Join members of your Epiphany community in this important conversation. To preview the project’s videos, click here.
September 18: First Music Guild Members Meeting
The mission of the Music Guild is to be one of the primary community outreach initiatives of the parish with a consistent program of top quality, soul-refreshing music. To accomplish that mission, the executive committee is focused on including others at Epiphany in the efforts. You are invited to the first meeting immediately after the 11 am service in the Great Hall in order to ask questions and assess your interest in becoming a Music Guild member. Contact Kent Mueller with questions.
September 18: The Divine Conspiracy Minyan Begins
The Divine Conspiracy by Dallas Willard is a book that has significantly influenced teaching and preaching at Epiphany. Not only has it inspired Epiphany’s leadership, but it has inspired many of the most popular and effective preachers and teachers in Christianity today, including Brian McLaren, Rob Bell, Shane Hipps, Phyllis Tickle, and others. Join in the study of this book on Sundays at 10 am (Everybody Hour) in the Christie House Library as a way of opening your mind to the life and teaching of Jesus. To register for the class, please email the Rev. Doyt Conn.
September 22: C.S. Lewis Minyan Resumes
Discuss the works of theologian and author C.S. Lewis, as well as other “Inklings,” with our resident Lewis enthusiast Jonathan Roberts on Thursdays at 8:30 am in the Christie House Library. We read a different book for each season. Contact Jonathan if you would like to participate.
September 22: Monthly Teen Feed Dinner
Every fourth Thursday at 6 pm, Epiphany’s Teen Feed crew gathers at a church kitchen in the University District to cook their famous enchiladas for young people living on the streets. For more information, contact Ann Beck. You can also read more about the Teen Feed experience here.
September 24: YWCA Apartment Beautification
On the last Saturday of the month, a crew from Epiphany gives a recently vacated apartment a good scrub, stocks it with basic supplies, and leaves it looking a bit more like home for the family moving into transitional housing. Come join us; it’s a great family project! For more information, contact Ann Beck.
September 25: Adult Forum – Under Our Skin, Part 2
To preview the project’s videos, click here.
September 25: Music Guild Event – Intimate Baroque
At 6 pm in the Chapel, the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild will offer a concert of French baroque music featuring six of the most noted baroque performers in the Puget Sound area: sopranos Madeline Bersamina and Rebekah Gilmore; Ingrid Matthews, baroque violin; Janet See, baroque flute; Juliana Soltis, viola da gamba; and Jillon Stoppels Dupree, harpsichord. Dupree will play a harpsichord donated to Epiphany Seattle by long-time parishioner Bill Hoppin in loving memory of his wife Bonnie.
September 28: In the Style of Taizé
The Taizé experience at Epiphany offers an opportunity for contemplation in an atmosphere of candlelight. The worship is in a style pioneered by the ecumenical monastic community in Taizé, France. These quiet, simple services of readings, meditative singing, and prayer are led by Epiphany Choir and designed to welcome us to a deeper, calmer experience of rest and renewal in the healing presence of God. Join us at 7:30 pm in the Church.
September 23–October 2: Joyful Noise at Taproot Theatre
Come see parishioner Frank Lawler in Taproot Theatre’s production of Joyful Noise! Based on true events, Joyful Noise tells the story of the creation of Handel’s Messiah. Frank plays King George II, the composer’s reluctant patron. Suffering both humiliation and scandal, how will Handel come to write one of the best-known choral works in Western music? See the show and find out!