What’s Next for Epiphany and The Saint John’s Bible?
We have come to the end of our time with The Saint John’s Bible under the terms of our agreement with St. John’s University. As you may recall, we signed up for a program called “A Year with The Saint John’s Bible.” The terms of the agreement were that we would have two of the seven volumes of The Saint John’s Bible Heritage Edition for one year.
During that time we were encouraged to use the Bible in worship, to study it using an artistic form called visio divina, and to make it accessible to the broader community. This has happened in spades, and we have been richly rewarded for our efforts. The Bible has become a hallmark of our Sunday worship. We have learned the best way to handle its heft, and still bring it into the presence of the congregation for the gospel reading. No doubt it has helped that many of our acolytes have grown a bit in the past year.
The visio divina Bible studies have been a great success, with over 40 people participating. We reached the pinnacle of outreach success as The Saint John’s Bible was highlighted at the Sacred Arts Festival held here at Epiphany this past June. Many outsiders have come to Epiphany to see the Bible and marvel at its beauty and the wonderful way the illuminations enliven the text. The Saint John’s Bible is the first hand-illuminated Bible to have been made in 500 years, and this triumph has not been lost on many who seek the right and left brain synthesis achieved through this confluence of art and word.
When I was at Cambridge University this summer, one of the plenary speakers was Dr. Michelle Brown. She is a leading, if not the leading, expert on illuminated manuscripts. Her lecture focused mostly on the ancient texts found at St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai desert and The Book of Kells, but at the very end of the lecture, to my delight, she featured Donald Jackson and his extraordinary work on The Saint John’s Bible. This seemed to be providential, as I had just met with Donald Jackson at his home in Wales two weeks earlier; a meeting that also seemed divinely inspired. It turns out that Brinley and Cheryl Morgan, who live in Wales and Seattle and attend Epiphany when they are in town, live right down the road from the Jacksons in Wales. Brinley and Cheryl set up a visit at the Jackson’s, and Donald and Mabel, his wife, were thrilled to hear about the work we have done with the Bible and the wonderful way we have incorporated it into our worship service. It turns out that Epiphany is unique among churches at this point in actually using the Bible in worship. While there are a number of Catholic churches that have the Bible, because The Saint John’s Bible translation is the New Revised Standard Version, these churches are not, by papal policy, authorized to read from it in worship. Epiphany, this past year, has held the St. John’s Bible high as a banner for art and word fused at the center of worship.
Now, the Bible is returning to St. John’s, and I for one will really miss it. And yet hope springs eternal. To bring the Bible permanently into our midst requires some money, and I believe that this abundance will come into our midst. While we are doing no institutional fundraising to permanently house The Saint John’s Bible at Epiphany, providence is on our side. As I was leaving the Jackson’s house in Wales, Donald disappeared and then returned holding a stained goose quill. “Here,” he said. “This is one of the quills I used to write the original Saint John’s Bible. You can house it with the Bibles when they arrive at Epiphany.” And so, I believe, and more than that, we are preparing for this eventuality. As part of our restoration of the church, we are including a place to house The Saint John’s Bible (all seven volumes) in the narthex. The Bible will be housed in such a way that people can view it and that we can access it and use it on Sundays. To be a church that honors art and the illuminated tradition of Christianity would add to our already rather unique place among Episcopal churches. We’ll see how the Holy Spirit guides us in this hope.
Finally, I would like to thank Julie Moberly, Carmen Hoffman, Brad Neary, Ann Lockhart, and Kate Wesch for so carefully curating the Bible while it was in our midst. Your efforts were greatly appreciated and deeply valued by this community.
YWCA Backpack Thank You!
Thanks to everyone at Epiphany who participated in the YWCA Backpack drive. Because of you, we were able to donate 54 fully stocked backpacks! This included 30 backpacks that the Sunday School children packed themselves—a fun activity that allowed them to hear about and help children in need. The YWCA is a charity we work with all year. We will provide you more opportunities to bring joy to YWCA emergency shelter families this Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Epiphany has been one of the YWCA’s biggest supporters. Please continue to make that true!
The folks at YWCA sent this thank-you and report on the drive:
Dear YWCA Supporters!
School is now in session! You may not have heard the pounding of feet as kids ran through the halls in their new shoes, or the scratch of writing with their pencils in new notebooks, but it was all there making a symphony of thanks to you! The children, their parents, and those of us who work at the YWCA are sending you our thanks because without you those noises would have never been possible.
Case managers have been spending their time handing out backpacks and new school supplies to children and parents who knew that the coming school year wouldn’t be like the last, and without a miracle they would have to go without. These backpacks were filled to the brim with new school supplies, but were light with the coming of new opportunities, and it is because of you!
1160 backpacks were distributed by 33 different programs to homeless children throughout our shelters. 57 children in most desperate need were sponsored with backpacks and new outfits—giving them the pride of normality on their first day of school.
It is part of our mission to open doors for opportunity for those in need in our community and you have helped us achieve just that. They might not know your face, but the kids and their parents who have received your thoughtful donations are sending you their thanks. It is truly a blessing to see a child come home from school with a smile on their face and stories of new friends and new information. Thanks are being said all over Seattle and it’s all because of your donations and kindness! We are thankful for your continuing generosity, the commitment to our programs, and the belief that every child deserves to go to school and have the same experience as everyone else.
So let me say it again, and again, THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
—Nichelle Hilton, YWCA
Looking for Volunteers to Bring In Coffee-Hour Treats
If you enjoy drinking coffee and munching on a snack in the Great Hall between Sunday services, consider providing some treats to share with the congregation! It’s a great way to be welcoming and hospitable to each other and to newcomers in the parish. Families, ministries, and small groups may want to consider committing to providing treats at regular intervals. Contact Amanda Eap if you’d like to help out!
Sign Up for +TABLE by Sunday
+TABLE (pronounced “cross-table”) is a program that gathers parishioners together in homes for a monthly potluck. It’s a great way for members to get acquainted, share their background and experience, and develop enduring relationships. If you think you might be interested in participating or even facilitating a group, click here for more info and to sign up! Sign up by September 21.
Cub Scouts Resumes Next Week at Epiphany
Cub Scouts is open to boys in grades 1–5. Our local pack meets at Epiphany every other Monday from 7–8:15 pm. Meetings begin in Epiphany School’s ball court or gym and then move to the Great Hall. Primary activities include games, camping, woodcraft, first aid, aquatics, hiking, and sports. Parents are encouraged to participate with their son, though they are not required. Our first information session will be September 22, with the first meeting scheduled for September 29, both at 7pm and both in either the ball court or gym, depending on weather. Hope you can come! If you have any questions, please contact Michael Charles or Cory Carlson.
An Update from the Building Team
The Building Team is in the midst of a preliminary pricing exercise, so most of our recent work has been around clarifying existing design to ensure that we get the most complete estimate possible. We continue to work to finalize the design of the St. Francis Garden and are discussing a variety of design elements in the Church and Chapel.
The Next 100 Years Building Team
Ed Emerson, Laura Blackmore, Bob Barnes, Jim Marlow Ben Bradstreet
Contact the Building Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Prayer List
To view the Parish Prayer List, click here for the PDF.
Sunday Lectionary Corner
September 21, 2014
Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost