Weekly Word for September 8, 2017

September 8th, 2017

Harvey Has Ripped The Veil
We Can See Our Better Selves

harvey flood

Dear Epiphany,

As I watch scenes from Harvey unfold on my computer screen my mind wanders to the Biblical. Words from the Psalmist stream through my mind:

“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink into deep mire, where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my craving; my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.” (Ps 69:1)

Water. We are mostly water. Sixty to seventy percent of the earth’s surface is covered by water. Health experts suggest that we drink a half-gallon of water every day. We wash our cars with it. We play in it. It is life.
But water is also destruction. It is also death. Hurricane Harvey reminds us of this reality as well. Nothing new here.
We should not be surprised that this watery theme of life and death should show up in the Bible. The Bible, after all, is a book about the human experience. Life and death are its brackets.
But the Psalmist continues:

“As for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord.
At an acceptable time, O God,
in the abundance of your steadfast love, answer me.” (Ps 69:13)

And so we wait. Between the brackets we wait. And the way I witness waiting in Houston is Biblical. From the mouth of Moses the pattern issues forth:

“I call heaven and earth to witness against you today
that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.
Choose life so that you and your descendants may live,
loving the Lord your God…” (Deut 30:19a)

Or as Jesus puts it, quoting from the law of Leviticus (19:18):

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt 12:31)

Why is the human spirit so often at its best in the face of trial and tribulation? I wonder. Maybe it has something to do with the manner by which all superficial divisions are washed away. Status is washed away. Affluence and poverty are washed away. Lineage and heritage are washed away. And in this washing away, we find our common bond; our God-desired unity. We see the sixty percent water in the other, instead of the style of their shoes or the power of their pocket book. We see in one another our sister, or our grandfather, or our child. We help them load their dog on the boat, because we remember our own dog, or some other pet that loved us along the way. Sometimes, it seems God washes away the artifice of division that humanity has so extravagantly created and maintained so that we can see the world as it really is. Did God “make Harvey happen” to get humanity to work together and be our better selves? I wouldn’t say that. What I would say is that God created us to be our better selves in the face of trial and tribulation. At our core, God made us good. And sometimes, the worst in the world calls out the best from God’s children.

Maybe Harvey does indeed deserve the category of Biblical. The Bible is about religion. Religion is about life. Life happens between the brackets of birth and death. It is messy. It is contrived. It is hard, particularly when we struggle and slog in mire, to build and maintain the contrived artifices of division. And then something from outside our lives, outside our control, outside our desire happens, and we are reminded that the better life, the more authentic life, happens when we choose life and express that choice in how we love our neighbors.

Harvey has ripped the veil from top to bottom so we can see into the heart of God, by seeing into the heart of our neighbor. And what we find there is that they, like us, are good. In touching that reality we find our better selves.


Fall Kickoff Picnic
September 10 – 12:15 pm in the
Epiphany Gardens
Reconnect with old friends and meet new ones.

* Gumbo provided by Blueacre Catering
* Bouncy House
* Henna Tattoos
* Opportunity to pick up your nametag ($5.00) or order one
* Pictures taken for the directory
* Get Church Life on your phone (our online calendar and directory)
* Epiphany Parish baseball caps, tote bags, Hour By Hour prayer books,
and name tags will be for sale
* Fall harvest vegetables from the Epiphany garden will be available for donation

Don’t miss it!

Food still needed for Sunday’s Kickoff Picnic!

Food still needed for Sunday’s Kickoff Picnic!

– Sliced vegetables (2-3 platters)
– Fruit salad (2-3 dishes)
– Pasta Salad (3-4 dishes)
– Egg Salad and other side dishes (5-6 dishes total)
– Key Lime or Lemon Pie (6 pies total)
– Brownies (no nuts please)
– Mac and Cheese for children (4 large dishes)

Email epiphanyparish@epiphanyseattle.0rg on how you can help. Thank you.

Meet our Organ Scholar, Wyatt Smith!

Wyatt comes to us a doctoral student at the University of Washington, under the tutelage of Dr. Carole Terry, our very own Artist-in-Residence. Over the last few years Wyatt has concertized extensively throughout the U.S. and been a featured artist on American Public Media’s Pipedreams. Wyatt hails from South Dakota where he completed his undergraduate studies. He then moved to Connecticut, completing a graduate degree from the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the Yale School of Music. Last May he was received into The Episcopal Church at St. Mark’s Cathedral and is incredibly excited to broaden his scope of Anglican Choral Worship here at Epiphany. Wyatt’s enthusiasm and energy is contagious and he is thrilled to join the music team here and looks forward to meeting you all. More about Wyatt can be found by visiting his website wyattsmith-organist.com Wyatt’s first day on the organ benches will be our Kickoff Sunday, September 10th. Please join me in welcoming Wyatt to Epiphany!

Help Epiphany Look Its Best!
Annual All Clean Day
September 9 from 10 am to noon
Epiphany Campus

Clean 2
All Clean is an opportunity to come together with other parishioners and spruce up our campus in anticipation of Fall Kickoff Sunday the next day. There is silver to be polished, dusting and light maintenance work to be done, windows to be washed, and much much more! Come help us get the campus sparkly clean and looking its best. This promises to be a fun time of fellowship and service. Lunch will be served to participants at noon. Please email Diane at verger@epiphanyseattle.org to volunteer.

Roots of Romanticism
Byron Schenkman, Piano
September 17 at 6:15 pm in the Chapel

Concert pianist Byron Schenkman, presents an evening of exquisite piano masterpieces that are sure to capture the audience.

Mozart Sonata in F Major, K. 332/330k
Szymanowska Nocture in B-flat Major
Schubert Three Pieces, opus posthumous, D. 946

Will Austin Photography

This performance is made possible by the generous financial support of the Epiphany Seattle Music Guild. As a result, this concert is presented without charge.

Invest in Youth

Invest in Youth (https://www.investinyouth.org/) is a program that seeks to provide targeted academic assistance for children who are in danger of being left behind. It requires a commitment of only one or two hours per week during the school year (or less if you choose to serve as a substitute!). Thanks to volunteers like Candace Lancaster and Caroline Briggs, Epiphany has been represented in the Invest in Youth program at our local school, Madrona Elementary, for several years. This year, tutors for Madrona Elementary will serve on Tuesday afternoons, beginning with training on October 10th. Tutors are well-trained and well-supported in their efforts. If this is a way you might like to serve our neighbors, please click on the “Make a Difference” (https://www.investinyouth.org/volunteer) button on the Invest in Youth (https://www.investinyouth.org/) web-site or speak to Candace, Caroline, Todd or Doyt about their experiences last year.

An Update on Our Coffee Ministry:
A Miracle and Our Angel!

Your response to our April request for coffee donations to benefit Peter’s Place has been overwhelming — a miracle of our own making! Warm thanks for your immediate response – and for sustaining your gifts even through summer diversions! And we have an angel too! You may know that Caroline Briggs’ daughter, Liz Pachaud, owns and runs the Honor Society Coffee, serving coffee in the Melrose Market on the front of Capitol Hill. Caroline and Liz reached out in May to tell us that Honor would supply us every week or so with a very generous gift of coffee to serve as the backbone of our supplying Peter’s Place! They have been doing so, and, as a result, along with your donations, let us tell you how our ministry has grown!

Doyt asked Bob Shupe, who was delivering Alec Polson’s magazines, to ask our other magazine recipients if by they ever need coffee! Bob learned that all of them do! So we expanded our ministry and are now providing coffee to Peter’s Place AND to the Union Gospel Mission!

How eye-opening it is to realize that coffee is actually a luxury in our community, not a staple. Please continue with your extraordinary donations – we will all want coffee even more in the fall when cooler breezes return!! Thank you!!

Bob Shupe and Kim Street

Women of Epiphany Mini Retreat
September 9 from 9 am to 11 am in the Fireside Room

Join us for Scripture readings from the Forward day by day. Also, there will be coffee and good foods; lively conversation and fellowship. Start the Fall with fellowship.

All are welcome.

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Chorister season!

September brings the beginning of our youth programming year at Epiphany Parish – we invite your children to sing to the glory of God in our Choristers program!

Our Choristers are ministers of music at Epiphany. Your singers learn proper vocal technique, musicianship, ear training & sight reading, liturgy, and so much more. Mr. O’Berry and Mrs. Yarnell look forward to the formation of our young musicians!

CITs (Choristers-in-Training): 4:00 – 4:55pm
Ages Kindergarten and Up
Dinner: 5:00 – 5:30pm A family style dinner where CITs and Choristers can come together in community.

Choristers: 5:30 – 6:45pm
Ages 3rd grade and above eligible

Senior Choristers: 5:30 – 7:15pm
6th grade and above eligible

Please contact Kathea Yarnell with any inquiries at choristers@epiphanyseattle.org


…. 100 people gathered in the Christie House Courtyard last week to kick off the school year for the 3 Epiphanies that share this campus– Epiphany Parish, Epiphany School, and Epiphany Early Learning Preschool. Chinn Eap prepared a fabulous lunch for the whole group, and Doyt began the meal with a welcome and well wishes for the beginning of the school year. This gathering is the only one of its type each year and is a reminder of the energy and passion that blooms each day on Epiphany’s grounds.



Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Exodus 12:1-14
Psalm 149
Romans 13:8-14
Matthew 18:15-20


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