Posts by epiphany

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Sermon

In honor of the Rev. Dr. King Memorial Holiday, our Rector, Rev. Huber delivered a powerful message reflecting on Dr. King’s words in ‘Chaos or Community’ and how many of these concerns are still present today.

Read the full transcript of Rev. Huber’s sermon here.

Sponsored Hymn Sing

 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

3:00pm – 4:00pm

Come, request and sing your favorite hymns at the Epiphany Sponsored Hymn Sing led by the Epiphany Choir. This event is a part of Epiphany’s Ministries Day and donations of any amount per hymn are greatly appreciated. All proceeds will go directly towards the Church of the Epiphany.

 

Hymn request can be emailed to Director of Music Jeremy Filsell at jfilsell@epiphanydc.org.

Epiphany Sunday and Bishop’s Visit

Please join us as we celebrate our feast day, Epiphany, on Sunday, January 7. Our morning services will be led by Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde where she will preach as well as confirm and receive new members to the Episcopal communion.

December 31: Henry Lycurgus Howison (1914)

Henry L. Howison was a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy. He was born in Washington, Indiana, on October 10, 1837. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1858. During the next three years he served on the steam frigate Wabash, gunboat Pocohontas and sloop Pawnee. From September 1861 to May 1864, Lieutenant Howison was Executive Officer of three South Atlantic Blockading Squadron ships: the cruiser Augusta and the monitors Nantucket and Catskill, all of which were engaged in wartime operations off Charleston, South Carolina. He then spent nearly a year in the Gulf of Mexico with the cruiser Bienville, acting as her Commanding Officer during some of this time. Following promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in March 1865, Howison was assigned to ordnance inspection duty at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C. It was during this time that Howison married Hannah Johnson Middleton at the Church of the Epiphany. Hannah’s family had been closely connected with the church since at least the 1850s.

In August 1866, Howison returned to sea as Navigator (and later Executive Officer) of the steam sloop Pensacola, flagship on the Pacific Station. During 1868-1872 he served again at the Washington Navy Yard and at the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1873 Commander Howison commanded the gunboat Shawmut. Further duty followed at the Naval Academy and in Washington, D.C., broken by a brief assignment as Commanding Officer of the gunnery training ship Minnesota. Promoted to Captain in 1885, he continued his service in the Nation’s Capital until taking command of USS Vandalia in February 1886. In June 1888 Captain Howison became President of the Steel Inspecting Board and two years later was transferred to the Lighthouse Board. He was Commandant of the Navy Yard at Mare Island, California, and in July 1896 became the first Commanding Officer of the new battleship Oregon, which at that time was the Navy’s most important west coast warship. Commodore Howison was Commandant of the Boston Navy Yard until 1899 and was promoted to Rear Admiral in 1898. Following several months as the commander of the South Atlantic Station, in October 1899 he reached the legally-mandated retirement age of 62 and left active duty. Rear Admiral Henry L. Howison died in Yonkers, New York, on December 31, 1914.

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December 30: John Parsons Wheeler, III (2010)

John Parsons “Jack” Wheeler III was a consultant to the Mitre Corporation, senior planner for Amtrak, official of the Securities and Exchange Commission, chief executive and CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and a presidential aide to the Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations. He also held numerous other positions in the United States military, government, and corporations. Wheeler is best known for his Chairmanship of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Wheeler was descended from a family of military professionals. He graduated near the top of his West Point Class of 1966, which lost thirty of its members in the Vietnam War. Before deployment to Vietnam, Wheeler graduated with distinction from Harvard Business School. During the downsizing of the military after the war ended, Wheeler resigned from the Army and spent a year attending Virginia Theological Seminary, before deciding to go to Yale Law School.

From 1979 to 1989, Wheeler was chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund which built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Working with Jan Scruggs and Robert W. Doubek, he supported the controversial Maya Lin design. He raised over eight million dollars in private donations and succeeded in getting Congress to approve a site on the National Mall for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, now known simply as the Wall. In the 1980s, Wheeler was a parishioner of the Church of the Epiphany and a member of the vestry. In 1984, Wheeler had just published a book called Touched with Fire: The Future of the Vietnam Generation. An April 1984 pew sheet advertises the new release with a “Book Celebration” in the Willard Room on a Thursday afternoon. Wheeler’s death at the end of the year in 2010 remains shrouded in mystery. His body turned up in a Wilmington, Delaware landfill. Police ruled his death an assault with “blunt force trauma” without further elaboration. In April 2011, Wheeler’s remains were inurned with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.

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December 29: Sumner Cummings Paine (1898)

Sumner Cummings Paine was a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. He was born August 31, 1848 in Maine to Seth and Mary (Cummings) Paine. His father was city treasurer of Bangor, Maine.  Sumner was appointed to the United States Naval Academy from Maine and graduated with the Class of 1869. He reached the grade of lieutenant in October 1896 and his last cruise was executive officer on Admiral Dewey’s flagship Olympia just prior to the Spanish-American War. Paine was taken ill in April 1898 and his health gradually failed until his death came in December. He was 50 years old.

Sumner Paine provides an interesting link between two significant Epiphany families. Two of his classmates at the Naval Academy were John H.C. Coffin, Jr. and Benjamin H. Buckingham. On February 27, 1878, Sumner Paine married John Coffin’s sister, Helen Olcott Coffin, at the Church of the Epiphany. Benjamin Buckingham served as a witness. These two Coffins are children of Louisa Harrison Coffin, the woman who gave the land upon which Epiphany is built. Benjamin Buckingham married Margaret Freeman, one of Epiphany’s great benefactors who gave the church its parish house and tower bells. Sumner and Helen Paine’s only child, Elsie, was baptized at the church in 1879 and buried from there nine years later. Sumner Paine’s funeral was from Epiphany in 1898 before his interment in Oak Hill Cemetery.

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December 28: Andrew Atkinson Humphreys (1883)

Andrew Atkinson Humphreys was a career United States Army officer, civil engineer, and a Union General in the American Civil War. He served in senior positions in the Army of the Potomac, including division command, chief of staff, and corps command, and was Chief Engineer of the U.S. Army. Humphreys was born in Philadelphia to a family prominent in naval architecture. His grandfather, Joshua, designed “Old Ironsides”, the USS Constitution. Andrew graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1831 and spent much of the next thirty years as a civil engineer in the Army. He saw combat in the artillery in the Seminole Wars. Much of his service involved topographical and hydrological surveys of the Mississippi River Delta.

After the outbreak of the Civil War, Humphreys became chief topographical engineer in McClellan’s Army of the Potomac. Initially involved in planning the defenses of Washington, D.C., by March 1862, he shipped out for the Peninsula Campaign. At the Battle of Fredericksburg, his division achieved the farthest advance against fierce Confederate fire; his corps commander, George G. Meade, wrote of Humphreys: “He behaved with distinguished gallantry at Fredericksburg.” For an officer with little combat experience, he inspired his troops with his personal bravery. After the war, Humphreys became a permanent brigadier general and Chief of Engineers, until retirement in 1879, the same year his eldest daughter was buried from Epiphany. Following his death in 1883, Humphreys’ funeral took place in the church. Five years later, his wife’s funeral was there as well. A military base in Northern Virginia was founded during World War I as Camp A. A. Humphreys, named for Andrew A. Humphreys. The post was renamed Fort Belvoir in the 1930s in recognition of the Belvoir plantation that once occupied the site, but the adjacent United States Army Corps of Engineers Humphreys Engineer Center retains part of the original namesake.

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December 27: Jessie Ann Benton Frémont (1902)

Jessie Ann Benton Frémont was an American writer whose literary career arose largely from her writings in connection with her husband’s career and adventures and from the eventful life she led with him. Jessie was the daughter of Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri. She was well educated, mainly privately, and was notably independent and spirited. In 1840 she met Lieutenant John C. Frémont, a young officer in the Topographical Corps, and in 1841, over her father’s strong opposition, they were secretly married. Senator Benton chose to make the best of it and began using his considerable influence to further his son-in-law’s career as an explorer. While her husband was on his first expedition to the Wind River Country, Jessie Frémont served as her father’s hostess and occasionally translated secret Spanish documents for the State Department. She was largely responsible for the literary quality of the 1844 report on his second expedition. It was reprinted as a Senate document in an edition of 10,000 copies and widely sold in a commercial edition as well. In 1849, following her husband’s third expedition, his controversial role in the conquest of California, and his court-martial, she sailed to San Francisco to join him.

Jessie frequently wrote articles, memoirs, travel sketches, and stories that appeared in leading magazines at a time when the west was an exotic frontier. A great supporter of her husband, who was one of the first two Senators of the new U.S. state of California and a Governor of the Territory of Arizona, she was outspoken on political issues and a determined opponent of slavery, which was excluded from the formation of California. By maintaining a high level of political involvement during a period that was extremely unfavorable for women, Jessie Benton Frémont proved herself to be years ahead of her time. The Benton family was connected to Epiphany in its early years. Two of Jessie’s sisters were married at the church (Elizabeth, 1847; Sarah, 1848). All four of John and Jessie Frémont’s children were baptized at Epiphany.

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December 26: Frederick Hiester Brooke (1960)

Frederick H. Brooke (on the right in the accompanying photo) was a respected Colonial revival architect. He was born on October 9, 1876, in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania to Edward and Annie (Clymer) Brooke. He graduated from Yale University and studied architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1906, he came to Washington, D.C., where he was in practice for forty years. He became a member of the Washington, D.C. chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and was part of the committee that was instrumental in the 1925 legislation that required the registration of architects in Washington. He was also a member of the Executive Committee of the D.C. Allied Architects and served on the Board of Examiners of and Registrars for local architects for ten years. In 1890, after his father’s death, Brooke’s mother married Epiphany rector Randolph McKim. Brooke was the architect for Epiphany’s parish house (1911) and the McKim Memorial Tower (1922).

Brooke designed the Georgian revival buildings of Episcopal High School in Alexandria and was the local architect of the Lutyens-designed ambassador’s residence at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the designer of its Georgian revival interiors. He also designed the fourth-floor addition of the Phillips Collection, the District of Columbia World War I Memorial, the remodeling of the Sulgrave Club, and the alterations and additions for the Embassies of Iran and New Zealand and for the Chanceries of the Swedish, Dutch, and New Zealand Embassies. He designed the United States Consulate in Blue Fields, Nicaragua. Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss had been social acquaintances of Frederick H. Brooke. In 1921, they engaged him to undertake renovations and additions to the exterior and interior of their new home, which they later named Dumbarton Oaks. Brooke died on December 24, 1960.

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December 25: Christmas Day Services (1941, 1942)

On December 25, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill attended a church service on Christmas morning. The location was Foundry Methodist and the preacher was Epiphany’s rector, ZeBarney Phillips. (In the accompanying photo, FDR and Churchill are the second and third from the right; Phillips is the third from the left.) The service was sponsored by the Washington Federation of Churches and featured different churches and preachers each year. The service in 1942, also attended by FDR, was held at Epiphany with the pastor of First Congregational as preacher. On the 1941 occasion, Churchill had come to Washington on December 22, just two weeks after Pearl Harbor had made Britain and America war-time allies. Though Churchill was politically right of center and FDR left of center, they were kindred spirits as champions of Anglo-Saxon democracy against the totalitarian Axis powers. They were also both Anglicans from genteel backgrounds and families of political note.

Both men were reared in a similar Anglican faith, accustomed to the Book of Common Prayer, and to the great old Anglo and American hymns. Both appreciated the majesty and symbolism of public worship, especially in wartime, in vivid contrast to the pagan Fascism of their enemies. Various dignitaries joined them for the service, including Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall and Vice President Henry Wallace. Prayers were offered for “those who are dying on land and sea this Christmas morning.” Churchill later remembered of the service: “Certainly there was much to fortify the faith of all who believe in the moral governance of the universe.” Surprisingly, it was the first time Churchill ever heard O Little Town of Bethlehem. Memorably, the hymn declares: “Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.”

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