Posts by epiphany

Bishop Mariann and Dean Hall Call for Solidarity in Wake of South Carolina Shooting

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. – Matthew 5:4

“We and all people of good will are compelled to name this tragedy for what it is: the conjoined sins of racism and violence.”



WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 18, 2015) — We mourn the senseless killing of nine worshipers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday, and join in solidarity to condemn this hate crime that claimed the lives of our sisters and brothers at prayer. This is not only an assault on the martyrs of Mother Emanuel, but an attack on houses of worship everywhere. To our friends in Charleston we say: We stand with you, we mourn with you, and we will walk alongside you in the difficult days ahead.

We and all people of good will are compelled to name this tragedy for what it is: the conjoined sins of racism and violence. For too long, our African-American sisters and brothers have lived in the shadow of a reign of terror that has targeted churches, homes and businesses in the false notion of white supremacy. Such a visceral hatred for people of color has no place in our country, our homes or our hearts.

As a nation, we delude ourselves if we think that Wednesday’s attack is an isolated aberration. From 16th Street Baptist in Birmingham to the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin to the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, sanctuaries of prayer have been the target of violence. Too often, the false idol of racial superiority has been the motivation; too often, easy access to guns has been seen as the solution, not a symptom of a more severe sickness.

This week, we will toll the mourning bell of the Cathedral for the lives lost in Charleston. On Friday at 7 p.m., we will gather in prayer at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church (1514 15th Street NW), the oldest African-American parish in the Diocese of Washington, to mourn the dead, to ask God’s healing on our land and to commit ourselves anew to justice and racial reconciliation.

Goodbye Message from Randolph Charles

Dear People of Epiphany,

Thank you for letting me serve you as rector these twenty-one years.

Thank you for persevering courageously when times were challenging, and celebrating joyfully when times were filled with hope and potential.

Thank you for seeking faithfully the truth of God, the mind and heart of Jesus Christ, in your own way at your own pace.

Thank you for touching the pain of the world and celebrating the beauty of the human spirit through our ministry with the poor, our diverse and inclusive community, and our worship and music.

Thank you for being a rock-solid foundation for the entire Epiphany Community, as we proclaimed to the people of Downtown DC and the Washington Metropolitan Area our faith in God and our compassion for all humanity.

Thank you for being generous with your resources, your time, and your commitment.

Thank you for walking with me, shaping and enriching my faith journey, as we moved deeper into the presence of God.

Thank you for being my friend, my companion along the way.

As I sit on my side porch, I can watch the sun rise over Virginia Piedmont farmland and wonder about new beginnings, yours and mine, and what God is calling us to do.

“Let us look expectantly to a new day, new joys, and new possibilities.” (New Zealand Prayerbook)

I love you, all of you.


11178 Kilkenny Road
Marshall, VA 20115

PBS NewHour reports on New Media Projects at Street Sense

PBS NewHour reports on New Media Projects at Street Sense 

PBS NewsHour recently filmed a segment about the new digital media and film projects at Street Sense. We are thankful for the innovative and important work happening at Street Sense, and glad to see this part of the Epiphany Community getting the recognition they deserve.  Please take a moment to watch this video (filmed mostly in and around Epiphany!).

June 7- Clergy Transition Conversations

Clergy Transition Conversations

Please plan to be at Epiphany on Sunday, June 7. Joey Rick, Canon for Congregational Vitality for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, will preach at both services and will hold two Q&A sessions, one from 9:45-10:45am and again at Coffee Hour after the 11am service. Her sermons will explore the emotional and spiritual aspects of our clergy transition, and the Q&A sessions will explain nuts and bolts. If you can’t make the 7th, please check our website later in June for a summary of  Joey’s visit.

May 29- Mardi Gras in May

Mardi Gras in May: Friday
May 29, 6:00-9:00pm

Celebrating Epiphany’s transition from the present to the future calls for a party, a big party.  If you remember, our Mardi Gras got snowed out this year, so we rescheduled it for Friday, May 29.  Dixieland Direct, our fantastic band, will perform on the chancel platform, and the transepts on the sides with be available for dancing.  Midway through the event, we will crown a Queen and King and the band will lead us around the block.  Refreshments will be served, so we need to know if you are coming.  Contact Catherine Manhardt, Parish Administrator, at 202-347-2635 or

May 31- Trinity and Transition Sunday

Trinity and Transition Sunday: May 31, 8:00am and 11:00pm

Celebrating Epiphany’s transition from the present to the future also calls for worship.  The day our rector, Randolph Charles will hand over to the wardens the canonical responsibility for our parish is also a major feast day, Trinity Sunday.  The music will be splendid as usual.  The liturgy will be important, maybe even historic, in that it will mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new and very significant chapter in Epiphany’s story.  We hope that you and every parishioner will come to Epiphany to worship on May 31.  We want you to be present as Epiphany’s faith journey continues to evolve and develop.

May 31- Sunday Bulletin

BUL2015-05-31 (Yr B) Trinity Sunday

Adult Formation and Alternative Liturgy during Pentecost

Adult formation and alternative liturgy during Pentecost
Join us as we explore the significance of bodies to our faith, liturgy, and place in Creation in:

This is My Body: Celebrating and Incorporating Our Physical Selves in Faith
“I discovered the truth about my body: It is a gift. A sign of God’s love. And so is yours.” -Ragan Sutterfield, featured June 28

Sundays during Pentecost
Learning, reflection, and outdoor liturgy

Sunday, June 7–Labyrinth walk
How can the movement of our bodies facilitate peacefulness, meditation, and presence with God?
Meet in the sanctuary.

Sunday, June 14–Prayerful yoga
Connect simple body postures to prayer and appreciation of our creatureliness.
Meet in the sanctuary. If you have your own yoga mat, please bring it. Chair yoga available and encouraged. Wear comfortable clothing.

Sunday, June 21–What about animals?
How do we relate to the other bodies in creation? How are our bodies connected to all creatures? What difference do animals make to our practice of faith?
Meet in the side garden.

Sunday, June 28“This is My Body: From Obesity to Ironman, My Journey into the True Meaning of Flesh, Spirit, and Deeper Faith”
Book reading and discussion with author and Epiphany seminarian Ragan Sutterfield.

Many of us think of our bodies as burdens that drag us toward failure and guilt. But what if God actually glories in the flesh? What if we had the same joy about our bodies as God does?

Limited number of books available in parish office. Also available on Amazon. Reading the book prior to the session will enhance the discussion, but it is not required.
Meet in the side garden.

No program July 5

Sunday, July 12–Our Bodies in Eucharist
Learn the practice and significance of bodily signs in Eucharist. When, why, and how do we reverence the cross and cross our bodies? How can these practices deepen our experience of God’s presence?
Meet in the side garden.

Please contact Farley Lord Smith at if you have any questions.

May 17- Formation: Big Questions

During the Sundays of Eastertide (April 19th-May 17th), we at Epiphany will be living into the season of resurrection and renewal by bringing together all of Epiphany (both 8:00 and 11:00) to join in conversation around a series of Big Questions, with the aim of more clearly learning who we are as individuals and as a community. This will take place during the education hour (9:45-10:45) in the Willard Room.

The questions for this Sunday, May 17th is “What does the world need from you?”

Epiphany Calls Interim Rector

Epiphany Calls Interim Rector
April 29, 2015

Dear Epiphany Parishioners,

With humility and gratitude, the vestry would like to announce that we have called the Rev. Elizabeth Bonforte Gardner to be our Interim Rector. An interim rector typically stays with a parish for 12 to 18 months and is not eligible to be long-term rector. One of her primary responsibilities will be to guide us through the process of discerning who we will call as our next rector. Please read a note from her below. We have been impressed with her energy, her intelligence, and her strong sense of vocation to the diverse community of Epiphany, and we are excited to welcome her on July 1.

We will be without a rector for the month of June. This is not an unusual or unexpected circumstance, and we have made provisions for the normal operations of the parish during that time. You will see many familiar faces at the pulpit on Sundays and throughout the week, and the lay leadership will be a constant presence as well. During this brief time, please contact our Parish Administrator, Catherine Manhardt, with any pastoral concerns or business matters, and she will get you to the right person, whether that is a clergy member, a staff person, or a lay leader. She may be contacted at or by calling the office, (202)347-2635.

Finally, please remember that on Sunday, June 7, Joey Rick will preach at both services. She is the Canon for Congregational Vitality for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and will be talking to us about what to expect as we begin the process of searching for our next rector.

With thanksgiving for our parish community,
Rachel Barham, Senior Warden

A note from our Interim Rector

I thank you, O God, for this new beginning. Be with us in this time of change. Bless us with opportunity and the will to seize it. Grant us energy and strength, wisdom and discernment. Thank you for the gifts You give us to succeed in joy. We come to You in prayer, open and ready to make the most of our time together. Amen.

Adapted from Prayer for a New Beginning (

Like so many in this area, I came to Washington just after college looking to make a difference. Would you believe my internship was located at 14th and I Streets, just around the corner? I tried Capitol Hill and politics. I tried business. I even trained first responders. Eventually I listened to God’s call and was ordained (You might say I had an epiphany!). For the past two years, I’ve been a pastoral minister and associate rector at an Episcopal church in Virginia near where my family lives but always remained a committed member of the Washington diocese. This feels like I’m coming home.

The history and legacy of your parish is great. It is an honor to walk with you as you begin your search for a new rector. Along the way I know we will discover just what makes this church unique. We will delve into history, explore possibility, examine legacy and pray for discernment about where God is calling Church of the Epiphany in today’s often shifting landscape. It will undoubtedly be a wonderful journey – one we will share together.

I look forward to what lies ahead… for you, for me, for us, and for the church.

The Rev. Elizabeth Bonforte Gardner

For more information about this process, please visit the Clergy Transitions page.