Uncategorized

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 cmanhardt@epiphanydc.org 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 (beliefnet.com)

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.

Faithfully,
The Rev. Elizabeth Bonforte Gardner

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

Episcopal responses to the events in Baltimore

Weeping for Baltimore: A Statement by Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton
“‘According to data stretching from 1999-2011, African Americans have comprised 26 percent of all police-shooting victims. Overall, young African Americans are killed by cops 4 ½ times more often than people of other races and ages.’ (quote from the Daily Beast, Nov. 26, 2014)

We need to remember these statistics, because each of those black lives mattered – if not to all of us, then at least they mattered to God. Those of us who regularly attend an Episcopal church renew our baptismal vows several times a year. At the renewal, the presider asks this question: “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”  To which the people respond, “I will, with God’s help.” (Book of Common Prayer, pgs. 292-294) That’s one of the most difficult vows for all of us to keep in a nation that has struggled with the sin of racism since its inception.”

The Rev. Gayle Fisher-Stewart
“As I look at what is occurring in Baltimore in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray while in the custody of the Baltimore City Police, it’s time to call police officers and members of the community together to discuss both cultures. Where are the police learning how they view minorities, and how are members of the minority community learning their attitudes about the police? It’s also interesting that those being killed and those doing the shooting are the same generation. It’s not “senior” police officers killing young, black males. How can we explain that? We need to start the conversation now because, unfortunately, there will be a next time. The church has always been on the forefront of social justice and this cries out for the reconciling hand of the church.”

EDOW Blog: Listening to the Silence
The Rev. Canon Kim Baker
“At a prayer service in Baltimore on Tuesday, young people who live in areas afflicted by the recent uprising rose to tell their stories. “No one is listening, no one cares,” was the ubiquitous lament present in each story. Over and over again, we were told that no one was listening to their pleas for the hope that comes from education, employment, and empathy.”

May 2- Empower the Homeless Community Walk

Mark you calendars, on May 2 Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington will hold an Empower the Homeless Walk, beginning at 9:00 am at St. Paul’s K Street (2430 K Street NW) and ending right here at Epiphany. This community walk will launch the 2015 Empower the Homeless Campaign to see the homeless as a neighbor, raise awareness, and mobilize an effective response. 11,000 of our neighbors need a home – today!

Coffee and donuts will be provided at the start of the walk. Contributions will be invited at check-in. Walkers who contribute at least $50 in advance or on the day of the walk will receive a T shirt and other goodies.

You can register for this walk online. We hope to see you there!

April 12- Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Concert

Sunday, April 12, 3:00 pm- Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic
Tickets: 
Purchase tickets online or call 703-799-8229. Tickets are 50% off with code COE3.

  • Samuel Barber Cello Concerto, op. 22 with cellist Stephen Framil
  • Paul Leavitt Requiem with NOVA Community Chorus

Music Director James’ comments: Washington DC composer Paul Leavitt is a rising star in the world of composers. His deeply expressive and moving Requiem has received acclaimed  performances in New York and Paris, as well as here in Washington.  Barber’s cello concerto, lyrical and invigorating, requires a virtuoso soloist due to its extreme difficulty.  We are fortunate to have critically acclaimed cellist Stephen Framil perform with us. Another concert not to miss!

Shining a Light in the Darkness: The Church of the Epiphany and the Lincoln Assassination

Shining Light in the Darkness
The Church of the Epiphany and the Lincoln Assassination
By Tripp Jones, Archivist Emeritus

On Tuesday, April 14, we mark the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Just as the horrors of four long years of war seemed to be coming to an end, the nation was plunged again into darkness. What should have been a joyful Easter in 1865 turned into one of great sorrow. Located halfway between Ford’s Theatre and the White House, it will come as no surprise that The Church of the Epiphany was an eyewitness to the tragic events of April 1865. Listed below is a chronology of those fateful days highlighting some people of Epiphany (in italics) who sought to shine light in the darkness and bring healing to a suffering nation.

Friday, April 14 (Good Friday)

11am Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and newly appointed Secretary of the Treasury Hugh McCulloch attended a cabinet meeting with Lincoln. Later, both commented they had never seen the president so happy and cheerful. Fearing for the president’s safety, Secretary Stanton tried repeatedly to keep Lincoln from attending the theater that evening.

Afternoon Vinnie Ream was a 17-year old aspiring artist who Lincoln had befriended in the preceding months. She had been coming weekly to sketch the president. On that Friday, Vinnie was working at the White House on a bust of Lincoln, which was almost finished. Lincoln had commented to her how pleased he was with it. As Lincoln was leaving for Ford’s Theatre, Vinnie bade him good-bye, hoping he would enjoy the performance.

8pm There were several Epiphany people at Ford’s Theatre that night including John Downing, Jr., James P. Ferguson, William Ennis, Joseph B. Stewart, and Dr. AKA King.

10:13pm Joseph B. Stewart was sitting in the front row of the orchestra. Upon hearing the shot and seeing John Wilkes Booth jump from the presidential box to the stage, Stewart climbed over the orchestra pit and footlights and pursued Booth across the stage shouting, “Stop that man!” He stepped out the back door, only to see Booth ride away on a horse. Dr. AKA King was one of the first physicians to respond to the presidential box after the shot was fired. Dr. King helped carry Lincoln across the street to Petersen House. Secretary of State William Seward had been wounded at his home as part of a coordinated attack on government officials. Dr. Tullio Verdi tended to Seward’s serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

11pm Upon hearing of the events at Ford’s Theater, Secretary Stanton and Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs rushed to the scene, only to find mass hysteria in the streets. Meigs took control of the door to Petersen House and remained there through the deathwatch. He alone determined who gained entrance. Inside, Stanton set up a makeshift War Department with the goals of securing the nation’s capital and finding the perpetrators of the crime. Dr. Robert King Stone, Lincoln’s personal physician, and Surgeon General of the Army Joseph K. Barnes arrived and took control of the medical care of Lincoln.

Saturday, April 15 (Holy Saturday)

7:22am Surgeon General Barnes declared Lincoln dead. After a prayer, Secretary Stanton uttered the immortal words, “Now he belongs to the ages.”

9am A cavalry unit escorted the hearse bearing Lincoln’s body to the White House. From Ford’s Theatre, the solemn procession moved up 10th Street and then west on G Street, passing The Church of the Epiphany, where Lincoln had stood just three years earlier watching the funeral cortege of General Frederick Lander, the first Union general killed in the war.

10am Secretaries Stanton and McCulloch were two of the eleven men to witness the chief justice swear in Andrew Johnson at his quarters at Kirkwood House (Hotel). In Secretary Seward’s absence, Secretary Stanton began making plans for Lincoln’s state funeral.

12noon The autopsy on Lincoln’s body took place in a second floor bedroom at the White House and was led by Dr. Stone, Surgeon General Barnes, and Army Assistant Surgeon J. J. Woodward. Dr. Joseph Bell Alexander was the co-owner of the undertaking firm that embalmed the president’s body and prepared it for its long journey home.

Sunday, April 16 (Easter Day)

11am The hastily amended Easter sermon of Epiphany’s rector, The Rev. Charles H. Hall, was entitled, “A Mournful Easter.” The text can be found online.

Wednesday, April 19

12noon Charles H. Hall was one of four Washington clergymen to lead Lincoln’s White House funeral. He began the service with the burial office from the Book of Common Prayer: “I am the resurrection and the life, saith the Lord…” Three Supreme Court Justices (Field, Swayne, and Wayne) were among the 600 invited guests assembled in the crowded East Room. Ellen Stanton was one of seven women present.

Friday, April 21

8am Stanton, McCulloch, and Meigs were among the small group that escorted Lincoln’s casket from the White House to Washington’s B&O Railroad Depot. Assistant Adjutant General Edward Townsend was the official military escort for the funeral train’s 12-day journey to Springfield, Illinois.

Later – 1871

Vinnie Ream won a Congressional contest to memorialize the slain president with a sculpture. Her statue of Abraham Lincoln stands in the Capitol Rotunda today.

Reflecting on a Youth Mission Trip to Epiphany

Epiphany received the following reflection from Nan Hildebrand, Associate Rector for Children and Youth Christian Formation at St. David’s Episcopal Church following St. David’s Youth Mission Trip to Epiphany.

 

 

Dear Families,

By this time, you all know that I am fond of quoting the spiritual maxims of my mother from my childhood.   In particular, I want to share an incident that is probably somewhat comical in nature.  As a pre-adolescent, I was sort of hanging around my mother and her friends and sort of ease dropping.  It was an interesting conversation, because it was a hilarious turned serious conversation about a man known for his very unrighteous behavior.  I remember, stepping out from behind the curtain, you might say, and saying that he would go to hell.  My mom and her friends, not knowing my whereabouts, looked at me with alarm.  Then, my mother said, “Nancy Jean, that is not for you to decide”.  Oh my, an early lesson about how God and human beings might judge others, particularly, those we might condemn for their sins.

I bring this up, because our Youth Mission Trip to The Church of the Epiphany brought us into a relationship with the homeless people who seek assistance, fellowship, and belonging at The Church of the Epiphany.   All of us know that homeless people are often judged for their situations, but, truly, we met many whose life stories were so sad, it was a wonder that they were standing.  We saw, some who had had extraordinarily bad luck with job loss and high medical debt loads.  We met many who worked full time but were still living on the street. Their wages as day laborers or as minimum wage laborers being insufficient to pay rents and associated costs.  We met people who were clearly mentally ill.  We met a man who volunteered sacrificially for The Welcome Table. He is a resident of St. Elizabeth’s.  He takes a 4:00am bus every Sunday to arrive at Epiphany by 6:00am to take charge of the “intake” process for breakfast.   We also met others who would never be considered a good example for others.  I hesitate to comment further, since no one knows why, how, or what might have brought someone to the brink of disaster, except for the obvious conditions and stories told above.  The picture of homelessness presented to us in educational ways and in “real time” by relating to the homeless was, indeed, complex.

Because we were in a place of relationship, we saw many examples of the homeless community, its strengths, its fissures and its normality.  People knew each other, helped each other, and looked out for each other in a myriad of ways.  At the Church, the interface of the homeless and housed parishioners is different than almost any other community to which I’ve belonged.  The Church of the Epiphany is integrated with homeless and well situated in true community.  Many of the volunteers at The Welcome Table were homeless individuals working alongside their more comfortable parish partners.  The mission was not just a charity and service program; it was community. It was true community without judgment. As my mom said to me in a very direct way, judgment was not for me to decide.  Seeing the partnership between the homeless and the well-situated parishioners of The Church of the Epiphany, we witnessed healing that comes from Christian fellowship as much as from Christian charity.

I truly hope that the fruit of this mission for all of us is to see that people who do not seem like us will always be understood as people first and, always, acknowledged as beloved by the Lord.   Since we learned that the chief cause of homelessness is the lack of affordable housing and catastrophic medical debt, I pray that we, as a society, will judge the conditions of work and medical care that put people on the street.

I pray also that we, as a society, respond to the needs of the addicted and mentally ill for sufficient treatment and supports that allow people with those challenges to manage living independently and healthfully.   In conclusion, I thank God for the hard work and willingness of our youth and their families in taking the adventurous steps of going to a place of relating to the homeless so that their understanding would deepen and so that they would enter into a deeper understanding of Christian love.  I thank God for the way that St. David’s fosters an environment that allows this kind of challenging mission to exist.

Blessings and Thanksgivings,

Nan+

Holy Week and Easter Worship Schedule

April 2, Maundy Thursday
12:10 pm Holy Eucharist with Footwashing
6:30 pm Parish Agape Meal
7:30 pm Holy Eucharist with Footwashing and Stripping of Altar
9:00 pm The Watch

April 3, Good Friday
12:10 pm Good Friday Liturgy with Communion from Reserved Sacrament
1:30 pm Way of the Cross
6:00 pm Stations of the Cross: A meditative performance of Marcel Dupré’s ‘Le Chemin de la Croix‘ interspersed by the poetry of Paul Claudel with Jeremy Filsell, organ and Bard Wickkiser, narrator

April 4, Easter Eve
8:00 pm The Great Vigil of Easter
9:30 pm Easter Vigil Party

April 5, Easter Day
8:00 am Holy Eucharist
11:00 am Festival Eucharist
12:30 pm Easter Party and Egg Hunt

 

April 1- Choral Evensong for Holy Week

Choral Evensong for Holy Week is sung this Wednesday, April 1 at 6:00 pm by the Epiphany Schola. Music by Thomas Weelkes and Thomas Tallis (Lamentations of Jeremiah).

April 3- The Stations of the Cross: A meditative performance of Marcel Dupre’s ‘Le Chemin de la Croix’

On 3 April (Good Friday) at 6:00 pm Jeremy Filsell, organ & Bard Wickkiser, nar­rator offer a meditative performance of Marcel Dupré’s Le Chemin de la Croix Op. 29 (The Stations of the Cross), a remarkable sequence of musical movements inspired by Christ’s journey to the Cross. The music is interspersed with the readings of Paul Claudel (French Ambassador to Washington DC 1928-33) whose poems inspired the origi­nal (improvised) performance in 1932. Suggested goodwill donation $10. A program for this performance can be found here.