Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On certain Sundays, the lectionary gives us a single, lengthy parable such as the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal Son. As with all Gospel passages in the lectionary, these stories share essential truths about humanity, God and the destiny of all creation to be healed, in coordination with humanity, into the Kingdom of God. These sacred parables and their memorable details have made their way into the canon of what has been called western civilization.
In contrast, this Sunday's Gospel portion contains nearly half a dozen different parables or metaphors for the Kingdom of God in just one reading. It's hard to keep up with Jesus who, in this one Sunday portion, compares the coming of the Kingdom of God to a seed, yeast, a treasure, a pearl, a net, and a homeowner. If you've always wanted to memorize a parable in the Bible and the Good Samaritan or the Prodigal Son were too long a passage for your memory, why not chose the shortest parable in the New Testament found in this Sunday's reading. This parable to explain the Kingdom of God is only one sentence: "
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."
What strikes me about all the references to the Kingdom of God in this week's reading is how a seed or yeast or buried treasure point toward a process of initiation and commitment leading to growth and harvest. Seeds take time to grow. Yeast takes time to rise. Treasure takes time to find. But in all cases, the seeker who sticks to seeking finds and feasts.
We live in a culture that promises and provides endless forms of instant gratification. I am stunned that when I order something on Amazon, I am often offered (for a large fee) 'same-day delivery.' A study published in Time magazine a few years ago revealed that the type of elevator button that needs replacing most often is the 'close door' button. According to the study, this button is replaced 10-20 times more frequently than any other. And this fact surprises none of us. I assume I am not the only person who hits this button nearly every time I enter an elevator and see the door still open. We rush. We expect. We sigh. Often the world doesn't move as fast as we want.
This week's reading reminds us that the more we rush and the more we feed on instant gratification, the more frustrating God's timing might feel to us. The Bible is not an invitation to be lazy or complacent. There is nothing innately holy about being slow. We are to seek justice with passion and abandon. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves not eventually or progressively, but immediately and completely. As an old prayer says, "be swift to love."
But even the atheist knows that love takes time. Every medical patient knows that healing takes time. Every parent knows that maturity takes time. Every marriage knows that trust takes time. Every sibling knows that forgiveness takes time. And every baptized person knows that redemption takes time.
If you are finding it hard to wait for the new heaven and the new earth promised by God, keep coming to church. Let's help each seek justice and love now, and hold fast to the slowly but definitely approaching new creation we are invited to create with God. Waiting is easier together.
Mission & Ministry
Worship at Epiphany
Thank you to Bev Brown, Kathrine Ebert, Susan Weinbeck, Caroline Klam, Irvin Peterson, Rachel Barham, James Rogers, Pat Pickering, William Person, Michele Hutt, Bea Dermer, Kathy Gallagher, Maria Hunter, David Knepper, Catriona Laing, Patricia Lyons, and Lisa Kimball for all of the hard work done on July 15 during the Parish Work Day.
From the basement to the balcony and everyplace in between; they cleaned closets, organized drawers, tossed trash, cleaned up dirt, trimmed bushes, pulled weeds, and did anything they could to make Epiphany and our grounds a welcoming place for our congregation and visitors. Our deepest thanks to each and everyone of them.
. . . the work is not finished yet, there is lots more to do. Some of us have decided to form "The Saturday Morning Breakfast Club." On the second Saturday morning of each month for the next few months, we will have a parish work day from 10am to 1pm to finish up our list of things that need to be done in order to complete our task list. You are welcome to join us. We will have a list of projects, the tools and materials needed to get them done and a willingness to pitch in and make things happen and have some fun together. Hope to see you there. Our first work day will be Saturday, August 12 - join us.
Social Justice Ministry - Brainstorming Sessions
Sunday, July 30
At last week's Social Justice Ministry brainstorming session we came to know each other better and discussed ideas for the future. W
e will soon formalize our goals and mission statement, but at the moment we are dreaming and discerning.
We are curious about the ministries of neighboring parishes and will reach out to nearby groups to learn more. We also discussed the possibility of Epiphany as a possible field placement for Masters of Social Work candidates.
If these ideas intrigue you or if you have other ideas to share, please join us at the next brainstorming session on
Sunday, July 30th, 2017 from 9:45am to 10:45am in the Willard Room. If you cannot make it but are still interested, please reach out to Vestry member Caroline Klam (
) and/ volunteer Kathy Haines (
A memorial service is remembrance of Karen Rowe
will be held here at Epiphany on Monday, August 7 at 1:30pm.
Would you like to know what's going on at Epiphany this week? Be sure to check out our Google Calendar! This calendar can also be viewed on the homepage of our website, and is updated each week by the Epiphany staff.
This week in Epiphany History
An Epiphany parishioner stands up to the Ku Klux Klan in her fight for Civil Rights! Be sure to
get your daily dose of Epiphany History by following
Celebrating 175 page
Music & The Arts
Tuesday Concert Series
August 1, 2017 at 12:10pm
The Barclay Brass Ensemble
Join the Barclay Brass Ensemble as they play the music of J.S. Bach, Stevie Wonder, and premiere "The Eternity Gate" by Kent P. Baker, written for the Barclay Brass.
Admission is free but a donation of $10 is suggested
to support the Concert Series.
Epiphany Choir CD
Copies are available now for just
in the church office or by contacting our Director of Music,
Learn more about musical events at Epiphany by visiting our
Prayer & Pastoral Care
We ask for your Prayers
For all who seek healing in mind, body, spirit or relationship, especially:
Diane Carbin, sister of Rasheen Carbin
Holly Foster, daughter of Barbara Ford-Foster
Elaine Hollingsworth, sister of James Hollingsworth
We invite you to add those on your heart to our prayer list.
We will pray for them aloud on Wednesdays at our 12:10 Healing Service and will add them to the Sunday list. Contact the church office with the name of the person and what we need to know about them.
If you or someone you know is in need of prayer or conversation, please contact the church office. We would rather hear from many than miss the opportunity to connect with someone.
Wednesday Silent Prayer
Come and join us for 20 minutes of silent prayer and meditation followed by a short time of prayer for the parish. We will meet in the sanctuary on Wednesdays at 11:30am. All are welcome. To find out more, contact Catriona: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Service in Mission & Ministry
How might you become more involved in the mission and ministry of our parish? There is so much going on at Epiphany and we are so grateful for the contributions you all offer towards making this happen. There are a few areas where we could really use your help! Please have a look at the list below and think where you might feel you could benefit from and contribute to the life of our community.
The Welcome Table
team are looking for more volunteers to help in the kitchen and dining room. Please contact Maria Hunter if you are interested in getting involved in this important aspect of our ministry at Epiphany (
We are always looking for people to help with the important ministries that make our Sunday worship possible. We welcome new additions to the ranks of greeters, ushers, readers, lay Eucharistic ministers, as well as the flower guild, and altar guild. If you are interested in learning more about any of these roles, please contact Catriona (
Epiphany's music director would appreciate a volunteer to help with organizing the music library, including alphabetizing, rearranging shelves, labeling boxes, and updating the music library spreadsheet. Please email Jeremy at
If you are interested in learning about one or more of these ministries, you can also complete our Epiphany volunteer poll here.
Blogs & Websites
ite featuring Episcopal news, commentary, and meditations
1317 G St, NW |
Washington, DC 20005
Copyright © 2014. All Rights Reserved.