Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
When, if ever, do you feel rested?
Americans currently average
of sleep at night, down more than an hour from 1997. Medical studies have related a lack of sleep to health problems and cognitive impairment. Therefore, experts typically recommend
seven to nine hours of
sleep for adults.
Are you getting that much sleep?
But 'rest' is more than sleep, isn't it? According to Miriam Webster, rest is also "freedom from activity and labor; freedom from fear or constraint." In many ways, the word 'freedom' might be the most comprehensive definition and experience of true rest. You might exercise this freedom to sleep, but you might also luxuriate in restful reading, listening to music, creating art, loving others in your life, telling stories, listening well, bathing in silence, longing for justice, saying prayers or delighting in the presence of God. There is no doubt Americans need more sleep. But rest, in the way our Scriptures and hymns teach, is different than sleep. The opposite of rest is not being awake; the opposite of rest is restlessness. And restlessness is a state of anxiety, of continual striving, of lack of peace and inability to maintain joy. If we live and move and have our being in the restful reality of freedom, it is possible that even in a weary body we might nonetheless feel that our soul is inspired and fed and cared for. Sleep is a function; rest is a gift and a grace from God. You may do better than the average American and find more hours to sleep. But all the sleep in the world can sometimes bring little or no rest to the soul. Only God can free us from the anxieties and habits that fray our freedom and rob our rest. The rest God offers us can revive us with or without more sleep. We can find rest for our souls in any state of life or crisis. As the psalmist reminds us,
"Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies...." (Psalm 23)
In the Gospel for this week, Jesus offers the invitation to follow him and to find in his presence the freedom that brings rest to the body and soul forever. Our loving Lord says, "
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
This promise of rest should not be taken as vacation time. The language clearly recalls Moses's own vocation (Exodus 33:12-17). To ease Moses's anxiety about the uncertainty of the wilderness journey, God promises to accompany God's people along the way: "My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest" (Exodus 33:14). God will fulfill the promise for this people whose existence has known little rest (first wandering, later exile and captivity). "Rest" may even recall Creation's completion (Genesis 2:1-3) but also the loss of rest that characterized life outside Eden. Jesus incredibly offers the rest that only the God of all Creation could extend to a weary Israel longing for the Promised Land.
Whether you feel that you are in the garden or the desert, our compassionate Christ calls you in the Gospel this weekend and always, to come and follow him. In Christ, we find the spring of Living Water, a source of life abundant, and rest for our souls.
Mission & Ministry
Worship at Epiphany
Sunday, July 9
The Welcome Table invites you to an Independence Day Picnic held in Epiphany's community room on Sunday, July 9, 2017 beginning at 12:15 p.m.
The picnic menu will include grilled burgers and hot dogs, red hot and blue potato salad, beans, coleslaw, lemonade, and dessert. Local jazz band
AJQ Plus 1
will be the musical entertainment. Please come and enjoy a day of fabulous food, fun and live music!
Toiletries for our Welcome Table Guest
While traveling this summer and packing for your weekend getaways, please do remember the wants and needs of our Welcome Table guests. Toiletries such as unused soaps, gels, shampoos, razors, shaving creams, tooth paste, tooth brushes, hand sanitizer and feminine hygiene products are always in high demand. Periodically, socks are offered as well. Your donations at the church office are always appreciated.
This week in Epiphany History
The first doorkeeper of the White House, and much more! Be sure to
get your daily dose of Epiphany History by following
Celebrating 175 page
Music & The Arts
Tuesday Concert Series
July 11, 2017 at 12:10pm
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 (
after the 11am service. Pat Pickering and John McDermott do a fantastic job, but they can't do it every week. Coffee Hour can be as simple or as elaborate as we want to make it. What's important is that we have a time of fellowship after worship. Please contact Catriona if you can help (
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 (
: We are looking for volunteers to sit at the front desk between 10am-2pm on weekdays. Bertha does a great job on Tuesdays and we're looking for others to help throughout the week. If you want to find out more, talk to Bertha and please contact Catherine in the office if you can help (
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.
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