Parish Notices for February 12, 2021
Why Bury the Alleluias?
by Christine Erskine, Interim Director of Children's Ministries
Years ago, when I first heard of the practice of burying an Alleluia Banner on Shrove Tuesday, I thought the practice seemed odd. The practice of refraining from, "Alleluia!" was a familiar practice, but did we really need to bury it? Having now participated in the practice for the past dozen years, I now appreciate and understand the gifts of this new ritual practice. 
Burying the "Alleluia!" is a ritual practice for to share with our children. We take it a step further when they do the work of the people and it becomes a liturgy. Everyone is familiar with what it means to put away the Christmas tree. Christmas, the gift of the Incarnation, God with us, does not end, but it is reserved for a special time to celebrate that gift. So for the season of Lent we walk through those somber, serious and reflective places of the Incarnation anticipating the joy of Easter, which we live throughout the whole rest of the year!

And yes, burying the Alleluia is important because it connects us to the other liturgies of our life as Christian people. When people die, we are buried. Releasing the joy of, "Alleluia, Alleluia!" from the tomb is our hope as Christians in eternal life through Jesus. Conversations about death are hard for us and the questions our children have challenge us to respond with honesty.
Here is a conversation I had with a young child and the biggest questions:

"What happens when someone dies?" the child asks.

"I know the body they have no longer works. They are no longer breathing and alive to be here with us."

"Why?"

"That is part of life. We are born and we die. It is very sad when someone dies. We lose having every day with them the same way. I don't know that I completely understand everything, but Jesus tells us that when we die, we go to be with God. I imagine that place is like the prayer says, A place where pain and sadness are no more. Because of that, I trust that God is holding that friend of ours close. As hard as it is, our work then is to remember them, continue to love them, and learn how to be with them in a new way; carrying them in our hearts. We honor our sadness, we cry when we miss them terribly, and we smile and laugh as we remember the good times with them, and then maybe cry again knowing those times are gone. I pray and ask God to be with us in all of those feelings, to hold us and our friend close. We continue to live, even when it feels hard, doing the work of being the light of our Baptism in the world."
Did that make sense to the child? I don't know, but for that day, it was enough. It was a conversation we could return to when we experienced the death of a friend or family member.

Now, in this Epiphany season, I invite you to decorate your "Alleluia!" and to fill it with the joy of the resurrection of Jesus. On Shrove Tuesday, bury that Alleluia, knowing that on Easter Day it will reappear. Sometimes to remember the gifts we have received from the Creator we need to put them away. During Lent we will put away our "Alleluia!" so we can remember how precious the gift of Easter is.  
ALLELUIA Banner - Still time to participate
The ALLELUIA Banner will be buried on Shrove Tuesday as part of the Burning and Burying Shrove Tuesday Liturgy. If you would like to have a letter for the community ALLELUIA Banner dropped off on your porch, email Christen.

Letters need to be completely dry before they are folded, sealed in a zip lock bag, and then sealed in a second zip lock bag. Letter should be placed in the tomb in the Memorial Garden by 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 16, if you are not attending the Shrove Tuesday Outdoor Worship. (see below).

If you would like to decorate and color your own Alleluia for burying at home, click here to download the pdf file. Double zip lock bags - or sealed containers - are recommended prior to burying in your yard!
Shrove Tuesday - February 16
6 p.m. - Outdoor Service: Burning of the Palms and Burying of the Alleluias

Ash Wednesday - February 17
12 p.m. - Outdoor Service
6 p.m. - Online Service with drive through communion following
On Shrove Tuesday, we will gather in the parking lot at 6 p.m. for a brief service for the Burning of the Palms liturgy and will burn last year’s palms and bury our alleluias that have been prepared in advance.

On Ash Wednesday, we will gather for an outdoor service at noon and for an online service on Zoom at 6 p.m. Both services will include the imposition of ashes and communion (in person for the noon service and drive through communion after the 6 p.m. online service).

Ash Distribution: Diocesan guidelines do not allow clergy to impose ashes for safety reasons during COVID so you will be invited to come by the church before the online service to pick up a bag with a small bit of blessed ashes for you to impose on yourself during the service, or if there are others in your household, for you to impose on each other. Bags of ashes will be given during the service to those who attend the noon outdoor service. If you find that you are not comfortable with self-administering ashes, our prayer book assures us that the rite is full and complete without the actual imposition of ashes. We remember that even in these strange times, God is present wherever and however we gather.
Epiphany Family Lent-at-Home Kits
Please reserve your Epiphany Family Lent-at-Home Kits

Kits will be available for pick-up at the church 15 minutes before and after these outdoor worship services:
  • Shrove Tuesday Liturgy 6 p.m.
  • Ash Wednesday In-Person Service noon-1 p.m.
  • The First Sunday in Lent, 2/21
  • During the Ash Wednesday Drive through Communion following the 7 p.m. Zoom service
Epiphany Family Lent-at-Home Kits include coloring pages, a booklet of a variety of Lenten practices for families with craft supplies included. Two age-appropriate kits will be available; one for children 6 years of age and under, and one for children and 7 and older. Please indicate the number of kits needed for each child in your family. Please email Christen Erskine, if you have any questions.

Worship Services
Outdoor Worship
Registration Required. COVID guidelines listed on the signup.
Sunday Morning Worship @11:30 a.m.

Wi-Fi outside is spotty, so print the bulletin at home and bring it with you.
In the event of inclement weather or if temperatures fall below 45° we will cancel the outdoor service by way of email prior to the 8 a.m. online service. Check your email on the day of the service if the weather is uncertain.
Online Formation
Adult Formation - Sundays at 10:15 a.m.
Stories of God's Calling
This class is the first part of a three part series exploring what it means for us to be written into the story of Jesus in this place and time. Over the course of the series, we'll discuss how God's calling impacts "the story of self, the story of us, and the story of now." This week we will hear from one of parishioners Alix Janke.
Previous shared stories:
Cristina Montesinos - 1/31/21 >>
Meeting ID: 532 38 5901
Classes are posted to our YouTube channel.
The Second Series - God's Call in Community - starts NEXT Sunday 2/21
Formation for Families
We are discussing This Book is Anti-Racist, by Tiffany Jewell. The book examines the concepts of social identity, race, ethnicity, and racism. It is written for everyone, from young people to families and teachers. We will focus on how to raise anti-racist children as we work on deepening our own racial awareness and building a community that truly honors everyone.

This Sunday, we will discuss Section 4, pp. 119-153. All are welcome, reading is not required.

Meeting ID: 268 942 8828
Children's Formation
Children's Sunday Morning Formation meet at 10 a.m. for Godly Play; all ages are invited. It is a time for our children to connect with one another, hear a story, wonder, pray, and sing.

Meeting ID: 890 5875 0509
Youth Formation

Youth Formation takes place during our in-person Evening Prayer gatherings on 1st and 3rd Sundays from 5 - 6 p.m. There will be time for a group check-in, as well as time to discuss the week's devotional material.
  • Weekly devotionals are sent Saturdays
  • Newsletters are sent Mondays
Living Contemplatively Spirituality Group
Mondays @ 11 a.m. starting 2/22
During Lent, the Living Contemplatively Spirituality group will begin a new series on Spiritual Lessons from Thomas Merton. Merton was a Cistercian monk who introduced twentieth century Christians to the contemplative dimensions of Christianity. He lived a life of prayer and deep listening to God, while writing about the pressing social issues of his day and encouraging radical social change, so much so that it often got him in trouble with his superiors. He had a deep appreciation of nature and the ways that one can encounter God there. He was a prolific writer but also understood that the most important things in life, including one’s connection with God, were far beyond words. 
Together we will look at his life, his teachings on contemplative spirituality, on nature, on war and peace, racial justice, social justice, and our captivity to technology and consumerism, as well as his interest in the teachings of other religious traditions, particularly Buddhism, and what he might have to teach us about our own spiritual journeys. 
 
Please contact the Rev. Amy Dills-Moore if you would if you are interested in being part of this group or would like more information.
The contemplative life has nothing to tell you except to reassure you and say that if you dare to penetrate your own silence and dare to advance without fear in the solitude of your own heart...you will truly recover the light and capacity to understand what is beyond words and beyond explanation because it is too close to be explained. - Thomas Merton
Finances
Pledge Update
As of today, 146 households have made a pledge for 2021 for a total of $518,520.92. Please click on the button below to add your pledge and help us meet our budget goal for the 2021 calendar year.

Year End Statements
Year end statements were sent via email on January 15 with the subject line “Your giving statement from Church of the Epiphany.” Statements are also available on Realm. If you have not yet done so, please enroll so you have immediate access to your giving record and the church directory. Should that be impractical for you, email our bookkeeper Susie Boyko to request a PDF or paper statement.
Sign up for Realm
If you have not created a login yet to the new online church database, the Invitation Email link you were originally sent has since expired.
But there are threes ways to create your login:
Parish Notices
Epiphany Stars
Congratulations to Epiphany parishioner Kurt Erskine who has been appointed as the acting U.S. Attorney for North Georgia.
Do you know someone who has received recognition for a personal achievement? Have you or another parishioner you know done a good deed for the parish? Let us know!
Trees Atlanta Partnership
Last week we announced our new partnership with Trees Atlanta to plant up to 40 trees on our campus. Trees Atlanta will donate one tree for every tree donated by Epiphany.
Cost for each tree is $225, which also covers the cost of Trees Atlanta maintaining the trees for 18 months. The trees will be planted at a volunteer day on Saturday, March 20. The deadline to donate any amount is Sunday, March 7.
Virtual Absalom Jones Celebration
Saturday, February 27, 2021 @ 10 a.m.
The legacy of Absalom Jones (first black Episcopal priest) continues with a virtual celebration hosted by the Diocese of Central Florida and Chapters of the Union of Black Episcopalians, including the Diocese of Atlanta Chapter. The theme of the celebration is “Wake up, O sleepers, and rise! A Calling for Racial Reconciliation, Healing and Justice.” Donations will be collected in support of the two remaining historically black Episcopal colleges, St. Augustine’s University and Voorhees College. The deadline to register is Friday, February 26.
Endowment Grants Available
The application deadline for requesting disbursements from the Epiphany Endowment Fund is Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Applications sent by mail must be postmarked by February 24. You can also send as PDF attachments to the parish office.

Epiphany Art Ministry Presents...

Artwork by parishioner
- Bill Graves -

February 2021
View the Exhibit online 24/7
The exhibit is online with pop-up images. and prices. New pieces added.

View the Exhibit in-person
Stop by the church Monday and Thursday afternoons from 2 - 5 p.m. and follow the protocols posted on the above link.
NON-FOOD Pantry Drive for March
The ECW sponsors a pantry drive for Emmaus House twice a year in March and October for non-food items not covered by the Food Stamp program. For the month of March, they are asking for liquid dish soap and paper towels. Bins will be by the front door. You can also donate $10 to the church and they will shop for you. Make checks out to Church of the Epiphany, noting Emmaus House in the memo field.
Displaced and Erased
The Black Experience in Decatur Virtual Tour

Sunday, March 7 from 4 - 6 p.m.
Historian David Rotenstein will lead us on a virtual walking tour of Decatur to delve into the experience of displacement and the erasure of Decatur’s Black community. Linking the threads of segregation and Jim Crow to later urban renewal and current gentrification, this tour examines the historic places of significance to the Black community and the “spatial strategies of white supremacy.”
Virtual Hunger Walk Run
Saturday, March 7
Epiphany has once again created a team to help raise money for this hunger relief event. Please register to walk or run, or to make a donation to TEAM EPIPHANY to help us reach our goal of $1000 from our parish. All members of "Team Epiphany" are invited to join youth and their families to walk their hunger route together outside at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 6.

The Hunger Walk Run is a project of the Atlanta Community Food Bank, in partnership with the Episcopal Community Foundation (ECF) for Middle and North Georgia, that unites our parish communities to raise awareness and critical funds for local hunger relief. This virtual event allows the ECF to provide grants supporting hunger-related ministries in our Episcopal parishes.

The United Thank Offering
The United Thank Offering contributions support Episcopal missions and ministries. UTO envelopes and coin boxes are available outside by the entrance. Make checks out to The Episcopal Church Women, noting UTO in the memo field. Ingathering will be Sunday, April 11.
The Georgia Vax App

Receive text notifications when your local county Board of Health is offering new appointments for the Covid-19 vaccine. There is nothing to download, just text VAX to 844.554.4024. Enter your county and priority phase. You will then receive a text message when your county has available appointments for your phase. That’s it!

The app currently provides service for DeKalb, Fulton, Clayton, Gwinnett, Rockdale, and Newton counties. 
Required Trainings for Staff & Lay Leadership
If you are not sure of your training status, contact the parish office.
Dismantling Racism is offered by the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing, and runs from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Safeguarding Training: The New Inclusion Module OR the Healthy Boundaries and Preventing Abuse Module via Zoom is required for people who need re-certification for either Safeguarding God's Children or People as well as people who have never had either training.

Church Building Remains Closed

The staff continues to work mostly from home. They check their email and voicemail messages regularly.

Pastoral Emergencies: Please call the church at 404.373.8338 and leave a message for Amy (ext. 14) or Nicole (16). They receive message alerts and will return your call you back.

Building Sign-In Required: The building is closed to in-person worship and meetings, however, if you need to enter the church building for any reason, please sign in and out using the logbook at the entrance.
Online Gatherings
Daughters of the King meet 4th Sundays
The Daughters of the King (DOK) have resumed meeting, and will now meet online on 4th Sundays at 2 p.m. The DOK is open to all women in the parish interested in fellowship and study.

Email Barbara Ryder if you would like to receive the Zoom link each month.

Click here if you would like to know more about the Order of the Daughters of the King.
Youth Group Meetings
Youth Group alternates between in-person (outdoors) and online gatherings.
 
In-person gatherings meet outdoors in the church parking lot 1st and 4rd Sundays for games, Evening Prayer, and some time for formation. Masks and social distancing are required.
Online Gatherings take place via Zoom on 2nd and 4th Sundays from 5 - 6 p.m. and offers a space for conversation and community building.

Meeting ID: 532 38 5901
Epiphany Book Group meets 1st Mondays
The Epiphany Book Group meets 1st Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Email John Yntema for the Zoom link.

  • March: Plainsong by Kent Haruf 
  • April: Pale Horse Pale Rider: Three Short Novels by Katherine Anne Porter
Racial Justice Group meets 2nd Tuesdays
The next RJG meeting will take place on Zoom at 7 p.m. next Tuesday, February 9. Called by our baptismal covenant to strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being, the Racial Justice Group is focused on lifelong learning and action steps we can take as individuals and as a church community to help achieve racial equity and justice. All are welcome.

Please email Erin Braden for the Zoom link, and reach out to Erin or Kay Lee with any questions or suggestions. We welcome your thoughts.
Racial Justice Book Study Group meets last Wednesdays
You are invited to join Epiphany’s Racial Justice Book Study group on Wednesday, February 24 from 6:45 - 8 p.m.

We are reading Caste, by Isabel Wilkerson. In our February meeting, we will discuss Parts One-Three. We will continue to read and discuss Caste in March and April.
The purposes of our Book Study are to:
 
  • educate and inform ourselves on the history of racial injustice
  • better understand the challenges of changing racial inequities and seeking racial justice, and
  • work toward pragmatic and effective ways to be better antiracist advocates.
 
If you are interested in participating, please email Lisa Daily. Please consider ordering your books from Black owned, local bookstores which you can find by searching for “black owned bookstores Atlanta.”
 
The Group meets on the last Wednesday of every month. Meetings last 75 minutes beginning at 6:45 and ending at 8 p.m. A Zoom link is sent in advance of the meeting. Contact Lisa Daily or Kay Lee, if you have any questions.
Grief Pastoral Care Group meets 1st Thursdays
The Grief Pastoral Care Group meets online 1st Thursdays at noon for a healing and faith based conversation around grief and loss. Led by parishioners Megan Fraijo-Paul and Nancy Thompson, both trained psychotherapists. Email either Megan or Nancy to join the group and receive the Zoom link.
Flex & Stretch and Chair Yoga
The Flex & Stretch classwhich is the basic SilverSneakers classmeets online on Fridays and the Chair Yoga program meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All at 11 a.m. Email Ellen Mintzmeyer for the Zoom link.
Prayers of the People
  • Send prayer requests to the parish office.
  • Names of our friends and family remain on the list for four weeks.
  • The Anniversary & Birthday List for the month can be found here.
For members who are bidding our prayers: Sally Brockington, Lily Burnett, Sam Burnett, Kyle D'Mellow, Jeanne Hatcher, Henry Laird, Ann Rowles, Stephanie Thompson, Lindsay Todd, Larry Wilcox

For friends and family: Isabel, granddaughter of Mike & Beth Towers; Betty Porter, relative of Christen Erskine; Rosalind, sister of Katharine Hilliard-Yntema; Christy Green, friend of Nicole Lambelet; Tallu Quinn, friend of Nicole Lambelet; Joslyn McGuire, friend of Ellen Mintzmyer; Mary & Lily Munoz, friends of Ann Fowler; Diana, sister-in-law of Brenda Lloyd; Columbus and Brenda, friends of Ann Fowler; Nadine, Lee, Sophie & Malcolm

For those who have died: Nicole Pritchard

For those celebrating anniversaries for the week of 2/14-20:Cliff Edge & Les Howell, Haley & Ted Cognata, Sybil & Robert McCullar

For those celebrating birthdays for the week of 2/14-20: Sharyn Dowd, William Bennett, Bruce Maclachlan, Cookie Gold, Anne Kerner, Mason McAuliffe, Matt Cook, Jewel Allen, Johanna Hinman, Will Thomas, Sophie Dicristina

For those expecting a child: Amanda Kay Seals & Zac Toy

For members who desire our continuing prayers: Ron Hutcheson, Rod MacLeod, Chris Miller, Tom Mundy, Terry-Lee Ross, June Sparks
The weekly parish notices are published Friday mornings at 7 a.m.
The submission deadline is Wednesdays at NOON.