The Rev. Dr. Sharon Hiers, Senior Associate Rector
From the September 28th Epiphany Star Newsletter
This newsletter just landed in the box of some 461 families of all different makeups and configurations. Because of the program Shea uses to send out the newsletter, we know how many people open this email and look at the content. It is a small percent. And the combination of that small percent mixed with our daily lives renders an even smaller percent of those who look past this cover letter into the content provided. Part of the reason we know this, is the number of times someone says “I didn’t know about…(fill in the blank)” and the response is “It was in the newsletter.”
Let me clarify something first. There is no guilt or shame seeking here. I truly believe in the deepest part of my heart that each of us is doing the best we can each day. We have a myriad of demands on us and a history of experiences that have brought us to this place and this day, and motivate us to act and react the way we do. I have a lot of compassion for the limits of our human selves, particularly in this day and time and world.
So, perhaps I am writing this cover letter specifically to those who read the cover and never go any deeper. Perhaps I am writing this, in all transparency, to those who feel out of the loop, but never glance at the announcements in the Sunday bulletin of the opportunities to be in the loop. Perhaps I am writing to Shea to say thank you for compiling all of this information and making it super easy to find out what is happening in our church family. And perhaps I am writing to all those who think newsletters and print announcements are antiquated ways to communicate.
If you happen to be one of those who has made it this far…I want to tell you about something that has been running in each edition of the newsletter for the last couple of months.
You are invited.
That’s the topic of a series of offerings that have been submitted by members of Epiphany. In conjunction with our stewardship season, members of our parish have offered some of the most intimate stories of their lives, and reasons why they worship at Epiphany and support us financially. We have heard stories from Alix Janke and a piece of her journey at Epiphany and how she and Wende Crow were voluntold ears ago they would be ushers and that continues today. And since she is a joiner by nature she is now in two choirs and on the vestry! Then Nancy Chandler told us how she and wife Peggy reluctantly visited Epiphany as the last Episcopal church to visit before resorting to Methodism…and found a welcome and an invitation and a home. Brenda Lloyd shared a piece of her story of love and devotion to caring for creation sparked by the Canadian stars one night from her canoe in the middle of a lake and how she remains dedicated to this work at Epiphany.
Susan Ashmore has beautifully described how worship at Epiphany connects us to each other and how collective offerings feel more efficacious than individual dollars. Please go and read Amy Shipp’s list of 33 extraordinary moments at Epiphany (and why she picked 33).
Here’s the important link to know and where to find these stories: https://youareinvited.info/
Please take the time to look at these offerings. Our life is rich at Epiphany. You are invited to be a part of this family and share in our hopes and joys and sorrows and struggles. These stories inspire me to dig in even further. Join me?