Amy Shipp, Senior Warden, Immediate Past

We are in the midst of Ordinary Time.  It is considered ordinary because of the numbering and order to the weeks, not because it is common.  In fact, it would be a mistake to think there is nothing special or distinctive about every week in the church year.  When I began thinking about the myriad reasons I have chosen to pledge to and serve in this church, it was almost overwhelming.  This is certainly no ordinary place.  For the 33 weeks of ordinary time (give or take), allow me to share a list of extraordinary moments at Epiphany.

  1. Meeting and consternating with the Capital Campaign committee to make plans for a more welcoming space.
  2. Standing in the Memorial Garden and feeling enveloped by the Holy Spirit as ashes are committed.
  3. Rehearsing and rehearsing and rehearsing during Choir Boot Camp (ahem…Choir Retreat).
  4. Breathing in incense on Easter morning, Christmas Eve, All Souls, the occasional wedding or funeral, and all other times the thurible makes an appearance.
  5. Having difficult conversations with fellow vestry members about money and church business and feeling grateful for the opportunity to do so.
  6. Fellowshipping with parishioners on the screened porch of a cabin at Kanuga.
  7. Baking quiches and casseroles for Easter Breakfast, Summer Breakfast, or any excuse for breakfast at church.
  8. Ringing, marting, plucking, malleting, thumb damping, and tower swinging the handbells.
  9. Placing a picture of my grandmother on the Altar of Repose every November.
  10. Waving and blowing kisses to the sweet babies as they parade around the sanctuary after Baptism.
  11. Decorating the parish hall for a celebratory stewardship dinner.
  12. Processing around the point while cars drive by and honk on Ponce.
  13. Passing the peace in the choir loft.
  14. Reminiscing about my childhood at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Fort Payne, Alabama while the children flower the cross on Easter.
  1. Shopping for olives and nuts and cheese and pita bread for Agape Supper.
  2. Anticipating the flicker of flame when Benno lights the fire on Pentecost (and any time he can claim it’s appropriate for the liturgy).
  3. Hearing the laughter of children and youth playing in the courtyard.
  4. Catching my breath when I see beautiful flowers inside or outside the church.
  5. Holding my breath when the altar is stripped.
  6. Sitting in Sharon’s office and sharing my heartbreak over my dad’s death.
  7. Feeling water sprinkled over me while renewing my Baptismal covenant.
  8. Calling Shea an infinite number of times and always receiving a helpful response.
  9. Packing up a blanket and camp chairs to take to the church picnic.
  10. Discovering new things about our space after 12 years (“We have a meditation garden??”)
  11. Placing a pledge card in the alms basin to be consecrated each fall.
  12. Washing Barbara’s feet during the Maundy Thursday liturgy.
  13. Participating in training to learn about keeping our children safe or dismantling racism.
  14. Finding that one nativity that it is my favorite.
  15. Greeting a newcomer or hugging an oldtimer.
  16. Praying when it comes easy or listening and waiting when it doesn’t.
  17. Spitting, kicking the dirt, and crying out Hallelujah as the Byrd House land is reclaimed.
  18. Holding Eric’s hand when we take communion together.
  19. Savoring the bread and wine, the body and blood.