“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I will be in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20
In the Episcopal Church, we have a lot of meetings. With our roots as far back as those very first Christians, we’ve learned to have a lot of meetings. Meetings help us define how God calls us to be as followers of Jesus Christ, with all our various ways, just like the first Christians: Jew, Gentile, circumcised, uncircumcised, Eastern, Western. While we know the church is ultimately a body of people called by God to go out into the world reconciling all to God, we sometimes have varied understandings of how we go about being the church. So, we have meetings because it matters to God what we have to say and who we are as the church.
Sunday Epiphany will hold our Annual Meeting. According to the canons (rules) of the church, the Annual Meeting is held to elect its governing body. Annual Meetings include all, not just some. So, unless there are nominations from the floor, on Sunday we will elect by acclamation Susan Buckner, Susan Forbes, Scott Meyer and Elaine Perry to a three year term. Bill Forbes will be elected as delegate to the Region and Sophia Perry will be elected as an alternate delegate to the region. Bill currently serves as the secretary to the region and Sophia will be serving as youth delegate to the region. Epiphany will salute all leaders and especially the most recent outgoing vestry class Mary Erdeljon, Susan Simmons and Jean Trimble. We give thanks for their most faithful and productive ministry. Also at our Annual Meeting we will receive from the vestry the approved budget for 2018.
We’re grateful to all with Epiphany. The giving has exceeded pledged amounts. Thank you for your generosity and belief in God leading us to be the church on the corner where God loves us all, no exceptions. At the same time, Epiphany’s income did not meet last year’s approved budget due to the loss of a major tenant. Now, we are in correction. Looking forward, our vestry has made some necessary adjustments. Staff hours and/or salaries have been reduced. Most recently, following much prayerful debate, and the announcement of Jane’s departure, the vestry unanimously approved de-funding the Minister of Music position for the time being. Jiji Park will remain as our principal musician. We can give thanks to our vestry, and to all of Epiphany, to you, as it looks ahead in its growth giving thanks and praise as God Reigns Over our Work (G.R.O.W.).
Let me say a little more about the Music Ministry. A new Praise Band is re-birthing under the direction of Tom Irby. As discussed through the Children, Youth and Family Ministry, Children’s Choir will be led by volunteers. Please, let me know if you’d like to work with the children, preparing them to sing once a month: firstname.lastname@example.org. You’ll notice the Adult Choir singing within the congregation. There are many very gifted and talented musicians and singers throughout the life of Epiphany. Now is a good time to share your gifts. Perhaps you’re able to play, accompanying Jiji on a particular Sunday. Come to worship meetings on Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m. and help choose worship music. Agree to teach the children for a month, preparing them to sing with Family Worship. Sing. Sing some more. Invite others to sing! Singing in worship, it’s praying twice!
Focus Groups regarding the Music Ministry will be held Sunday February 18, and again Sunday February 25 immediately following worship. Elaine Perry is the point of contact for the time together. Feel free to reach out to Elaine: email@example.com. Thank you for your prayerful attention to the Music Ministry as God guides us along.
This Sunday, we’ll begin as always with 8:30 worship, 9:45 Sunday School and 10:00 worship. The Annual Meeting will begin immediately following a shortened 10:00 a.m. worship. Adults sixteen years of age and older, and having received Holy Communion at least three times within the last year are considered eligible to vote (Title I Canon 17). Children are welcome to accompany their parents during the meeting. Or, following the voting first on the agenda, they may accompany Sunday School leaders to the classrooms for a children friendly Annual Meeting and other activities. Also presented at the meeting will be brief overviews of the joys and celebrations of Children, Youth and Family Ministries, Adult Ministries and Outreach Ministries as well as a look at Epiphany’s 2018 budget. The Annual Meeting should be completed by 11:45 a.m.
We haven’t forgotten it’s our Sunday to pack Food4Thought. We’ll pack 200 meals and then we’ll FEAST! Lunch will be served about 12:15. A delicious lunch of soup and grilled cheese sandwiches from the Friendship Café will finish off the morning.
God continues to bless our faithful community. We serve. We grow. We thrive. On Sunday, let’s celebrate, enjoy and rejoice as God asks the very best of us, strengthens us in our challenges, and builds us to be Epiphany 2018 and beyond!
Looking forward to seeing everyone on Sunday!!!