Welcome to the Christian Support Ministry
Vestry Liaison: Doug Hansen
Mission: We provide prayer, care, and support to grow and straighten our communal life. Our services enhance our daily lives in Christ, so that we may more fully participate in Christ’s ministries.
Prayer Requests: Submit a Prayer Request
Intercessory prayer is an important part of our ministry. When you submit a prayer request using this web page, your request will be e-mailed to the ministry leader who will forward your request to the ministry participants. Confidentiality will be maintained within the intercessory prayer group.
To submit a prayer request by email, click on the link below. Please include the words “Prayer Request” in the subject line of your email.
We have made prayer a central part of our congregational life for our entire history together.
Currently, we have a prayer support structure in place for our use. In addition to our Rector, Rev. Hillary, we have a “prayer team” comprised of people who have committed to praying for the expressed needs of this congregation. People may request prayer by contacting Rev. Hillary, placing a card in the prayer box or prayer jar located in the worship space; by emailing the “prayer line” at prayers@EpiphanyEC.org; or by contacting the church office (703-466-5200). Requests are referred to the prayer team, currently nine of your fellow parishioners, and unless requested otherwise first names of those for whom we are praying are included in a list in the Sunday bulletin.
We will remove names from the prayer list after about 6 weeks, unless a long term need is known to the Rector, or until another request is made.
If you have questions or concerns about our congregational prayer please contact Rev. Hillary T. West or call the church office (703-466-5200). We pray for God’s blessings as we hold up each other, our nation and the human family in our personal and corporate prayers.
Prayers During Communion
We are here to encourage YOU!
Would you like to be encouraged? The writer to the Book of Hebrews desires that “we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope that is set before us,” that is, strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ. But as we all know, we get knocked down sometimes by life’s experiences and we need others to encourage us onward. To that end, the Christian Support Team offers on the 3rd Sunday of the month, “Prayers During Communion.”
It’s really very simple. After you receive communion, there will be one of two trained lay members located behind the baptismal font who would consider it a privilege to pray for whatever burden may be on your heart. This is intended as a very simple ministry of encouragement when you need it! When you come back behind the font, you will be greeted with a smile and asked to the effect, “How may I pray for you this morning?” Once you have shared your request, the lay member will pray for you, in confidence. The prayer will take place while standing, or there will be a kneeler available should you wish to kneel. Prayer requests may be made not only for a particular problem or situation, but perhaps you would just like to share in a prayer of thanksgiving for something wonderful that has happened in your life. Too often we forget to thank God! The most important point is that we want you to be encouraged to persevere onward in your faith. Often, just knowing that there is another person aware of your situation and is praying for you can be of great comfort.
Please be aware that “Prayers During Communion” is not a time to seek absolution, as this is a lay ministry. You can certainly ask God to forgive you in your own prayers, or see Rev. Hillary to confess whatever is on your heart. In addition, the lay member does not actively play a role in resolving whatever problem you are working through, but they are praying for you to give strength and hope as you encounter the daily experiences of life.
Finally, our vision for this ministry is summed up in three simple words: “Encourage one another.” And we will not only be trying to encourage you, but you will be an encouragement and blessing to us. So please don’t hesitate, and come back for your prayer!
Thank you for giving the Christian Support Team an opportunity to serve you.
For additional information, please contact Doug Hansen at christiansupport@EpiphanyEC.org.
Fishes and Loaves (Meals)
The Fishes and Loaves Ministry provides temporary meal support for members coping with illness, recent hospitalization, the birth of a new baby, or any need identified by the church member. This team receives meal requests and invites the Epiphany community to assist by pledging to make or take a meal to someone in need.
Mental Health Resources
Based on a 2004 Diocesan call for churches to “foster an environment where all are welcomed to God’s table and all are valued and supported in their spiritual journey”, the Pathways Mental Health Team is comprised of lay volunteers who have completed Mental Health First Aid Training and are committed to assisting Epiphany clergy, staff, and members in removing the stigma associated with mental illness. To raise awareness and understanding, the team provides general education on behavioral health and substance abuse disorders. The team does not provide mental health counseling but can assist those in need to identify appropriate services that are available in the community.
The Episcopal Church affirms God’s love and support formal persons of different gender identity and sexual orientations.
To All LGBTQ+ Persons:
Please know that we open-heartedly welcome everyone to our church. We are all created in the image and likeness of God, as both the Old and New Testaments teach us. To that end, please feel free to contact the Christian Support Team at christiansupport@EpiphanyEC.org if you have any questions or need support or guidance in general, or to discuss coming out to affirm your proud true identity as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning person, young or old.
We have gathered some resources that may be of help to you in your journey and your Christian walk with Christ:
- Bishops’ Statement on Full Inclusion of LGBTQ+ persons in the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church: http://www.thediocese.net/news/bishops-statement-on-transgender/
- LGBTQ+ physical and emotional health guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/lgbthealth/youth-resources.htm
- Support for LGBTQ+ youth, including suicide prevention hotline: http://www.thetrevorproject.org/
- Family guidance in acceptance of LGBTQ+ family members: https://www.pflag.org/
- Equality issues for the LGBTQ+ community: http://www.hrc.org/resources
- Other general helpful resources: https://www.glaad.org/resources
- Literature on Bible passages often misinterpreted to deny affirmation of LGBTQ+ persons: http://www.reformationproject.org/resources; http://www.faithinamerica.org/resources