Dear Women of Epiphany,
We were thrilled to have twenty eight women join us for the Epiphany day Women’s Retreat Group the morning of January 6 at Christie House.
After an opening prayer by Karen Forbes, and the daily Hour by Hour, we commenced our discussion about the Day By Day readings. Our meeting was led by Valerie Conn who previewed the theme of the day with a spontaneous sing-along of the camp tune “Rise and shine.”
Leslie Ann Hay read Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14 and highlighted the message about leadership and taking action. This took the conversation to our present time, leading to examples of how we can act, now, today, to help others flourish.
Then Lorelle Shearer read Isaiah 60:1-6, offering that when your light is shining it will attract others. Other’s added their thoughts on how to channel God’s light, and how to open up to show the light. There was discussion about how light can create a tipping point that creates exponential growth. An example was cited from the book “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese.
In the New Testament Elizabeth Roberts read Ephesians 3:1-12, giving us historical context about Paul, particularly about the mystical elements that were common in the early church. This precipitated an interesting conversation about what it means to be Christians in 2024, and several women gave examples of fighting cultural stereotypes about Christians in modern America. There was also discussion about being an “out of the closet” or a “public” Christian. Another theme that emerged in the readings was about “bringing it down from the mountain”, what are we doing to bring light to others.
Finally Wendy Hoss read Matthew 2:1-12, the story of the wise men who arrived after the birth of Jesus. There was discussion about theirs being a journey of faith, with that continued thread of mysticism, as well as the coexistence of science and religion, even in ancient times.
Our special guest was Holly Boone who leads the Service and Outreach committee at Epiphany.
Holly shared stories of two remarkable women of Guatemala who she and the other Epiphany volunteers have gotten to know over the 15+ years that Epiphany has helped to support land acquisition and education in a Guatemalan mountain village. The two matriarchs of the village play an important role as leaders and influence those around them. These are Christian women devoted to God, and the experiences that Holly shared, brought to life through many photos she presented, are inspiring. Ann Beck and Karen Forbes also offered more details as they have each visited the village and supported work there.
Holly encouraged all of us to attend the February 4th, 5:30pm Have a Heart Evensong & Reception to support Epiphany’s service and outreach programs, and to enjoy a fun evening!
Save the Dates:
- Sunday, January 28 – Annual Parish Meeting, 10:00am Great Hall
- Saturday, February 3 – Women’s Retreat Group Meeting, 8:30am socializing, 9:00 am-11:00 am meeting, Christie House
Presentation by our Rector, Doyt Conn, about Lenten practices and here is a recommended book – “Bread and Wine: Readings for Lent and Easter”
- Sunday, February 4 – Have a Heart Evensong & Reception, 5:30pm Sanctuary/Great Hall
- Wednesday, February 14 – Ash Wednesday, 7:00am and 7:30pm Services, Sanctuary
Reminder that Easter is early this year, on March 31. Save all of the dates below, from March 23 – 31 of the special Easter services culminating in the Easter Triduum, March 28-30.
We look forward to seeing you at all of the upcoming events, especially our next meeting on February 3!
On behalf of the Women’s Retreat Group committee,
Valerie Conn, January Meeting Lead
SAVE THE DATES – EASTER
Saturday, March 23 – The Feast of St. Lazarus
9:00am Great Hall and 10:30am Holy Eucharist, Sanctuary
Sunday, March 24 – Palm Sunday
8:45am service, 11:00am service
Monday, March 25 – Stations of the Cross
Tuesday, March 26 – Taize
Wednesday, March 27 – Tenebrae
Thursday, March 28 – Maundy Thursday Meal and Service
6:00pm Great Hall and 7:30pm Church
Friday, March 29 – Good Friday
12:00pm Reading of the Gospels
7:30pm Service, Church
Saturday, March 30 – Easter Vigil
8:00pm Great Vigil, Church
10:00pm Reception, Great Hall
Sunday, March 31 – Easter
8:45am & 11:00am Church
10:00 am Brunch, Great Hall
5:30 pm Evensong, Church