At the 2020 Diocesan Convention Epiphany was notified that we have received a major Diocesan Sustainability Grant, that will allow to make the church much more energy-efficient. We are really grateful! God is good! We also received a $10,000 contribution that was successfully matched! We were able to insulate our entire Sanctuary ceiling! The visual result was excellent as well.
In 2020 our first outdoor live Eucharist was celebrated on Sunday July 19 at St. Andrew’s. Because of the surge in Covid-19 we long had to pause indoor Eucharists.
St. Andrew’s/Epiphany then adopted a service rotation scheme. Twice a month there were pre-recorded virtual services. Once a month we had an enhanced innovative on-line service – InSpirit. One of the most outstanding of these stressed the need to overcome racism and inequality. Once monthly we worshiped (remotely) elsewhere, usually at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. One could always join our Bishop’s on-line Sunday service (details on the NH Episcopal Diocese website), or St. Thomas in Hanover, St Gregory of Nyssa in San Francisco, or a host of other online worship opportunities. We also held virtual coffee hours on Zoom.
In March of last year we again celebrated the turn of Seasons with our Spring Equinox on-line liturgy – Surrounded by Beauty – developed by Jack Barben and Kathy Lowe-Bloch. It is available HERE. There was an outdoor celebration of the Summer Solstice on the New London Green last June.
Last year Easter Season culminated in our first and joyous Regathering for Eucharist at Epiphany on Pentecost Eve, with our Bishop Rob presiding, assisted by our Missioner Aaron Jenkyn. Our Bishop returned to preside over our service on Trinity Sunday as well.
In June of 2021 our Priest in Charge, the Rev. Jay MacLeod, tendered his resignation to make way for Aaron Jenkyn, who was appointed by Bishop Rob to be our new Lay Vicar. We are eagerly looking forward to a new chapter in our Epiphany Missional Community.
At the same time, we will miss the loving calm and steady hand that Jay has extended to us for the past few years which were so fraught with major challenges. Thank you so much, dear Jay!
Our Music Director, Jack Barben, has also left us. But the good news is that Susan is back!
We are now in Easter Season – hence the gold color! During Epiphany we once again worshiped remotely due to Covid, but were able to resume indoor services in Lent, at 5 pm on Saturdays.This will be our regular worship pattern going forward, God willing! We also hope to offer Messy Church this summer.
(St.Andrew’s offers 2 Sunday Eucharists, indoors at 8 am and at 10 am, the latter usually available also on line).
We are happy to report that our Missioner, Aaron Jenkyn, has experienced a call from God to begin the discernment process leading to ordained Ministry. We are so excited for her and for our Church! And as of now, her ministry is as Lay Vicar of Epiphany community. To learn more, go to the Episcopal Church podcast episode of “Tell Me Something Good”, featuring an interview of Aaron Jenkyn – see below.
The coronavirus’s spread is a profound public heath challenge. This distance between those who have been infected by the COVID-19 virus and our own community is shrinking rapidly. The common good demands that we limit physical and social contact so that the pandemic firstname.lastname@example.org “flatten.” By spreading out the cases of infection across a longer time horizon so that fewer are ill at any given time, we can help ensure that sick people have access to medical staff, ventilators and intensive-care beds
Our abstinence from in-person worship was undertaken as a civic duty and a spiritual fast. Like Jesus in the wilderness, we struggled during this period. Epiphany thrives on connection – connecting to God in worship, to each other in friendship, to others in service. It has been hard to abstain from physical touch and corporate worship in the coming weeks. And yet God can turn the worst news into Good News, and my hope is joined with our Bishop’s that this may have been be a time of hope and renewal as we found creative ways to reach out in love and overcome isolation. Remember that Jesus is always with us!
For your health and the health of our church family and wider community, Epiphany will undertake the following
- We will be available to offer pastoral care via phone and email and will be ready to meet people face-to-face in your homes or in the church office (if necessary) while taking appropriate precaution. Do not hesitate to reach out with pastoral or prayer needs.
- We will have regular services each Saturday at 5 pm, either Evening Prayer or Eucharist.
- Epiphany 4H Explorers and UpBeat will not meet during this time. Rather, we are happy to be sponsoring Wild Epiphany, which meets outdoors in the Newport Town Forest.
- Epiphany will continue to serve the community in this time of need, with consideration for the safety of our staff, volunteers, and those we serve. Please contact Aaron if you are aware of a pastoral need in the community or if you need help locating additional resources for your family or others.
Along with Bishop Rob, we hope you to saw this peculiar time not as a catastrophe that instilled fear, suspicion or shame but as a spiritual opportunity for prayer and solidarity. Even as we continue to practice a degree of physical distancing, we can be drawn closer to God, to each other, and to all creation.
Our faith is in a God whose love and hope will emerge triumphant.
God of the good news that spreads faster than fear,
God of the courage that comes from the heart:
Be with us as anxieties rise
and with us as uncertainty grows.
Be with us when children ask difficult questions,
And with us when parents seem farther away.
Remind us that to be a community does not always mean
to be physically present beside those we know well.
It also can mean being spiritually present
with those who feel very alone;
and that you as our God, the God made flesh,
are also the God who calls us from the tumult
and tells us to be still
and to know
that you are God
From the Coorymeela Community in Northern Ireland
We appreciate the dedicated service we received during an exceptionally trying time from our Priest in Charge, the Rev. Jay MacLeod. As we transition to a Muissional Community we will sorely miss his steady and loving guidance.
Our beloved Curate, Kelly Sundberg Seaman ended her service as Missioner of Sunapee. This was sad for us but a great step forward for her. The Plymouth/Ashand congregations sorely needed her talents as two very different parishes progress joined together.
Our fellow parishioner Hal Liberty was honored by the New Hampshire Legislature for his contribution to the less privileged families of our state. For 30 years he has been making wooden toys as gifts for their children. He has now retired to Texas – he will be missed!
At a Vestry meeting on Sunday July 2, 2016, we voted unanimously to petition the Bishop and the Diocesan Convention for Epiphany Church to become a Mission of the Diocese of New Hampshire. We are convinced that in this way we will be able to expand our ministry to better assist with the needs of our communities. This change took effect after approval by the Diocesan Convention on November.
On June 12, 2016, our friend and fellow-congregant Johanna Young was ordained by Bishop Rob to the Permanent Diaconate. She ably assisted our Bishop, helping to further God’s work in our diocese, wherever she is needed. Sadly she passed away in 2021. We all miss her deeply!
On May 15, 2016, we gathered at Epiphany for a festive if also sad celebration of the ministry of our Rector, the Rev. Alice Roberts, who was shortly to retire. We presented her with gifts of a quilt and an outdoor bench (and, of course, a cake)!
It was really hard to say farewell and Godspeed to Alice. We were all saddened at her departure, first on Sabbatical and then to begin a new and very significant ministry to those burdened by the scourge of addiction.
Some photos of the The Rev. Kelley Sundberg Seaman’s Ordination to the Priesthood in December 2015:
And a link to many more:
Several photos of our congregation at coffee hour, before the pandemic —
For the 2015-2016 school year Epiphany Church ran the Sunshine Café offering breakfast from 7 am to 8:15 am to some of the 5th and 6th graders from the Towle School across the street. St. Andrew’s Church in New London helped us in this outreach.. Several children were dropped off or arrived early and could not get on to the school grounds, so we offered them breakfast and a warm place to be. This program ended, when the Towle School closed.