Can I share some Gossip with you?
From Kathryn O'Neal-Dunham, Senior Warden
Did you know that the word “gossip” which shares the same root - “gos”- as the word gospel, comes from the word “godsib” - which was much like the idea of a godparent? In early days, the godsib was the guardian you chose for your children because they knew your family’s story. The root “gos” means “story”, and stories have power. The story of this church’s journey, a leap of faith, is one of those stories. So, in the spirit of spreading some good gossip, we would like to share the story of this Vestry’s annual retreat.
At our June 29 retreat, led by the Reverend Canon Deborah Tammareau, the Vestry was able to take a moment and reflect on the past six months. And, what a busy six months it has been! We’ve welcomed a new rector, closed on a new building, celebrated the Lenten and Easter seasons, and in the spirit of International Pride that has infused the city, we hosted our first Pride Evensong with Bishop Mary Glasspool. It’s been a busy 2019, Epiphany! The retreat gave the Vestry the opportunity to re-affirm the core values that guide Epiphany - values like inclusion and acceptance, faith in action, and a nurturing community for all. And, we reminded ourselves that moving into Epiphany 351 will not be the end of a journey. Instead, it is just the beginning - of a new life, new ministry, and new opportunities for Epiphany.
To be sure, this Vestry is focused on both our short-term and long-term needs. We are looking for an Associate Rector to join us - helping us to maintain our vital youth, adult education, and outreach programs like our Wednesday meal program, our school and our prison ministry. And, we are focused on some very challenging but critical building issues - like ensuring our renovation does not disrupt the Carter Burden Network’s 40 year old daily meal program for seniors on the Upper East Side. We are also grateful to our newest Vestry member, Deborah, for coordinating our popular Vacation Bible School this summer and to all of our Vestry members and other lay leaders for jumping in to support ministries across the board.
We are so blessed at Epiphany. God has ensured that we have outstanding leadership in the person of Father Roy Cole, and the continued devotion of Larry Long and Laura Noggle. We have been blessed with a Vestry that believes deeply in the uniqueness of our spiritual community and the need for us to maintain it for the future. And we are blessed by all of you - our brothers and sisters in Christ - who have been holding this church in your prayers. We understand that Epiphany is not a building. It is not a single rector. It IS this community of the faithful bringing light and life to the Upper East Side.
As we move forward, we intend to continue to spread the good gossip of Epiphany’s work. As a Vestry we are committed to sending out quarterly updates on the progress of our new building and on the work of our ministries. We hope these stories will help us all share the faith that has brought us this far and will light our way well into the future.