Ministry and Outreach
Whether you’re looking for spiritual growth, a chance to help your neighbor, or to give your child the gift of faith, there is a ministry at Epiphany for you. Here is a partial list of what our community supports. Contact the church office to help out or get more information.
Sunday School takes place Sundays at 10:00am for children ages 8-12, and at 10:30am for children ages 3-7. The younger children join the service after the Peace.
Epiphany has a Youth Group for ages 11-14 that meets on (roughly) one Friday evening and one Sunday after church per month. Activities in 2016 included a bowling night and a self-defense class, and was capped off by a trip to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Company perform in December. For more information, email the church office.
Beginning at the age of 8, children of the parish are welcome to serve as Acolytes on Sunday mornings. By serving as acolytes, they learn to be leaders of worship, model good behavior, and assist very practically in serving at the altar.
We have two choirs for children: Cherub Choir (Kindergarten through second grade), and Children’s Choir (Grade 3 and above). All boys and girls are welcome to join. There are no auditions. Take a look at the Music Ministry page for more information about these choirs.
Vacation Bible School took place Monday through Friday, August 15-19, 2016 for children ages 3-10. Dates for 2017 will be posted as soon as they are available.
We occasionally plan trips in the summer to Melrose/Bluestone Farm in Brewster, New York, (56 miles north) to help and learn from the Sisters of the Community of the Holy Spirit about gardening and care of their farm animals. There is also the possibility of personal retreats (see their website for further details about this option).
Racket is a ministry dedicated to helping people at an economic disadvantage gain access to menstrual hygiene products, and working to eliminate shame and stigma surrounding menstruation. For more information, email Margo Seibert and Caroline Angell.
Wednesday Homeless Dinner Program
Each Wednesday, we serve a hot three-course dinner to over 100 homeless and hungry guests in our Parish Hall. Volunteers work in two shifts: 4:30-6:30pm or 6:30-8:30pm. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Janette Gautier through the church office. No experience is necessary.
Epiphany Under the Stars
Our annual benefit auction and party for the Wednesday Homeless Dinner Program takes place every spring and brings in over $25,000 in needed funds. Friday, May 5, 2017 is the date for this year’s benefit.
In 2016 we introduced an online auction site to provide easy access to information about the gala, including the ability to buy gala tickets and to bid in the silent auction from either your computer or mobile phone. As a result, we raised 25% more for the Dinner Program than we did in the previous year – a huge increase! Our 2017 event planning is underway, and chair Kirsten Plonner is looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help out with gathering auction items, helping at the event itself or providing contacts at companies who may wish to sponsor the event.
For more information or if you are interested in helping, please email the church office.
Every Sunday after the 10:30am service the congregation gathers for conversation and snacks. The conversation happens spontaneously, the refreshments do not. Please volunteer to provide hospitality after a Sunday service (the sign-up sheet is at the back of the church). You can provide the actual refreshment (you do not need to set up, pick up or even be there – just drop off what you wish to provide any time during the week prior or bring it on Sunday before the service). Alternatively, you may donate $50 for hospitality and the refreshments will be provided and you get the credit!
Pastoral Visitors and Lay Eucharistic Ministers
Each Sunday we pray for our Lay Eucharistic Ministers who visit area hospitals, those in local nursing homes and home-bound parishioners. We also do a service every Sunday in the Payne Whitney Psychiatric Clinic at NYPH, led by Deacon Anne Auchincloss. Several of our visitors are transitioning from one ministry to another, and we have been visiting more home-bound parishioners than in past years. All of our pastoral visitors are trained prior to taking the job. That training was to learn and get certified by the Diocese as Lay Eucharistic Ministers. Many have found the visiting and the little bedside services to receive holy communion that they conduct most rewarding for all. Compassion, the ability to listen and just a little time are the needed tools. If you would like to participate in this ministry, please email the church office.
As part of our outreach program, Epiphany joined dozens of New York City churches and organizations to raise money for the 2016 CROP Walk. Sponsored by Church World Service, we raised $552 toward this important cause – our Youth Group held a cookie and bracelet sale, which brought in $85. The CROP Walk began in 1947 by U.S. farmers who contributed their grain to starving neighbors in Europe and Asia as a consequence of World War II. At the 2016 walk, New York City churches raised a total of $8,500. Money raised goes toward the funding of food banks, education programs, business start-ups in developing countries, and refugee relocation. 25% of money raised goes to New York City organizations. We are proud to be part of this vital program that promotes social justice, joy and hope, here in our community and around the world.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
Stoneledge Farms distributes organic local vegetables, fruit, meat, and eggs to local residents on Tuesday evenings from June through late Fall. Epiphany provides storage space, a roof on rainy days, and a sexton to lock up after they leave.
We host classes, Bible study, and discussion groups at 12:00pm after church on Sundays, and occasionally during the week. Epiphany has offered a wide range of Adult Education topics, everything from Helen Goodkin’s series on biblical sibling rivalry, to informative lectures about Islam, to a hard look at incarceration and its effects, all the way to meditating on the different between the theology of artwork by Rembrandt and Reubens. Coming up, we will be focusing on Native Americans and our history as the Episcopal Church; reading JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy; and contemplating “How do we pray for our enemies?” Take at look at Upcoming Events to see what’s on the schedule.
Arts and Spiritual Direction
Carron Donohue and Deacon Anne Auchincloss lead this group in several sessions per year, exploring spirituality through art and prayer. Past topics have included Beginning the New Year in the Creative Spirit and The Feminine Face of the Divine. Sessions open with prayer and meditation, include time for creative expression, and end with the sharing of ideas and snacks. All members of the congregation are welcome to attend – no experience in the arts is necessary. Contact the church office for more information.
Lay members help lead the congregation in worship by reading scripture, leading the prayers, serving as greeters, assisting at communion, and carrying the processional cross.
Several members of Epiphany have participated in events sponsored by Circles of Support’s Raising My Voice program, which helps formerly incarcerated men and women rejoin society. We have also donated money to help with their funding. Most recently, five members have signed up to participate in a training program, which will help clients with résumé writing, job interview techniques and public speaking. We are excited about this ministry and look forward to more opportunities to volunteer in the future.
Epiphany has three sister parishes:
• The Church of the Epiphany in Doha, Qatar
• All Hallows by the Tower in London, England
• St. Margaret’s Church in the Bronx