Founded in 1941, Epiphany is a community centered in Jesus. It’s a place where Jesus restores with forgiveness and new life. It’s a place for gathering socially, where unrelated people can relate. We are growing to know Jesus more deeply by experiencing his sacrificial love and learning to love like him.
Who are we? What are we doing here?
A few years back, we came up with a bold ministry plan. We wanted to grow. Not quantitatively in the first place, but qualitatively, in depth, in relationships. We wanted to grow in God’s Word, grow in service, and see God grow His kingdom here in our neighborhood. We were ready to let faith run.
In time it became clear that we wanted to focus our efforts in our local area. We could be church in a lot of places, but we still believe God has called us to be church here, in a transitioning urban area, with no parking lot, problems with crime, a growing refugee and immigrant population close by, pockets of wealth and poverty all packed in together in proximity. God called us to be church here.
So we started listening to what the neighborhood needed.
We knew that each member was called to let faith work in love in their unique station in life. We also believed that God was calling us to do something together as a worshiping community to serve our neighborhood.
Epiphany was planted in September of 1941. And what happened in December of 1941?
Pearl Harbor, World War II, and no building project for Epiphany.
So, for seven years we worshipped Jesus in the basement of Woerner Elementary, the local public school.
Looking for a way to let faith run, we turned the sled toward the students, families, and staff of Woerner Elementary. We encouraged members to serve there as reading buddies. We started building relationships.
Principal Peggy Meyer told us that one of the great needs of the school’s families were social engagements that encouraged them to build a support network for each other. So, we tried some things, and the Holy Spirit has been refining our efforts, specifically in two ways:
(1) Annual Ice Cream Social,
(2) English as a Second Language Class
Epiphany had been doing Ice Cream socials for years as fundraisers. In 2014 we had about 30 people show up (about 5-10 from the neighborhood). In 2015, we took a year off. Then, in 2016, we decided to try it as a welcome back-to-school-social with the new kindergartner families at Woerner as our special guests.
Having built trust with the principal and other school administrators, they let us extend to the invite to all their new kindergarten students, with tickets included to pass out to their family members.