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Posts by Fr. Hunter Ruffin

Posts by Fr. Hunter Ruffin

Living the Incarnation

It’s hard to believe that we are returning to in-person worship on Sunday. It has been such a long time since we have been able to worship together, to break bread together, to find Christ together. It has been a time of fasting for us as we have worshiped by way of online technology and have gone without Holy Eucharist for nearly seven months. The fast has invited us to dive a little more deeply into our personal relationship with…

Epiphany’s Covenant of Care

So, now we know a new schedule for the fall, and we have learned a little bit about how to get tickets for in-person worship services. But how will we care for each other when we gather in-person? This is where our covenant of care comes into the picture.  If you remember your Bible stories, you might remember that there are several covenants that God makes at different times. The first covenant is with Noah, and it reflects God’s commitment…

Faith Seeking Understanding: Small Experiments; Big Learning

Over the last year, the vestry was reading a book by Episcopal priest and theologian Dwight Zscheile titled The Agile Church. In his book, Zscheile walks church leaders through a way of becoming more agile in mission and to learn and grow in discipleship precisely because of our willingness to become more agile in what we do as church. In one chapter of his book, Zscheile discusses taking on small experiments to learn new things about the people around your…

Registering for In-person Worship

It is exciting that we are looking at the possibility of returning to in-person worship at Church of the Epiphany! We are all excited about the possibility of seeing sisters and brothers in Christ that we have not seen at church since March.  As we prepare for a return to in-person worship, we are also adopting a new practice: registering for a worship service in advance. The reason we are doing this is to help us maintain limits on attendance…

Preparing for In-Person Worship: A New Sunday Schedule

In a few short weeks, Church of the Epiphany-Tempe will be making a return to in-person worship with limits on attendance and following other safety practices during a time of pandemic. It also means that we have to re-think our Sunday schedule in order to create room for things like formation classes (formerly known as Sunday school)!  Thus, beginning on September 13, we will make a shift to a new schedule to lay the foundation for the remainder of the…

New Community

A few rather surprising emails have been going around the parish over the last day or two. Seemingly out of the blue, you might have received an email about preparing for the return of in-person worship. I think if I had been on the receiving end of those emails that I would have rubbed my eyes a few times to be sure that I was reading the subject correctly. We have been doing online church for so long now, it…

Building Up the Body of Christ

As I have been around the church and in conversations with colleagues working in parishes and missions over all different types and sizes, I have often encountered the conversation around Christian formation. In most of the conversations that I have had with lay ministers in our beloved church, I hear questions about Sunday school, and it is almost always couched in the form of what we are going to provide for children inn order to attract the families that we…

Vintage Anglican

In the early days of England’s split with Rome, the church in England had to figure out how to move forward with worship in the country. Very quickly, the church had to create worship resources for the parishes that would eventually become the Church of England and another worldwide expression of the Christian faith. In a time in which communication was much slower than it is today, the leaders of the church had to create the items the church would…

Listening to the Holy

A few nights ago, I was on (another) Zoom call with a small group of parishioners that is working to plan the next parish council meeting, which is scheduled for August 22, 2020. (Have you RSVPed yet? If not, you can do so here!) During the course of the conversation, one of the parishioners asked, quite plainly, what the hope for the parish council is in the bigger picture of Church of the Epiphany. It was a question about what…

A Symphony of Joy

A few weeks ago, I was reflecting one the ways that starlings come together in what is called a murmuration. The starlings dance across the sky together and create images of joy as they share in the joys of flying together. The joy of flying together seems to emanate outwards from the starlings as we are captured by the swooping dives they make in the sky. Perhaps, the joy that we feel in watching the starlings is that we get…

Murmurations of the Spirit: Learning from Starlings

Over the last week, I had the chance, the good fortune really, to attend a Zoom call that is on my calendar every week but that I have rarely had the opportunity to join. It is a call filled with innovative and creative thinkers in the church that are wrestling with how to follow the Spirit in a moment in which almost nothing has remained stable. The group often considers the role of chaos and order and how those two…

Pilgrimage in an Uncertain Time

We have reached a milestone as a parish. It is not a milestone that we necessarily knew that we would reach, and it certainly is not one that we had any desire to reach.  You see, it was four months ago today that we had to shift how we were doing church. Church of the Epiphany moved from our regular rhythm of worship and gathering as a community to doing those same things by way of online technology. While we…