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        Epiphany Reflections 

Our Tiffany window of the Transfiguration is best seen from inside the sanctuary. Even on cloudy days, it glows with inner light, revealing folds of glass in Christ’s robe.

 

On January 6, we celebrated the star-guided journey of wise men seeking the infant Prince of Peace. During Epiphany, we reflect on the ministry of Jesus and how His light spread to the ends of earth. Timeless stories in scripture will be read in our sanctuary until Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. New meditations will be posted here to help you prepare for Holy Week and Easter. 

 

In the meantime, here is a story about a different kind of redemption.
A long-lost vestment was found and returned to its rightful place at
our altar. This story may remind you of your own efforts to resurrect something or someone damaged by lack of attention or care. You may be inspired to make the world around you a better place in some way, no matter how great or small. 

 

Redemption and resurrection in thread and time

While searching for documents in a Christ Church basement store room, our priest  found a long-forgotten stole in a plastic bin. The silk
damask was water-damaged, stained, and moldy. Father McElwee doubted it could be saved, but an Altar Guild member was willing to try to restore the work of a gifted seamstress from the early 1880s. 

 

Here is how Jennifer Burchell, an experienced vestment conservator, described her approach to the challenge:

 

“Hour after hour, I picked the embroidered applique out of the shattered fabric. I then restructured and stabilized it with fixative on a buckram backing. I embroidered over some missing pieces  and repaired the copperwork, but I could not save the original crosses. After some research, I created new ones in Art Nouveau style using tambour embroidery. This method employs a special hook and a hoop or frame. 

 

 “I constructed a new stole in ivory silk brocade and re-mounted the salvaged embroidery. After more than 250 hours of patient work, the stole was ready for Father Mike to wear on Christ the King Sunday, November 26, 2023. A part of our parish legacy was back at the altar
of Christ Church, where it had always belonged.”

 

As with most white stoles, this one is meant to be worn on feast days such as Epiphany. The artistry, intricacy, and brilliance of its beautiful handiwork, both in its original and restored state, have been rededicated to service at the Lord's table for many years to come.

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Continued prayers for Reverend Seddon would be welcome. She hopes to resume her meditation ministry on our site in the near future.

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A Christ Church Altar Guild member spent an estimated 250 hours restoring this Art Nouveau design dating back to 1881. It is one of many treasured historic vestments worn during worship services at Christ Episcopal Church.

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After painstaking repair, the embroidery was remounted on white silk brocade. It can now be used during Eucharist and other services for many more decades. 

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