Welcome to WWU, to Bellingham, and to EPIC!

Josh Hosler, Episcopal campus chaplain

This post is especially for new students finding out about us for the very first time. We’re eager to meet you and get to know you!

EPIC is a small, friendly bunch of Episcopalians and friends of Episcopalians. We meet for church at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (2117 Walnut St.) on Sunday mornings at 10:30, and for EPIC meetings most Sunday evenings at 6:30 in Viking Union, room 462A. We also get together monthly for dinner at St. Paul’s or at the homes of St. Paul’s members. Check the Calendar tab on this site for specifics and variations.

When I ask the current EPIC members what our group has been for them in the past year, they usually start with the word community. Then comes friendship. EPIC has been an anchor, says one student, in a time of upheaval: it has provided a routine to help her manage this crazy college life.

For one student, discovering the Episcopal Church allowed her to rediscover the Christian faith she had been given as a child, but now on her own terms and in her own way. She loves the openness of the Episcopal Church: our intellectual curiosity, our heart for social justice, our understanding of science as the way God does things, our unconditional welcome of LGBTQ folks, our love for truth wherever we find it, and our acceptance of doubt as a vital part of a life of faith.

Another says that his connection with St. Paul’s has given him solid tools to help form his spiritual life, and it has helped him forge friendships with people of all ages. Yet another says that while he’s always technically been a Christian, EPIC and St. Paul’s have given him his first taste of life in a church community.

EpiC Icon Painting by Elysia 2015-09-07
You’ll see us at InfoFair wearing T-shirts created by EPIC member Elysia Gemora. Featured on them is an icon of a college student.

And as we’ve come back from our various summer activities, the thing I’ve noticed the most is this: these people have really missed each other!

I hope you may find a home with us in EPIC. That said, here’s what we have planned for the coming weeks. Contact us and let us know you’d like to participate, so we can be ready with transportation where applicable. Or, if you have a vehicle, maybe you can be part of the plan!

Saturday, September 26: We will meet in the VU parking lot at 10:00 a.m. We’ll head up to Artist Ridge, about 2 hours’ drive due east to the far side of Mt. Baker. We’ll hike around (there’s not much physical exertion involved, because we’ll have driven all the way to the top) and share a service of Holy Communion at 5,000 feet. Upon our return, those who are able are invited to join us at the home of Anna, Kaylee, and their housemates. We’ll make dinner together and get to know each other better.

Sunday, September 27: We have several events planned.
– We’ll meet at the 10:30 church service at St. Paul’s (2117 Walnut St.). To arrange for a ride, contact EPIC member Jon Fedele at jrfedele@gmail.com.
– We’ll meet again at 4:00 p.m. back at St. Paul’s for TaizĂ© prayer, a simple, meditative service with gorgeous singing and candlelight. We have the option afterward of walking the labyrinth, an ancient tool for meditation and prayer.
– We’ll share dinner in the Great Hall at St. Paul’s at 6:30 p.m., hosted by members of St. Paul’s.

Tuesday, September 29: Want to have a one-on-one conversation with a priest? Meet me at Zoe’s Bookside Bagels anytime between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. “The priest is in!” I’ll be there every week.

If, after whichever events you can attend, you find that you like us and want to hang out with us some more, put Sunday mornings and/or evenings on your calendar. In addition, we’re actively looking for a regular service project to take on as a group (stay tuned). We’re also looking forward to our fall retreat, October 16-18 (don’t worry; we’ll make time in the weekend for homework), and for our role in hosting the Episcopal Church’s annual convention in Lynnwood, November 13-14.

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