After Five Years, Local Episcopal Church Returns Home
By Art Buck and Emily Cherry
For the first time in five years, members of The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, Herndon are making plans to worship in their home church building.
“We are excited to be returning, and to rebuild and strengthen our ministries,” said Scott Meyer, senior warden, of the plans to return on Sunday, May 6, to the church building at the corner of Hidden Meadow Drive and Franklin Farm Road.
The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is one of four continuing congregations of Episcopalians going through transitions and new beginnings in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia following a legal dispute with several congregations that departed from the Episcopal Church.
In response to the Fairfax Circuit Court’s decision to return church properties to the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop, launched Dayspring, an integrated effort to discern and implement vision and strategy in response to the return of Episcopal properties. The bishop has called on church members to have open hearts, open minds, patience and a spirit of graciousness, while relying on constant prayer. “I want to have a witness to the world … not just an ‘outcome’ in the court,” the bishop has said.
After worshipping in rented space in a school building the past five years, the members of the continuing congregation are energized at the prospect of returning to their church building. Holli Durkin, another parishioner who also lives in the neighborhood, is pleased about the idea of re-establishing a youth ministry. “As the mother of 12- and 15-year-old children, I certainly appreciate the spiritual growth opportunity for my kids. But knowing that this ministry will strengthen both our congregation and the overall community excites me the most.”
The Episcopal congregation has already forged ministry partnerships with the preschool and Boy Scout troop which will remain a vital presence in the community and continue to reside in the building at Franklin Farm and Hidden Meadows, just off the Fairfax County Parkway. Epiphany is looking for other opportunities to embrace and new initiatives to help launch.
Epiphany is excited to welcome the Rev. Jennifer McKenzie, their new priest. “This is such an exciting and hopeful time for this wonderful and faithful congregation. They have persevered against great odds and done so much to serve their community all the while. It’s an honor and a joy to join them as we make that journey home — I can’t wait to see the wonderful things that I know God has in store for us!”
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