Just what is Fellowship within Epiphany Lutheran Church? That is one of those questions which would generate a different answer from nearly anyone that attempted to answer it. And most of those answers would only be partially correct. Because as you will see, if you take the time to read this little tidbit to the end, Fellowship is us – you and me – all of us. We can, should and have been a part of it at one point or another in our time at Epiphany. For some it has been more involved than for others, but, regardless of the level of involvement, fellowship has been, still remains and always will be us.
Fellowship was one of the first committees to be formed when Epiphany was formed with the merger of King of Glory (LCA) and Our Savior’s (Missouri Synod) that took place in 1985. On the day of the first joint worship service, we, upholding the good Lutheran tradition of food, fun and fellowship, had to have a celebration. From that day forward, we have never looked back. Every week there has been, and continues to be, one or more opportunities to participate in fellowship in one form or another.
Those opportunities range from the very simple and time limited passing of the peace in the worship service, to coffee and donuts, to pot luck dinners, to game nights, to committee meetings, to music practices and productions, to Sunday School classes, to receptions for funerals, weddings, birthdays, baptisms, confirmations, etc., to Brunch meals, to many other opportunities that are too numerous to mention. Whatever the nature of most of these gatherings there had to be planning and preparation beforehand and cleanup and consideration afterward. The members of the Fellowship Committee are the ones who usually fill that role; planning, preparing, cooking, serving, cleaning and washing dishes. But all who attend are participants in Fellowship, whether they realize it or not.
Over the years there have been quite a number of people that have served in one or more of those capacities. The committee has ranged from two or three members to as many as ten. Members have come and gone. Some moved away, some transferred, some transformed, and some have grown too sick or weak to continue. Right now there are only three members, but we continue to enjoy the participation of several “part timers” who assist at various times with various duties.
Now back to the original question. One of the answers that has been heard recently was, “Oh, that’s Bill Schroeder.” It is true that I am the only member of the committee that goes back to day one. It is also true that I have been the chairperson of that committee for all but three of those years (in the early years). But Fellowship is much larger, much greater and more diverse than I or even of our committee. As stated in the opening paragraph, Fellowship is us – you and me – all of us. You are a part of it, giving or receiving, always sharing in the food, fun and fellowship that is Epiphany.