Epiphany’s 2025 Vision

 
Love Jesus by Serving Others

purpose_vision
 
Mission & Vision

2025 Vision – Epiphany Lutheran Church

 
The hope and joy of all the baptized rests firmly in the Good News that the tomb stands empty and that our Lord and savior Jesus Christ is alive. Because of that Good News, we are a people with an amazing future. This is a future that God has prepared and toward which God is actively working in the lives of all people. It is the calling of the baptized – the church that follows Jesus – to join in, and participate with what God is doing in the world to realize this future. Therefore, our mission at Epiphany Lutheran Church is to “Love Jesus by Serving Others.”  This statement of mission is our guiding light, our North Star, the lens through which we view the world, helping God shape it into the promised future we have witnessed through Jesus.
 
As Epiphany continues to move forward into this future that God has prepared for us, we have envisioned what our role in the mission of God will look like in 2025. As we stand in the future we have identified five main areas in which our ministries have grown and changed to support the mission we have been called: Worship and Education, Youth and Family Ministries, Outreach Ministries, our Physical Facilities, and New Opportunities to minister to our community. We are excited about this vision of the future. We hope that you will be energized and stirred up by the Spirit as we all live into this new day, being the hands and feet of Christ in the world, loving and serving our neighbor.

Worship and Education

The church is present in, “the pure teaching of the gospel and the administration of the sacraments in harmony with the gospel of Christ.”[1]  The ministry of Word and Sacrament is vital to our life and mission and is the center of our calling to proclaim the gospel. Knowing this, we have grown through investing in our most precious resource–the true future of the church–our children. Both campuses foster an environment that is welcoming to children and their families. We want children to know that they are welcome just as they are, as active as they are, and as loud as they are. We want them in worship. Our worship spaces are noisy, active, vibrant, and full of life with our young ones as they come up for a children’s sermon at every worship service. They are able to attend worship, because Sunday school offerings do not conflict with worship times.
               
Both campuses have three worship offerings. Far Hills has Saturday evening and two Sunday offerings, and Austin has two Sunday morning and one Sunday afternoon offerings. Both of the non-Sunday morning offerings are abbreviated services. Our Christian education opportunities are also available on Wednesday evening. Epiphany has grouped many of these opportunities for children and adults into one night of the week, with elements of worship, education, fellowship, and food combined to strengthen our sense of community together.

Youth and Family Ministries

The strength of our youth and families ministers has brought about a strong foundation for these ministries.  In addition to our children and high school ministries continuing to develop strong Christians and church leaders, our small group ministries are the nexus of the robust relationships that tie Epiphany together in mission. Knowing that our relationships at church, home, and beyond are how we reflect Christ’s relationship to the church, we are known in the community as a place that loves and serves as a response to the gospel.
               
Our youth have numerous opportunities to learn about God’s work in the world through local, regional and global mission opportunities. There is a new mothers group that shares the joys and struggles of family life together. We have a college ministry that maintains contact with our young adults as they are away from home during school, and guides them to be active in college ministries. A tutoring and after-school ministry is the project of our youth and adults, and is known as a place to get to know our neighbors and grow along with them. There is a strong emphasis on senior ministry at Epiphany and connections to the many senior communities in our area. These ministries are all coordinated by a volunteer, who is familiar with the needs and concerns of the community.

Outreach Ministries

Evangelism is the heart of any growing church, and evangelism is the core of all outreach ministries at Epiphany. In loving Jesus by serving others, we hope that the gospel will have an impact on the people we grow to love and serve.  To best reach into the community, we must know our neighbor’s hopes, dreams, and fears. To grow into this, we have partnered with community groups such as Hithergreen, the Washington Centerville Rec Department, and the Springboro YMCA.
               
Having learned where the Spirit is leading us through well-forged relationships, we have a robust Mercy Ministry, which addresses the needs of our region. Alongside the Pantry, which continues to be a strong leader in the area for food and provisions, we work tirelessly with our community partners to live out our mission.
               
Epiphany is far and away the leader for arts. Through drama and music opportunities, people grow in their ability to tell the story of God in new and inspiring ways. Epiphany hosts many concerts for schools and local groups, and helps to develop new talent for worship and other parish events. The sports ministries organize leagues that are run by a volunteer Athletic Director, and we host multiple 5Ks and neighborhood events promoting health and wellness. Epiphany continues to be a leader to the greater church. We host synod events, learning events, and are known as a parish that contributes to the overall Christian witness in our area.  

The Epiphany Campuses

To facilitate worship and the vastness of ministry opportunities at Epiphany, the Far Hills and Austin campuses have gone through large changes to the properties. As you enter the Far Hills Campus, you will see a new electronic sign near the street. There are new entrances and exits to the property, making it easier to come and go, and new landscaping improves the visual appeal of the property. There is new signage around the property and in the building to make it easy for visitors to feel welcomed by knowing where to go. The Sanctuary has been renovated and expanded to accommodate all services using the same flexible worship space. There is more natural light in the space. The seating is flexible to allow for different events to be held in the sanctuary, and the new audio system improves sound quality. There is now the opportunity to share experiences between the campuses via new technology, which builds upon the fact we are all one church together. The Gathering Space has been renovated to feel like a coffee shop with Wi-Fi available. People feel welcomed to gather, work, or play in the space while they are at the church. Now that all worship is in the Sanctuary, the Celebration Center is now renovated to be used solely for ministry purposes. This has been a great outreach opportunity for community events and the Drama ministry.
               
The lower levels have also been renovated to make it easier for people to enter the worship space and Celebration Center. The Pantry has more space to operate, and the Child Care and Pre-School areas have been updated as well. The Outdoor Chapel has grown to include a permanent covering with new gardens and a memorial garden in the far back for people to intern the remains of cremated loved ones.
               
The Austin Campus has changed dramatically, too. There is now a large electronic sign on Social Row Road. The parking lot has been expanded to accommodate the worship and ministry life of the campus. There is a new sanctuary which is flexible, like the Far Hills sanctuary, so that all worship occurs in the same space, as well as movable seating for other events. A new office area, classroom space, and a multi-purpose gym for new ministry opportunities have been built as well.

New Opportunities

Epiphany’s commitment to our mission of loving Jesus by serving others has again grown to include a new territory to its area of care and neighborliness. We now have a third campus in a Dayton neighborhood. This is a mission outpost for all Epiphany members to attend, build relationships, and serve alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is a place for some of Epiphany’s existing ministries to take root in the communities they serve (ie: OPD, Pantry). This has given many ready-made places to serve and has been the genesis of many life-giving relationships for all involved.
In looking at the growth trends of the area, and given the success of Epiphany Lutheran Pre-School, Epiphany has begun a K-8 school to provide a Christian rooted educational option in the south Centerville/north Springboro area. This school is modeled after Epiphany Lutheran Pre-School in philosophy and is primarily fed by Epiphany Lutheran Pre-School.  This is a self-sustaining ministry and is well-known in the community as a quality school that produces strong Christian leaders.

Closing

In closing, to make all of this vision a reality, Epiphany began a Capital Campaign in 2016, which reduced debt and provided the seed money for expansion and growth. Epiphany is also led by a pastoral staff that has grown in both number and scope. Epiphany has also been blessed to participate in the internship programs of the ELCA’s seminaries to give new leaders the opportunity to learn at Epiphany, one of the church’s leaders in mission and ministry in the church. The main driver of all ministries at Epiphany continues to be the saints equipped for service. Epiphany is a model parish for nurturing and forming new leaders for action in realizing God’s future. The blessings are abundant and future vibrant as we stand in 2025. Please join us as we move forward together!
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[1] Apology of the Augsburg Confession. VII § 5