December 9, 2018


Dear Friends,


If you come by Grace Church starting next Monday morning, you will see a very large (and expensive) truck parked out front of the Broadway door. The truck is actually a boom lift capable of reaching 230 feet above the street – which happens to be the height of the cross atop our spire. The reason for the lift is that we are overdue for a hands-on inspection of the ornamental stonework on the tower façade, and we want to get up there before the freeze-thaw cycle of another winter begins. We are hoping, of course, that the inspectors find nothing loose, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. The lift should be a sight to see. The sidewalk will be open throughout the procedure, so if you happen to snap some good pictures, be sure to send them to us and we’ll share them in next week’s Epistle.
As a Christian community, we spend an enormous amount of time and resources on our building. Some would say it’s too much. We should concern ourselves more with the spiritual realm and less with the material. But consider this: God always chooses to express the Spirit in material terms. In fact, we have no access whatsoever to the spiritual unless it comes to us through the ordinary, material stuff of the earth. Flesh and blood, stone and mortar, wood and nails, bread and wine, paper and ink are all necessary conduits that convey the Spirit of God to us. The tower and spire of Grace Church are just stone and mortar, yes. But they are things of beauty that for 170 years have inspired people to lift up their eyes and seek first the kingdom of God. So it is our duty and delight to assure that this sacrament in stone reaches heavenward for generations to come.
The work on the spire is not unconnected to the theme of this week’s Sunday Forum. We will have Bob Owens with us, who, until his recent retirement, was the beloved professor of Old Testament at General Seminary (and also a Grace Church parishioner). Bob will be using the Book of Proverbs to explore the hypothesis that divine truth can be discovered through the ordinary events and “stuff” of your life. I am looking forward to an excellent session this Sunday at 10 am in the Reception Room. Do join us. Coffee and goodies are served.

See you in church.


The Rev. J. Donald Waring