Grace Church in New York
The Weekly Epistle – rlm draft
The Rector’s Letter
For the past four weeks in the Sunday Forum we have tried to look out beyond ourselves at the troubled times in which we live. The title of the series was Where Faith and Politics Intersect. We examined the lives of three people who straddled the line between the two, and concluded last week when parishioners and political analysts John Avlon and Margaret Hoover helped us interpret the November 3rd elections. Our goal throughout was to help us be wiser, even shrewder citizens of the kingdom of God and also citizens of the United States.
This coming Sunday we will begin a two-part series that takes an unapologetic look inward. The title of the series is Hidden Treasures of the Sacristy, and up first will be yours truly. I am looking forward to inspecting a slice of the history of liturgical practice at Grace Church. For many years a big part of it included the use of colorful paraments (altar adornments) that announced the various seasons and gave depth to the gospel message around the church year. The sacristy (the worship kitchen, if you like) is a beautiful room that was built to store the paraments, but at some point they all disappeared. What did they look like? In our Zoom session I will share some of the earliest photos that we have of the church interior, showing how things changed over the years, and how our predecessors expressed the Spirit.
If you join the forum on Sunday you will also get a “sneak peek” of things to come at Grace Church. We have recently received generous gifts to commission two new sets of paraments – one for Advent, and another for Christmas and Easter. Both will be ready to help us celebrate the upcoming seasons. Then next Sunday, November 22, parishioners Ginger Blake, Helen DuBois, and Harry Krauss will reveal their findings after a deep dive into the sacristy safe. They will bring out into the light of day numerous beautiful items we don’t get to see very often. Who gave these gifts, and what is the story behind them? You can join both of these upcoming Zoom Sunday Forums here. Note our new starting time of 10 am.
See you on Zoom, or in church, or on the livestream. If you’re coming for in-person worship in the church, please remember to pre-register here.