By Father Ted

O God, make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride, and strife. Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling block to straying feet, but rugged and strong enough to turn back the tempter’s power. O God, make the door of this house the gateway to your eternal kingdom. You who have given us this heritage: grant us grace gratefully to receive it, wisely to use it, and faithfully to continue it to your glory and our salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-adapted from a prayer by Thomas Ken, Bishop of Bath and Wells (1637-1711)

For 52 years, our sanctuary on the top of the hill has stood for the ideals articulated in this prayer. It has been a safe haven and a loving home for thousands of people who crossed its threshold in search of a community of believers who would love them for who they are.

But for much of the rest of the year, we will worship in its shadow, rather than under its roof. In order to continue the heritage that we have been given, we must replace a few things which are approaching the end of their useful lives, including our pews and light fixtures. We also have a chance to outfit the south transept with a small altar and the chancel with a ramp. And to support all the liturgical ministries and create adequate storage for the many gifts we have been given, we are rebuilding the sacristy. All of this requires moving our Saturday and Sunday services to Roper Hall.

However, even while we worship in our parish hall, we will still be the welcoming, loving church that we have always been. As much as we love our buildings, we must never forget that the Church is the people, not the structure. The Church is, according to the classic formulary, “wherever the Word is rightly preached and the Sacraments are duly administered.” This means that the Church is no more itself in a cathedral than it is in a fellowship hall.

So, I hope you will come to church this weekend and sit in the old pews for one last time. Enjoy the sounds of the Godwin Organ; bid farewell to the Ross Organ; give thanks for the promise of better lighting and receive the Body and Blood of Christ at the altar rail. And then I hope you will join us in Roper Hall for the next several months, where we will sing of the Lord’s goodness with all the praise and thanksgiving we can muster.

See you at church!

Fr. Ted+

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