By Father Casey

This weekend we’ll hear one of my favorite passages in the Bible, Jeremiah 31:31-34, for it contains some of the most evocative and hopeful words in all of Scripture: “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord:

I will put my law within them,
and I will write it on their hearts;
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
No longer shall they teach one another,
or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord;
for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.”

There are plenty of passages in Scripture that convey God’s power, which may be why this passage featuring God’s tenderness feels so touching. God longs not only for us to believe in him intellectually, or to talk abouthim. What God yearns for most of all is for us to experience divine mercy so fully that we finally know God in the deepest places of our souls.

It is popular among some religious people to stamp the Ten Commandments on things, but Jeremiah points to the irony of such public displays: God’s desire is not for the law to be written on the walls of capitals or classrooms, but on our hearts. For when at the last we stand at the doorway of heaven, we will not gaze up at a set of rules engraved in stone; we will not be invited to know more about God. That day we will stand in the very presence of God, who will be far more than an idea, or a set of laws; we will look upon none other than Jesus Christ. And as he envelopes us in the same arms of love that he stretched wide upon the cross, that same love will at last be written perfectly upon our hearts.

This marvelous passage of hope begins with one of the most iconic of all Biblical phrases: “‘The days are surely coming,’ says the Lord.” These words appear many times in Scripture, and, admittedly, some of those are not nearly so encouraging as this one in Jeremiah. They are words of promise – the days aren’t maybecoming or possibly coming but surely coming. God is in charge, so the promise is trustworthy. But it’s a promise with an indefinite timeline; the days are coming, though the when is not defined.

Well, dear friends, I want to offer my own version of this wonderful Biblical phrase. “The days are surely coming…when we will move from the church for a time to worship in holiness in Roper Hall.” Though we’ve tried to bring this to everyone’s attention in recent months, I want to offer another reminder. In coming weeks, we will vacate our beloved Nave for many months, perhaps as many as eight or nine, in order to perform much-needed maintenance on our holy space. It is not ideal, I know, but it is the only way to tackle projects like:

  • replacing the pews (the existing pews are unable to be refurbished), on which we will attach our treasured needlepointed kneelers
  • updating all the lighting in the church, including replacing the light fixtures (the existing chandeliers sadly cannot be modified to provide better light)
  • adding a ramp to the chancel
  • updating audio throughout the church, including hearing-assistance equipment
  • updating old electrical systems and wiring
  • installing a new altar in the south transept to create a side chapel

In addition, we’re totally renovating the sacristy from top-to-bottom and adding about 50% more usable space to it. Talk to any Altar Guild member, and you’ll hear how exciting this is.

So again I say, “The days are surely coming…” and by that I mean, in the weeks after Easter Day. Our current plan is to enjoy our last weekend in the church April 6-7, then move all aspects of our worship life to Roper to begin worship there April 13-14. There is a small chance these dates could move back just a bit, owing to some refinement of the schedule by our General Contractor, but the start of the work is inevitable. It is coming.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t once more ask for your support of this project. We are still eagerly seeking funds to help us successfully perform all this important work, and provide $3M (the amount we need to provide for future maintenance) for our Sustainability Fund. If you have not yet made a pledge to Transfiguring Our Foundations, I ask you to consider doing so today (

May our worship of the Lord – in the Nave, in Roper Hall, and wherever else we may be – help a bit more of his love and mercy be written on our hearts. 

Father Casey+

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