Epiphany 351 Update - April 2022
Last week we reached a major milestone in the renovation of the new church. The scaffolding on the south façade was removed and for the first time in years (literally) we have a nearly unobstructed view of the parish’s future home. All that remains, as required by the Department of Buildings, is the sidewalk shed which protects people from any falling objects as construction continues. The picture accompanying this update was taken by our Warden, Christian Vanderbrouk and shows the results of these long months and years of renovation and the façade lighting that is in place to reveal the beauty of this nearly 130-year-old building. While the work on the exterior of the building is winding down, the interior work is moving forward rapidly as many of the subcontractors, under Shawmut’s management, are working double shifts and on Saturdays to ensure that Epiphany will be able to move into the building no later than May 31st, the date we must hand over the keys to our current church to the Weill Cornell Medical College.
It is now possible as one walks through the building to actually see hallways, classrooms, offices, the kitchen and the choir room. Even the elevator is operational, though without its passenger cab as it is now being used to move building material to various floors to keep the work crews well supplied. Soon the kitchen equipment, consisting of commercial grade stoves, ovens, refrigerators, freezers including a walk-in refrigerator and freezer, dishwasher and everything else needed for the Wednesday Night Dinner Program and the Carter Burden Network to provide up to 6,000 meals a week to food insecure New Yorkers. On the Day School floors abundant natural light streams into the classrooms and offices creating a light, inviting, environment for young lives to be formed into good citizens and generous people. Our Head of School, Ms. Jackie Klein, anticipates that with the additional space the school will now have, and the opportunity to add additional programing after school and throughout the summer beginning in 2023, that in any given year upwards to 100 children will be afforded a quality education in a setting that, in addition to the gymnasium and the roof garden, will give young minds and bodies all the room they need to thrive. In the Nave and Sanctuary, reachable by two wide and gentle staircases and an elevator, all the historic church furnishings, including every stained-glass window along with 8 new windows specifically commissioned for this building, will create an environment that enriches the soul, soothes the troubled heart, and invites each of us to pause in the hecticness and uncertainties of our day to rest and reconnect with all that truly matters.
As has been stated in previous updates, every inch of the former Jan Hus Presbyterian space has been renovated into a 21st century, energy efficient facility that will allow Epiphany to grow and expand its many ministries, programs, and sacramental life for generations to come. Soon, the Church of the Epiphany will say goodbye to the home that has sustained it for over 80 years and begin again, for the sixth time in its history, to embrace all that God desires for this parish in its new location--all that God will make possible as the people of Epiphany continue to say “Yes, God!” to each invitation to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in ways that today we can scarcely ask or imagine but we know will be realized with each step we take as God’s power, working within us, offers to all who come, a life more abundant and free.