From the Interim Rector - August Manifest
The time has come. Starting Monday, August 16th workers will be at Epiphany to begin removing the stone liturgical furnishings that will be cleaned and moved to our new home at 351. When I first arrived and joined you is this amazing project, I remember hearing from more than one member that while they were excited about having a larger church and a real parish house, they wished we could just pick up our Sanctuary and move it to the new building. While that is not feasible, we can take many of the pieces that have beautified our church for the last 80+ years. As you know, we removed all the stained-glass last year and it has been cleaned, repaired where needed, and is ready for installation in the new sanctuary. Click Link for a short video of our progress in the Sanctuary. Now it is time to remove the stone pieces we will take with us. Here is what will be removed. The largest and by far the heaviest piece will be the Romanesque Baptismal Font (yes indeed, our baptismal font is 12th century, perhaps a bit older and most likely from France. It came to Epiphany by way of George Gray Barnard whose collection of religious antiquities formed the basis of the collection at The Cloisters Museum. This provenance has been substantiated by Sotheby’s.) Also being removed are the Memorial Plaques that adorn the walls of the Nave. The Pulpit will be disassembled as well as parts of the Lectern. Due to a number of cracks that have formed over the years there is concern on the part of the stonemason that the central column will shatter if they attempt to disassemble it. Instead, they will remove the brass reader’s desk and build a new lectern in the same style and material. And, lastly, the statue of Jesus at his baptism that is over the lobby door at the entrance on East 74th Street will be removed, cleaned and reinstalled at 351.
Other items that will move with us to 351 will be the 2 large metal screens between the chapel and the Sanctuary. Also, the beautifully carved choir modesty screens as well as the two matching Reader’s Desks where the clergy normally sit. These items actually predate our current building, as do the stained-glass windows in the chapel, and came from the previous Church of the Epiphany. And, not to be left behind, the Zorawick Doors at the 74th street entrance will also be moved to 351.
Since the Department for the Aging has given Carter Burden permission to return to congregate dining, the work of removing these liturgical items will occur between 2 pm and 10 pm. It’s going to be a bit messy for a few weeks and our beautiful church is going to look even more chopped up (literally) than it is now, but there is a new home being prepared for us that will more than compensate for this “slight momentary affliction preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” (II Corinthians 4: 17 & 18. I confess, exegetically it’s a bit of a stretch to apply this passage to our current situation, but it works so well homiletically I couldn’t resist.)
Ever onward in faith as we continue to experience all that God has prepared for us.