Feast of Hugh Thomson Kerr, Sr., and Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr. (June 28)   1 comment

132823pv

Above:  Interior View, Facing the Altar and Pulpit, Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, April 1963

Image Creator = Historic American Buildings Survey

Image Source = Library of Congress

(http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/pa0070.photos.132823p/)

Reproduction Number = HABS PA,2-PITBU,22–10

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

HUGH THOMSON KERR, SR. (FEBRUARY 11, 1872-JUNE 27, 1950)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist

father of 

HUGH THOMSON KERR, JR. (JULY 1, 1909-MARCH 27, 1992)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Scholar, and Theologian

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

With this post I add a father-son combination to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

Hugh Thomson Kerr, Sr., was born at Elora, Ontario, Canada, in 1872.  He attended Knox College of the University of Toronto and the Theological School of the Presbyterian Church of Canada before coming to the United States and studying at Western Theological Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Presbytery of Pittsburgh ordained him in 1897.  Hugh Sr. served a church in Hutchinson, Kansas, then at Fullerton Avenue Presbyterian Church, Chicago, Illinois, before becoming pastor of Shadyside Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1913.  He retired from that congregation thirty-three years later.  For the fiftieth anniversary of Shadyside Church Hugh Sr. wrote a hymn, “God of Our Life” (1916).

Hugh Sr. served on the denominational level with distinction.  He, the 1930-1931 Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., helped to shepherd the denomination through the Modernist-Fundamentalist controversy of the 1920s and 1930s, the one which ended with the Presbyterian Church of America (renamed “Orthodox Presbyterian Church” after a few years and its own schism in the late 1930s, after the death of its founder, J. Gresham Machen), breaking way in 1936.  (Some of the theologically self-identified “pure” are purer than others.)

Presbyterian Church of America Article

Above:  Part of an Article about the New Presbyterian Church of America (later the Orthodox Presbyterian Church), July 8, 1936

Photograph Dated December 31, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Hugh Sr. also helped to create The Book of Common Worship (Revised) (1932) and The Book of Common Worship (1946).  The latter volume, according to some Presbyterian critics, was too Episcopalian.

BCW 1946

Above:  My Grandmother’s Handwriting Inside the Front of a Copy of The Book of Common Worship (1946)

Photograph Dated December 31, 2013

Image Source = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Hugh Sr. was an ecclesiastical pioneer.  In the 1920s and 1930s he preached via radio.  And he, an ecumenist, helped to bring about World Communion Sunday, celebrating the first one at Shadyside Church in 1933.

A partial list of Hugh Sr.’s publications’ follows:

  1. Port to Listening Post (1910);
  2. Children’s Story-Sermons (1911);
  3. Children’s Missionary Story Sermons (1915);
  4. The Highway of Life, and Other Sermons (1917);
  5. The Supreme Gospel:  A Study of the Epistle to the Hebrews (1918);
  6. My First Communion (1920); and
  7. Children’s Gospel Story-Sermons (1921).

Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr., was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1909.  He graduated from Princeton University in 1931 then began his M.A. studies at the University of Pittsburgh.  He graduated in 1934 and became a Presbyterian minister.  Hugh Jr., after studying for his doctorate at the University of Edinburgh (1934-1936), joined the faculty of Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.  He returned to Princeton in 1940, joining the faculty of the Theological Seminary.  In 1950 Hugh Jr. became the Benjamin B. Warfield Professor of Systematic Theology, holding that position until he retired twenty-four years later.

Hugh Jr., a scholar, maintained an association with Theology Today from 1944 to 1992, first as Associate Editor (through 1951) then as Editor (starting in 1951).  His published works included many articles and some books, such as:

  1. A Compend of The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin (1939), as editor;
  2. A Compend of Luther’s Theology (1943), as editor;
  3. Positive Protestantism:  An Interpretation of the Gospel (1950);
  4. By John Calvin:  A Reflection Book Introduction to the Writings of John Calvin (1960);
  5. Our Life in God’s Light (1979), collected essays; and
  6. A Year With the Bible, an annual devotional guide.

Hugh Jr., like his father, was an ecumenist.  The son, a supporter of the rights of women, participated in the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Women.  He was also active in the National Council of Churches’ Committee on Church Architecture as well as in the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.

Hugh Jr. died at Princeton, New Jersey in 1992.

Father and son left the church and the world better than they found them.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 17, 2014 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONY OF EGYPT, DESERT FATHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT BERARD AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS IN MOROCCO

THE FEAST OF EDMUND HAMILTON SEARS, UNITARIAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Almighty God, we praise you for your servants

Hugh Thomson Kerr, Sr.; and Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr.;

through whom you have called the church to its tasks and renewed its life.

Raise up in our own day teachers and prophets inspired by your Spirit,

whose voices will give strength to your church and proclaim the reality of your reign,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:35-45

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

Advertisements

One response to “Feast of Hugh Thomson Kerr, Sr., and Hugh Thomson Kerr, Jr. (June 28)

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: God of Our Life, by Hugh T. Kerr | GATHERED PRAYERS

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: