Archive for April 2020

Cat Puns   2 comments

  1. Don’t engage in lion about big cats.
  2. The feline mountain climber had excellent cat skills.
  3. Two cats met via purrsonal ads.
  4. The kitten’s antics gave his humans pause.
  5. When the cat stole the note, there was a case of a purrloined letter.  This joke might be in Poe taste, as Edgar Allan would say.

Feast of David Abeel (June 13)   Leave a comment

Above:  David Abeel, Jr.

Image in the Public Domain

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DAVID ABEEL, JR. (JUNE 2, 1804-SEPTEMBER 4, 1846)

U.S. Dutch Reformed Minister and Missionary to China

David Abeel, Jr., comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006).

Abeel served God.  He would have served God longer than he did, except for fragile health.  Our saint, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, on June 12, 1804, was a son of David Abeel (Sr.) and Jane Hassert Abeel.  David, Jr., a medical student at Rutgers University, had a religious epiphany.  Afterward, he studied theology.  Abeel graduated from New Brunswick Theological Seminary, New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1826.  He, ordained a minister in the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church (now the Reformed Church in America) in 1826, served as a pastor in Athens, New York, until the winter of 1828.  Our saint, his health failing, recovered in Antigua and Barbuda.  He returned to the United States in 1829.  Abeel became a chaplain in the Seaman’s Friend Society that year.

Asia beckoned.  Abeel spent 1830-1834 in Asia.  He arrived in Canton, Chinma, in 1830.  Our saint mastered Chinese, worked as a missionary for his denomination, and visited other areas (Java, Siam, and Singapore) to evaluate them for missionary potential.  Abeel, his health failing again, returned to the United States via Europe.  On the way home, he recruited European women to teach Asian women.  Abeel, in the United States again from 1835 to 1839, wrote several books and encouraged missionary work.  He served in various parts of Asia in 1839-1845.  Finally, our saint’s health broken, he returned to the United States.

Abeel, aged 42 years, died in Albany, New York, on September 4, 1846.

One may legitimately wonder how much more Abeel could and would have done had he lived longer and been healthier.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 30, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAMES MONTGOMERY, ANGLICAN AND MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF DIET EMAN; HER FIANCÉ, HEIN SIETSMA, MARTYR, 1945; AND HIS BROTHER, HENDRIK “HENK” SIETSMA; RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS

THE FEAST OF JAMES RUSSELL MACDUFF AND GEORGE MATHESON, SCOTTISH PRESBYTERIAN MINISTERS AND AUTHORS

THE FEAST OF SARAH JOSEPHA BUELL HALE, POET, AUTHOR, EDITOR, AND PROPHETIC WITNESS

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Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant David Abeel,

whom you called to preach the Gospel in Asia.

Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom,

that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 52:1-10

Psalm 96 or 96:1-7

Acts 1:1-9

Luke 10:1-9

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 716

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Bicycle Puns   Leave a comment

  1. “I don’t have a bicycle,” she spoke.
  2. Is using a bicycle again recycling?  And, if I tell this joke prematurely in the State of Washington, have I Spokane too soon?
  3. The person who said something inaccurate about bicycle wheels misspoke.

Feast of Frederick C. Grant and Robert M. Grant (June 10)   Leave a comment

Above:  Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York

Image Source = Google Earth

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FREDERICK CLIFTON GRANT (FEBRUARY 2, 1891-JULY 11, 1974)

Episcopal Priest and New Testament Scholar

Also known as F. C. Grant

father of

ROBERT MCQUEEN GRANT (NOVEMBER 25, 1917-JUNE 10, 2014)

Episcopal Priest and Patristic Scholar

The Grants come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my library.  That collection of books includes The Interpreter’s Bible (twelve volumes, 1951f), which lists Frederick C. Grant as one of the Consulting Editors, as well as the author of the Introduction to and the Exegesis of the Gospel of Mark in Volume VII (1951).  Robert M. Grant‘s contribution is the General Article, “The History of the Interpretation of the Bible:  I.  Ancient Period” (Volume I, 1951).  My library also contains The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (four volumes, 1962), to which both Grants contributed.  Furthermore, I own a copy of Robert M. Grant’s Early Christianity and Society:  Seven Studies (1977).

Frederick C. Grant was one of the most prominent scholars of the New Testament during his lifetime.  He, born in Beloit, Wisconsin, on February 2, 1891, graduated from the General Theological Seminary, New York, New York, in 1912.  Our saint, ordained a deacon (1912) then a priest (1913) in The Episcopal Church, earned his Master of Sacred Theology (1916) then his doctorate (1922) from Western Theological Seminary.  He was also the husband of Helen McQueen Hardie (Grant), who gave birth to Robert M. Grant in Evanston, Illinois, on November 25, 1917.  Frederick, a longtime Professor of Biblical Theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York, helped to translate the Revised Standard Version (1946, 1952) of the Bible.  He also published books, mostly about the New Testament and the influences (Jewish, Hellenistic, and Roman) that shaped it.  Our saint argued that the authors of the Synoptic Gospels shared the same sources.  Frederick, aged 83 years, died on July 11, 1974.

Robert M. Grant was a chip off the old block.  He, a graduate of Northwestern University (B.A., 1938), continued his education at the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1938-1939); Columbia University, New York, New York (1939-1940); and Union Theological Seminary (B.D., 1941).  Robert, ordained an Episcopal priest in 1942, studied further at Harvard Divinity School (ST.M., 1942; Th.D., 1944) while serving at St. James’s Church, South Groveland, Massachusetts.  He had married Margaret Huntington Horton on December 21, 1940.  Our saint served on the faculty at The School of Theology, The University of the South, Sewannee, Tennessee, from 1944 to 1953.  He was one of the eight faculty members who resigned in protest over the trustees’ refusal to admit African Americans.  Starting in 1953, Robert served on the faculty of the Divinity School, The University of Chicago, for decades.  His commitment to civil rights remained.  Our saint marched at Selma, Alabama, in 1965, for example.

Robert M. Grant was, in his adult lifetime, the greatest U.S. scholar of ancient Christianity.  He wrote more than 38 books and articles about topics ranging from Patristics to German u-boats from World War I.

Robert M. Grant, aged 96 years, died in Chicago, Illinois, on June 10, 2014.

Frederick C. Grant and Robert M. Grant, father and son, left written legacies from which Christians can still benefit.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 29, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MYSTIC AND RELIGIOUS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS BOSA OF YORK, JOHN OF BEVERLEY, WILFRID THE YOUNGER, AND ACCA OF HEXHAM, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF JAMES EDWARD WALSH, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY BISHOP AND POLITICAL PRISONER IN CHINA

THE FEAST OF SIMON B. PARKER, UNITED METHODIST BIBLICAL SCHOLAR

THE FEAST OF TIMOTHY REES, WELSH ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER AND BISHOP OF LLANDAFF

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O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Frederick C. Grant, Robert M. Grant, and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

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Nautical Puns   Leave a comment

  1. I had fleeting concerns about ships.
  2. Do not bow to the demands of the stern ship captain.
  3. The inexpensive sailboat was on sail.
  4. A sailor off whom a funny seaman bounces off jokes is a strait man.
  5. A game played on a yacht is yahtzee.
  6. The soprano who took a cruise had no difficulty hitting the high seas.
  7. The two German u-boats that became one u-boat submerged.
  8. The submariner who read scripture aloud was glad the submarine had a pericope.

Feast of Will Herzfeld (June 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Logo of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Fair Use

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WILLIAM LAWRENCE HERZFELD (JUNE 9, 1937-MAY 9, 2002)

U.S. Lutheran Ecumenist, Presiding Bishop of the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches, and Civil Rights Activist

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Will was a person with uncanny insight, constant respect for people, and a focus on the gospel.  He conveyed the partnership, accompaniment, of a large North American church with churches in other lands in a manner that transcended economic, cultural, and political boundaries.

–Bonnie L. Jansen, Executive Director, Division for Global Mission, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; quoted in G. Scott Cady and Christopher L. Webber, A Year with American Saints (2006), 408

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Bishop Will Herzfeld was a leader of U.S. Lutheranism.  He departed from one denomination, helped to form two denominations, and played a vital role in increasing the degree of unity of Lutheranism in the United States.  Activism in support of civil rights was a component of his faith.

Herzfeld grew up in the Jim Crow South.  He, born in Mobile, Alabama, on June 9, 1937, was a son of Julius Herzfeld, Sr., and Clarice Heinningburg Herzfeld.  Our saint grew up in The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS)–in Faith Lutheran Church, Mobile, to be precise.  He attended parochial schools then other Lutheran institutions of education for African Americans.  Herzfeld graduated from the subpar Alabama Lutheran Academy and College (now Concordia College), Selma.  He carried negative memories of this institution for the rest of his life.  Our saint also graduated from Immanuel Lutheran College, Greensboro, North Carolina (1957).  Herzfeld went on to graduate from Immanuel Lutheran Seminary, Greensboro (M.Div., 1961), and to continue his studies at Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.  Meanwhile, he married Thressa M. Alston at Kannapolis, North Carolina, on June 11, 1961.  The couple had four children–two daughters and two sons–three of whom lived to adulthood.  Their first child, a daughter, lived only one day.

Herzfeld was an ordained minister in the LCMS from 1961 to 1976.  His first pastorate was Christ Lutheran Church, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (1961-1965).  Our saint became a leader in the Civil Rights Movement while in Tuscaloosa.  He helped to organize the Tuscaloosa chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1963.  Herzfeld, the first president of that chapter, worked closely with Martin Luther King, Jr. (1939-1968).  OUr saint also served as the president of the Alabama branch of the SCLC (1964-1965).  On the denominational level, he was active in the Southern District of the LCMS.  Our saint sat on the Stewardship Committee and the Family Life Committee.  Furthermore, he was the Vice President of the Lutheran Human Relations Association of America (1964-1966).

Herzfeld ministered in the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of the LCMS, starting .  He, based in Oakland, California, was an urban minister for the district (1966-1969).  Our saint also served as the regional mission executive of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. (1969-1973).  This service overlapped with his time on the LCMS Board of Missions (1969-1973), the Council for Christian Medical Work (1973-1975), and the Board of Directors of the Wheat Ridge Foundation (now the We Raise Foundation) from 1069 to 1972.  The latter organization addresses social inequality.

Herzfeld ministered in the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of the LCMS, starting in 1966.  He, based in Oakland, California, was an urban minister for the district (1966-1969).  Our saint also served as the regional mission executive of the Lutheran Council in the U.S.A. (1969-1973).  This service overlapped with his time on the LCMS Board of Missions (1969-1973), the Council for Christian Medical Work (1973-1975), and the Board of Directors of the Wheat Ridge Foundation (now the We Raise Foundation) from 1969 to 1972.  (The We Raise Foundation addresses social inequality.)

Above:  Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Oakland, California

Image Source = Google Earth

Herzfeld was the pastor of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Oakland, California, from 1973 to 1992.  These were eventful years for U.S. Lutheranism.  Our saint, who had represented LCMS President Jacob Preus at the seventy-fifth anniversary of the LCMS mission in India in 1969, broke with Preus during the doctrinal turmoil (1969-1976) in the denomination.  Herzfeld became the vice president of the moderate Evangelical Lutherans in Mission (ELIM) in 1973.  Three years later, he became the Vice President of the moderate, breakaway Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC), to which ELIM gave birth.  The AELC eventually changed its title to Presiding Bishop.  Herzfeld became the Presiding Bishop in 1984.  By then he had been active for years in efforts to merge the AELC, the Lutheran Church in America (1962-1987), and The American Lutheran Church (1960-1987) into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

Herzfeld was socially and politically active.  He taught urban ministry at the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley, California, starting in 1976.  He devoted much to ecumenical Black Theology-related projects and organizations for decades.  Our saint always seemed to find time for work in civil rights.  He worked for nuclear disarmament.  Herzfeld, active in urban renewal in Oakland, served in a variety of capacities toward that end.  He also found time to be the chaplain of the Golden State Warriors, a professional basketball team, from 1984 to 1991.

Herzfeld made history.  He made history in 1984, when he became the first African-American head of a U.S. Lutheran denomination.  He made history in the 1980s by being prominent in the movement to bring global pressure on the Apartheid-era governments of South Africa.  Our saint made history by helping to seal the deal to form the ELCA.

Meanwhile, Herzfeld continued his education.  He earned two doctorates–one from the Center for Urban Black Studies, the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, California; and the other one from Seminex.

Herzfeld resigned from Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Oakland, at the end of 1992 to accept promotion to the denominational level.  He moved to Chicago, Illinois, to become the Director for Global Community and Overseas Operations of the Division of Global Mission of the ELCA.  He, already a presence in global Lutheranism, expanded his worldwide profile.  He served as the Vice Presidency of Lutheran World Relief.  Our saint, a vice president of the National Council of Churches during his final years, was also active in the World Council of Churches and the Lutheran World Federation.  Herzfeld represented the ELCA globally in a variety of capacities and at a number of events.

In 2002, Herzfeld visited the Central African Republic.  He went there to attend the ordination of the first female Lutheran minister in that country.  Unfortunately, he also contracted cerebral malaria.  A month later, on May 9, our saint died at Resurrection Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.  Had Herzfeld lived one month longer, he would have celebrated his sixty-fifth birthday.

Survivors included Herzfeld’s former wife, Thressa; his three adult children–Martin, Katherine, and Stephen; and five grandchildren.  Our saint’s second wife, the Reverend Michele L. Robinson, had died in May 2001.

Herzfeld’s death prompted many remembrances and kind words.  Perhaps the most poignant statement came from a colleague, Herbert Chilstrom, the first Presiding Bishop of the ELCA. Chilstrom said,

I’ve lost a friend.

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God of justice, we praise you as we thank you for the

life, work, and legacy of your servant, Will Herzfeld.

May we, deriving inspiration from his example,

confront and resist systems of oppression and artificial inequality

as we strive to live according to the Golden Rule

and to leave society better than we found it.

May we also work to break down unnecessary barriers

to greater ecclesiastical unity and cooperation, for your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Amos 5:21-24

Psalm 95

Galatians 5:13-15

Matthew 25:31-46

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 28, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF JAROSLAV VAJDA, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, HYMN TRANSLATOR, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOZEF CEBULA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1941

THE FEAST OF SAINT PAMPHILIUS OF SULMONA, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND ALMSGIVER

THE FEAST OF SAINT PETER CHANEL, PROTOMARTYR OF OCEANIA, 1841

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM STRINGFELLOW, EPISCOPAL ATTORNEY, THEOLOGIAN, AND SOCIAL ACTIVIST

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Automotive Puns   2 comments

  1. A Norwegian car comes from the Fjord Motor Company.
  2. I never tire of using the idiom, “That’s when the rubber meets the road.”  Am I paving the way for a promising future as a punster?
  3. The bridge engineer with ADHD had an insufficient attention span.
  4. I never tire of saying, “That’s when the rubber meets the road.”  (Does that joke drive you crazy?)
  5. It is difficult to remain neutral regarding automobiles.
  6. Is a mechanic’s wardrobe his attire?  (I just had to get around to that joke.  And I pun where angels fear to tread.)

Feast of St. Columba of Iona (June 9)   Leave a comment

Above:  Icon of St. Columba of Iona

Image in the Public Domain

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SAINT COLUMBA OF IONA (CIRCA 521-597)

Celtic Missionary and Abbot

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In the midst of all his toils, he appeared loving unto all, serene and holy, rejoicing in the joy of the Holy Spirit in his inmost heart.

–St. Adamnan, on St. Columba of Iona

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St. Columba of Iona is one of the more popular Celtic saints.  He is a figure on the calendars of the Roman Catholic Church and various provinces of the Anglican Communion.  Furthermore, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) merge his feast with those of St. Aidan of Lindisfarne (circa 590-651) and St. Bede of Jarrow (672/673-735).  Those Lutheran denominations lists Sts. Columba, Aiden, and Bede as renewers of the church.  St. Columba is absent from the calendar of The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), however.  That calendar does list St. Bede, however.  Furthermore, one should not confuse St. Columba with his contemporary, St. Columban/Columbanus (543-615), the Abbot of Bobbio.  x

Many hagiographies of St. Columba contain legendary and historically unreliable material.  I choose to ignore that content.

St. Columba was an Irish prince.  He, born in County Donegal circa 521, was a son of Feidlimid.  Our saint, benefiting from royal status, studied under St. Finnian of Moville and St. Finnian of Clonard.  Our saint, ordained to the priesthood of the Celtic Church circa 551, founded churches and monasteries in Ireland.  (Celtic monasteries were centers of missionary activity.)

Above:  Iona, the Holy Isle

Image Source = Google Earth

Circa 563, St. Columba and twelve monks relocated to Iona, apparently to get away from interference from certain Irish authorities, who were harassing some of his monks.  Our saint founded a church and a monastery.  He went on to found more monasteries in Scotland.  Monks from St. Columba’s monasteries evangelized Picts.  Many monks founded other monasteries, from which other monks went out and evangelized.

St. Columba, revered as a living saint during his final years, died in his sleep during the night of June 8-9, 597.  He had been copying a portion of the Psalter by hand immediately prior to resting.  His corpse wore a smile.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 27, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF GEORGE WASHINGTON DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF NEW JERSEY; AND HIS SON, WILLIAM CROSWELL DOANE, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF ALBANY; HYMN WRITERS

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANTONY AND THEODOSIUS OF KIEV, FOUNDERS OF RUSSIAN ORTHODOX MONASTICISM; SAINT BARLAAM OF KIEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ABBOT; AND SAINT STEPHEN OF KIEV, RUSSIAN ORTHODOX ABBOT AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF CHRISTINA ROSSETTI, POET AND RELIGIOUS WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINTS REMACLUS OF MAASTRICHT, THEODORE OF MAASTRICHT, LAMBERT OF MAASTRICHT, HUBERT OF MAASTRICT AND LIEGE, AND FLORIBERT OF LIEGE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT LANDRADA OF MUNSTERBILSEN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBESS; AND SAINTS OTGER OF UTRECHT, PLECHELM OF GUELDERLAND, AND WIRO, ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZITA OF TUSCANY, WORKER OF CHARITY

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Almighty God, who filled the heart of Columba

with the joy of the Holy Spirit and with deep love for those in his care:

may your pilgrim people follow him,

strong in faith, sustained by hope, and one in the love that binds us to you;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Common Worship:  Daily Prayer (2005), 475

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O God, by the preaching of your blessed servant Columba

you caused the light of the Gospel to shine in Scotland:

Grant, we pray, that, having his life and labors in remembrance,

we may show our thankfulness to you by

following the example of his zeal and patience;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Isaiah 61:1-3

Psalm 97:1-2, 7-12

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Luke 10:17-20

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 417

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Gracious God, by his preaching your servant Columba

brought the light of the gospel to Scotland;

give us grace to follow his example of zeal and patience and

to expand our energy on winning others to faith in your Son,

our Saviour Jesus Christ.  Amen.

or

Glory to you, Spirit of God, for the preaching of Columba,

aptly named the dove, and for his companions at Iona;

though we may never banish monsters from the river Ness,

help us, like him, to be loving to everyone,

happy-faced, in the joy of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Isaiah 66:18-19

Psalm 18:31-37 or Psalm 47

1 Thessalonians 2:1-8

Mark 4:35-41

–The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand, and Polynesia

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O God, you girded your servant Columba with the cincture of holiness

and made him a pilgrim for Christ in the midst of the Irish and Scottish peoples.

Grant that, having his life and labours in remembrance,

we may rest upon your love and be cheerful in all adversities,

as we await the redemption of all things in

your well-beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ;

who is alive and reigns, with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Psalm 89:20-26

Luke 10:17-20

–The Anglican Church of Canada

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Feast of Hubert Lafayette Sone and Katie Helen Jackson Sone (June 7)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of the Republic of China, 1948-

Image in the Public Domain

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HUBERT LAFAYETTE SONE (JUNE 7, 1892-SEPTEMBER 8, 1970)

husband of

KATIE HEIN JACKSON SONE (AUGUST 16, 1893-OCTOBER 18, 1982)

U.S. Methodist Missionaries and Humanitarians in China, Singapore, and Malaysia

Hubert Lafayette Sone comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via Umphrey Lee (1893-1958), a ministerial colleague and the President of Southern Methodist University.  Katie Helen Jackson Sone comes to my Ecumenical Calendar because she and Hubert were a team.

The Sones were native Texans.  Hubert, born in Denton on June 7, 1892, was a son of James William Sone (1857-1950) and Martha Anne Ballew Sone (1873-1958).  Katie, born on August 16, 1993, was a daughter of Alfred Wesley Jackson (1858-1946) and Mary Tongate Jackson (1858-1941).  Hubert belonged to the inaugural class of Southern Methodist University; he graduated in 1916.  He served in the United States Army then, in May 1918, received his preaching license from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South.  His congregation, Highland Park Church, Dallas, supported his successful application to become a missionary to China.  Hubert married Katie in Chillicothe, Texas, on June 15, 1918.

The Sones’ first stint in China spanned May 1920-June 1925.  They, initially based in Shanghai, mastered the language.  Hubert also engaged in relief work during a famine; he drove a rice truck from village to village in Tehchow, in northern China.  Between the Sones’ first and second stints in China, Hubert earned his Bachelor of Divinity degree (1926) and his Master of Arts degree (1927) from Southern Methodist University.

The Sones’ second stint in China spanned 1928-May 1941.  Their first base of operations was Huzchou, where Hubert served as the Superintendent of the Institutional Church.  In April 1933, Hubert received an appointment to the faculty at the Nanjing Union Theological Seminary; he taught Mandarin, English, and Hebrew courses.  Katie taught the first and second grades at the Nanjing American School.  In 1937, at the dawn of the Second Sino-Japanese War, which became the Pacific Theater of World War II.  Hubert sent Katie and their children (Charles and Margaret) away to safety in Moganshan.  He remained in Nanjing during the Japanese Rape of Nanjing.  Hubert, active in relief efforts in the city, drove another rice truck and made deliveries to refugees in camps.  In 1939, the Chinese government awarded him the highest civilian honor, the Order of the Blue Jade.  Hubert remained active in relief work in Nanjing through 1941.

World War II extended the Sones’ furlough in the United States.  The family left China in May 1941.  They settled in Chicago, where Hubert worked on his doctorate at The University of Chicago.

The Sones’ final stint in China spanned 1946-April 1951.  They, based in Nanjing, taught, preached, and continued relief work.  Katie taught music.  Hubert oversaw an effort to feed 15,000 refugees in Nanjing in 1951.  The People’s Republic of China, proclaimed on October 1, 1949, terminated the terms of may missionaries.  The Sones departed in April 1951.

The Sones, in the United States for about a year, returned to Asia.  They spent 1952-1961 in Singapore.  Hubert taught at Trinity College (now Trinity Theological College).  He also rose through the ranks, all the way to the presidency of the college.  Then he retired.

The Sones returned to Texas.  Hubert preached and lectured widely.  He, 78 years old, died in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 8, 1970.  Katie, 89 years old, died in Fort Worth on October 18, 1982.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 26, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE THIRD SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM COWPER, ANGLICAN HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT ADELARD OF CORBIE, FRANKISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND ABBOT; AND HIS PROTÉGÉ, SAINT PASCHASIUS RADBERTUS, FRANKISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, AND THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF ROBERT HUNT, FIRST ANGLICAN CHAPLAIN IN JAMESTOWN, VIRGINIA

THE FEAST OF RUTH BYLLESBY, EPISCOPAL DEACONESS IN GEORGIA

THE FEAST OF SAINT STANISLAW KUBISTA, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1940; AND SAINT WLADYSLAW GORAL, POLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP AND MARTYR, 1945

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God of grace and glory, we praise you for your servants

Hubert Lafayette Sone and Katie Helen Jackson Sone,

who made the good news known in China, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds of the gospel,

so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of your love,

and be drawn to worship you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Isaiah 62:1-7

Psalm 48

Romans 10:11-17

Luke 24:44-53

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 59

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Feast of Bliss Wiant and Mildred Artz Wiant (June 5)   Leave a comment

Above:  Flag of the Republic of China, 1928-

Image in the Public Domain

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BLISS MITCHELL WIANT (FEBRUARY 1, 1895-OCTOBER 1, 1975)

U.S. Methodist Minister, Missionary, Musician, Music Educator, and Hymn Translator, Arranger, and Harmonizer

husband of

MILDRED KATHRYN ARTZ WIANT (JUNE 8, 1898-MAY 1, 2001)

U.S. Methodist Missionary, Musician, Music Educator, and Hymn Translator

Bliss and Mildred Wiant come to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via the companion volumes to The Methodist Hymnal (1966) and The United Methodist Hymnal (1989).

The Wiants combined music and missionary work.  Bliss Mitchell Wiant, born in Dalton, Ohio, on February 1, 1895, was a son of William Allen Wiant (1861-1923) and Loretta Hoak Wiant (1864-1904).  Mildred Kathryn Artz, born in Lancaster, Ohio, on June 8, 1898, was a daughter of Frank E. Artz (1867-1933) and Minne Belle Walters Artz (1867-1953).  Bliss studied at Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio, before doing so at Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, Ohio.  Both of our saints graduated from that institution in 1920.  They married in the fall of 1922.  Bliss became an ordained minister (as an elder) in the Ohio Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939) in 1923.  Mildred, a singer and an educator, continued her operatic vocal training in Boston, Massachusetts, for a year (1922-1923).

The Wiants served as missionaries in China from 1923 to 1951, with some gaps.  Bliss led the Department of Music, the University of Yenching, Beijing.  He also played the organ at the funeral of Sun Yat-Sen in 1925.  Mildred taught singing at the university.  During furloughs, Bliss studied at Harvard University (1928-1929), Boston University (M.A., 1936), Union Theological Seminary (1941-1942), and Peabody College, Nashville, Tennessee (Ph.D., 1946).  During furloughs, Mildred continued her operatic voice training and taught vocal music at Scarritt College, Nashville, Tennessee.  The couple raised four children, all born in Beijing.  The children were, in no particular order, Allen, Cecilia, Bliss Leighton (died 89 years old, September 2, 2017), and Benjamin (January 17, 1935-January 22, 2020).  Cecilia contracted polio when she was 2.5 years old.  Bliss and Mildred compiled collections of Chinese music and translated many Chinese hymns into English.  He was the musical editor of Hymns of Universal Praise (1936).

The Wiants returned to the United States in 1951; the People’s Republic of China had expelled many missionaries.  The Wiants remained active in musical ministry.  Bliss was the pastor of St. Paul’s Methodist Church, Delaware, Ohio (1953-1955); the minister of music at Mahoning Methodist Church, Youngstown, Ohio (1955-1957); the director of music at the Methodist Board of Education and the executive secretary of the National Fellowship of Methodist Musicians, Nashville, Tennessee (1957-1961); the director of music at Scarritt College, Nashville, Tennessee (1961-1962); and the director of music for the Ohio Council of Churches (1962-1963).  Mildred also taught at Scarritt College (1961-1962) and at the Biennial Convocations of Methodist Musicians (1957-1961).

The Wiants returned to Asia in 1963.  From 1963 to 1965, they served on the faculty of Chung Chi College of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  Bliss, the National Council of Churches’s director of music programming in Hong Kong, lectured in theological schools during his time in Hong Kong.  The National Council of Churches published the Wiants’ Worship Materials from the Chinese (1969), a booklet.

The Wiants gave presentations about Chinese music.  These presentations entailed lectures, vocal performances, and Chinese instruments.

Bliss, aged 80 years, died in Delaware, Ohio, on October 1, 1975.

Mildred, aged 102 years, died in Columbus, Ohio, on May 1, 2001.

In 1989, Ohio Wesleyan University created the Bliss and Mildred Wiant Award “to remember the importance of leadership which promotes interfaith and intercultural understanding.”

The Wiants’ influence is more pronounced in The Methodist Hymnal (1966) than in The United Methodist Hymnal (1989).  The companion volume to the 1966 hymnal lists Bliss as a consultant on the tunes subcommittee for that hymnal.  The Methodist Hymnal (1966) also contains two hymns Bliss arranged and one he harmonized.  Both hymnals contain one hymn the Wiants translated.  That text is “Rise to Greet the Sun,” from 1946 and copyrighted in 1965.

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God of universal love, we bless you and thank you for the faithful legacy

of Bliss and Mildred Wiant, who blended music and the Great Commission.

May we, like them, strive and work for understanding across cultural barriers

as we seek to glorify you and draw others to you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Isaiah 42:5-9

Psalm 150

Ephesians 2:11-22

Matthew 28:16-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 25, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARK THE EVANGELIST, MARTYR, 68

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