Archive for the ‘Saints of 1970-1979’ Category

Feast of Vicar Earle Copes (July 20)   Leave a comment

Above:  Highland Park United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas

Image Source = Google Earth

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VICAR EARLE COPES (AUGUST 12, 1921-JULY 20, 2014)

U.S. Methodist Minister, Liturgist, Composer, and Organist

The Reverend Vicar Earle Copes comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Copes spent his life serving God.  He, born in Nofolk, Virginia, on August 12, 1921, was the only child of Archibald Vicar Copes (1883-1964) and Lena Agnes Early (Copes) (1887-1984) who survived to adulthood.  Our saint, a graduate of Davidson College, Davidson, North Carolina (B.A., 1940), and Union Theological Seminary, New York, New York (M.S.M., 1944; B.D., 1945), became an ordained elder in The Methodist Church.  Copes, an associate pastor in McAllen, Texas (1945-1946), served as the Minister of Music at Highland Park Methodist Church (now United Methodist Church), Dallas, Texas (1946-1949).  Then he left parish ministry until 1973.

Copes worked on the academic and denominational levels from 1949 to 1973.  He was Professor of Organ and Church Music, Hendrix College, Conway, Arkansas (1949-1956), then at Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa (1956-1958).  Next, our saint was the Music Editor at the General Board of Education of The Methodist Church (1958-1967).  He, based in Nashville, Tennessee, had been working to improve the quality of music in the denomination since 1952.  This work continued for decades.  He edited Music Ministry magazine from 1958 to 1967.  Our saint also served on the subcommittee on hymn tunes for The Methodist Hymnal (1966).  One purpose of that hymnal was to improve the quality of hymnody in the denomination.  Sadly, The Methodist Hymnal (1966), a prescriptive hymn book, constituted a prescription much of The Methodist Church then The United Methodist Church rejected.  The United Methodist Hymnal (1989), being descriptive instead, became more popular than its predecessor.  Copes served as the head of the Department of Organ and Church Music, Birmingham Southern College, Birmingham, Alabama (1967-1973).

Above:  Christ Church United Methodist, Kettering, Ohio

Image Source = Google Earth

Copes retired after spending 1973-1986 as the Minister of Music at Christ Church United Methodist, Kettering, Ohio.

Copes was qualified to serve in the capacities he did.  He composed choir anthems and at least four hymn tunes.  He wrote the tunes FOR THE BREAD, EPWORTH CHURCH, KINGDOM, and VICAR.  Copes also harmonized at least eight hymn tunes.  Furthermore, he played the organ in 32 states.

Above:  First Congregational United Church of Christ, Sarasota, Florida

Image Source = Google Earth

Copes, retired, was a substitute organist in the Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida, area.  He attended the First Congregational United Church of Christ, Sarasota.

Copes, aged 92 years, died in Sarasota, Florida, on July 20, 2014.  Laura (Eakin), to whom he had been married for more than 70 years, survived him, as did their sons and the sons’ families.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Vicar Earle Copes)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

NOVEMBER 27, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JAMES INTERCISUS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR

THE FEAST OF HENRY SLOANE COFFIN, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGIAN

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Feast of Jessamyn West (July 18)   Leave a comment

Above:  Jessamyn West

Fair Use

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MARY JESSAMYN WEST (JULY 18, 1902-FEBRUARY 23, 1984)

U.S. Quaker Writer

Jessamyn West, a Quaker, wrote novels and short stories.

The West family was Quaker.  Jessamyn, born in Vernon, Indiana, on July 18, 1902, was a daughter of Eldo Roy West and Grace Anna Milhous (West).  Through her mother, our saint was a second cousin of Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994), a very different Quaker.  The West family moved to California when Jessamyn was six years old.  At East Whittier Friends Church, Whittier, California, our saint belonged to the Sunday School class Frank Nixon (Richard’s father) taught.  Frank, whose faith the Social Gospel had influenced, influenced Jessamyn toward socialism.  Our saint graduated from Fullerton Union High School, Fullerton, California (1939), then from Whittier College, Whittier (1943).

Jessamyn was a professional writer.  She was a published author from 1939.  Her first published work was a short story.  Novels and other short stories followed.  Perhaps her most famous work was The Friendly Persuasion (1945), about Quakers during the Civil War.  Friendly Persuasion (1956), the movie adaptation, boasted a fine cast, especially a goose who stile the show, so to speak, in every scene that included her.

Our saint, aged 81 years, died in Napa Valley, California, on February 23, 1984.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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Almighty God, beautiful in majesty, majestic in holiness:

You have shown us the splendor of creation in the work of your servant Jessamyn West.

Teach us to drive from the world the ugliness of chaos and disorder,

that our eyes may not be blind to your glory,

and that at length everyone may know the inexhaustible richness

of your new creation in Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Isaiah 28:5-6 or Hosea 14:5-8 or 2 Chronicles 20:20-21

Psalm 96

Philippians 4:8-9 or Ephesians 5:18b-20

Matthew 13:44-52

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 38

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Feast of R. B. Y. Scott (July 17)   1 comment

Above:  R. B. Y. Scott

Image in the Public Domain

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ROBERT BELGARNIE YOUNG SCOTT (JULY 18, 1899-NOVEMBER 1, 1987)

Canadian Biblical Scholar, Hymn Writer, and Minister

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What Israel’s prophets said long ago when they condemned the manner of this world and pointed men to the city of God, is directly and profoundly relevant for us.  They concerned themselves with political and economic issues because of their human consequences.  They laid bare the moral facts involved, in the light of Yahweh’s will as the supreme fact with which man in this life has to do.  They traced society’s troubles to the inverted order of material and spiritual things, to man’s self-interest and self-exaltation even against God, and to the denial of his own nature in denying human kinship.

–R. B. Y. Scott, The Relevance of the Prophets, 2nd. ed. (1968), 233

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R. B. Y. Scott comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my library.  I own a copy of The Relevance of the Prophets (1968), a copy of The Way of Wisdom in the Old Testament (1971), and a copy of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (1965).  I can also easily consult The Interpreter’s Bible, Volume V (1956), which includes Scott’s exegesis of and introduction to Isaiah 1-39.  I own all twelve volumes of The Interpreter’s Bible.  I also own the four original volumes (1962) of The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible:  An Illustrated Encyclopedia, to which Scott contributed.

Above:  Some of the Germane Books from My Library

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Scott, one of the greatest Biblical scholars in the twentieth century, was a Canadian.  Robert Belgarnie Young Scott, born in Toronto, Ontario, on July 18, 1899, grew up in the Presbyterian Church in Canada.  Our saint’s father was John McPherson Scott, a minister in that denomination.  Scott studied at Knox College, the University of Toronto (B.A., 1922; M.A., 1924; Ph.D., 1928).  His dissertation (later published) was “The Original Language of the Apocalypse.”

Scott, ordained in the United Church of Canada (formed via merger in 1925) in 1926, spent most of his career in academia.  After two years as the minister of Long Branch United Church, Long Branch, Toronto, Ontario, our saint became a professor.  He was Professor of Old Testament at Union College, Vancouver, British Columbia (1928-1931).  Then Scott taught at United Theological College, Montreal, Quebec (1931-1945).  During this time, Scott helped to found the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (1933) and served as its Secretary-Treasurer (1933-1940).  Our saint, the Dean of McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1945-1955), then the William H. Danforth Professor of Religion, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (1955-1968), served as one of the translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Scott was also active in the World Council of Churches from 1949 to 1955.

Scott took the Bible seriously without falling into fundamentalism.  His Social Gospel orientation was evident in many of his 24 hymns, the majority of which dated to the Montreal period.  Scott also argued for multiple authorship of the Book of Isaiah.  Furthermore, our saint insisted that Solomon was not Koheleth, author of Ecclesiastes, due to the presence of Greek literary forms and philosophical terminology (from a subsequent period) in the text.

Scott retired in 1968.  He served as the President of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies in 1971.  Our saint’s first wife, Kathleen Cordingly, died in 1979.  After Scott, aged 88 years, died in Toronto on November 1, 1987, his widow was Ruth Tretheway Secord.

The Canadian Society of Biblical Studies offers an annual award in Scott’s honor.  The Scott Award recognizes

an outstanding book in the areas of Hebrew Bible and/or the Ancient Near East, written in English or French by a member of the CSBS and published in the current and previous two years.

The Scott Award is a properly-named prize.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 7, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS RALPH MILNER, ROGER DICKINSON, AND LAWRENCE HUMPHREY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 1591

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS FLORENTINE HAGEN, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER AND COMPOSER

THE FEAST OF SAINT HEDDA OF WESSEX, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF LEO SOWERBY, EPISCOPAL COMPOSER AND “DEAN OF CHURCH MUSIC”

THE FEAST OF THOMAS HELMORE, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND ARRANGER AND COMPOSER OF HYMN TUNES

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [R. B. Y. Scott 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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Feast of Leon McKinley Adkins (July 14)   Leave a comment

Above:  First United Methodist Church, Delmar, New York

Image Source = Google Earth

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LEON MCKINLEY ADKINS (JULY 14, 1896-OCTOBER 11, 1986)

U.S. Methodist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer

Leon McKinley Adkins comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Adkins was a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church (1784-1939) and its two immediate successors, The Methodist Church (1939-1968) and The United Methodist Church (1968-).  He, born in Ticonderoga, New York, on July 14, 1896, was a son of George Harvey Adkins (1848-1923) and Mary L. Brooks Adkins (1852-1928).  Our saint studied at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont (B.A., 1919) then at the Boston University School of Theology (S.T.B., 1925).  Adkins married Hazel Louise Haseltine (1894-1998) on July 7, 1920.  The couple had a son, Donald Brooks Adkins (1923-2014).  Our saint, ordained in 1921, served at what is now the First United Methodist Church, Delmar, New York, from 1927 to 1937.  After serving in Schenectady, New York (1937-1950), Adkins served as the pastor of University Methodist (now United Methodist) Church, Syracuse, New York (1950-1955).

Above:  University United Methodist Church, Syracuse, New York

Image Source = Google Earth

Adkins (D.D., Middlebury College, 1945) left parish ministry in 1955.  His last position prior to retirement was General Secretary of the Division of the Local Church, the Board of Education, The Methodist Church (1955-1966).  During some of these years Adkins was a member of the texts committee for The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Adkins wrote many poems for ecclesiastical publications.  One of these texts was a hymn, “Go, Make of All Disciples,” first published in Church School (February 1956 issue) then included in The Methodist Hymnal (1966), as hymn #342.  Our saint composed that text for Christian Education Week (September 25-October 2, 1955) and debuted it at University Methodist Church, Syracuse, New York.

Adkins, aged 90 yeas, died in Saratoga Springs, New York, on October 11, 1986.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 5, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA, FOUNDER OF THE BARNABITES AND THE ANGLIC SISTERS OF SAINT PAUL

THE FEAST OF BLESSEDS GEORGE NICHOLS AND RICHARD YAXLEY, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND MARTYRS, 1589; BLESSED HUMPHREY PRITCHARD, WELSH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1589; AND BLESSED THOMAS BELSON, ENGLISH ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYR, 1589

THE FEAST OF GEORGES BERNANOS, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC NOVELIST

THE FEAST OF HULDA NIEBUHR, CHRISTIAN EDUCATOR; HER BROTHERS, H. RICHARD NIEBUHR AND REINHOLD NIEBUHR, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST THEOLOGIANS; AND URSULA NIEBUHR, EPISCOPAL THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPH BOISSEL, FRENCH ROMAN CATHOLIC MISSIONARY PRIEST AND MARTYR IN LAOS, 1969

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Leon McKinley Adkins and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

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

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

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Feast of Alice Paul (July 8)   Leave a comment

Above:  Alice Paul, 1918

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-USZ62-37937

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ALICE STOKES PAUL (JANUARY 11, 1885-JULY 9, 1977)

U.S. Quaker Women’s Rights Activist

Alice Paul‘s Quaker faith, with its egalitarian elements, informed and compelled her feminist activism.

Our saint came from a devout Quaker family that valued education and social progressivism.  She, born in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, on January  11, 1885, was a daughter of William Mickle Paul, I (1850-1902), and Tacie Parry Paul (1859-1930).  Alice’s siblings were William Mickle Paul, II (1886-1958), Helen Paul Shearer (1889-1971), and Parry Haines Paul (1895-1956).  Tacie, a suffragette, took young Alice to suffragette meetings.  The influence lasted.

Paul, well-educated, changed her academic course mid-stream.  She, a graduate of Moorestown Friends School, Moorestown,  New Jersey, matriculated at Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, as a biology major (B.A., 1905).  A year-long fellowship (1905-1906) at a settlement house on the Lower East Side of Manhattan led to graduate studies in economics, sociology, and political science at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (M.A., 1907).  During the next three years, Paul lived in England.  She studied at the Woodbrooke Quaker Centre, Birmingham; the University of Birmingham; and the London School of Economics.  Our saint also became a militant suffragette.  She endured three prison sentences.  Paul, on hunger strikes, also endured forced feedings.  Our saint, back in the United States of America in 1910, earned her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania.  Her dissertation was “The Legal Standing of Women in Pennsylvania.”

Paul’s militant feminism, costly to her, benefited many women and the United States of America.  She, one of the founders of the National Woman’s Party (1916), protested, marched, and went to prison.  She and her sister activists, incarcerated unjustly in the “land of the free” that fought World War I allegedly to “make the world safe for democracy,” sought to allow women in all states to vote.  Women could vote in some states and territories yet not others prior to the ratification (1920) of the Nineteenth Amendment.  In prison, Paul and her sister activists, on hunger strikes, endured forced feedings.

(Thomas) Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America (1913-1921), was a difficult historical figure.  He was an unapologetic White Supremacist who segregated the District of Columbia.  (His father, the Reverend Joseph Ruggles Wilson, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Augusta, Georgia, in 1861, had preached in favor of race-based chattel slavery.  Then Joseph had become a founding father of the Presbyterian Church in the Confederate States of America, committed to defending slavery as part of theological orthodoxy.  The apple did not fall far from the tree; Thomas was similar to Joseph.)  In the presidential election of 1912, Wilson, the nominee of the Democratic Party, was not the most progressive candidate.  That mantle fell to the Socialist Party’s Eugene V. Debs.  Progressive Party nominee and former Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, whose platform included universal health care, was more progressive than Wilson.  Wilson, as President, usually governed as a conservative.  He governed as a progressive when he perceived that doing so was to his political advantage, such as shortly prior to the election of 1916, so he could attract the votes of many progressives during the Progressive Era.  Wilson, long an opponent of women’s suffrage, was a target for Paul’s activism.  Her militant tactics paid off; Wilson became a champion of women’s suffrage as the political winds changed course.

(Aside:  In case I have not been sufficiently clear, O reader, I do not like Woodrow Wilson.  I would not name an outhouse after him.  To do so would insult the outhouse.)

Paul studied law after the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.  She earned her law degrees (through Doctor of Civil Laws) from the Washington College of Law, American University, Washington, D.C., in 1922, 1927, and 1928.

Paul spent most of the rest of her life working for the legal equality of men and women under the law.  She co-wrote successive versions of the Equal Rights Amendment, starting in 1923, and lobbied for all of them.  Critics came from both the Right and on the Left.  On the Right, support for patriarchy prevailed.  On the Left, fears of losing gender-based protections for women prompted opposition.  In Paul’s mind, anything other than legal egalitarianism for men and women constituted “legalized inequality.”  Our saint also helped to add gender as one of the categories in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Paul, who kept her personal life private and never married, died in Moorestown, New Jersey, on July 9, 1977.  She was 92 years old.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 3, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS FLAVIAN AND ANATOLIUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE, PATRIARCHS; AND SAINTS AGATHO, LEO II, AND BENEDICT II, BISHOPS OF ROME; DEFENDERS OF CHRISTOLOGICAL ORTHODOXY

THE FEAST OF SAINT DIONYSIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA, AND CHURCH FATHER; SAINT EUSEBIUS OF LAODICEA, BISHOP OF LAODICEA; AND SAINT ANATOLIUS OF ALEXANDRIA, BISHOP OF LAODICEA

THE FEAST OF SAINT HELIODORUS OF ALTINUM, ASSOCIATE OF SAINT JEROME, AND BISHOP OF ALTINUM

THE FEAST OF IMMANUEL NITSCHMANN, GERMAN-AMERICAN MORAVIAN MINISTER AND MUSICIAN; HIS BROTHER-IN-LAW, JACOB VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND EDUCATOR; HIS SON, WILLIAM HENRY VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN BISHOP; HIS BROTHER, CARL ANTON VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN MINISTER, MUSICIAN, COMPOSER, AND EDUCATOR; HIS DAUGHTER, LISETTE (LIZETTA) MARIA VAN VLECK MEINUNG; AND HER SISTER, AMELIA ADELAIDE VAN VLECK, U.S. MORAVIAN COMPOSER AND EDUCATOR

THE FEAST OF JOHN CENNICK, BRITISH MORAVIAN EVANGELIST AND HYMN WRITER

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us [like your servant Alice Paul] to use our freedom

to bring justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 370

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Feast of Thomas Canning (December 12)   Leave a comment

Above:  Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York

Image Source = Google Earth

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THOMAS CANNING (DECEMBER 12, 1911-OCTOBER 4, 1989)

U.S. Composer and Music Educator

Thomas Canning comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The Methodist Hymnal (1966).

Canning was one of the best composers I had not heard of before I began work on this post.  He, born in Brookville, Pennsylvania, on December 12, 1911, was a son of James Scribner Canning.  Our saint studied at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio (B.M., 1936); then at Eastman School of Music, Rochester, New York (M.M., 1940).  He was a student of composer Howard Hanson (1896-1981) at Rochester.  Canning, on faculty at Morningside College, Sioux City, Iowa (1936-1942), went on to teach at Indiana State Teachers College (now Indiana University of Pennsylvania), Indiana, Pennsylvania (1945-1946).  Then he taught at the Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1946-1947).  Our saint was a faculty member at the Eastman School of Music (1947-1962) then at West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia (1963-1977).  He was composer in residence at West Virginia University.  Canning retired in 1977.

Canning wrote music rooted in church.  He composed instrumental music, often based on hymns, for church.  Our saint also wrote anthems for church choirs.  Furthermore, he composed All Aboard for Ararat (1957), a children’s opera in one act.  In 1961, the Board of Education of The Methodist Church commissioned Canning to set John Wesley’s Covenant Service to music.  The tune COVENANT HYMN (present in The Methodist Hymnal of 1966) came from that service setting.  And Fantasy on a Hymn Tune by Justin Morgan (1944) has become one of my favorite works.

Canning, 78 years old, died on October 4, 1989.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 25, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT BEDE OF JARROW, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT AND FATHER OF ENGLISH HISTORY

THE FEAST OF SAINT ALDHELM OF SHERBORNE, POET, LITERARY SCHOLAR, ABBOT OF MALMESBURY, AND BISHOP OF SHERBORNE

THE FEAST OF SAINTS CRISTOBAL MAGOLLANES JARA AND AGUSTIN CALOCA CORTÉS, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC SAINTS AND MARTYRS, 1927

THE FEAST OF SAINT MADELEINE-SOPHIE BARAT, FOUNDRESS OF THE SOCIETY OF THE SACRED HEART; AND SAINT ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN AND MISSIONARY

THE FEAST OF SAINT MYKOLA TSEHELSKYI, UKRAINIAN GREEK CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1951

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Eternal God, light of the world and Creator of all that is good and lovely:

we bless your name for inspiring [Thomas Canning]

and all those who with music have filled us with desire and love for you;

through Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

1 Chronicles 29:14b-19

Psalm 90:14-17

2 Corinthians 3:1-3

John 21:15-17, 24-25

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), 728

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Feast of Paul Hanly Furfey (June 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  St. Vincent’s Chapel, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

Image Source = Google Earth

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PAUL HANLY FURFEY (JUNE 30, 1897-JUNE 8, 1992)

U.S. Roman Catholic Priest, Sociologist, and Social Radical

Apostle for Social Justice

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Men are not won over to our faith by logic but by seeing the Church in action.

–Paul Hanly Furfey

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Father Paul Hanly Furfey 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).

Furfey favored responding to social ills through a combination of collective and personal action.  He argued that the best collective action was faith-based, not secular and bourgeois.  Hence targets of his criticism included capitalism, Marxism, the New Deal, government interventionism, and Hull House.  Yet, later in life, he critiqued Liberation Theology from its left; it did not go far enough, he insisted.

Furfey was a priest and a sociologist.  He, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on June 30, 1896, studied in parochial schools in that city.  Then he studied at Boston College (A.B.).  Our saint continued his education at The Catholic University of America in 1917 and 1918.  A M.A. from St. Mary’s University, Baltimore, Maryland, followed.  Seminary followed.  Furfey, ordained in 1922, earned his Ph.D. in sociology from The Catholic University of America (1926) then studied medicine in Germany (1931-1932).  Early in his career, Furfey advocated for openly religious, scientific radicalism.  He was, therefore, critical of the New Deal while he affirmed the Catholic Worker Movement of Dorothy Day (1897-1980).  He also went on to associate himself with Personalism, the philosophy of Emmanuel Mournier (1905-1950).  Furthermore, Furfey rejected racism.  Our saint, who rote his doctoral dissertation on street gangs, taught sociology at The Catholic University of America.  He also helped to found Il Poverello (“the Poor One”), a settlement house, in Washington, D.C.  Il Poverello was a Roman Catholic counterpart to Hull House and Toynbee Hall.

Furfey, a recipient of many academic and ecclesiastical honors, was a leader in sociological discipline.  He led the Department of Sociology at The Catholic University of America, starting in the 1940s.  He also helmed the university’s Center for Research in Child Development.  Furthermore, our saint served as the President of the American Catholic Sociological Society.

Furfey became more radical as he aged.  Furfey, who had argued for obedience to the federal government during World War II, opposed the Vietnam War.  He helped to found the International Committee on Conscience on Vietnam in 1973.  His critique of the Great Society was that it was insufficient.  Wherever Furfey stood on an issue, he thought of the love of Christ, a revolutionary for the love of neighbors, as the role model.  Our saint was, as Nicholas Karl Rademacher called him in a his doctoral dissertation (2006) at The Catholic University of America, the “Apostle of Social Justice.”

Furfey, nearly 95 years old, died on June 8, 1992.

Looking up titles of Furfey’s books at Worldcat reveals the range of his output.  One finds titles about urban gangs, child development, morality, psychology, and the deaf, among other subjects.  Some titles are punchy.  How to Go to Hell (1937) sounds interesting, and The Respectable Murderers:  Social Evil and Christian Conscience (1966) is direct.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 21, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF THE ASCENSION OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST

THE FEAST OF CHRISTIAN DE CHARGÉ AND HIS COMPANIONS, MARTYRS OF TIBHIRINE, ALGERIA, 1996

THE FEAST OF SAINT EUGENE DE MAZENOD, BISHOP OF MARSEILLES, AND FOUNDER OF THE CONGREGATION OF THE MISSIONARIES, OBLATES OF MARY IMMACULATE

THE FEAST OF SAINT FRANZ JÄGGERSTÄTTER, AUSTRIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR AND MARTYR, 1943

THE FEAST OF JOSEPH ADDISON AND ALEXANDER POPE, ENGLISH POETS

THE FEAST OF SAINT MANUEL GÓMEZ GONZÁLEZ, SPANISH ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1924; AND SAINT ADILO DARONCH, BRAZILIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC ALTAR BOY AND MARTYR, 1924

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Lord God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served,

and to give his life for the life of the world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those to whom the world offers no comfort and little help.

Through us give hope to the hopeless,

love to the unloved,

peace to the troubled,

and rest to the weary;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Pearl S. Buck (June 25)   1 comment

Above:  Pearl S. Buck

Image in the Public Domain

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PEARL COMFORT SYDENSTRICKER BUCK (JUNE 26, 1892-MARCH 6, 1973)

U.S. Presbyterian Missionary, Novelist, and Social Activist

Buck spent most of the first half-century of her life in China.  She, born in Hillsborough, West Virginia, on June 26, 1892, was a daughter of Southern Presbyterian missionaries Absalom Sydenstricker (1852-1931) and Caroline Stulting Sydenstricker (1857-1921).  The couple was on furlough when Caroline gave birth to Pearl.  Our saint, raised in China (except during furloughs) from infancy, grew up learning both English and Chinese.  Pearl also learned respect for Chinese culture and rejection of racism, ethnocentrism, and cultural imperialism from her parents.  Our saint attended Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College), Lynchburg, Virginia, from 1910 to 1914.  She returned to China shortly after graduating; her mother’s health was failing.

Our saint became a missionary in her own right.  In 1915, she met John Lossing Buck (1890-1975), a missionary from the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A.  The couple married in 1917.  They had one child, Caroline Grace Buck (1920-1992).  She had Phenylketonuria (PKU), which caused profound mental disabilities.  The Bucks adopted a daughter, Janice, in 1925.  The family lived and taught on the campus of Nanjing University from 1920 to 1933, except during furloughs.  During the furlough of 1924-1925, Pearl earned her M.A. from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.  The marriage, unhappy for a long time, ended in divorce in 1935.

Buck, who had become a published author in the 1920s, started with essays and stories published in major magazines.  He first novel, East Wind, West Wind, went to the presses in 1930.  Richard Walsh published that book.  Her second novel, The Good Earth (1931), made our saint a household name, a best-selling author, and a recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.  Buck wrote for the rest of her life.  She composed novels, short stories, biographies (including those of her parents), autobiographies, and nonfiction.  She also won the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Two of Buck’s works of nonfiction got her into ecclesiastical trouble and caused the termination of her career as a missionary.  She wrote in opposition to racism, ethnocentrism, and culturally imperialistic missionaries.  Indeed, she had encountered many of them since her childhood.  The timing of our saint’s justifiable criticism was the fundamentalist-modernist controversy within the old Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1870-1958), the so-called “Northern Presbyterian Church.”  (That was an inaccurate label; the PCUSA was actually national.  The old Presbyterian Church in the United States lived up to its informal name, the Southern Presbyterian Church, however.)  Many prominent fundamentalist Presbyterians objected to Buck’s criticism.  She resigned under pressure in 1934.

Our saint returned to the United States and continued her writing and her revolutionary work.  She married Richard Walsh in 1935.  The couple remained married until he died in 1960. They resided on the Green Hills Farm, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  Pearl was active in the civil rights movement.  She a trustee of Howard University, wrote for publications of the Urban League and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.).  She and Walsh promoted interracial adoption and modeled the practice.  They founded Welcome House, the first international, interracial adoption agency, in 1949.  She founded the Pearl S. Buck Foundation in 1964 to help Amerasian children otherwise ineligible for adoption.

Buck, aged 80 years, died in Danby, Vermont, on March 6, 1973.  Her ten children (nine of them adopted) survived her.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 16, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ANDREW FOURNET AND ELIZABETH BICHIER, COFOUNDERS OF THE DAUGHTERS OF THE CROSS; AND SAINT MICHAEL GARICOITS, FOUNDER OF THE PRIESTS OF THE SACRED HEART OF BETHARRAM

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN NEPOMUCENE, BOHEMIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1393

THE FEAST OF THE MARTYRS OF THE SUDAN, 1983-2005

THE FEAST OF SAINT UBALDO BALDASSINI, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF GUBBIO

THE FEAST OF SAINT VLADIMIR GHIKA, ROMANIAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1954

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Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image.

Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression.

Help us, like your servant Pearl S. Buck,

to use our freedom to bring justice among people and nations, to the glory of your name;

through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-14

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Brevard S. Childs (June 23)   Leave a comment

Above: Two Books Brevard S. Childs Wrote

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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BREVARD SPRINGS CHILDS (SEPTEMBER 2, 1923-JUNE 12, 2007)

U.S. Presbyterian Biblical Scholar

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No one who ever heard [Childs] lecture will forget his carefully composed prayers, and no one who head him preach or pray will have failed to note a man of great learning, humility, Godly fear, and deep Christian hopefulness.

–Christopher Seitz

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Professor Brevard S. Childs comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my library.  I own a copy of his The Book of Exodus:  A Critical, Theological Commentary (1974) and Isaiah (2001).

Childs was one of the most influential Biblical scholars of the twentieth century.  He was one of those scholars with many critics to both his right and his left.  Fundamentalists and many evangelicals considered him too liberal.  That criticism has continued postmortem.  On the other hand, members of the Marcus Borg-John Dominic Crossan-Robert W. Funk school have never ceased to consider Childs too conservative.  Our saint’s approach was canonical criticism.  He interpreted the canon, with its many sources and layers of composition, as a finished product.  Childs refused to surrender both his faith and his intellectual integrity.

Childs, born in Columbia, South Carolina, on September 2, 1923, spent most of his career at Yale University.  After leaving the U.S. Army in 1945, he earned his B.A. and M.A. from the University of Michigan.  Our saint continued his formal education at Princeton University (B.D., 1950) and the University of Basel (Th.D., 1955).  Childs was Professor of Old Testament at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, from 1958 to 1999.  After he retired, our saint wrote four more books, including a commentary (555 pages) on Isaiah.  His oeuvre spanned general Old Testament theology, general New Testament theology, and deep dives into Exodus and Isaiah.

Childs, aged 83 years, died in New Haven on June 23, 2007.  Survivors included his wife (Ann) and two children (Cathy and John.)

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 14, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FRANCIS MAKEMIE, FATHER OF AMERICAN PRESBYTERIANISM AND ADVOCATE FOR RELIGIOUS TOLERATION

THE FEAST OF SAINT CARTHAGE THE YOUNGER, IRISH ABBOT-BISHOP

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARIA DOMENICA MAZARELLO, COFOUNDER OF THE DAUGHTERS OF MARY HELP OF CHRISTIANS

THE FEAST OF SAINT THEODORE I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF SAINTS VICTOR THE MARTYR AND CORONA OF DAMASCUS, MARTYRS IN SYRIA, 165

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Brevard S. Childs 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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Feast of Vernard Eller (June 19)   2 comments

Above:  Pomona Fellowship Church of the Brethren, Pomona, California

Image Source = Google Earth

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VERNARD MARION ELLER (JULY 11, 1927-JUNE 18, 2007)

U.S. Church of the Brethren Minister and Theologian

Vernard Eller comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, because (1) he was a Christian, (2) he has died, and (3) I like him.  I add an objectively correct note in two parts.  Eller was an Anabaptist who, by definition, recognized two ordinances, not sacraments.  I am an Episcopalian (to be precise, an Anglican-Lutheran-Catholic) who acknowledges seven sacraments.  Unlike many Roman Catholics, I affirm Transubstantiation.  O reader, know that I have some major theological disagreements with Eller.  Many of them pertain to baptism and the Eucharist.

For those interested in reading much or a little of Eller’s writings, I include this link.

Eller, born in Everest, Washington, on July 11, 1927, became an author of profound theological works that were also accessible and rooted in the Gospel.  He wrote more than 20 books, all but one published from from between 1967 and 2003.  The Illustrators of The Mad Morality:  or, the Ten Commandments Revisited (1970) worked for Mad magazine.  The Sex Manual for Puritans (1971) came in a plain brown wrapper.  His End Up:  Getting God into the New Theology (1969) made a lasting impression on me because of both its content and literary style.  Eller’s assertion in The Beloved Disciple:  His Name, His Story, His Thought:  Two Studies from the Gospel of John (1987) that the Beloved Disciple was St. Lazarus of Bethany, not St. John the Evangelist, has arched many eyebrows and made me want to read that book.  Eller completed yet could never find a publisher for Could the Church Have It All Wrong?, about sacramentalism, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.  That text is available here.

Our saint grew up in the Church of the Brethren, an Anabaptist denomination and one of the Historic Peace Churches.  (Other Historic Peace Churches include varieties of Quakers, as well as other Anabaptists, mainly the Mennonites and their more conservative offshoots, the Amish.)  Eller remained within the Church of the Brethren all his life.  Our saint, a son of Jay and Geraldine Eller, graduated from La Verne College, La Verne, California, in 1949.  Then he earned his B.D.  from Bethany Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois; and his Ph.D. from the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California.  Eller married Phyllis Kulp on July 9, 1955.  They raised three children.  That marriage lasted for more than half a century.  Eller, based in Elgin, Illinois, served as the editor of youth publications for the Church of the Brethren from 1955 to 1958.  Then he was Professor of Religion at La Verne College (renamed the University of La Verne) from 1958 to 1992.  He was also a free minister attached to Fellowship Church of the Brethren, La Verne.  After that congregation merged with Pomona Church of the Brethren, in nearby Pomona, to become Pomona Fellowship Church of the Brethren, Eller became attached to that congregation.

Above:  La Verne and Pomona, California, Near Los Angeles

Image Source = Google Earth

Our saint, an expert on Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), also served on the denominational General Board and on the Board of Bethany Theological Seminary.

Topics of Eller’s books and articles included worship, morality, war and peace, ordinances, Christian anarchy, simple living, language, the Book of Revelation, church history, and ethics.  In an article about traditional worship and contemporary worship, our saint favored the former.  Contemporary worship, Eller wrote,

seeks only self-enjoyment

and

the riotous noise of the world,

but traditional worship seeks

quiet contemplation.

Our saint also had no use for nationalism in religion.  Jesus, he insisted, had primacy over powers.

Eller, unfortunately, suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease during his final years.  He, aged 79 years, died in Ontario, California, on June 18, 2007.

His wit, faith, and scholarship can still inspire, however.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MAY 12, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT GERMANUS I OF CONSTANTINOPLE, PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE, AND DEFENDER OF ICONS

THE FEAST OF SAINT GREGORY OF OSTIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT, CARDINAL, AND LEGATE; AND SAINT DOMINIC OF THE CAUSEWAY, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT

THE FEAST OF PAUL MAZAKUTE, FIRST SIOUX EPISCOPAL PRIEST

THE FEAST OF ROGER SCHÜTZ, FOUNDER OF THE TAIZÉ COMMUNITY

THE FEAST OF SYLVESTER II, BISHOP OF ROME

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Almighty God, your Holy Spirit gives to one the word of wisdom,

and to another the word of knowledge,

and to another the word of truth.

We praise you for the gifts of grace imparted to your servant Vernard Eller,

and we pray that by his teaching we may be led to a fuller knowledge

of the truth which we have seen in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Proverbs 3:1-7 or Wisdom 7:7-14

Psalm 119:89-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16 or 1 Corinthians 3:5-11

John 17:18-23 or Matthew 13:47-52

–Adapted from Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 38

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