Archive for the ‘Saints of 2000-2009’ 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 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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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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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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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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Feast of Robert McAfee Brown (May 28)   3 comments

Above:  Stanford University

Photographer = Carol M. Highsmith

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-highsm-21158

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ROBERT MCAFEE BROWN (MAY 28, 1928-SEPTEMBER 4, 2001)

U.S. Presbyterian Minister, Theologian, Activist, and Ecumenist

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In conscience, I must break the law.

–Robert McAfee Brown, October 31, 1967

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Robert McAfee Brown comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via my library.

Above:  Two Books by Robert McAfee Brown

Photographer = Kenneth Randolph Taylor

Brown stood in the finest tradition of the Hebrew prophets and centuries of Christian tradition.  He, born in Carthage, Illinois, on May 28, 1928, was a son of Ruth McAfee (Brown) and Presbyterian minister George William McAfee.  Our saint was also a grandson of Cleland Boyd McAfee, a professor at McCormick Theological Seminary.  Brown, a 1944 graduate of Amherst College, married Sydney Elise Thomson on June 21, 1944.  The couple had three sons and a daughter.  Our saint, a student at Union Theological Seminary from 1943 to 1945, studied under Paul Tillich (1886-1965) and Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971).  After graduating, Brown served as a chaplain in the United States Navy in 1945 and 1946.

Brown spent most of his life as an academic.  He was an assistant chaplain and an instructor in religion at Amherst College in 1946-1948.  Then he studied at Mansfield College, Oxford, in 1949 and 1950.  Our saint, an instructor at Union Theological Seminary in 1950 and 1951, earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1951.  He led the Department of Religion, Malacaster College, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1951-1953.  Our saint served on the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in 1953-1962.  Then, in 1962-1976, our saint was a Professor of Religious Studies at Stanford University.  Brown returned to Union Theological Seminary in 1976 as Professor of Ecumenics and World Christianity.  Our saint was Professor of Theology and Ethics at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California, in 1979-1984.  Then he retired.

Brown was an ecumenist.  In the early 1950s, when unapologetic anti-Roman Catholicism was prominent in U.S. Protestantism, our saint campaigned for Minnesota Congressman Eugene McCarthy, whose Roman Catholicism was a political difficulty.  Brown and Gustave Weigel (1906-1964) collaborated on An American Dialogue:  A Protestant Looks at Catholicism and a Catholic Looks at Protestantism (1960).  Time magazine called Brown

Catholics’ favorite Protestant

in 1962.  Our saint was even an observer (on behalf of global Calvinism) at the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) in 1963 and 1965.  Brown also attended the Fourth Assembly of the World Council of Churches as a delegate in 1968.  Seven years later, he delivered the keynote address (“Who is This Jesus Who Frees and Unites?”) at the Fifth Assembly of the World Council of Churches.

Social justice was essential to Brown’s faith.  He, a pacifist, had no moral difficulty serving as a military chaplain after World War II.  Our saint’s pacifism led him to oppose the Vietnam War, of course.  His conscience led him to protest the military draft, to speak and write against the war, to commit civil disobedience, and to go to jail for doing so in 1971.  That conscience also let Brown to join a delegation that met with Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) in  January 1973 about ending the Vietnam War.

Brown was also a longtime civil rights activist at home and abroad.  He, a Freedom Rider in 1961, went to jail in Tallahassee, Florida.  Our saint addressed the immorality of Apartheid when he spoke at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of South Africa in September 1972.  Brown also advocated for women’s liberation and the civil rights of homosexuals.  Furthermore, he was active in the Sanctuary Movement, for he cared deeply about justice in Central America.  This led our saint to collaborate with Liberation Theologian Gustavo Gutiérrez (b. 1928).

Brown also helped to raise consciousness about the Holocaust.  He, a friend of Elie Wiesel (1928-2016) since the middle 1970s, served on the United States Holocaust Memorial Council from 1979 to 1985.  Our saint resigned after President Ronald Reagan visited Bitburg Cemetery, containing graves of Waffen SS troups.

Brown became a novelist late in life.  He published Dark the Night, Wild the Sea in 1998.

Brown, aged 81 years, died in Greenfield, Massachusetts, on September 4, 2001.

One of Brown’s volumes invaluable for Bible study is Unexpected News:  Reading the Bible with Third World Eyes (1984).  Passages covered came from Luke, Exodus, 2 Samuel, Jeremiah, Matthew, and Daniel.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 15, 2020 COMMON ERA

WEDNESDAY IN EASTER WEEK

THE FEAST OF SAINT OLGA OF KIEV, REGENT OF KIEVAN RUSSIA; SAINT ADALBERT OF MAGDEBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP; SAINT ADALBERT OF PRAGUE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP OF MARTYR, 997; AND SAINTS BENEDICT AND GAUDENTIUS OF POMERANIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS, 997

THE FEAST OF SAINTS DAMIEN AND MARIANNE OF MOLOKAI, WORKERS AMONG LEPERS

THE FEAST OF SAINT FLAVIA DOMITILLA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NOBLEWOMAN; AND SAINTS MARO, EUTYCHES, AND VICTORINUS OF ROME, PRIESTS AND MARTYS, CIRCA 99

THE FEAST OF SAINT HUNNA OF ALSACE, THE “HOLY WASHERWOMAN”

THE FEAST OF LUCY CRAFT LANEY, AFRICAN-AMERICAN PRESBYTERIAN EDUCATOR AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST

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

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

Help us, like your servant Robert McAfee Brown,

to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name,

through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever.  Amen.

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Unita Blackwell (May 13)   Leave a comment

Above:   Mayersville, Mississippi

Image Source = Google Earth

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UNITA ZELMA BROWN BLACKWELL (MARCH 18, 1933-MAY 13, 2019)

African-American Civil Rights Activist, Rural Community Development Specialist, and Mayor of Mayersville, Mississippi

Born U. Z. Brown

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Politics is not just about voting one day every four years.  Politics is the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the road we walk on.

–Unita Blackwell

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Unita Blackwell‘s Christian faith compelled her to resist systems of oppression and leave communities better than she found them.  Her faith led her to seek intercultural understanding on the local, national, and international levels.

U. Z, Brown, born in Lula, Mississippi, on March 18, 1933, grew up in the Jim Crow U.S. South.  Laws kept African Americans “in their place,” or subordinate to white people.  Our saint, the daughter of sharecroppers Willie Brown and Virda Mae Brown, was originally just U. Z,–initials, no name that abbreviated to them.  The Browns believed on a plantation and in fear of the estate’s owner.  In 1936, Willie fled the plantation.  His family joined him in Memphis, Tennessee, shortly thereafter.  The couple separated in 1938.  Virda Mae and her mother moved to West Helena, Arkansas.

Jim Crow laws restricted the educational opportunities of African Americans in West Helena.  The agricultural economy took precedence over schooling.  Furthermore, African Americans could not attend high school; their public education terminated at the eighth grade.  U. Z. chose her new name, Unita Zelma, in the sixth grade.  She also completed the eighth grade.  Her formal education did not progress until the 1980s.

Our saint met and married Jeremiah Blackwell, a cook for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.  The site of the wedding was Clarksdale, Mississippi.  The couple had one child, Jeremiah, Jr., born on July 2, 1957.  The Blackwells moved to Mayersville, Mississippi, a small town and the seat of Issaquena County.  Mayersville remained our saint’s home for most of the remainder of her life.  She active in her Baptist church, taught Sunday School.

Blackwell became a civil rights activist in the summer of 1964.  That June, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) conducted a voter registration drive in Issaquena County.  Jeremiah and Unita tried to register to vote, but initially failed the the registration test, designed to cause people to fail.  Both of them lost their jobs for their trouble.  Unita eventually passed the registration test a few months later.  I have found no information about when Jeremiah successfully registered to vote.

That summer, with the aid and encouragement of Fannie Lou Hamer (1917-1977), Blackwell embarked upon activism.  She became a project manager with SNCC, directing voter registration drives in the state.  That summer, she also attended the Democratic National Convention as a delegate from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party.

Blackwell paid a stiff price for her activism; police arrested her more than 70 times.  Yet she remained undeterred.  Our saint helped to introduce Head Start for African-American children in Mississippi in 1965.  Our saint and her husband successfully sued the Issaquena County Board of Education in 1965.  The local elementary school principal had expelled more than 300 African-American children for a range of alleged offenses, including wearing SNCC pins.  The federal district court agreed with the Blackwells.  It also ordered the integration of Issaquena County public schools by fall 1965.  The federal court of appeals upheld the district court’s ruling.  The public schools did not integrate until 1970, though.  Freedom schools for African-American chilldren operated through the summer of 1970.

Blackwell became an expert in rural community development, in the context of rural poverty.  In the late 1960s and the 1970s, she worked with the National Council of Negro Women on the issue of low-income housing.  Our saint encouraged poor people across the United States to construct their own housing.  She served as the Mayor of Mayersville from 1977 to 2001.  In that capacity, in the poor, rural Mississippi Delta, Blackwell expanded the range of basic services the local government provided to citizens.  The quality of life for all residents, especially poor and the vulnerable, improved.  Mayor Blackwell’s formal education leapfrogged from the eighth grade to a graduate degree in 1983.  In 1982 and 1983, she studied for her Master of Regional Planning degree from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.

Blackwell’s efforts extended to the national level, too.  She was a member of the Democratic National Committee.  Our saint also attended the national Energy Summit at Camp David in 1979.  President Jimmy Carter invited her.  That year our saint also began to sit on the U.S. National Commission on the International Year of the Child.  Furthermore, Blackwell was a Fellow of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in 1991-1992.  She also ran in the primary election for U.S. House of Representatives in 1993, the year after she won one of the MacArthur Fellowships, or “genius grants.”

Blackwell also worked on the international front.  She, interested in U.S.-Chinese cultural exchanges, made sixteen trips to the People’s Republic of China, starting in 1973.  Furthermore, she served as the President of the U.S.-China Peoples Friendship Association (founded in 1974) for six years.  And, in 1995, our saint was a delegate to the Non-Government Organizations Forum, related to the International Conference on Women, in Beijing.

Sadly, dementia afflicted Blackwell during her final years.  It set in by 2007/2008.  Our saint, 86 years old, died in a nursing home in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on May 13, 2019.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 30, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT INNOCENT OF ALASKA, EQUAL TO THE APOSTLES AND ENLIGHTENER OF NORTH AMERICA

THE FEAST OF CORDELIA COX, U.S. LUTHERAN SOCIAL WORKER, EDUCATOR, AND RESETTLER OF REFUGEES

THE FEAST OF JOHN MARRIOTT, ANGLICAN PRIEST AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF JOHN WRIGHT BUCKHAM, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF SAINT JULIA ALVAREZ MENDOZA, MEXICAN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST AND MARTYR, 1927

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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 Unita Blackwell, to work for justice among people and nations,

to the glory of your name, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord,

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

Hosea 2:18-23

Psalm 94:1-15

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), 60

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Feast of Diet Eman, Hein Sietsma, and Henk Sietsma (April 30)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Flag of The Netherlands

Image in the Public Domain

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BERNANDINA ROELOFINA HENDRIKA “DIET” EMAN (APRIL 30, 1920-SEPTEMBER 3, 2019)

fiancée of

HEIN SIETSMA (OCTOBER 15, 1919-JANUARY 21, 1945)

Martyr, 1945

brother of

HENDRIK “HENK” SIETSMA (OCTOBER 18, 1921-MAY 10, 2002)

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RIGHTEOUS AMONG THE NATIONS

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…we wanted to obey God to help the Jewish people.

–Diet Eman

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Diet (pronounced “deet”) Eman comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via news accounts of her death in September 2019.  Her fiancé and his brother join her her via their work with her.  All three saints are Yad Vashem, or Righteous Among the Nations–the brothers since 1977 and Diet since 1998.

These saints were Dutch Reformed Christians.  Bernandina Roelofina Hendrika Eman, born in The Hague, The Netherlands, on April 30, 1920, was a daughter of Gerrit Eman (1883-1975) and Johanna Maria Brouwer Eman (1884-1978).  She met Hein Sietsma, born in Marum, The Netherlands, on October 15, 1919, in 1937.  The two of them eventually fell in love.  Almost immediately after the Nazi invasion of The Netherlands, Diet, Hein, and his brother Hendrik “Henk” (born on October 18, 1921) joined the resistance to the occupation.

The three were founders and members of Group Hein, also known as Help Elkander in Nood, or “Helping Each Other in Need.”  Group Hein/Help Elkander in Nood sheltered Jews, as well as British and American airmen behind the lines.  The group saved the lives of nine Jewish families plus eleven Jewish individuals.  Supplying and hiding these Jews and airmen was risky; the Third Reich and its agents disapproved of saving these lives and producing fake IDs.

Nazi authorities arrested all three saints.  They arrested Hein in Friesland on April 28, 1944.  He died at Dachau concentration camp on January 21, 1945.  In his last letter (written on toilet paper) to Diet, he acknowledged that the couple would never meet again in this life, and wrote,

Love conquers all.

Henk survived Dachau concentration camp, though.  Diet, eventually arrested, went to Vught concentration camp.  Her assigned task was to wash the bloody clothes of executed prisoners.  At her trial she successfully played dumb.  The court released her, and she resumed her work with the resistance.

Henk, aged 80 years, died on May 10, 2002.

Diet spent the next thirty-plus years not discussing her wartime experiences.  She, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) left The Netherlands after World War II.  She, having obtained her nursing degree, worked as a nurse for the Shell Oil Company in South America for a decade.  There she met and married Egon Erlich (1928-2017), an American.  The couple had children and moved to New York state.  The marriage ended in divorce.  Diet and her children relocated to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Diet, who told her story publicly in 1978 then many times afterward, remained active in health care.  After our saint retired from nursing, she volunteered with the American Red Cross and served as a medical missionary with the Luke Society, from her seventies to her nineties.  At age 97, Diet was a volunteer in the Dominican Republic.  She also told her story in writing and in person.  Our saint’s book was Things We Couldn’t Say (1999).  During the early 2000s, she traveled, telling her story to contradict Holocaust deniers.

Diet became an American citizen in 2007.

She, aged 99 years, died at Samaritas Senior Living of Grand Rapids on September 3, 2019.  Our saint was a member of Seymour Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, the site of the funeral.

The divine commandment to love others as one loves oneself is an order that can place one at great risk.  It is a commandment Diet Eman, Hein Sietsma, and Henk Sietsma followed, for the glory of God and the benefit of many people.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 16, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ADALBALD OF OSTREVANT, RICTRUDIS OF MARCHIENNES, AND THEIR RELATIONS

THE FEAST OF SAINT ABRAHAM KIDUNAIA, ROMAN CATHOLIC HERMIT; AND SAINT MARY OF EDESSA, ROMAN CATHOLIC ANCHORESS

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN CACCIAFRONTE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK, ABBOT, BISHOP, AND MARTYR, 1183

THE FEAST OF SAINT MEGINGAUD OF WURZBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK AND BISHOP

THE FEAST OF THOMAS WYATT TURNER, U.S. ROMAN CATHOLIC SCIENTIST, EDUCATOR, AND CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST; FOUNDER OF FEDERATED COLORED CATHOLICS

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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 world.

Lead us by his love to serve all those 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.

Psalm 94:1-14

Hosea 2:18-23

Romans 12:9-21

Luke 6:20-36

Lutheran Book of Worship (1978), 37

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Feast of Simon B. Parker (April 29)   Leave a comment

Above:  The Seal of Boston University

Image in the Public Domain

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SIMON BRUCE PARKER (FEBRUARY 23, 1940-APRIL 29, 2006)

United Methodist Biblical Scholar

Simon B. Parker comes to this, A Great Cloud of Witnesses:  An Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days, via The New Interpreter’s Bible.  He wrote the article, “The Ancient Near Eastern Literary Background of the Old Testament,” for Volume I (1994).

Parker was a fine Biblical scholar. He, born in Manchester, England, on February 23, 1940, was a son of Harold William Parker and Irene Smith (Parker).  Our saint graduated from the University of Manchester (B.A., 1960).  The following year, he came to the United States of America.  Parker married Sonia Margarita Palmer on August 26, 1961.  The couple had two sons Jeremy Edmund Parker and Jonathan Aldwin Parker.

Parker built a career in academia.  He graduated from Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky (B.D., 1963); and The Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D., 1967).  Our saint was, in order:

  1. Assistant Professor, Reed College, Portland, Oregon (1967-1975);
  2. Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon (1976-1977);
  3. Assistant to the President, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts (1978-1981);
  4. Associate Dean, The School of Theology, Boston University (1981-1988); and
  5. Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible and Harrell F. Beck Scholar in Hebrew Scholar, The School of Theology, Boston University (1988-2006).

Parker was an expert in Hebrew inscriptions and Ugaritic literature.  His research focus was Canaanite cultural influences on Israel.  He, the author of many articles and book reviews, and edited the Society of Biblical Literature’s Writings from the Ancient World series of books for eight years.  Our saint also wrote The Pre-Biblical Narrative Tradition (1988) and Stories in Scripture and Inscriptions (1997).

Furthermore, Parker enjoyed hiking and played classical piano well.

Parker served as the moderator of the United Parish of Auburndale, Auburndale, Newton, Massachusetts, from 1992 to 1994.  I have noticed with delight that the federated United Church of Christ-United Methodist congregation is substantially to the left of the administration of Asbury Theological Seminary.

Parker died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Auburndale, Newton, Massachusetts, on April 29, 2006.  He was 66 years old.

One may legitimately wonder what other contributions to Biblical scholarship Parker may have made, had he lived longer.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 15, 2020 COMMON ERA

THE THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT, YEAR A

THE FEAST OF SAINT ZACHARY OF ROME, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JAN ADALBERT BALICKI AND LADISLAUS FINDYSZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIESTS IN POLAND

THE FEAST OF OZORA STEARNS DAVIS, U.S. CONGREGATIONALIST MINISTER, THEOLOGIAN, AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF VETHAPPAN SOLOMON, APOSTLE TO THE NICOBAR ISLANDS

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Simon B. Parker 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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