Archive for the ‘Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States’ Tag

Feast of Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe (January 2)   2 comments

Loehe

Above:  Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe

Image in the Public Domain

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JOHANN KONRAD WILHELM LOEHE (FEBRUARY 21, 1808-JANUARY 2, 1872)

Bavarian Lutheran Minister and Coordinator of Domestic and Foreign Missions

The name of Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe comes from the calendars of Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006) and the Lutheran Service Book (2006).  The former lists him as a “renewer of the church,” and the latter simply as a pastor.  Both descriptions are accurate yet inadequate.  The fact that I honor Loehe indicates that I respect him, not that I agree with him all of the time.  I cannot, in fact, think of anyone with whom I never disagree.

Our saint, who was frequently at odds with his ecclesiastical superiors, proved that life in exile need not prevent one from leaving an impressive legacy.  The native of Furth, near Nuremberg, Middle Franconia, lost his father, a shopkeeper, at the age of eight years.  Loehe studied at Nuremberg before matriculating at the University of Erlangen in 1826.   At first Loehe leaned toward Reformed theology, but encounters with the Lutheran Confessions changed his mind.  Our saint, who graduated in 1830, became an ordained minister the following year.  From 1831 to 1837 he served at a series of churches.  He alienated many people, especially his superiors.  Loehe, a minister of the Bavarian state Lutheran church, argued against state control of the church.  He also opposed rationalist influences in the Lutheran Church on one side and Pietistic minimalization of sacraments on the other side.  Holy Communion, Loehe said, was the proper center of parish life.  Our saint, a confessional Lutheran, circulated a proposed confessional basis for the church.  His superiors were not impressed.  From 1837 to his death in 1872 Loehe served a small church in Neuendettelsau, Bavaria, an out-of-the-way village.  This was ecclesiastical exile.

He speaks the Word the bread and wine to bless:

“This is my flesh and blood!”

He bids us eat and drink with thankfulness

This gift of holy food.

All human thought must falter–

Our God stoops low to heal,

Now present on the altar,

For us both host and meal!

–Loehe, translated by Herman G. Stuempfle, Jr.; text copyrighted in 2002 by GIA Publications, Inc.; quoted in the Lutheran Service Book (2006), hymn #639

Loehe was a Neo-Lutheran, a member of a movement similar to the Oxford Movement within Anglicanism.  His exaltation of the Holy Communion prompted many detractors to accuse him of Crypto-Catholicism.  Another theological issue in the minds of some critics of Loehe was his stress on the catholic nature of the Lutheran Church as its Confessions defined it.  For Loehe, to whose theology the cross of Christ was central, the Lutheran Confessions conformed without deviation to the New Testament.   He wrote at least two hymns which exist in English translation.  I quoted one stanza of one of those hymns above.  The second hymn, “O Son of God, in Co-Eternal Might,” has graced my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

Loehe operated an ambitious foreign missions program from Neuendettelsau, where he founded a school for missionaries.  In 1841 he became concerned about the needs of Lutheran churches in the United States.  He encouraged many German emigrants to settle in the Saginaw valley of Michigan in 1845. Our saint also prepared and published maps to encourage German emigrants to settle in extant German immigrant communities in North America.  In 1845 Loehe commenced a mission among Native Americans.  The founding of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Indiana, took place during the following year.  Loehe sent missionaries not only to North America but to Australia, New Guinea, the Ukraine, and Brazil.

Loehe’s effect on North American Lutheranism was great.  He initially supported the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930), one of the more conservative Lutheran synods.  Pastors Loehe had sent and who had affiliated with the Joint Synod of Ohio became disenchanted, however.  They complained about the following issues:

  1. The lack of an acceptable confessional standard,
  2. The ascendancy of the English language at the seminary, and
  3. The progress of the process of Americanization.

These pastors and Loehe helped to found the German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Missouri, Ohio, and Other States, now The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, in 1847.  The Missouri Synod also acquired the seminary at Fort Wayne and the mission program among Native Americans.

Relations between the Loehe forces and the Missourians broke down, however.  One reason was disagreement regarding the theology of ordained ministry.  The Missourian position held that the congregation held all powers and rights of ordained ministry via its participation in the priesthood of believers.  The congregation, therefore, transferred these powers and rights to the minister when it called him to serve it.  Loehe rejected this transference theology.  It was, he argued, an example of “American mob-rule.”  No, our saint said, ministerial authority was independent of the congregation a pastor served.  Such authority came directly from God via ordination, he argued.

Another issue was contention between Loehe and the Missourians concerned interpretation of the Lutheran Confessions.  The Missourian position held that the Lutheran Confessions were in complete harmony with the scriptures.  There was, therefore, no ambiguity on any issue.  Loehe disagreed.  As I established a few paragraphs ago, our saint thought that the Lutheran Confessions conformed without deviation to the New Testament.  He stated, however, that the only proper context in which to interpret the Confessions was historical.  Loehe concluded, therefore, that both the Lutheran Confessions and the scriptures left room for a variety of opinions about certain controversial questions.  For example, is the Pope the Antichrist?  And how much interest may a banker charge morally?  Loehe’s tone was both confessional and irenic.

The German Evangelical Lutheran Synod of Iowa and Other States, or the Iowa Synod for short, separated from the Missouri Synod in 1854.  Its first confessional statement was one paragraph long:

The synod subscribes to all the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church because it recognizes all the symbolical decisions on controverted questions before or during the time of the Reformation as corresponding to the divine Word.  But because within the Lutheran Church there are different tendencies, the synod espouses that one which strives for greater completeness by means of the confessions and on the basis of the Word of God.  In the founding of congregations the synod is not content with mere acceptance of its principles of doctrine and life, but requires probation and therefore re-established the catechumenate of the ancient church.  The goal to be sought in its congregations is the apostolic life; to attain this, official and fraternal discipline is to be practiced.

–Quoted in E. Clifford Nelson, editor, The Lutherans in North America–Revised Edition (1980), page 182

The Missouri Synod, the Joint Synod of Ohio, and the Buffalo Synod agreed that the preceding statement was too vague and that subsequent elaborations were inadequate.  The Buffalo Synod, the Joint Synod of Ohio, and the Iowa Synod resolved their differences in time, however, for they merged to form The American Lutheran Church (1930-1960), a predecessor of The American Lutheran Church (1960-1987), a predecessor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Loehe also established a motherhouse for deaconesses at Neuendettelsau.  These women lived communally, practiced celibacy, provided social services (mostly in Bavaria), and made paraments for church buildings.  Our saint sent six deaconesses to North America.

Loehe, who married in 1837, spent most of his life as a widower.  His wife died at age 24, leaving him to raise four children.  That must have been difficult for him.

Our saint died at Neuendettelsau on January 2, 1872, after suffering a stroke.  He was 64 years old.  He had used his time on the planet well.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

AUGUST 30, 2015 COMMON ERA

PROPER 17:  THE FOURTEENTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF HENRIETTE LUISE VON HAYN, GERMAN MORAVIAN HYMN WRITER

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Almighty God, we praise your for your servant Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe,

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

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

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

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

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

Jeremiah 1:4-10

Psalm 46

1 Corinthians 3:11-23

Mark 10:25-45

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 60

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Feast of John Caspar Mattes (November 8)   1 comment

Mason City Globe-Gazette, June 18, 1945, page 5

Above:  A Clipping from the Mason City Globe-Gazette, Mason City, Iowa, June 18, 1945, Page 5

Accessed via newspapers.com

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JOHN CASPAR MATTES (NOVEMBER 8, 1876-JANUARY 27, 1948)

U.S. Lutheran Minister and Liturgist

My research for adding some one to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days often entails consulting hymnal companion volumes.  These, I find, are of mixed value, due to frequently incomplete and occasionally inaccurate information.  I am, nevertheless, not overly critical of such books, for, via the wonders of technology, I can conduct research at home easily much of the time.  Much of this research would have been difficult, if not impossible, for the editors and authors of hymnal companion volumes decades ago.  (The oldest such volume in my library dates to 1935, although I have electronic copies of older hymnal companions.)  For example, in preparation for this post, I consulted newspapers via newspapers.com and old journals which Google has digitized.  I did this at my desk at home in Athens, Georgia.  I write these statements to explain the existence of information which contradicts certain information I read in Lutheran hymnal companions dating as far back as 1942.

This post is my attempt to write an accurate and concise account of the life of John Caspar Mattes (1876-1948), a man who was to my theological right. (And yes, many people are to my theological left.)  He was a Confessional Lutheran.  I am, however, a collegial Episcopalian, so I acknowledge the difference in opinions while dismissing their importance.  He was a giant for Christ.  Our saint’s liturgical work and hymn translations have survived him.  Some of his translations of hymns have enriched my spiritual life.  Such a man deserves recognition.

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Trenton Evening Times, November 13, 1908, Page 1

Above:  A Clipping from the Trenton Evening Times, Trenton, New Jersey, November 13, 1908, Page 1

Accessed via newspapers.com

John Caspar Mattes entered the world at Easton, Pennyslvania, on November 8, 1876.  His parents were Henry Louis Mattes (1825-1908) and Adelaide Havemann Mattes, who died, aged 91 years, in March 1927.  (She had lived with her son and his family for a long time by then.)  The Mattes family was staunchly Lutheran.  Henry Louis Mattes, a church organist, had helped to found the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (1867-1918), which broke away from the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the U.S.A. (1820-1918).  (I like to refer to Taylor’s Law of Denominational Schisms, which is that most of them occur to the theological right, usually out of a quest for doctrinal purity.  The result, more often than not, is the propagation of Donatism.  The study of religious history confirms this conclusion.)  Our saint graduated from Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, with his B.A. degree in 1898.  His next stop was the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Mount Airy (near Philadelphia), Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1901.  Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, granted him an honorary D.D. degree in 1925.

Mattes Article 1915 01

Mattes Article 1915 02

Mattes Article 1915 03

Above:  An Article from The Scranton Republican, Scranton, New Jersey, July 26, 1915, Page 4

Accessed via newspapers.com

Stability characterized our saint’s ministerial career.  Mattes, ordained in the old Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States (1748-1918), served as the pastor of St. Michael’s Church, Allentown, Pennsylvania, briefly (1901) before accepting a call to the Church of the Savior, Trenton, New Jersey.  He remained there until 1915.  During his tenure the congregation grew substantially.  During that time Mattes made a name for himself as a translator of hymns, especially German ones.  In April 1915 our saint joined the committee for the Common Service Book of the Lutheran Church (1917), which became the official service book-hymnal of the United Lutheran Church in America, or ULCA (1918-1962).  Mattes created a new arrangement of the History of the Passion (for use during Holy Week) and contributed six hymn translations.

Scranton Republican May 28, 1927, page 28

Above:  A Clipping from The Scranton Republican, May 28, 1927, Page 28

Accessed via newspaper.com

Mattes served in Scranton, Pennsylvania, from 1915 to 1938.  At first he was the pastor of Holy Trinity Church.  1927 proved to be an eventful year for our saint.  First, in March, his mother, Adelaide, died at the age of 91.  Four months later a son, John, died by drowning in a lake.  Between those two deaths Holy Trinity Church merged with Zion Lutheran Church (also in town) to form St. John’s Lutheran Church.  Mattes became the assistant pastor of St. John’s Church.  In time the word “assistant” dropped from his title.

Pittston Gazette, October 31, 1938, page 3

Above:  A Clipping from the Pittston Gazette, Pittston, Pennsylvania, October 31, 1938, Page 3

Accessed via newspapers.com

Mattes resigned his pastorate in late 1938 to become a professor of systematic theology at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, an institution of the more conservative American Lutheran Church (1930-1960).

Pittston Gazette, December 30, 1938, page 3

Above:  A Clipping from the Pittston Gazette, Pittston, Pennsylvania, December 30, 1938, Page 3

Accessed via newspapers.com

Mattes, a product of a leading family of the old General Council (1867-1918), complained–frequently in writing–about the United Lutheran Church in America, or ULCA (1918-1962).  He was a Confessional Lutheran, and one of the bases of the merger had been flexibility in theology.  (This helps to explain why most denominational mergers occur to the theological left.)  The ULCA permitted more theological flexibility than our saint liked.  Thus Mattes, who had served as the President of the Wilkes-Barre Conference of the ULCA and helped to create the Common Service Book, left for the American Lutheran Church (1930-1960) in 1939.

The American Lutheran Church (1930-1960) was the result of the merger of three denominations:

  1. The Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-193o), which refused to join the General Synod (1820-1918);
  2. The Synod of Iowa and Other States (1854-1930), which separated from the Missouri Synod (1847-present); and
  3. the Buffalo Synod (1845-1930), which was of Prussian immigrant origin and strict doctrinal standards, out of reaction against the forced merger of the Lutheran and Reformed churches back home.

One consequence of the mergers which produced the Norwegian Lutheran Church of America (1917-1960), which renamed itself The Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1946, and the United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962) was to inspire the three-way union which created the American Lutheran Church (1930-1960), whose ecclesiastical relations with the Missouri Synod irritated both the right wing of the Missouri Synod and the Missouri Synod’s more conservative ecumenical partners.  (I have been spending much time studying U.S. Lutheran denominations.)

Mattes taught at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa, from 1939 to 1948.  He died in that city on January 27, 1948.  Caroline Niedt Mattes, his wife, survived him, as did six of their children:  Henry, Alfred, Dorothea, Olga, Emma, and Charles.  Other legacies survive.  I think of his contributions to the Common Service Book (1917), the imprints he left in lives during nearly four decades of parish ministry, the influences which have passed down through his family, and the effects he had on students, and therefore on those whose lives they affected.

Mattes is a fine addition to my calendar of saints.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

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

thank you for those (especially John Caspar Mattes)

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 William Morton Reynolds (September 5)   Leave a comment

Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, August 1863

Above:  Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, August 1863

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-ppmsca-35100

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WILLIAM MORTON REYNOLDS (MARCH 4, 1812-SEPTEMBER 5, 1876)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Episcopal Priest, Educator, and Hymn Translator

The name of William Morton Reynolds came to my attention via W. G. Polack, The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal, Second Edition (1942).  I am glad that it did.

Reynolds, son of a veteran of the U.S. War for Independence, was a native of Fayette County, Pennsylvania.  He attended Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg (1828-1830), and Jefferson College, Canonsburg (1830-1832).  Reynolds taught in New Jersey for a year (1832-1833) before becoming the principal of the preparatory department of and Professor of Latin at Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg (1833-1835).  He resigned due to concerns that his abolitionist stance on slavery would alienate Southern donors.  Thus our saint, licensed to preach in 1835 and ordained in the Ministerium of Pennsylvania the following year, served as the pastor of a Lutheran church in Deerfield, New Jersey, for about a year.

Our saint spent most of his career as an educator.  Pennsylvania College called him back to his old job in 1836; there he remained until 1850, when he became the President of Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, the seminary of the Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States.  In 1853 Reynolds left Capital University to become the principal of a female seminary in Easton, Pennyslvania.  After that he served as the principal of a classical school (a forerunner of Muhlenberg College) in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  From 1857 to 1860 our saint served as the President of Illinois State University.  His next post was principal of a female seminary in Chicago.

Reynolds–abolitionist, educator, and liturgist–supported progressive causes in the context of doctrinal orthodoxy.  (There were always prominent Lutherans to his right, however.  He was, therefore, slightly to the right of the Lutheran center at the time.)

  1. Abolitionism, although widely accepted today, was controversial in the 1800s.  It was, sadly, never a majority opinion (even in the North) during the antebellum period.  Other antislavery positions, such as colonization, free soil, and free labor, competed in the marketplace of antislavery arguments.  Many Northerners, however, did not object to slavery.
  2. As for internal Lutheran politics,  the relationship between the Ministerium of Pennsylvania (founded in 1748), the oldest Lutheran jurisdiction in the United States, and the General Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the U.S.A. (1820-1918) was tense.  The Ministerium, a charter member of the General Synod, departed in 1823, citing doctrinal concerns.  It returned thirty years later, only to leave again in 1864, citing doctrinal concerns.  The Ministerium helped to form the more conservative General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (1867-1918).  The General Synod and the General Council were two of the three bodies which reunited to form the United Lutheran Church in America (1918-1962).  Our saint’s ordination came via the Ministerium in 1836, as I have written already.  Six years later he was chiefly responsible for the formation of the East Pennsylvania Synod, which affiliated with the General Synod and covered the same territory as the Ministerium.
  3. Reynolds and Charles Philip Krauth founded and edited the Evangelical Review, the first issue of which rolled off the presses in July 1849.  The Review was a publication devoted to doctrinal orthodoxy, as Reynolds and Krauth understood it.  Many of our saint’s English-language translations of German hymns appeared in the Review.

Reynolds was a liturgist. He served on the committee which produced Hymns, Original and Selected, for Public and Private Use, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church (1850), a hymnal of the General Synod.  And, as I indicated above, he translated German hymns.  Locating unaltered versions of his translations in my large collection of hymnals (many of them old) has proven challenging.  Even The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) contains an altered translation.  I did find an unaltered text in The Lutheran Hymnary (1935), however.  The last three stanzas of a Christmas hymn, “Come, Thou Savior of Our Race,” a text originally in Latin, were, according to Reynolds:

From the Father forth He came,

And returneth to the same,

Captive leading death and hell:

High the song of triumph tell.

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Equal to the Father now,

Though to dust Thou once didst bow;

Boundless shall Thy kingdom be:

When shall we its glories see?

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Brightly doth Thy manger shine,

Glorious is its light divine:

Let not sin o’ercloud this light,

Ever be our faith thus bright.

Reynolds became an Episcopal priest in 1864 and spent the rest of his life in parish ministry.  He served as the Rector of St. Paul’s Church, Warsaw, Illinois (1865-1871), and Christ Church, Oak Park (then called Harlem), Illinois (1872-1876).  Our saint’s academic pursuits continued, as his annotated translation (1874) of A History of New Sweden; or, the Settlements on the River Delaware, by Israel Acrelius, attests.

The legacy of William Morton Reynolds is a fine one.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 12, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF ALFRED LEE, PRESIDING BISHOP OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH

THE FEAST OF SAINT JULIUS I, BISHOP OF ROME

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM SLOANE COFFIN, SOCIAL ACTIVIST

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

thank you for those (especially William Morton Reynolds)

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 Matthias Loy and Conrad Hermann Louis Schuette (August 11)   3 comments

City Hall, Columbus, Ohio, 1900

Above:  City Hall, Columbus, Ohio, Between 1900 and 1910

Publisher and Copyright Claimant = Detroit Publishing Company

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-det-4a23314

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MATTHIAS LOY (MARCH 17, 1828-JANUARY 26, 1915)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Educator, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

predecessor of

CONRAD HERMANN LOUIS SCHUETTE (JUNE 17, 1843-AUGUST 11, 1926)

German-American Lutheran Minister, Educator, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

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Usually my multisaint posts add related people to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.  This one, however, recognizes two unrelated men who had much in common:

  1. Both ministered at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Delaware, Ohio, in immediate succession;
  2. Both wrote and translated hymns;
  3. Both taught at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, at the same time;
  4. Both served as the President of Capital University, Capital University, in immediate succession;
  5. Both wrote and published on theological topics; and
  6. Both served as the President of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930), which I will refer to hereafter as the Ohio Synod, in immediate succession.

Both men were also Confessional Lutherans during a different time and a cultural milieu distinct from mine.  We would have agreed and disagreed on much.  My Anglican sense of collegiality has led me to admit the existence of areas of profound disagreement while emphasizing the theological common ground.  Despite major differences I have encountered while reading some of their writings, I recognize Loy and Schuette and coreligionists and add them to the Ecumenical Calendar enthusiastically.  Christian faith is far more than a matter of theological Twenty Questions; it is a pilgrimage of following Jesus.

Matthias Loy had help achieving his vocation.  His impoverished childhood began near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, on March 17, 1828.  The Loys, a Lutheran family with ultimately seven children (of which Matthias was the fourth), moved to Hogestown in 1834.  Our saint’s mother provided his elementary education.  He became an apprentice to Baab and Hummel, printers at Harrisburg, during his fourteenth year of life.  This apprenticeship lasted for about six years, during which he attended school–first as a private student in Latin and Greek of the Principal of Harrisburg Academy, then as a regular student at that institution.  Our saint’s pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, Harrisburg, Charles William Schaeffer (1813-1896), who met him via Mr. Hummel, encouraged the young man to enter the ordained ministry.  Health concerns led Loy to move westward to Circleville, Ohio, in August 1847, where he entered into a contract to print a German-language semi-monthly newspaper for the United Brethren Publishing House.  However, the Lutheran pastor at Circleville arranged for financial assistance which permitted our saint to leave for Capital University, Columbus, to study theology in the near future.  Loy got out of his contract and embarked on his vocation.  He graduated in 1849 and became an ordained minister of the Ohio Synod.

Loy’s ministerial career played out on the synodical and academic fields:

  1. His one pastorate was St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Delaware, Ohio, from 1849 to 1865.
  2. He was twice the President of the Ohio Synod.  Loy’s first tenure was 1860-1868.  During this time he kept the Ohio Synod out of the General Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in North America (1867-1918), a relatively conservative body which his mentor, Charles William Schaeffer, cofounded then led for a time.  Loy framed the Four Points–Premillennialism, altar fellowship, pulpit fellowship, and secret societies–which troubled the General Council during the early years of its existence.
  3. He edited the Lutheran Standard from 1864 to 1891.
  4. He taught theology at Capital University from 1865 to 1878.
  5. In 1868 Loy vacated the Presidency of the Ohio Synod in favor of the Vice President, William F. Lehmann, who died two years later.
  6. In 1870 Loy returned to the Presidency of the Ohio Synod for his second tenure, which ended in 1894.  During this tenure he helped to form the Evangelical Lutheran Synodical Conference of North America (1871-1963) (hereafter the Synodical Conference), which was more conservative than the General Council, in 1872.  Ten years later, however, Loy led the Ohio Synod out of the Synodical Conference over a dispute regarding the Missouri Synod’s theology of predestination.
  7. He served as the President of Capital University from 1870 to 1890.
  8. He founded the Columbus Theological Magazine in 1881.
  9. In 1890 he rejoined the theology faculty at Capital University, retiring in 1902 due to bad health.

Loy’s published works included the following:

  1. Life and Deeds of Dr. Martin Luther, by Hermann Fick (1868, as translator);
  2. The Doctrine of Justification (first edition, 1869; second edition, 1882);
  3. “Essay on the Ministerial Office” (1870);
  4. Sermons on the Gospels (1888);
  5. Christian Prayer (1890);
  6. The Story of My Life (third edition, 1905);
  7. The Augsburg Confession (1908);
  8. The Sermon on the Mount:  A Practical Study of Chapters V-VII of St. Matthew’s Gospel (1909); and
  9. Sermons on the Epistles (1910).

Then, as one of my sources informed me, “the softening of his brain” set in.  Loy, the husband of Mary Willey of Delaware, Ohio, from 1853 and the father of seven children (five of whom outlived him) died at Columbus, Ohio, on January 26, 1915.

Loy’s written legacy persists, however.  I have listed some of his books and an essay, but I would be remiss if I failed to mention his twenty original hymns and his translations of German hymns.  One may find many of them in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1880) and the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1908).  I have added part of his contribution to hymnody to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

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Conrad Hermann Louis Schuette succeeded Loy as pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Delaware, Ohio, serving there from 1865 to 1873.  Schuette, born at Varrel, Hanover, on June 17, 1843, emigrated to the United States with his family in 1854. He attended Capital University then became a minister of the Ohio Synod.  The newly ordained clergyman’s first posting was at Delaware, Ohio.  His wife (from September 4, 1865) was Victoria M. Wirth of Columbus, Ohio.  His immediate successor at St. Mark’s was Emanuel Cronenwett (1841-1931), who served there from 1873 to 1877.

Schuette’s career was mostly synodical and academic:

  1. He was Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at Capital University from 1873 to 1880.
  2. He was Professor of Theology at Capital University from 1880 to 1890.
  3. He succeeded Matthias Loy as the President of Capital University in 1890, serving until 1894.
  4. He served as the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Pleasant Ridge (now Bexley), Ohio, from 1891 to 1894.
  5. He served as the President of the Ohio Synod from 1894 to 1924.
  6. He cofounded the National Lutheran Council (1918-1966) and served as its President from 1923 to 1925.

He died at Columbus, Ohio, on August 11, 1926.

Schuette wrote books, composed hymn texts, and translated hymns.  His books included the following:

  1. The Church Members’ Manual;
  2. Church, State, and School;
  3. Before the Altar; and
  4. Exercises Unto Godliness.

Some of his texts, original and translated, appeared in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1880) and the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1908).  I have added one of his hymns, “Great God, a Blessing from Thy Throne” (1880), to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog.

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These two men make fine additions to the Ecumenical Calendar of Saints’ Days and Holy Days.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 8, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY, YEAR B

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOSEPHINE BAKHITA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF SAINTS JOHN OF MATHA AND FELIX OF VALOIS, FOUNDERS OF THE ORDER OF THE MOST HOLY TRINITY

THE FEAST WINFIELD SCOTT HANCOCK, U.S. ARMY GENERAL

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

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [Matthias Loy, Conrad Hermann Louis Schuette, 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 George Alfred Taylor Rygh (July 16)   2 comments

Luther Rose

Above:  The Luther Rose

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor

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GEORGE ALFRED TAYLOR RYGH (MARCH 21, 1860-JULY 16, 1942)

U.S. Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator

A few years ago, when I started adding Norwegian Lutheran hymns to my GATHERED PRAYERS weblog in earnest, I came across the name of George Alfred Taylor Rygh, who translated some of them into English.  At the time I read about him at a hymn website and wrote a blurb about him at GATHERED PRAYERS.  Now I tell a fuller version of the story of his life.

Rygh, born at Chicago, Illinois, on March 21, 1860, studied for the ordained ministry.  He attended Luther College (A.B., 1881) then Luther Seminary, Decorah, Iowa, of the Synod of the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (1853-1917).  He completed his theological studies at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, an institution of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930).  Rygh, ordained in the Norwegian Synod, alternated between academic and pastoral work during his career, with editorial duties related to ecclesiastical publications much of the time:

  1. Instructor, Capital University, Columbus, Ohio (1883-1884);
  2. Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Portland, Oregon (1884-1889);
  3. Teacher, Wittenberg Academy, Wittenberg, Wisconsin (1889-1890);
  4. Pastor, Grand Forks, North Dakota (1890-1891);
  5. Professor, North Dakota University (1891-1895);
  6. Pastor, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin (1895-1898);
  7. Pastor, Chicago, Illinois (1899-1910);
  8. Editor, United Lutheran (1909-1913);
  9. Professor, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota (1910-1913);
  10. Member, The Lutheran Hymnary (1913) committee (Oluf Hanson Smeby, Chairman);
  11. Editor, American Lutheran Survey (1914-1921);
  12. DD.L. degree, Newberry College, Newberry, South Carolina (1917);
  13. Commissioner to the Baltic States, National Lutheran Council (1919-1920);
  14. Pastor, Minneapolis, Minnesota (1920-1930); and
  15. Editor, Lutheran Herald (1925 forward).

Rygh retired to Northfield, Minnesota, where he died on July 16, 1942.

His hymn translations continue to appear in hymnals.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 30, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF FREDERICK OAKELEY, ANGLICAN THEN ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST

THE FEAST OF SAINT BATHILDAS, QUEEN OF FRANCE

THE FEAST OF SAINTS GENESIUS I AND PRAEJECTUS OF CLERMONT, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS, AND SAINT AMARIN, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT

THE FEAST OF LESSLIE NEWBIGIN, UNITED REFORMED THEOLOGIAN

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

George Alfred Taylor Rygh and others, who have translated 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 Emanuel Cronenwett (March 9)   1 comment

Butler, Pennsylvania, 1895

Above:  Butler, Pennsylvania, 1895

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = LC-DIG-pga-01278

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EMANUEL CRONENWETT (FEBRUARY 22, 1841-MARCH 9, 1931)

U.S. Lutheran Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator

Invited, Lord, by boundless grace,

I stand a guest before Thy face;

As host Thou spreadst no common food:

Here is Thy body and Thy blood.

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How holy is this Sacrament

Where pardon, peace, and life are spent!

This bread and cup my lips have pressed;

Thou blessedst, and my soul is blessed.

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Now lettest Thou Thy guest depart

With full assurance in his heart.

For such communion, Lord, with Thee

A new life may my off’ring be.

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When Thou shalt in Thy glory come

To gather all Thy people home,

Then let me, as Thy heav’nly guest,

In anthems praise Thee with the blest.

The Lutheran Hymnal (1941), Hymn #308

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Emanuel Cronenwett (1841-1931) was a U.S. Lutheran minister and hymnist.  Our saint entered the world at Scio, near Ann Arbor, Michigan.  His parents were the Reverend George J. Cronenwett, a Lutheran pastor, and Magdalena Knapp Cronenwett.  This George Cronenwett, by the way, was not Georg Cronenwett, the German-born Lutheran circuit rider who planted congregations in northern Ohio.

Emanuel followed in his father’s ministerial footsteps.  Our saint attended Capital University, Columbus, Ohio, founded as the theological seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Joint Synod of Ohio and Other States (1818-1930).  He served as a minister of that denomination and its immediate successor, the American Lutheran Church (1930-1960).  Cronenwett served for four years at Trinity Lutheran Church, Carrollton, Ohio, from 1863 to 1867.  He spent the next ten years in Wayne County, Ohio, serving the Waynesburg and Wooster congregations, and at Delaware, Delaware County, Ohio.  Then, in 1877, he moved to Butler, Pennyslvania.  For the rest of his life (about 54 years) he was the pastor of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.  During his career he also published a volume of poems and hymns (in 1926), declined the presidency of his alma mater (in 1901), and received his Doctor of Divinity degree from Grove City College, Grove City, Pennsylvania.  When Cronenwett died, on March 9, 1931, he had been ill for two months.  His wife, Eva Catherine Helfinch (1843-1927) and five of their ten children predeceased him.

The magnitude of our saint’s output of hymns–original and translated–was staggering.  Unfortunately, the committee which produced The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) altered most of the Cronenwett texts it included.  (I understand that, as Brian Wren wrote in Praying Twice:  The Music and Words of Congregational Song, 2000, that hymn lyrics are communal property and that certain words and turns of phrase lose their meaning with the passage of time, but the alteration of texts does not help me learn what the author or translator wrote.)  On the other hand, archive.org has made the 1880 and 1908 versions of the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal of the old Ohio Synod easily available.  I invite you, O reader, to consult them, for they contain unaltered Cronenwett texts.  The Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal (1880) lacks an author index, but the Index to First Lines contains the names of authors and translators and features “E. Cronenwett” frequently.  The 1908 hymnal, however, contains an Index of Authors and Sources of Hymns, fortunately.  I encourage you, O reader, to embark on a treasure hunt.

Among the greatest virtues–if not the greatest virtue–of Anglicanism is collegiality.  John Calvin (not an Anglican, of course) allowed for the category of “matters indifferent,” wherein theological disagreements are minor and permissible.  Anglicanism–at least in its more tolerant forms–contains ample room for much disagreement.  (Being sacramental and creedal, not sacramental and confessional, goes a long way toward accomplishing that reality.)  I apply the graciousness of Anglican collegiality in full bloom to Cronenwett, a Confessional Lutheran with whom I would have agreed often and disagreed strongly at least as often.  Yet one must not pass a canonical examination to be a Christian or enter Heaven.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 23, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT JOHN THE ALMSGIVER, ROMAN CATHOLIC PATRIARCH OF ALEXANDRIA

THE FEAST OF PHILLIPS BROOKS, EPISCOPAL BISHOP OF MASSACHUSETTS

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Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Emanuel Cronenwett and others, who have written and translated 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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