Wednesday, February 22, 2017

This Week at Old South Haven Chrch

Friday, Feb. 24                                                Alumni/ae Council meeting,
Saturday, Feb. 25                                            Union Theological Seminary, NYC
                                                                        Pastor Tom attending
Sunday, Feb. 26                10:00am                Transfiguration  Sunday/ Morning Worship
                                                                         Sermon:  "The Mark of the Mountaintop"
                                                                         Lessons: Matthew 17:1-9  II Peter 1: 16-21
                                                                         Sunday School
                                              5:30pm              Pot Luck Supper
Wednesday, March 1                                      ASH  WEDNESDAY
Sunday, March 5               10:00am                First Sunday of Lent/ Holy Communion
                                                                        Sermon: The Power To Resist Temptation
                                                                        Lessons:  Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
                                                                                         Matthew 4: 1-11
Monday, March 6               8:30am                 Mid Suffolk Presbyterian Clergy
                                                                        Holbrook Diner
Saturday, March 11          12:30pm                South Country Peace Group
                                                                                in Gallery
Sunday, March 12            10:00am                Second Sunday of Lent/ Morning Worship
                                                                       Sermon:  "A Life of Contrasts"
                                                                       Lessons:  Genesis 12: 1-4  John 3: 1-17
                                                                       Sunday School
Wednesday, March 15      1:00pm                 Becker/Gamble Music Committee
                                                                                in Gallery
Thursday, March 16        10:00am                Personnel Committee/ LICC
Sunday, March 19           10:00am                Third Sunday of Lent/ Morning Worship
                                          4:00pm                Book Study in the Gallery: Karen Armstrong's
                                                                     "The Spiral Staircase; My Climb Out of Darkness"


Friday, February 17, 2017

This Week at Old South Haven Chrch

Saturday, Feb. 18                    9:30am         Property and Finance Committee
Sunday, Feb. 19                    10:00am         Morning Worship
                                                                     Sermon:     "A Holy Riddle"
                                                                     Lessons:  Matthew 5: 27-37
                                                                                      I Corinthians 3: 10-11, 16-23
Monday, Feb. 20                     7:00pm         Session Meeting
Tuesday, Feb. 21                   12noon          Brookhaven/ Bellport Clergy
                                                                     Luncheon at The Royal Oak
Friday, Feb. 24  -                                         Alumni/ae Council Meeting
Saturday, Feb. 25                                        Union Theological Seminary
                                                                     Pastor Tom attending
Sunday, Feb. 26                   10:00am         Transfiguration Sunday/ Morning Worship
                                                                     Sermon: "The Mark of the Mountaintop"
                                                                     Lessons: Matthew 17: 1-9
                                                                                     II Peter 1: 16-21
                                                                     Sunday School
                                               5:30pm         Pot Luck SupperLooking Ahead           
Wednesday, March 1                                    ASH  WEDNESDAY
Sunday, March 5                                           First Sunday in Lent
Sunday, March 12                                         Daylight Saving Time begins
Tuesday, March 21                                       Presbytery Meeting at Amagansett
Sunday, April 9                                              PALM SUNDAY
Thursday, April 13                                         MAUNDY THURSDAY
 Friday, April 14                                             GOOD FRIDAY
Sunday, April 16                                            EASTER

Saturday, February 11, 2017

FW: Music for the OSHC Service of February 12, 2017, 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time



From: Richard Thomas
Subject: Music for the OSHC Service of February 12, 2017, 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time



                “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” hymn no. 263, is the opening hymn of praise to the Ancient of Days.  It was authored by Walter Chalmer Smith (1824-1908) in 1867.  It is sung to the tune of a traditional Welsh ballad "Can mlynedd i nawr (A Hundred Years from Now).”  [The ballad, which is nothing like the hymn, was written by David Morris, b. 1798.  He was a Welsh cobbler who lived most of his life at Tredegar.]

                The tune is called ST. DENIO, and the Psalter Hymnal Handbook says, it is “sturdy tune . . .; its bright character in a major key should put to rest the notion that all Welsh tunes are sad and in minor key. It bears vigorous performance with singing in harmony . . .” “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” as performed on the BBC program, “Songs of Praise.”  It is sung by the congregation of Halifax Minister, including a descant. “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” at the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla, the Prince and Princess of Wales

For an a cappella performance, you can listen to the Smucker family sing it here: “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise,” as performed by the Smucker family, a cappella

The Smucker family is a Mennonite singing group.

                The Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) has this to say about the author:

Smith, Walter Chalmers, D.D., was born at Aberdeen Dec. 5, 1824, and educated at the Grammar School and University of that City. He pursued his Theological studies at Edinburgh, and was ordained Pastor of the Scottish Church in Chad well Street, Islington, London, Dec. 25, 1850. After holding several pastorates he became, in 1876, Minister of the Free High Church, Edinburgh. His contributions to poetical literature have been many and of great merit.

     Rev. Walter C. Smith

                One of his many poems “of great merit” is “Hilda Among the Broken Gods,” which you can read here:

      ;view=1up;seq=13 “Hilda Among the Broken Gods,” third edition, by Walter C. Smith

                The Old Testament reading is Psalm 8.  We sometimes sing a versification of Psalm 8 by the Rev. Fred R. Anderson, “O Lord, Our God, How Excellent, How Glorious Is Your Name,” hymn no. 162.  Psalm 8 is fairly short.

O Yahweh, our Lord,

how magnificent is your reputation throughout the earth!

You reveal your majesty in the heavens above!

From the mouths of children and nursing babies

you have ordained praise on account of your adversaries,

so that you might put an end to the vindictive enemy.

When I look up at the heavens, which your fingers made,

and see the moon and the stars, which you set in place,

Of what importance is the human race, that you should notice them?

Of what importance is humankind, that you should pay attention to them,

and make them a little less than the heavenly beings?

You grant mankind honor and majesty;

you appoint them to rule over your creation;

you have placed everything under their authority,

including all the sheep and cattle,

as well as the wild animals,

the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea

and everything that moves through the currents of the seas.

O Yahweh, our Lord,

how magnificent is your reputation throughout the earth!


                The gospel reading is Mark 9:33-37.

                Then they came to Capernaum. After Jesus was inside the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?”

                But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest.

                After he sat down, he called the twelve and said to them, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

                He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

This story also appears in Luke 9:46-48 and Matthew 18:1-5. 

                The Luke version puts: “For he who is least among you will be great,” at the end of the story.

                Now an argument started among the disciples as to which of them might be the greatest.

                But when Jesus discerned their innermost thoughts, he took a child, had him stand by his side, and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me, for the one who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

                In the version in Matthew, the disciples hadn’t been arguing among themselves about who was the greatest right then.  Instead, they were arguing about who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  Jesus tells them that unless they become like a child, they’re never even going to enter the kingdom of heaven.

                At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

                He called a child, had him stand among them, and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven! Whoever then humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me.”

                “Help Us to Accept Each” other, hymn no. 358, is the second hymn.  The words were authored by Fred Kaan in 1975.

Fred Kaan (1929-2009)

                Fred Kaan was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, on 27 Jul 1929.  During World War II, his parents worked with the resistance and hid a young Jewish woman who had escaped from Belsen.  Three of his grandparents died from starvation during the war. He never attended church as a child, and first stepped into a church when he was in his late teens.

                After studying theology and psychology at Utrecht University, he went to Great Britain (Western College in Bristol).  He became a Congregational minister in 1955 and served first in south Wales, and was the pastor at Pilgrim Church in Plymouth. In 1972, the “Presbyterian Church of England” and the “Congregational Church in England and Wales” merged to become the United Reformed Church.

                Fred Kaan began writing hymns at age 34, originally as a way of summarizing and emphasizing the themes of his sermons. 
                He didn’t like the new style of hymns called “praise hymns,” which he called “nursery rhymes of the church.”  He believed that new hymns needed to “address the modern challenges to faith” and “issues of peace and justice.”

                His hymns include “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ,” “For the Healing of the Nations,” and “Now Let Us from this Table Rise.”

                He was instrumental in the creation of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in 1968. 
                In 1954, he had married Elizabeth Steller, a daughter of missionaries, but in 1989, they divorced.  After she died in 1993, he married a general practitioner, Anthea Cooke.  They moved to the Lake District after her retirement.

                He developed Alzheimer’s disease and cancer and died on 4 October 2009 in Penrith.


 The words are most frequently sung to the tune ACCEPTANCE by John Ness Beck, but that isn’t the tune used in the Presbyterian Hymnal.

 To hear the tune used in our hymnal, BARONITA, click here:

                        “Help Us to Accept Each Other”


                The tune is by Doreen Potter and is also used for the hymn, “For All the Faithful Women.”


Full Name:          Potter, Doreen, 1925-1980

Birth Year:           1925

Death Year:        1980

Doreen Potter (1925-1980) was born in Panama and received her primary and secondary education in Jamaica, where she studied piano and violin. She then moved to England where she trained as a teacher of music at St. Katharine's College in Liverpool. In 1957 she obtained a Licentiate of Music degree at Trinity College, London, where she played violin in several orchestras.
                She married Philip Potter, who served as general secretary of the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Through that connection she met Fred Kaan and began writing tunes for his texts. In 1975 they published Break Not the Circle which included twenty new hymns through the Agape division of Hope Publishing Company.
                LINSTEAD has become the most popular of the hymns that first appeared in this collection. This hymn is now widely sung all over the world and appears in most all denominational hymnals here in the states. LINSTEAD has also taken on a life of its own and now appears with a number of texts. Hope's new hymnal Worship & Rejoice (2001) has used the tune three times.
                Unfortunately, Doreen Potter died of cancer at the age of 55 before many of her musical settings achieved popularity.

                The sermon title is “It Hurts Me Too.”

                “I Danced in the Morning,” hymn no. 302, is the closing hymn. It is by Sydney Carter.

                In some of the blue hymnals, a note in the refrain of “I Danced in the Morning” has an open circle over it.  A small open circle is an actual musical notation symbol, but it is apparently an error in the hymnal.  It appears only in some of the hymnals with blue-tinted pages.  An open circle has different meanings depending on the score.  There was one in the cello score for one of the anthems we sometimes sing, “God’s Divine Table.”  There it means that the cellist is to press on the string of the cello at a place that will make the note jump up an octave.  (In an organ piece, the open circle means, “use your heel to play this note.”)

                I have no idea how an “open circle” symbol got onto the score of this hymn in some of the hymnals.

                “Lord of the Dance” is sung to the Shaker melody SIMPLE GIFTS. Some sources say Elder Joseph Brackett, a Shaker, composed the tune in 1848.

     Elder Joseph Brackett

                You can see the words originally sung with the tune and hear it sung here (highly recommended):

                       “Simple Gifts” sung by the vocal chamber ensemble Cantus  (VERY GOOD)

                The words we will be singing were authored by Sydney Carter in 1963.

                You can hear those words here:

                        “Lord of the Dance,” sung by the Central Islip High School Concert Choir


                According to Wikipedia, Sydney Bertram Carter was “an English poet, songwriter, and folk musician.”  He was born 06 May 1915 in Camden Town, London, and died 13 Mar 2004 in Herne Hill, London.

                He also wrote a song called “Julian of Norwich.”  She was an English anchoress ( ) and Christian mystic (1342-1416).

    Sydney Carter

                Carter attended Balliol College, Oxford, where (as they say in England) “he read history” and graduated in 1936.  He was a pacifist and a conscientious objector in World War II.  He served in an Ambulance Unit in Egypt, Palestine, and Greece.

                His most controversial lyrics are:

It was on a Friday morning that they took me from my cell

And I saw they had a carpenter to crucify as well.

You can blame it on to Pilate, you can blame it on the Jews,

You can blame it on the Devil, it's God I accuse.

It's God they ought to crucify, instead of you and me,

I said to the carpenter a-hanging on the tree.

He was right, of course, according to sound Calvinistic theology, the death of Jesus on a cross was precisely what God intended.  In fact, it was not only what God wanted, it was what God demanded according to the penal substitutionary atonement theory of the reformation. 

                (The penal substitution theory is a substitutionary atonement theory that is derived from a merit-based system of righteousness.  It replaced the older ransom-to-Satan theory.)

                According to Wikipedia:

Many but by no means all ancient and modern branches of Christianity embrace substitutionary atonement as the central meaning of Jesus' death on the cross.

                Oddly, in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, substitutionary atonement is not incorporated in their doctrine of the Cross and Resurrection.

                C. S. Lewis rejected the penal substitutionary atonement theory, but he did believe in some kind of substitutionary atonement.

                All of the substitutionary atonement theories attempt to provide some logical explanation of what was the point of the crucifixion.

                Atonement theories first require that one decide what is sin and how sin relates to God.

                If you define sin as merely being a failure to do what God has designed humans to do, and believe that God can forgive sins, then one doesn’t need one of the more exacting substitutionary atonement theories. 

                One can just say that through the crucifixion Jesus was providing a moral example—and be done with it.

Instrumental Music

                The instrumental music is not listed in the bulletin.


                I really liked the prelude we heard last week—the music Händel composed in 1738 for a short aria in the opera Xerxes

                It is sometimes called “Ombra mai fu” (Italian for “Never was a shade”) because those are the first words of the aria.  When it is not sung, it frequently is called simply “Händel’s Largo.”

                In the opera, the aria is sung by Xerxes I of Persia, the main character.  It expresses his admiration for the shade of a tree.

                I found an interesting entirely instrumental performance that features a 30-year old Croatian cellist, Stjepan Hauser.   (He was about 29 when the video was made in June 2015.) 

                Stjepan Hauser is half of the group “2Cellos.”  The performance was at the Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.

       Stjepan Hauser performing Largo (Ombra mai fu) from the opera Xerxes, by George Frideric Handel with the Zagreb Soloists at 2Cellos classical concert, June 2015.


                The 2Cellos didn’t become famous by playing classical music.  Here is their mashup of “Whole Lotta Love” by Led Zeppelin and Beethoven’s “5th Symphony.” (It’s not live, so they can appear with themselves, making 4 Cellos.) 2CELLOS (Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser) playing “Whole Lotta Love” and “5th Symphony” mashup


                Here is “Ombra mai fu” sung by a counter-tenor, Philippe Jaroussky:

                        “Ombra mai fu” sung (exquisitely) by Philippe Jaroussky, counter-tenor

                Here is a translation:

                                Never was the shade

                                from any plant

                                dearer and more lovely

                                or more sweet.

                                Never was the shade

                                from any plant

                                dearer and more lovely,

                                or more sweet,

                                dearer and more lovely.

                                Never was the shade

                                from any plant,

                                dearer and more lovely,

                                or more sweet.

                                or more sweet.

                I like the way Philippe Jaroussky sings  “Ombra mai fu” better than how Christopher Lowrey sings it ( ), though the second video is higher quality.



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Music for the OSHC Service of Sunday, February 5, 2017, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time

From: Richard Thomas [mailto:
Subject: Music for the OSHC Service of Sunday, February 5, 2017, 5th Sunday in Ordinary Time


                An ordination is scheduled on Sunday.

                I like ordinations, as that ritual has


                the laying on of hands (sometimes called “the imposition of hands”), and

                the extension of the right hand of fellowship

--- things we don’t get to see in Presbyterian churches except at ordinations.

1. Kneeling

                Presbyterians have tended to denigrate “kneeling” generally.  [After King Edward VI of England appointed John Knox a royal chaplain in 1551, Knox attempted to get kneeling at communion removed from the Church of England’s Book of Common Prayer, but succeeded in getting only a footnote saying that kneeling did not imply the acceptance of the doctrine of substantiation.]

                Kneeling is retained in Presbyterian practice and in other Reformed denominations only in the service of ordination.  (Oddly, all, or nearly all, the reformed churches of the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries retained the requirement for kneeling at ordination while rejecting nearly everything else: images of the Virgin Mary and of saints, crosses, candles at noon or when there was no need of light, etc., etc.)

                Though the phrase “shall kneel” appears, the kneeling part of the ceremony is explicitly made conditional.  The current Book of Order says “those to be ordained shall kneel, if able.”  The requirement to kneel is conditional rather than optional.  If the person to be ordained is able to kneel, then he or she shall kneel.

The members of the church having answered these questions in the affirmative, those to be ordained shall kneel, if able, for prayer and the laying on of hands by the session. Those previously ordained ordinarily shall stand, along with the congregation, if able, for the prayer of installation. The session may invite other ruling elders and teaching elders to participate in the laying on of hands.

2. Laying on of Hands (or Imposition of Hands)

                I expect that the “laying on of hands” has been a practice by the South Haven congregation since its founding, as many of practices of early Long Island Presbyterian Churches followed those of the New England Congregationalists.  Dr. Cotton Mather wrote:

“The imposition of hands in the ordination of a Church officer, is a rite not only lawful to be retained; but it seems by a divine institution directed and required; so that although the call of a person to Church office may not become null and void, where that rite may have been omitted, as it is in the Seniors and Deacons in most of the Reformed Churches; yet we cannot approve the omission of it.  A ceremonial defect may be blameworthy.” Magnalia Christi Americana (The Glorious Works of Christ in America), Vol. II, p. 218, published in 1702.

According to the Book of Order, the laying on of hands by members of Session is a mandatory part of the ordination process (the word “shall” is used rather than “may”).

The Book of Order has allowed the Session to invite all elders (including those not in active service) to participate in the laying on of hands for a long time, but as far as I can recall, the other elders in our congregation have always exercised this right, whether invited by the session or not.

                The Book of Order limits the “imposition of hands” to elders and ministers only, so I guess the ordained deacons don’t get to participate.

3. Extending the Right Hand of Fellowship

                Then there is the extending the right hand of fellowship.  The old Books of Order included the following:

Where there is an existing session it is proper that the members of that body at the close of the service and in the face of the congregation take the newly ordained elder by the hand saying in words to this purpose “We give you the right hand of fellowship to take part of this office with us.”

When South Haven pastors were ordained back in the eighteenth century, the minutes of the Presbytery of Suffolk always recorded which pastor of the Presbytery had been appointed to attend the ordination and “offer the right hand of fellowship.”

                The introit is “Be Still and Know” by J. Jerome Williams.    He attended Mars Hill College in Mars Hill, NC, and Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.  (I visited Boone, NC, once, during the time John’s daughter Sharon was attending Appalachian State.)  J. Jerome Williams taught high school band and was the choir director of the First United Methodist Church in Hickory, North Carolina, for 31 years, retiring in 2007.

                The opening hymn is the Fred Pratt Green hymn “God Is Here,” No. 461, which he wrote in 1979, but then revised in 1988. 

                The tune is ABBOT’S LEIGH, 1941, by Cyril Vincent Taylor.  ABBOT’S LEIGH is used for many hymns, the most familiar probably being “Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken.”

                You can hear the tune as an opening number (with improvisation followed with congregational singing) here:

                        “God Is Here” with improvised introduction (Tune: ABBOT’S LEIGH”).  Improvisation by (and played by) Mark Fideldy, Gethsemane Lutheran Church, Hopkins, Minnesota

                Cyril Vincent Taylor was born in Wigan, Lancaster, England, on 11 Dec 1907 and died 20 Jun 1991 at Petersfield, Hampshire, England.  He was the son of an Anglican priest and attended Christ Church College, Oxford.  He became the precentor of Bristol Cathedral.

                During World War II, Taylor was the producer of Religious Broadcasting for the BBC, and he was stationed in Abbot’s Leigh; hence the name of the tune.  In 1951, he helped produce and edit the BBC Hymn Book, which was to be used with the Daily Service broadcast by the BBC.

                He was cremated at Chichester and interred at Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire, where his final resting place is marked by the plaque shown below, which includes the beginning notes of his famous tune:

                As noted in the e-mail from the music director, the choir will probably sing the anthem “We Come Together Here” from One Rehearsal Wonders.  The words are by  J. Paul Williams and the music by James M. “Jimbo” Stevens.

                Jimbo Stevens attended Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama.  He has a Masters of Church Music from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.


     Jimbo Stevens

(Dr. James M. Stevens)

                He is a professor and Chair of the Music Department at Free Will Baptist Bible College, Nashville, Tennessee.  (He began teaching there in 2004.)  The National Association of Free Will Baptists created the college in 1942 as a two-year institution.  It became a three-year college in 1949, and a four-year college in 1950.

                For economic reasons, the National Free Will Baptists voted to change the name to Welch College in 2012.  (They thought the name change would make the college more attractive to potential students.)  It is still the flagship college of the Free Will Baptists.

                In Missouri, we had many kinds of Baptists.  My grandmother, Julia Elizabeth (Shannon) Thomas, attended the Pleasant Hill Primitive Baptist church near Mecca, Missouri.  (Primitive Baptists were also called Regular Baptists, Old School Baptists, or Hard-shell Baptists). The Primitive Baptists were nearly pure Calvinists. 

                They use “Elder” when referring to the worship leader instead of pastor.  [PC(USA) now uses “teaching elder” for its ministers.]

                James Cash “J. C.” Penney (the father of the J. C. Penney of department store fame) was the pastor of the Pleasant Hill Primitive Baptist church in 1880.  (That was six years before my grandmother was born.)  (J. C. Penney was born on a farm near Hamilton, Missouri, about 40 miles from where I was born in Smithville.  For many years, J. C. Penney maintained a tiny J. C. Penney department store in little Hamilton, Missouri.  In 1924, after having opened 499 stores, J. C. Penney decided that he would open his 500th store in his hometown of Hamilton.  It was still there when I was in junior high school.  Now Hamilton has a J. C. Penney Library and Museum that opened in 1976.)

                Primitive Baptist and Presbyterians both believe, being Calvinists, that salvation is by God’s grace alone, and not because of a person’s faith or perseverance or any other thing. They believe that the elect were chosen “before the foundations of the world were laid,” and that the truly elect can never renounce their having been elected to salvation.  Election is unconditional.   If someone is one of the elect, no sin that person may commit after having been baptized can separate that person from God.

                The “Free Will Baptists,” on the other hand, believe that Christ died for all—not just for a select few, and that any person is free to accept or reject salvation.  According to the Free Will Baptists, a Christian can renounce his faith and become unsaved.

                After the division between Primitive and Free-Will Baptists in the seventeenth century, there was the division between Primitive and Free-Will Baptists and Missionary Baptists in the eighteenth century.  In 1814, the Baptist Board of Foreign Missions was formed, which the Primitive Baptists strongly opposed.  The Missionary Baptists also believed in Sunday Schools and “aggressive Christian work” generally.

                The anti-missionary stance of the Primitive Baptists was based on the Primitive Baptist beliefs:

                No human acts can increase or decrease the number God intends to deliver.  That being the case, preaching cannot save a non-believer.

               Nor can an individual bring about his own salvation by choosing to have faith in the Gospel message.

               Salvation is by the grace of God alone, and not by faith.

                So in addition to being called Regular Baptist or Hard-shell Baptists, the Primitive Baptists were called “Anti-Mission Baptists.” 

                Some of the Primitive Baptist churches in my area of the country “were led astray by the ‘Means’ doctrine.”  The Means Controversy had to do with preaching.  A division arose over the use and the effect of the preached gospel.

               The "Means" Baptists believed preaching of the gospel was a means of the conversion of sinners.

               That is, "in the conversion of sinners, God used the preached word as a means or medium through which His Spirit operated to that end."

               The "Anti-Means" Baptists, on the other hand, strenuously objected to the assertion that "the preaching of the gospel had any power to convert the dead sinner, or to give him life."

                [The "Anti-Means" Baptists] declared that humans are, by nature, dead in trespasses and sins, and that as no means can be used to give eternal life to those who are dead in sins, that God effects that work of Himself, by His holy Spirit, without means or instruments.]

                The Primitive Baptists also do not allow the use of musical instruments during worship.  They also believe in unsalaried pastors. 

                Like the Free Will Baptists, some do practice washing feet.  All Primitive Baptists believe there are two “ordinances” appointed by Christ for the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper, but some also believe there is third ordinance, the washing of feet.  “Ordinances” are to be administrated only  by those who have been given authority by being regularly ordained.

                The Primitive Baptists are also opposed to Sunday Schools.  Religious instruction should take place in every home.

. . . the tendency of modern times has been to belittle the instruction of God’s word, to shun the responsibility of parental teaching and home influence, and to shift that responsibility upon the shoulders of others.  Hence, the Sunday school, where children are supposedly taught Christianity on Sundays as they are taught geography or arithmetic on other week days.

   Primitive or Old School Baptists oppose Sunday Schools in their churches.  So did Christ and his apostles.  We think them unnecessary since Christ and the apostles established none.  There were children in the apostles’ day and these godly men had as much regard for them, loved them as well and knew far better the needs of children than men of modern times.

                After my grandmother married, she went to her parents’ Primitive Baptist Church south of Mecca only for special occasions.  It was nearly five miles away, which is a long buggy ride.  We went to the slightly closer Southern Baptist church in Trimble, which did believe in Sunday School (and missionaries and free will, but not foot washing).

                My grandmother’s niece, Elberta Shannon, was a member of the Mt. Zion Free Will Baptist Church.

                Southern Baptists are just one denomination of the missionary Baptists.  There is a Southern Baptist church in my hometown of Smithville, Missouri, and also an independent Missionary Baptist church. 

                My father was very skeptical of organized religion, which to him seemed to be much more a human institution than a godly one.  So after the fourth grade, my parents decided I had received a sufficient amount of religious training and stopped taking me to Sunday School.  By that time, I had already concluded myself that most of the things I was being taught in Southern Baptist Sunday School were either silly or dangerous, so I didn’t object.

                The Gospel Lesson is Matthew 5:13-20, which begins with “You are the salt of the earth.  But If a salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?”  One commentator notes:

                The difficulty of this saying is understanding how salt could lose its flavor since its chemical properties cannot change.

A saying in the Talmud (b. Bekhorot 8b) attributed to Rabbi Joshua ben Chananja (ca. A.D. 90), when asked the question

                “When salt loses its flavor, how can it be made salty again?” is said to have replied,

                “By salting it with the afterbirth of a mule.” He was then asked,

                “Then does the mule (being sterile) bear young?” to which he replied:

                “Can salt lose its flavor?”

The point appears to be that both are impossible. The saying, while admittedly late, suggests that culturally the loss of flavor by salt was regarded as an impossibility. Genuine salt can never lose its flavor.

                Then there is the saying about “not putting your lamp under a bushel,” which is the theme of “This Little Light of Mine” that we all used to sing in Sunday School as small children.  Here it is sung by Bruce Springsteen:

                      “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let It Shine,” sung by Bruce Springsteen

                The version I remember singing had the words “Hide it under a bushel? NO,” which we acted out, as in this video:

                       “This Little Light of Mine, I’m Going to Let It Shine” with hand motions

When I was growing up, everyone I knew had a bushel basket lying around somewhere, but I’m not sure whether most kids today would recognize a bushel basket if they saw one.


                The Epistle Lesson is I Corinthians 2:1-11.  It is about the “wisdom of God, hidden in a mystery.”  The reading includes a quotation from Isaiah 64:4. There are also some allusions to predestination.  Then Paul notes that “no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God,” and the followers of Jesus have received the Spirit who is from God.  One who is spiritual discerns all things.

                The second hymn is no. 291, “Take My Life and Let It Be.”  , written by Frances Ridley Havergal (1836-1879) in 1874.  Frances Havergal was a very well-educated woman (she knew both Greek and Hebrew).  She was described as being “mildly Calvinistic.”  She was the daughter of Rev.W. H. Havergal.

       Frances R. Havergal

                She also wrote:

               “Lord, Speak to Me, that I May Speak,”

                “Who Is On the Lord’s Side?,”

                “Yes, He Knows the Way is Dreary,” and

                “Tell It Among the Heathen.”

(“Tell It Out Among the Heathen” is sung to a tune by Ira David Sankey: “Tell it Out Among the Heathen.”

                You can hear “Who Is on the Lord’s Side?” sung fairly well here:

       “Who Is On the Lord’s Side?” sung by the Protestant Reformed Mass Choir (video in High Definition, also good audio)

The tune is ARMAGEDDON composed by Luise Reichardt (1853), and originally set to the hymn by Sir John Goss (1871)


      César Malan (1787-1864)

                The tune is HENDON by Henri Abraham César Malan, who was born in Geneva, Switzerland, on 07 Jul 1787.  César Malan attended the Geneva Academy and was ordained in 1810.  In this period, theological education in Geneva had become “rationalist.”  The National Church of Geneva at that time was almost Unitarian; the Trinity had been rejected, and Jesus was no longer seen as divine.  The “Company of Pastors” of the Reformed Church in Geneva had grown to consider much of the Bible to be based on ignorance or superstition.

                César Malan was suspended from the ministry in 1818 for preaching a sermon in 1817 on “justification by faith alone,” which was forbidden. (He was expelled altogether in 1823, but by then he had already started his own church.) “Geneva authorities required all pastors to take an oath not to preach on original sin, the operation of grace, predestination, and the ways the divine and human are united in Christ.”

                He founded an independent church in 1820 which became quite large, but then a large number of the members moved to another independent church.

                Malan was said to have a “somewhat autocratic manner” and was “known for his high Calvinist theology.”

                In 1811, he had married the daughter of a Geneva merchant, who bore him twelve children, all of whom survived into adulthood.

                Malan died on 08 May 1864 in Vandoeuvres, Switzerland, and is buried beside his mother.

                “Take My Life and Let It Be,” accompanied by guitar

       “Take My Life and Let It Be,” choral arrangement (SATB), a cappella

                The sermon title is “Low Nielsen Ratings for the Gospel.”

                Immediately following the sermon is the Service of Installation.  Those to be installed are Ken, B.J., and Janice.  I hope everyone brought their tools.

                The hymn for the call to communion is either

“Lord, When I Came into This Life” by Fred Kaan, no. 522,

or Brian Wren’s hymn, “I Come with Joy,” no. 507.

                We rarely sing no. 522.  It is sung to an Appalachian folk tune, LAND OF REST ( ), a tune which reminds me a bit of AMAZING GRACE.

                We sing no. 507 quite often.

                          “I Come with Joy,” tune from William Walker’s Southern Harmony, 1835.

                The closing hymn is the African-American spiritual “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me,” no. 369. The arrangement in the hymnal is by Wendell Whalum.  The composer and the author of the text are unknown.  It hasn’t been a hymn sung often at Old South Haven, but we did sing it on November 13 last year.

                There are many variations in the performance of this hymn on YouTube, and a very large variation in tempo in the different performances.

                       “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me,” Christ United Methodist Church, College Station, Texas, (Bill May, baritone)

Here’s a good a cappella version:

       “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me,” Judy McKenney, with backup singers, a cappella


        “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me,” Nate Macy, with others and good saxophone interludes


       “Live So God Can Use You,” sung by The Sensational Nightingales


       “I’m Going To Live So God Can Use Me,” sung by Bishop G. E. Patterson & Congregation (very spirited)


       “I’m Going To Live So God Can Use Me,” sung by Doc McKenzie & the Gospel Hi-Lites (toe-tapping)


The singing (and clapping) in the next one is so-so, but the piano accompaniment is great:

       “I’m Going To Live So God Can Use Me”


Here’s a choral version: but you need a band.

   Dr. Wendell Whalum Sr.

Based on An Encyclopedia of African American Christian Heritage by Marvin Andrew McMickle:

                The arranger, Wendell Phillips Whalum was born in Memphis, Tennessee, on 04 Sep 1931 (the hymnal incorrectly gives 1932 as his birth year).  He graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Memphis and while a youth played music at Avery Chapel A.M.E. Church, Central Baptist, and Providence A.M.E. Church in Memphis.

                He attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, and received a B.A. in 1952.  In 1953 he obtained a M.A. at Columbia University, and in 1965, a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

                Dr. Whalum then taught at Morehouse College and was Director of the Morehouse College Glee Club for 34 years.  He served as Chair of the Music Department, Director of the Band, and in many other positions at Morehouse, where he chose to remain even though he received much more lucrative offers for employment at other colleges and universities.

                He was a teacher, organist, conductor, musicologist, arranger, composer, author, and lecturer.  He served a number of churches as organist-choirmaster in Atlanta, including Ebenezer Baptist Church.  He died in Atlanta on 09 Jun 1987.

Instrumental Music

                The prelude is Georg Friedrich Händel’s “Largo.”  “Händel’s Largo” is a way of referring to a short aria Händel composed for the opera Xerxes in 1738.  The opera did not do well and closed after five performances.  The aria, however, was a hit.  It is sometimes called “Ombra mai fu” (Italian for “Never was a shade”) because those are the first words of the aria.

                In the opera, the aria is sung by Xerxes I of Persia, the main character.  It expresses his admiration for the shade of a tree.

                       “Ombra mai fu,” also known as “Händel’s Largo” from the opera Serse (Xerxes) by George Frederic Handel

                You can see King Xerxes I (played by a woman, Paula Rasmussen) sing it here.

                       “Ombra mai fu” sung by Paula Rasmussen, playing Xerxes I of Persia


                Here it is sung by a counter-tenor, Philippe Jaroussky:

                        “Ombra mai fu” sung (exquisitely) by Philippe Jaroussky, counter-tenor

                Here is a translation:

                                Never was the shade

                                from any plant

                                dearer and more lovely

                                or more sweet.

                                Never was the shade

                                from any plant

                                dearer and more lovely,

                                or more sweet,

                                dearer and more lovely.

                                Never was the shade

                                from any plant,

                                dearer and more lovely,

                                or more sweet.

                                or more sweet.

(It is Händel after all, so one has to expect quite a bit of repetition in the lyrics.)

As the music is beautiful, church choirs wanted to sing something to it—other than words about the shade of a tree.  Someone provided new words, “Holy Art Thou.”

       “Holy Art Thou” (alias “Ombra mai fu (Never was the shade)” from Xerxes), sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir

These are the words for church choirs, which are also a bit repetitious:


                Holy art thou, holy art thou, Lord God Almighty, Holy art thou, holy art thou.

                Lord God Almighty, who wert and art, who wert and art, and art to come.


                Holy art thou, holy art thou, Lord God Almighty, Glory and majesty in heaven are thine.

                Earth lowly bending, swells the full harmony, blessing and glory to the lamb, forevermore.

                For worthy art thou, worthy art thou; Let all nations and kindreds and peoples give thanks to thee forevermore.

                Give thanks forevermore; Let all nations and kindreds and peoples give thanks to thee forevermore.

                The music for the offertory is "Ave Maria" by Jacques Arcadelt.

                       Jacques Arcadelt’s “Ave Maria” sung a cappella

I believe the choir is in Taiwan.

                Here it is arranged for organ:

                       “Ave Maria” by Jacques Arcadelt, organ arrangement, played by Ciaran Goyvaerts

                Jacques Arcadelt (also called Jacob Arcadelt) lived in both Italy and France.   He composed both secular music (madrigals and chansons) and sacred music. He was born about 1507.  It isn’t known where, but some believe that he was Flemish and was born in present-day Belgium.  When he was a young man, he moved to Florence, Italy.  In 1538, he moved to Rome where he was appointed to the papal choir of St. Peter’s Basilica.  He next became a member of the Julian Chapel, then of the Sistine Chapel.  He published four volumes of madrigals while in Italy.

                He remained a singer at the Sistine Chapel until 1551.  Michelangelo had written some sonnets which Arcadelt set to music, for which Michaelangelo paid him with a piece of satin.

                In 1551, Arcadelt moved to France where he served as choirmaster for the Cardinal of Lorraine, Charles de Guise.  He composed many chansons, motets, and masses.

                Jacques Arcadelt died 14 October 1568.

                Some web sites have a painting of a person said to be Jacques Arcadelt, but the image is actually that of Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina.

                The postlude is "Paean Exultant" (1934) by Frederick Stanley Smith.  I couldn’t find a biography for Frederick Stanley Smith, so I will have to create one by finding his gravestone on and reading old issues of the Greensboro Daily News.

                Frederick Stanley Smith was born 21 May 1890 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. 

                In May 1924, he was director and accompanist for the Orpheus Mixed Quartet.  The Orpheus Mixed Quarter provided an 8:30 p.m. radio program on station WOO, Philadelphia, in the early days of radio.

                In June 1928, the Greensboro Daily News reported that Prof. Frederick Stanley Smith had been put in charge of all musical activities at Lenoir-Rhyne college in Hickory, North Carolina, and “a complete reorganization of the department of music” was being effected.  Oakview Hall was remodeled into a conservatory of music, and the professor was provided with two assistants.  In the fall, he played at a series of vesper services at Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory, where chimes had recently been installed in the organ.

                Dr. Smith was soon designated Dean of the Music Department at Lenoir-Rhyne college.  After four years at the college, he resigned to become supervisor of music in the public schools of Southern Pines (where he directed the high school glee club of 33 voices).  He was also conductor of the Southern Pines choral society.

                In 1933, while his family was living in Southern Pines, he was elected dean of the North Carolina chapter of the American Guild of Organists. 

                About 1940, he became supervisor of music in the Raleigh public schools, and the family moved to Raleigh.  Mrs. Smith became active in the Book guild.  By 1942, Dr. Smith also held the position of organist and choir director at First Baptist church, Raleigh.

                He formed a Music Club that met regularly and included a composers’ group which he chaired.  In addition to composing organ music, he wrote anthems and songs.

                The Greensboro Daily News reported in 1952 that Dr. Smith was organist and choirmaster at Christ Church in Raleigh.

                While walking near North Carolina State College in Raleigh, on Thursday, 21 Dec 1961, he was struck by a car.  He was taken to Rex Hospital in Raleigh where he died of head and internal injuries. He was 71.  Dr. Smith was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery in Hagerstown, Maryland.  The parents of his wife, Edith (Hartman) Smith, are buried in the same cemetery.  Edith lived to the age of 95, dying on 27 Nov 1993.