This Communion Sunday (10:00 a.m.) we welcome back into our pulpit our long-time friend, the Rev. David Pruitt*, who promises to take us on a quick detour from the Lectionary onto the road to Emmaus (Luke 24).
Click below for some wonderful strolling music (which John Atwood will play as the offertory) as you read about this week’s service.
David says: During his time on earth people , at times, did not realize Jesus had been with them until after the fact even though their experience with him had been deeply touching and transforming. One such experience is found in Luke’s gospel when two travelers on the road to Emmaus had spent blessed “quality time” with Christ but did not recognize who they were really being served by until their time together was almost over. This weeks message offers a contemporary experience in which Jesus deeply touches a life at a critical moment through the unusual sensitivity of a simple taxi driver.
Complementing the message will be the line-up of special music and hymns. There is an interesting back story to the hymn
The Church’s One Foundation, written in the 1860s by Samuel John Stone … as a direct response to the schism within the Church of South Africa caused by John William Colenso, first Bishop of Natal, who denounced much of the Bible as … fictitious!
The Bishop was deposed for these teachings and Samuel Stone felt inspired to write his hymn poem based on the Apostles’ Creed in 1866. He titled it, Lyra Fidelium; Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles’ Creed. The Church’s One Foundation is based on the ninth article, “the holy catholic church; the communion of saints”. The song also served as inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s 1896 poem, Hymn Before Action. We know it best as sung to the tune “Aurelia” by Samuel Sebastian Wesley.
Read below two verses penned by Stone which are no longer in hymnals. They speak to just how strongly he felt about the unity of the church’s Trinitarian message and its community of believers.
“The Church shall never perish! Her dear Lord to defend,
To guide, sustain, and cherish, Is with her to the end:
Though there be those who hate her, And false sons in her pale,
Against all foe or traitor She ever shall prevail.
Though with a scornful wonder Men see her sore oppressed,
By schisms rent asunder, By heresies distressed:
Yet saints their watch are keeping,Their cry goes up, “How long?”
And soon the night of weeping Shall be the morn of song!”
Our organist John Atwood will be playing pieces by John Stanley and J.F. Dandrieu. Listen here to Stanley’s prelude Voluntary #6 in F Major, Dandrieu’s offertory and postludes Bass de Cromorne and Dialogue, and Mendelssohn’s But the Lord Is Mindful of His Own, which John will play at the Steinway.
COMMUNION and the Sharing of the Elements: All are welcome to this feast of love. We wait to eat the bread and drink the cup together. You will find a gluten free option at the center of the bread plates. We serve juice, not wine, so that all may partake.
*Rev. Dave Pruitt lives with Anna-Lisa, his wife of 52 years, in Haverhill, NH. Dave taught high school in Mass. for 30 years before coming to the Upper Valley where he returned to the ministry. He retired from full-time service in 2002 and has since been doing pulpit supply and interim work, including 2 years here at our own congregation. During the first 4 months of this year he filled in at the West Newbury Congregational Church while Rev. Cindy Batten was on sabbatical. Dave is especially attracted to the depiction of Jesus of Nazareth in the gospels. He also finds humor to be far too under-appreciated as a spiritual value in church life.