Sermon

“Small Synergies” – Eighth After Pentecost

Sunday, Jul. 26, 2020, Preacher: Rev. Douglas duCharme

“Small Synergies” – Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Rev. Douglas duCharme
Eleanor Daley, Director of Music
Mezzo Soprano – Lynn Featherstone

 

 

Scripture Reading: Matthew 13:31-35
Read by: Don and Nathalie Smith

 

 

Prelude Sicilienne          Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924)

 

Opening Hymn Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, brothers and sisters draw near;
Praise Him in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen all that His people hath been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee;
Ponder anew all the Almighty can do,
He, who with love doth befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! Oh, let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him!
Let the Amen sound from His people again:
Gladly for aye we adore Him.
(Joachim Neander, 1640-1680,
trans. Catherine Winkworth, 1829-1878)

 

Anthem Song of the Mustard Seed           Hal Hopson (b. 1933)

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed;
For when it is sown in the earth in the spring,
It is least of all seeds in the earth.
But when it is watered, it grows,
And is the greatest herb of all.
The kingdom of God is like a seed;
A little seed, a little mustard seed.

Wherever you go, sow a seed along the way.
A seed of love, however small it be,
May one day grow into a tree.

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed;
For when it is sown in the earth in the spring,
It is least of all seeds in the earth.
But when it is watered, it grows,
And is the greatest herb of all.
The kingdom of God is like a seed;
A little seed, a little mustard seed.

Wherever you go, sow a seed along the way.
A seed of faith, however small it be,
May one day grow into a tree.

The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed;
For when it is sown in the earth in the spring,
It is least of all seeds in the earth.
But when it is watered, it grows,
And is the greatest herb of all.
The kingdom of God is like a seed;
A little seed, a little mustard seed.
(Based on Matthew 13:31-32)

 

Hymn Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies

Christ, whose glory fills the skies,
Christ the true, the only light,
Sun of righteousness, arise,
Triumph o’er the shades of night.
Dayspring from on high, be near;
Daystar, in my heart appear.

Dark and cheerless is the morn
Unaccompanied by thee;
Joyless is the day’s return,
Till thy mercy’s beams I see,
Till they inward light impart,
Cheer my eyes and warm my heart.

Visit then this soul of mine,
Pierce the gloom of sin and grief;
Fill me, radiancy divine,
Scatter all my unbelief;
More and more thyself display,
Shining to the perfect day.
(Charles Wesley, 1740, alt.)

 

Mezzo Soprano Lynn Featherstone

 

 

Anthem Prayer of Mother Teresa           Craig Courtney (b. 1948)

Lord, help me spread your fragrance wherever I go.
Flood my soul with Your Spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly
That my life may be only a radiance of Yours.
Shine through me, and be so in me
That every soul I know will feel Your presence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only You. Amen.
(From the Daily Prayer of Mother Teresa, 1910-1997)

 

Closing Hymn All My Hope on God is Founded

All my hope on God is founded;
He doth still my trust renew:
Me through change and chance he guideth,
Only good and only true.
God unknown, he alone
Calls my heart to be his own.

Pride of man and earthly glory,
Sword and crown betray his trust;
What with care and toil he buildeth,
Tower and temple fall to dust.
But God’s power, hour by hour,
Is my temple and my tower.

God’s great goodness aye endureth;
Deep his wisdom, passing thought.
Splendour, light and life attend him,
Beauty springeth out of naught.
Evermore from his store
New-born worlds rise and adore.

Still from earth to God eternal,
Sacrifice of praise be done,
High above all praises praising
For the gift of Christ his Son.
Christ doth call one and all,
Ye who follow shall not fall.
(Joachim Neander, 1650-1680)

 

Postlude Amazing Grace (words by John Newton, 1779)

 

This morning’s anthem is reprinted under onelicense.net #A-717945. Prayer of Mother Teresa – words by Mother Teresa of Calcutta, used by permission of the Mother Teresa Centre, music arrangement © 2019 Beckenhorst Press Inc. All rights reserved.

 

♪ Music notes ♪

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best known works are his Requiem, Pavane, Sicilienne, nocturnes for piano and the songs Après un Rêve and Claire de Lune. Although his more well known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style.

Joachim Neander (1650-1680) was a German Reformed Church teacher, theologian and hymn writer whose most famous hymn, Praise to the Lord, the Almighty was described in John Julian’s “A Dictionary of Hymnology” as a magnificent hymn of praise to God, perhaps the finest creation of its author. Due to its immense popularity it was translated several times into English, and the hymn appears in most major hymnals. Tragically, Neander died of tuberculosis at the age of 30.

Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878) was the foremost 19th century British translator of German hymns into English. Her translations were polished, and yet remained close to the original, and are still used extensively in many denominational hymnals. Educated initially by her mother, she lived with relatives in Dresden, Germany in 1845, where she acquired her knowledge and interest in German hymnody. A pioneer in promoting women’s rights, Winkworth put much of her energy into the encouragement of higher education for women.

Hal Hopson (b. 1933) is a full time composer and church musician residing in Cedar Park, Texas. He has over 3000 published works, which comprise almost every musical form in church music, including anthems for children, youth, and adult choir, as well as compositions for organ, piano, harpsichord and handbells. He is also active as a conductor and clinician, having conducted choral festivals and workshops in the United States, Europe and Asia. Hopson’s cantata, God with Us, was one of the few compositions chosen to be placed in a capsule during the American Bicentennial in 1976. The capsule will be opened at the Tercentennial in 2076, and will be heard again as a representative piece of American choral composition of this century.

Charles Wesley (1707-1788) was an English leader of the Methodist movement, most widely known for writing about 6,500 hymn texts. He was educated at Westminster School and Christ Church, Oxford, and after graduating with a master’s degree in classical languages and literature, Charles followed his father and brother into Anglican orders in 1735. He was a younger brother of Methodist founder John Wesley, and Anglican cleric Samuel Wesley the Younger, the father of musician Samuel Wesley, and the grandfather of musician Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

Craig Courtney (b. 1948) is an internationally-renowned choral composer, arranger, pianist, accompanist, clinician, and choir director. A native of Indiana, he began playing the piano at the age of three and the cello at the age of eleven, and received a Bachelors and a Masters degree in piano performance at the University of Cincinnati. Following a three-year stay in Milan, Italy, where he studied the piano and worked extensively as a vocal coach, he was invited to join the music faculty of the famed Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. It was during this period, while serving in the music ministry of the Salzburg International Baptist Church, that Courtney began directing a church choir and composing sacred choral music, due to the unavailability of English language music.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) was a Roman Catholic nun from the Republic of Macedonia who adopted India as her country of service. She dedicated her life to the service of the poor, the ailing, and the destitute through the Missionaries of Charities, an order of Roman Catholic nuns, in Calcutta, India. She once said, “Love cannot remain by itself – it has no meaning. Love has to be put into action, and that action is service.” Her work transcended geo-political borders and she encompassed the whole of humanity in her healing embrace. Her work was recognized through numerous international and national awards and recognitions. She was canonized at a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican by Pope Francis on September 4, 2016, and came to be known as Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

John Newton (1725-1807) was an Anglican clergyman and abolitionist. He started his career at sea at a young age, and worked on slave ships in the slave trade for several years, but after experiencing a Christian conversion, Newton eventually renounced his trade and became ordained as an evangelical Anglican cleric. He became a prominent supporter of abolition and lived to see the UK’s abolition of the African slave trade in 1807, just before his death. Amazing Grace is his most well known hymn.

 

Music Sources:

Sicilienne Gabriel Fauré https://youtu.be/ekNmkgmnuFw
Praise to the Lord, the Almighty https://youtu.be/0JvCmvlm-Qg?list=RD0JvCmvlm-Qg
Song of the Mustard Seed Hal Hopson https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.giamusic.com/mp3s/2239_2030_5db9f2b60b185.mp3
Christ, Whose Glory Fills the Skies https://youtu.be/ZMoIgEKVTOI
Prayer of Mother Teresa Craig Courtney https://www.beckenhorstpress.com/content/mp3/BP2203-prayer-of-mother-teresa.mp3
All My Hope on God is Founded https://youtu.be/W3LCGh02Vew
Amazing Grace (words by John Newton) https://youtu.be/BA7pdABvpnc

Image Sources:

The Mulberry Tree in Autumn https://www.vincentvangogh.org/the-mulberry-tree-in-autumn.jsp
The Parable of the Leaven http://www.finedictionary.com/leaven.html
Photograph of Fairlawn Avenue United Church by Elaine Perkins