Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book of Common Worship

Minutes, General Assembly  | May 25, 1951, p. 51| Committee Reports

The Report of the Special Committee on The Book of Common Worship in the absence of any member of the Special Committee was presented through the Recording Clerk. The Report was received and approved as follows:

During the ecclestical year, your Committee lost the leadership of its Chairman, Rev. Hugh Thomson Kerr, whose death occurred June 27, 1950, at the age of 79.

Dr. Kerr succeeded Dr. William Chalmers Covert in 1943, and under his efficient chairmanship, the Committee undertook the revision of The Book of Common Worship, Revised, and published in 1946. Dr. Kerr was peculiarly fitted for this important undertaking of our Church by his long interest in liturgics, his familiarity with the literature in this field, and his unusual literary gifts.

The 162nd General Assembly adopted certain Overtures which called for the insertion of a new first question in connection with all ordinations. This required corresponding changes in the forms for Ordination in The Book of Common Worship. These changes were approved by the Office of the Stated Clerk, and for the convenience of those who have the edition of 1946, slips were prepared by the Board of Christian Education, as publishers, for insertion at the proper places in The Book of Common Worship.

The Committee has thus been continuing to render such service as is required of it as a Special Committee appointed “to act in collaboration with the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly.”

"He Who Would Valient Be"

McCormick Seminary Course Catalogue 1946-47

B. The Department of Pastoral Theology
Professor Halsey**

The purpose of this department is to prepare the pastor practically for the various spheres of usefulness today claiming his service. It deals with personal piety, his family life, his social manners, his intellectual habits, his pulpit presence, his executive and administrative responsibilities, and his relationships to his congregation, to the community, and to society.

*P 101. Common Worship. The principle of worship; theory and practice. Orders of worship; regular and special days. Writing of collects and prayers. The history of Christian worship. A foundation course with much writing and practice. ½ major, Winter quarter, Junior year.

*P 102. Church Policy. A consideration of the principles of the Presbyterian system of government, administrative and judicial, including the sacraments, ½ major, Spring quarter, Middle year.

*P 103. Functions of the Minister. A study of the minister himself; his habits; his education, cultural, and devotional development; essential qualities; fatal errors; duties in the parish; counseling; evangelism; the minister as “friend at large.” Discussion, lectures, and demonstration. ½ major, Autumn quarter, Senior year.

P 103-105. Practicum in Pastoral Theology. For men serving churches as student pastors or assistants. Orientation toward pastoral responsibilities; discussion of problems; supervision of field work in church activities. ¼ major, Each quarter.

P 113. Liturgical Practice. This course continues the study begun in Course P 101. It includes an intensive study of the church year and of special services which the minister must conduct. The minister’s practice is related to basic liturgical theory and history. ½ major.

P 114. Pastor’s Use of the Bible. Lectures, discussion, demonstration in the minister’s use of the English Bible for devotional and liturgical purposes. Bible passages and quotations for sick calling, for evangelistic and other services. Prayer-meeting talks, biographical studies of great Scripture characters, etc. An effort to relate the student’s knowledge of the Bible to pastoral duties. ¼ major, Spring quarter.

P 118. The Larger Parish. The Seminary has part in two larger parish projects. One in Mattoon Presbytery offers closely supervised work to six students who serve pastorates under the direction of Rev. Harry Bicksler, the Pastor-Director. In the Summer quarter these student pastors meet two hours each week in a Seminar Conference supervised by Mr. Bicksler, Dr. Cummins, and Professor Halsey. Representatives of the State Agricultural College, the Farm Bureau, the State Teachers’ College, the Federal Farm Bureau, the Grange and other organizations take part. 1 major.

P 140. Practicum in Church Management. Discussion of problems in the care of property, the development of organizations, the promotion of campaigns, and finances. Open to Middlers and Seniors. (Professor Halsey, Vice-President Neigh, Mr. Potts.) ¼ major.

P 143. Methods and Types of Evangelism. Reading and discussion of the types of evangelism; personal, parish, pastoral, group. (Professor Halsey and Professor Frank, assisted by local pastors.) ½ major.

* Prescribed for Seminary students.
** On leave Winter and Spring quarters, 1946-47. Prescribed courses in Pastoral Theology were given in the Autumn quarter.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Pilgrim's Progress: Revised

Then he called to him Mr. GREAT-HEART, who was their guide; and said unto him, "Sir, although it was not my hap to be much in your good company in the days of my pilgrimage, yet, since the time I knew you, you have been profitable to me. When I came from home, I left behind me a wife and five small children. Let me entreat you at your return (for I know that you will go, and return to your Master's house, in hopes that you may yet be a conductor to more of the holy pilgrims), that you send to my family; and let them be acquainted with all that hath and shall happen unto me. Tell them, moreover, of my happy arrival at this place; and of the present blessed condition that I am in. Tell them also of CHRISTIAN and CHRISTIANA his wife; and how she and her children came after her husband. Tell them also of what a happy end she made, and whither she is gone. I have little or nothing to send to my family, except it be prayers and tears for them; of which it will suffice if thou acquaint them, if peradventure they may prevail." When Mr. STANDFAST had thus set things in order, and the time being come for him to haste him away, he also went down to the river. Now there was a great calm at that time in the river; wherefore Mr. STANDFAST, when he was about half way in, he stood awhile, and talked to his companions that had waited upon him thither. And he said:

"This river has been a terror to many; yea, the thoughts of it also have often frightened me. But now, methinks I stand easy; my foot is fixed upon that upon which the feet of the priests that bore the ark of the covenant stood, while Israel went over this Jordan.


Then he called to him Mr. GREAT-HEART, who was their guide; and he said, "Sir, although it was not my hap to be much in your good company during the days of my pilgrimage, yet, since the time I knew you, you have been profitable to me. When I come from home, I had left behind me wife and small children, and you have brought them on the journey safely to me. Tell those, my friends, of our happy arrival at this blessed place.

And he said: “This river that I now cross has been a terror to many; the thoughts of it often have afrighted me. But now, methinks I stand easy; my foot is fixed upon that on which the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the covenant stood, while Israel went over Jordan.

Monday, March 11, 2013


1939 Minutes of the General Assembly Meeting of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Seminary


1918 Minutes of the General Assembly Meeting of the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A., Stitt Library, Austin Presbyterian Seminary

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The New Era Movement

from The Messenger | Promoting the Work and Worship of The Seventh Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati | February 23, 1919

EDITORIAL. Chicago Examiner. Jan 15.—While some agencies that have made much more noise about reconstruction have been muddling over their blueprints, demanding legislation or waiting for the other fellow to make the first move, the Presbyterian Church has stepped out boldly and started something. The church does not call what it is doing “reconstruction,” but it is the best sort of reconstruction, nevertheless. Designated “The New Era Movement,” the program calls for the expenditure of $75,000,000 within the next five years in ways that will benefit society. Yesterday, one million was appropriate to increase the salaries of 6,500 pastors in 1919. Just as chaplains were invaluable to the armies of Foch, so will clergymen be needed in the social readjustment upon which the world now is entering and the end of which no man can foretell.

The Presbyterians are to be congratulated on their foresight. Able men will be needed in the ministry in the years ahead, and plenty of them. And you must permit an able man to hold up his head in the corner grocery if you expect to get out of him all that is in him.

Altar and pulpit are bulwarks against that which is most feared by thinking men to-day. When they fell in Russia—dragged down, it is true, by the Czar—Bolshevism rose. The cloth, under any name, represents what is constructive. In the ratio that it is free and respected, a country will prosper.

One church in ever community. To unite the peple in worship and service, with the gospel of friendship for all; with help for every community need, whether good roads, adequate schools, social life, or what not; with Christian leadership for every occasion and co-operation for every moment which contributes to the betterment of mankind. A resident minister in every community church, with the love of the country church and country people in his heart, with accurate and sympathetic knowledge of this task and his community. Every community a permanent home, where no one is poor or strange or dissatisfied; where men are taught how to live and work in the country and to support their homes, their institutions, and their community; where ever generation transmits a richer heritage—in lands and institutions and traditions—than it received; where there is satisfaction in the present and a faith in the future to inspire with confidence of Eternal Life—this is the program of our Board of Home Missions.

AMERICAN business requires foreign representatives. So does American Christianity. The Presbyterian branch is operated in fifteen foreign lands. Educating the ignorant, healing the sick, uplifting the fallen, holding forth the Word of Life to one hundred millions for whom we are responsible. We have 1,366 foreign representatives who conduct this work. A foreign representative costs a home church $1,250.

Somewhere in France | In Memoriam

December 22, 1918

In Memoriam

Serg. JOHN R. HUBBARD was killed in action “Somewhere in France” on September 28th. The sympathy of the congregation is extended to his mother and sister. The first gold star on our service flag appears to-day.

“He died as few men get the chance to die—
Fighting to save a world’s morality.
He died the noblest death a man may die,
Fighting for God, and Right, and Liberty;--
And such a death is Immortality.

For centuries a star has been emblematic of the highest ideals toward which men aspire. Whatever is not to be surpassed in beauty and achievement, that we symbolize by a star. In the hearts of Americans to-day one star is set above all others—the Service Star.

A Service Flag in the window of a home that gives a son! Simple and quite familiar now, but still prompting many visions. We see beyond it a flag of many stars—Old Glory; we think of a man upon a bloody field, face to face with death; we hear a mother’s prayer; we see far beyond, Justice triumphant and Peace restored. But most often we think of the son and the mother.

Long ago, above a lowly house hung a star of portent and glory, and beneath it, as now, there was a mother and a Son. Then, as now, the star marked a house where the Son offered His life for the life of a world; a house where the mother knew, with all mothers, the agony and the benediction of sacrifice.

We who are but watchers of the battle, pass these present houses of the war, seeing too little. WE need to remember that first House of the Star and, like Wise Men, follow its guidance in the [illegible] of sacrificial joy.

Seventh Church | WWI Honor Roll

Somewhere in France | Oct. 2, 1918

November 24, 1918

Dearest Muver:

Will please excuse my seeming neglect to write, but we have been on the road for some time, and when on the move you are busy preparing to leave, then comes the trip, and then the bustle of getting settled again. As that all takes time, we have been pretty busy for some time lately, and hence my not writing. In the future, Muver, please don’t worry if you don’t receive a letter for a week or so, for from now on we will be more or less mobile at all times, and writing is hardly possible. Excuse this scrawl, as my hands are cold as blue blazes and it’s work pushing the pencil.

U. S. Field Artillery in Chateau-Thierry. U.S. Army Signal Corps Photograph.
We are in billets again in the funniest old village you ever could imagine; up on a hill overlooking a beautiful river valley. The village is nothing but a maze of funny old crooked alleys. Of course, there are no lights here at night and finding your own particular barn in the pitch dark is quite some stunt. Seven of us, six corporals and one sergeant, have a very nifty little place in the loft of an old house and are more comfortable than could be expected. The old quilt is still with me and doing noble service, for nights are cold up here farther north, and it beats six army blankets. The valley below us I still untouched by German hands except prisoners who work in the fields here, so it is still very beautiful. I have seen some valleys that were not so pretty, but these French are a wonderful race, and when the Germans have been pushed back, they are going right back building up. I passed thru Chateau Thierry one day and you have read about that. Well, business goes on and the people are all back again putting on new roofs and building their broken wall.

We received mail when we arrived here and I got a huge group, which pleased me more than a real meal. That is saying quite a lot. If I get permission, I am going to send bill a German helmet, as they are quite plentiful, some graves having as many as five or six at a time.

We have a great time, yelling at prisoners, telling them the war is soon going to be over—all over Germany. They only stare, for I guess they are past emotions. Poor suckers, they were shoved into it, and most of them are done fighting for the rest of their lives.

I surely enjoyed all of your letters, and Muver, I surely am proud to know you are doing your bit so finely. We passed thru towns and were treated fine, so I am happy in the knowledge that Cincy is doing her part, as always. Altho, Muver, if you print any more letters and distribute them in church, I fear my correspondence will be in the future ----------.

I am well and happy. Bon jour, Mon Cherie. The castle I spoke about in that letter was in Lamur, where the big officer’s school is here.

Well, Muver, the time for mess is nigh, so heaps of love to all and tell them to keep on writing, for that surely makes one happy boy.


Corp. Edward H. Shields
Battery E, 136th F.A.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

British Marines at "Y " Hut, Mourmansk

Somewhere in France | August 24, 1918

November 3, 1918

Dear Brother Bill [William Wode]:

How is everybody Over There to-day, old scout. Received two of your letters; one each, June and July; and also your picture which Sis had sent; they sure are good. I am glad to hear that you are back on your feet again and to hear you were home again to see the folks.

Well, bill, we were right in it the last couple of months; two big battles; but I got through them O. K. The first one was on the Champagne, and the second, Chatteau Thierry. Boy, she was open fire right; we got them on the run and gave them plenty; although we were under heavy shell fire. I never thought I had to dig my own hole, but here is one place I did, or got into the nearest shell hole. Machine guns were just sweeping us; and believe me, I dug with my nose sometimes; even the enemy planes would fly over us and drop bombs or turn their machine guns at us; but we are still in the land of the living. We got them out of a couple of towns; they left so fast, we could see them beating it over the hills; they didn’t have time to bury their dead. One time we had to wade a creek; a French river up to our waist and over. They tried to hold us there, but we run them without artillery until ours caught up to us again. We were without food for three days and little water, as it was bad to drink. We have gone through lots of hardships, but that’s to be expected.

Well, Bill, we are back of the lines for a rest and some more training; we have some new men. Last week before we were on the move, I took several good swims in the river; the water was pretty cold.

I haven’t met any of the boys as yet from home, but I hope some day I will. George and I were in Gay Paree for two days, and believe me, kid, we had some good time. We had two months pay coming, but it wasn’t our luck to get it; but we had a little besides what dad had sent in some of his letters; and the girls club at the factory (Globe Soap Company), sent seven and a half; boy, we had some good time. We stayed in the finest hotels and ate the best of everything.

We had an alarm one night of Sirens, blowing over the city as the enemy planes were near and everybody running for safety; but we stood on the Boulevard, listening; it sounded like New Year’s eve. Broadway is a mere spec to Paree. She is lively all night long, but all lights are out except the taxies.

Well, Brother, we are having fine hot weather. I am going to try to have my picture taken again when I find a place, hoping you are all well as I am O. K. Regards to all.

Your brother,
Corp. Louis H. Wode
Co. H—116th Inf.

Somewhere in France | September 1918

October 27, 1918

Work can often be a pleasure, the following extracts from one of our Engineer Corps boys in or near the front line trenches of France, indicate that the most unusual of tasks and conditions have their bright side:

“I feel in a particularly good frame of mind tonight, cause by finding a barn full of hay today. Now that does not seem like a very remarkable thing, does it? Ah! But it was a wonderful discovery, because sleeping on the ground had long since lost its romance, and the ground was getting a little harder every night. Now our cozy little tent is piled deep with sweet smelling hay, and Chris and I are as comfortable as can be.

Was awakened this morning by Chris with the explanation that if I wanted any breakfast I had better get a move on. Result—wild dash for shoes, and breakfast of bacon and potatoes. Then I shouldered my trusty shovel, executed a squads left and marched three miles to work. On sighting the enemy (work) deployed and advanced in skirmishing order, attached the enemy on all sides, and after eight hours hard fighting, interrupted by a feast of pork and cabbage, and the discovery of the aforementioned barn, was victorious. Then the march homeward with the spoils of war (the aforementioned hay) followed by a good supper of hot cakes and beans. I am ashamed to say that I lined up three times for the former, and would have continued doing so if the cakes had not given out.

Then followed a very delicate operation, namely shaving in the dark. Ah! With me that is the feat of feats, and another victory was scored for the A. E. F. (American Excavating Forces).”

W. O. Henderson, 21st Eng

Somewhere in France | August 24, 1918

October 20, 1918

Dear Mother:

Just a few lines to let you know I am in good health, and that everything is going fine. We have had several air raids lately which were very interesting. I will try to describe one to you.

I was sitting on a bench in front of our head-quarters. It was about 8:30 in the evening, and the moon was as bright as day. Suddenly we heard the drone of a German aeroplane. The enemy plane is distinguished very easily from an ally plane because of its peculiar shape and sound. Naturally we have seen them both together and, hence can differentiate between very readily. The fun started. My roommate and I beat it for a dugout, but before we arrived there the anti-aircraft guns opened upon him, and then it seemed like a thousand machine guns came in the second count and then—everything let loose. By that time, we were in the dug-out, and outside shrapnel was falling like rain. Above the noise of the guns we could hear the hum of the enemy aeroplanes, and just about the time we thought everything was over, there was a loud crash, and it seemed as though the whole world trembled. This was followed by eleven more, each one seemed to get closer and the windows were breaking everywhere. There is a hospital about one hundred feet from us with American soldiers in it. On the roof of each building is big red cross which covers the whole roof, but that didn’t make any difference to the enemy. They dropped one right in the yard, then I guess they were satisfied, and returned home where they no doubt received an iron cross and piece of limberger cheese.

You know that there are thousands of men in the rear that never get a chance to go in the trenches, but have to work in the rear keeping up roads and taking care of the supplies. Well every day we hear of some of these men missing, and they are gone for about three weeks. When we do hear from them they are in the first line trenches giving the Germans all that’s coming to them. That’s the spirit of the American soldier. He always wants to be where there’s something doing.

I must close now, hoping this letter finds everybody in good health. Tell Edith and Glad I will write them a letter this week, and I hope to be home for Easter.


Chester H. Sadler M.E. Bdqts, Dept
112th Engineer, Aero Squadron
Expeditionary Forces

Our Boys

“Somewhere in France,” August 18, 1918

September 22, 1918

My Dear Folks:

In the battle zone at last! It is rather difficult to believe that the Boche are just a few yards over No Man’s Land, but the are there and when they open up with their heavy artillery there is no doubt but what they are on the job. We have been here four days and witnessed three air battles, one heavy artillery duel, one machine gun barrage and two raids. Some of our officers have been over in the Hun trenches on a raid and had quite and exciting time of it.

The headquarters of our company is in a large dug-out and it is very comfortable. There are three rooms and a hall and two entrances. The Captain left for school yesterday, so I am again in command of the company. I move into his room in the dug-out and have my orderly “White” with me. In the center room is Lieut. Nimmo and orderly, and in the rear room is the First Sergeant, Company Clerk, and an extra orderly. We surely have good battery emplacements for our gunsn, and we can fire straight into the Hun lines.

The French artillery opened up the other night and fired a few shots perminute until the must have secured a hit and then the Hun artillery opened up. Their shells came quite close and burst just a few yards in our rear. The noise was something awful, but it was certainly fascinating. I enjoy this excitement; there is nothing else like it on earth.

There have been several aerial battles right over our heads and so far the French planes have come through O. K. The Huns don’t put up much of a fight around here—don’t guess they have a whole lot of fight left in them after four years of war. However, good or bad, our boys are their equal and then some and will give them a licking any time we run into them . . . . [remainder illegible]


October 20, 1918


Just remember that when a woman waits on you, or takes you to your office in an elevator, she is part of the victory machine. Because she is doing his work, some young man is able to take his place on the frontiers of freedom.

You can help the whole machine along by courtesy and reasonable patience. It sometimes make it a bit harder for you, but it isn’t any too easy for her. Being thrown suddenly into a strange world of business complications is just as startling experience for this brave little woman as it was for you when you began work. (Ad. From New York paper.)

Norwegian Deaconess Home & Hospital | Brooklyn

Cameron McDonald Comstock born August 5, 1936, at Lutheran Norwegian Deaconess Home and Hospital on 4602 Fourth Avenue, in Brooklyn.


"Mr. Halsey’s Last Letters" | Sept. 1, 1917

The Messenger | Promoting the Work and Worship of The Seventh Presbyterian Church in Cincinnati

San Francisco, Cal.
Saturday P.M. Sept. 1, 1917

Dear friends,

First of all, I want to thank you for the generosity that makes my trip possible. I will try and prove a worthy representative of the Seventh Church.

The heartening attendance last Sunday morning makes me realize the intimacy of our fellowship during the past four years—and it is four years this week since I became your Minster.

My absence will place obligations on each of you, that I know will be gladly met, so that the work of the Church will not suffer.

I feel the short comings of my ministry among you and when I come back, will try and correct them.

I have the membership list with me, and beside, will carry you all in my heart, and though the censor may object to my writing you, I will be thinking of you just the same.

The verse that I leave with you, as the one I take with me, is one of Paul’s letters, —“I Tim. 1:1—“The Lord Jesus Christ who is our HOPE,” and now that the world has seen the failure of so many things, it becomes more evident that the Hope the Future is in our Master.

God bless you each one.

Your friend and Minister,
Jesse Halsey