another story from Dad’s sermons and handouts


I figure that some of my most persistent and careful readers are family members. Indeed besides my own need to write a daily entry they are uppermost in my mind when I write.

That being the case, here’s an excerpt from my Dad’s sermon dated January 27, 1963 entitled “Tackle the Impossible.”

“I wish to talk tonight primarily to the young people of our church, though certainly I do not wish to exclude anyone else. I believe that something of the Adolescent is present in all of us here, and we will all find something of benefit for ourselves from this message…

But tonight, my heart goes out to you  young people…

I think I understand something of what you are facing…something of what you are experiencing…something of what your problems are…

I cannot say adolescence or youth was the happiest period of my own life… There were some of the saddest moments of my life spent in my teen years. Some of the deeper sorrows of my life were felt at this time, … heartaches…gloom…frustration…fears…despondency.” [emphasis added]

I remember my Dad as someone who seemed to have a lot going on inside him. He rarely confided to me about this stuff. But what inkling I was able to get often linked his silent struggle with his youth. It seemed to me that he carried disproportionate guilt around this time of his life (unless of course he was a murderer or something).

He was definitely hard on himself as he remember being a young person. He more than once expressed relief at having that part of his life over and would not want to repeat it. But he does go on this sermon to say this.

“But on the other hand, I do not wish to paint the picture with too dark colors, for there were also the bright  moments as well…Against the blackness of despair, many times there shown forth the white brilliance of joys such as I have seldom experienced since…There were many happy moments too…rollicking, frolicking, tripping moments…days of laughter, days when everything was wonderful, and my heart sag with the joys of a thousand angels in song…”


Yesterday morning I got up and reviewed and read material I had received on Saturday from David Lamb at the American Guild of Organists’ Regional Dean meeting I attended on behalf of local Dean Rhonda Edgington.

This included two articles Lamb himself had provided for us. The first of them, “Inspired Passion or Personal Satisfaction,” was published in the Fall 2012 Issue of ICDA Notations (link to pdf of this issue) ICDA is the Indian Choral Directors Association. The second seemed to be a copy of a speech he had recently written called “Blessings in Disguise!” along the same lines. Both articles are attempting to inspire choral directors.

This morning I got up and reviewed the handouts from a presentation given yesterday at my church’s education hour.

Brad Richmond and Brian Coyle presented a synopsis of a course the have given several times called “Sacred and Profane”

It’s one of those travel courses. They take students to Great Britain and visit London, Bath, Cambridge and more. They observe English choral singing and also folk dancing and music.

I was most taken with Richmond’s comments on the impact of tech on the arts. Apparently this is a strong subtext of this course.

The hand out included a reading list. Here are some of the links I was able to run down this morning.

George Orwell: Shooting an Elephant

 Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman

William Blake’s America, 2010

Guns of August from Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age by Modris Eksteins

“The Moral Significance of Material Culture” from Power Failure: Christianity in the Culture of Technology by Albert Borgmann

“Is Facebook Making us Lonely?” by Stephen Marche

They also included this article in the packet itself: James Wood: The Book of Common Prayer : The New Yorker

Some interesting stuff.

I have been thinking and reading in this area for years. It’s too bad I don’t get a chance to bullshit with these guys about this stuff. I would enjoy it.

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