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First Congregational Church of Kent e-Spire

Volume 3, Number 31
August 6, 2022
A Message from Pastor John

First off, a quick reminder: The final day for dropping off donated school supplies is next Sunday, August 14th, because on  Monday all the donated stuff is off to Town Hall.  Or to wherever its going–I assume its Town Hall, but it might not be.  The point is, after Sunday the 14th the stuff won’t be here, and that’s what really matters.

Second off, another quick reminder: Since neither of our intrepid Livestreamers, Bethany or Carol, will be in church tomorrow, that means that there will be no Livestream of the service on Sunday morning, nor will there be a service video available on YouTube later on in the week.  The only way to go to church tomorrow will be to actually, physically, go to church, just like the Pilgrims and the pioneers used to do!  And since its a Communion Sunday you should really be planning on coming to church anyway, right?  And by the by, if you would like to help make sure we have a Livestream service and a video service available every week, the best way to do that would be to sign up to become a Livestreamer yourself!

And finally, its about 5,000 degrees outside right now, and with about 4,985% relative humidity, and the weather must have completely fried my brain, because I’ve been staring at the eSpire for almost two hours now, and I cannot think of a single thing to write about!  So I’m going to do what generations of my ancestors have done in similar situations, and just give up. Hopefully the weather will be better this coming week and I’ll be able to think of something–until then, just imagine I wrote something clever and illuminating!



shallow focus photography of musical note book

The Hymn of the Week

Our Hymn of the Week for this week is what has become our monthly Communion hymn. Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether, which was written by one of the most influential Christian leaders you’ve never heard of, Percy Dearmer.  Dearmer was an early 20th Century Anglican priest who wrote one of the most important guides to parish ministry ever, The Parson’s Handbook, but even more important than that, in 1906 he teamed up with the composer Ralph Vaughn Williams to edit The English Hymnal, which is probably the single most important English-language hymnal ever produced.  Why was it so important?  First it reintroduced the English church (and the English-speaking church) to the riches of English pre-Reformation and folk hymns and church music, and second it debuted a number of Vaughn Williams hymn tunes which have become beloved around the world.  Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether is a great statement of both Dearmer’s eucharistic spirituality and his commitment to Christian community.  Interestingly enough, Dearrmer wrote the hymns in 1931, but the tune to which we sing it didn’t come along until 1949 when the organist, composer, and teacher Harold Friedell composed an anthem based on Dearmer’s words for the choir at Union Seminary in  New York City, where he taught.  The anthem proved to be so popular that Friedell simplified the anthem’s music to create the hymn tune.