Stone church

Insights from Old Orders of Service

by Mike Roberts, Church Historian

By looking at old Orders of Service, it might be possible to ascertain what the issues of the day were ten, twenty, thirty or even a hundred years ago. What were those issues fifty years ago? Following are extracts from Orders of Service for the year 1965. They give us some insight into what our congregation was pondering during that era.

The topics for the Great Decisions series that year included: “The Population Explosion”; “Communist China: Increasing Threat to Peace”; “Union of South Africa: Is Race War Inevitable”; “Viet Nam: War Without End?”

“Prayers, Busses and Bigots” is the subject of a sermon delivered by the Rev. James M. Hutchinson, January 17th on the School Bus Bill controversy. The sermon closes….. “in the relation between Church and State, good fences make good neighbors.”

The sermon by Dr. Karl Bach on June 13 was entitled, “The World Our Children Inherit.”

“We are still living in a world of sovereign nations. Indeed, a distinguished American scholar said in the mid 1950’s that because individual nations were wedded to their national interests, the United Nations had no real future.” — Andrew W. Cordier

Next Sunday it will be our privilege to have Mr. Sig Goodman, Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee speak to us. Mr. Goodman’s topic will be: “Who Speaks for Peace?” In times of world strife, how can we apply our religious faith as peace-makers and peace keepers?

“What our civilization needs today, as a condition of increasing maturity and for inner renewal, is the cultivation of an exquisite sensitivity and an incomparable tenderness.” —Lewis Mumford

“Any of you who wish to use the UNICEF boxes for the collection of funds for ‘All the World’s Children’, can get these boxes in the church vestibule.” The sermon that week was “UNICEF, the Trick is to Treat.”

In many cases the names are different but the scenarios are little changed as we face a troubled world in 2015.\

Picture: Essex Street Church (home of our congregation in 1965)

Image courtesy of Nyttend via Wikipedia. Public domain.