Beyond the buff Jesus: Honoring our saints

On April 29, there will be a service in the Center for Campus Ministry during which the new Presbyterian hymnals, “Glory to God,” will be dedicated in memory of Rachel Moore, an MC alum who worked for many years as the administrative assistant in the CCM and who passed away in 2011.

Moore graduated from Maryville College in 1967 with a degree in music, and often played the piano for chapel services. She had a deep love of music, and in celebration of this and her memory, the hymnals all have bookplates inside the front cover with Moore’s name and the name of the person who gave the hymnal.

One of the first things that I do when I sit down in a pew on Sunday mornings is pick up the hymnal in front of me and mark where the hymns that will be sung that day are.

I love checking to see if the hymnal was given in honor or in memory of someone.

There is something about seeing the names of the people who have come before me or who hold a special place in the life of the congregation that makes me think of the saints who have led the way, who have walked the same path that I am walking now and who likely cleared away some of the overgrown stretches, so that I will not stumble where they did.

Knowing that the hymnal dedication is coming up has given me the opportunity to think about the saints in my life. I have spent time thinking about the people who took interest in me when I was little, who always made sure to tell me that I was loved.

I remember the day that my family moved to a new town and people showed up at the front door inviting us to go get ice cream to take our minds off of the scariness of what was to come.

I remember the time that my house flooded and church members saved me from two weeks of sharing a room with my sister at a hotel, graciously offering up their home to me, and the night that I was sick and a lovely woman sitting with me at supper sent me home to bed, refusing to allow me to stay at church when I obviously did not feel well.

I have also been thinking about the saints of Maryville College, those who are here now and those who have gone before us. We are all so lucky to be in a place that honors its history as much as MC.

I have found it impossible to go a single day without hearing about an alum who has been doing amazing things or without experiencing the kindness of the incredible faculty and staff who serve this place each day.

I am thinking especially of the ceaseless grace of Rev. Dr. Anne McKee, the kindness of Mrs. Virginia Milligan, and the dedication of Dr. Tom Bogart, president of MC.

As we take time in the CCM to honor the memory of one who was so dedicated to this place, may the dedication that we see each day be examples for all of us.

One thought on “Beyond the buff Jesus: Honoring our saints

  • April 25, 2014 at 11:02 am
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    Its not only hymnal dedications that are interesting. When I visited England in the early 90’s I worshipped in a church called Chelsea Old. It was old. When I started to kneel I looked at the cover on the kneeler which carried the name and office of a saint of that church. The date he was in office began in 1325 as I recall. Now that is an old church.

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