Time & Location
Oct 15, 2023, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Church of the Advent, 401 N Union St, Kennett Square, PA 19348, USA
About the event
An Avenue of Hope: Jazz Vespers
Last April after our Jazz Vespers at Church Farm School in Exton, PA, I invited a friend to coffee and asked him what he thought. His response was simple and it hit the mark, he said: ‘the program was an avenue of hope’. In our current world of 24/7 news and noise, hope is a rare thing indeed!
I am inviting you to the next Jazz Vespers on Sunday, October 15, 4 pm at Episcopal Church of the Advent, 401 N. Union St., Kennett Square, PA 19348. The Priest presiding will be The Rev. Edmund ‘Ned’ Sherrill, a man who has dedicated his life to the education of young people. At Church Farm, where Ned has served for the past 15 years, the School gives high school age boys from marginalized life situations the opportunity to learn and become scholars. It is a ministry with a long standing possibility. Instead of a life on the streets of Brooklyn or West Philadelphia, these young men are becoming scholars and model citizens. In short, CFS is saving lives. There will be a freewill offering in support of CFS.
Although this program of Jazz Vespers specifically honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from the 1960’s, one cannot help seeing the parallels of the struggles and sacrifice of our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln in the 1860’s. Lincoln was elected in 1860 to ‘preserve the Union’. I am certain that he was unprepared for what life would throw at him until his untimely assassination five years later. On Thursday, February 20, 1862 Abraham and Mary Lincoln were reeling from the death of their second oldest son, Willie. It is likely that he died from typhoid fever. It is said that the experience of losing a child opens one up to exceptional empathy. Lincoln felt the losses of the troops he sent
into war…. the loss on both sides of the battle. In fact, he often wrote letters to the grieving families.
One such letter was written to the daughter of a Union soldier, Lieutenant Colonel William McCullough of the 4th Illinois Cavalry, killed on February 5, 1862, in a battle near Coffeeville, Miss. His daughter Fanny was inconsolable and locked herself in her room. At the request of David Davis, a mutual friend of the Lincolns and the McCulloughs, President Lincoln wrote to Fanny.
“It is with deep grief that I learn of the death of your kind and brave Father; and that it is affecting your young heart beyond what is common in such cases… You are sure to be happy again…the memory of your dear Father, instead of agony, will yet be a sad sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer, and holier sort than you have known before.
Your sincere friend,
Hope comes in many forms, but especially to those who walk in faith.
‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen’ (Hebrews 11 v. 1). I invite you to come sing the great African American hymns: Blessed Assurance, Lord, I have seen thy salvation and more next Sunday. And you too will leave with a ‘sad, sweet feeling in your heart, of a purer, and holier sort than you have known before’.
Wilson G. Somers, Director of Music,
Episcopal Church of the Advent,
Kennett Square, PA