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Presbyterians to salute soldiers and saints

At 10:30 a.m. worship on Sunday, November 5, the 85 members of Tyrone Presbyterian Church will salute local soldiers and ordinary saints as they anticipate Veteran’s Day and celebrate All Saints’ Sunday.
As they open morning worship on this first Sunday of November 2006, church members will anticipate the 88th anniversary of the close of World War I on November 11, 1918, known as Armistice Day or Veteran’s Day. While they look ahead to Veteran’s Day 2006, Presbyterians will salute local soldiers by pledging the American flag and singing these 1893 patriotic lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates: “Oh beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife / Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than strife / America! America! May God they gold refine / Till all success be nobleness, and every gain divine.”
Before they close morning worship, church members will celebrate All Saints’ Sunday. To commemorate this Sunday, Pastor Bob Dunkelberger will read the roll call of those nine faithful Tyrone church members or ordinary saints who have departed mortal life since last November. These departed church members include Jean Leeper Lykens, Jane Robertson, Howard Hurd, Paul Bressler, Louise Stonebraker, Ruby Dubbs, Bernard Shildt, Dr. Samuel Lake and Francis Brisbin.
To prepare the audience to commemorate these nine departed church members, the Westminster Choir will inspire worshippers to look forward to a heavenly reunion with departed friends and loved ones as they sing this 1936 anthem by Virgil and Blanche Brock, “Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion / With our dear loved ones, who’ve gone before / In that fair homeland, we’ll know no parting / Beyond the sunset, forevermore.”
As they read the roll call of departed saints, Tyrone Presbyterians will recall an All Saints story told by Agnes Jackson Wilson in her biography of her Pastor/father Dr. James Renwick Jackson, who served as Tyrone Presbyterian pastor from 1939 to 1944. A young man at Princeton Seminary named Edwin York so admired Reverend Jackson that he invited him to preach the sermon at his ordination service into the ministry. Enthusiastically, Dr. Jackson consented. Sadly, Jackson died of cancer in 1953 before Mr. York became ordained.
Edwin York responded with this reflection in a letter to daughter Agnes Jackson Wilson, “Dr. Jackson had agreed to preach my ordination sermon, but passed away before he could. Nevertheless, the greatest sermon Dr. Jackson preached was the life he lived. I had his life to look to, something better than any sermon.”
Remembering this story about Dr. Jackson, Tyrone Presbyterians look to the lives of those nine departed Tyrone Church members as sermons in flesh and blood that will continue to inspire and to uplift them.
In addition to drawing inspiration from the lives of nine ordinary local saints, hopefully worshippers at the Presbyterian Church at 10:30 a.m. on November 5 also will find themselves uplifted by “A Song For Soldiers and Saints”. British singer Petula Clark catapulted this song into popularity when she sang it as the theme song of the 1969 movie version of James Hilton’s winsome classic “Good Bye, Mr. Chips”.
“In the morning of my life, I shall look to the sunrise / At the moment in my life when the day is new / And the blessing I shall ask is that God will grant me / To be brave and strong and true / And to fill the world with love my whole life through. / In the evening of my life, I shall look to the sunset / At the moment in my life when the night is due / And the question I shall ask only I can answer / Was I brave and strong and true / Did I fill the world with love my whole life through?”
Pastor Bob Dunkelberger encourages everyone across Tyrone in need of spiritual uplift and inspiration to join Tyrone Presbyterians for 10:30 a.m. worship this Sunday as they salute local soldiers and ordinary saints.