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Presbyterians to feature tenor Matthew Lehner

At 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 15, Tyrone Presbyterians will remember the 98th anniversary of Father’s Day, as they feature tenor soloist Matthew Lehner, sing beloved congregational hymns for Father’s Day, and hear a morning message about the heavenly father’s unconditional love.
To celebrate the 98th anniversary of Father’s Day, the Growth and Spiritual Enrichment Committee will provide each man in the audience on Sunday with a gift of candy. With that small gift, the committee will commemorate that Father’s Day evolved 98 years ago on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington.
While listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in her church in Spokane, a woman named Sonora Smart believed that her own father – Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart – deserved recognition for rearing his six children alone, after his wife died giving birth to their sixth child in March of 1898. On June 19, 1910, with much urging from Sonora Smart, Father’s Day was born in her church in her hometown of Spokane, especially to honor father’s who had made supreme sacrifices for their families. By 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported a National Father’s Day. However, not until 1966, did President Lyndon Johnson officially establish Father’s Day on the third Sunday of each June.
Guest tenor soloist Matthew Lehner will commemorate the 98th Anniversary of Father’s Day by singing Josh Groban’s 2003 inspirational song entitled “You Raise Me Up.” The son of Samuel Lehner and Karen Iddings, Matthew has held several solo roles in Tyrone’s Allegheny Chorale, both as a tenor and a trumpeter.
A full-time sales associate for Southern Blair Hardware, Mr. Lehner will seek to convey the role many fathers play in the lives of their children when he sings these lyrics of Groban’s 2003 song: “When I am down, and oh, my soul’s so weary/When troubles come, and my heart burdened be/Then I am still, and wait here in the silence/Until you come, and speak awhile with me/You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains/You raise me up to walk on stormy seas/I am strong, when I am on your shoulders/You raise me up, to more than I can be.”
The audience also will remember the 98th Anniversary of Father’s Day when they lift their voices for three congregational hymns that focus on the theme of heavenly and earthly fathers. Worship will open with Maltbie Babcock’s 1901 hymn celebrating nature’s heavenly father entitled, “This Is My Father’s World.” The congregation will celebrate earthly fathers when they sing Frederick Faber’s 1848 tribute hymn to martyrs entitled, “Faith Of Our Fathers.” Presbyterian worship on this 98th Father’s Day will close with a poignant benediction from the heavenly father, composed by Jaroslav Vajda, and entitled, “Go My Children, With My Blessing.”
One of the foremost hymn composers of the Lutheran Church in America, Vajda passed away on May 10, 2008 following a life in which he composed more than 200 hymns that created new eloquence and excitement about the ancient truths of Christ’s gospel. Composer Vajda achieved stunning success as an American hymn writer because he had translated so many poems and stories from the Slovakian language.
Epworth Manor chaplain and Presbyterian preaching pastor Mark Liller will deliver the morning message entitled, “A Pre-Existing Condition.” On this 98th Father’s Day, Pastor Liller will remind parishioners that God the father’s love covers all pre-existing conditions of their lives. God the father does not expect his children to clean up their acts before they can be worthy to approach him, and to receive his love, grace, and forgiveness. Instead, the father says, “Just as you are, come!”
As people all across this community remember their fathers, grandfathers, step-fathers, and other male role models on this 98th anniversary of Father’s Day, why not join Tyrone Presbyterians for 10:30 worship on June 15 and especially to hear this Father’s Day hymn benediction:
“Go, my children, with my blessing, never alone / Waking, sleeping, I am with you: You are my own / In my love’s baptismal river, I have made you mine forever / Go, my children, with my blessing – you are my own. I, the Lord, will bless and keep you, and give you peace / I, the Lord, will smile upon you, and give you peace / I, the Lord, will be your father, savior, comforter, and brother / Go, my children, I will keep you, and give you peace.”