Would you, in your wildest dreams, connect West Point and the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me”?
I never know what I’m going to find when I pick up Robert J. Morgan’s book, “Then Sings My Soul,” to research hymns.
And would you think that a couple of female, non-military Bible teachers would be buried with military honors in the West Point Cemetery?
So many of our beautiful hymns have come about out of tragedy and adversity, and this is another one.
Sisters Anna and Susan Werner, daughters of a successful New York City lawyer in the 1830s, had their accustomed lifestyle turned upside down, forcing them to find ways to supplement the family income, thanks to the “Panic of 1837.”
They did so by writing and publishing poems and stories, and teaching Bible classes to the cadets at West Point.
One novel they wrote, “Say and Seal,” was about a very sick little boy. A point of comfort for him was a song called “Jesus Loves Me.” The novel was very successful, (second only to “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”) and caught the attention of hymn-writer William Bradbury.
Bradbury set her words to the simple tune we almost all learned as children. It’s the song sung by Oklahoma schoolchildren last week when tornadoes swirled around their school.
The sisters taught at West Point for 40 years, and are the only civilians buried at West Point.
• There will be a yard sale at the New Life Community Church, 424 2nd St., this weekend. (This church is in what was once the DMV.)
The ladies of the church have been working to raise funds to replace the floor in the church. Why not stop by and see if there isn’t something you can use? There’s going to be quite a variety of stuff — you never know when or where you might come across that absolutely perfect thing!
• The Ladies Christian Fellowship will meet Thursday at 10:30 a.m. at the Trinity Center of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
All women are invited to this program of good fellowship. The group is multi-
There will be a speaker and special music with lunch catered by Northwoods at a cost of $10, or $3 if you just want coffee.
• Donations continue to be collected for our mission groups: non-perishable food for Reach Out Ministries food bank, and medical supplies for Team Redwood’s fall trip to Haiti.
Call Liz at 464-3539 for further information or to make reservations which are needed to ensure sufficient food ordered.