OREMUS: 22 September 2006

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Thu Sep 21 20:30:27 GMT 2006

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OREMUS for Friday, September 22, 2006 
Philander Chase, Bishop of Ohio and of Illinois, missionary, 1852

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, Shepherding God,
undaunted you seek the lost,
exultant you bring home the found.
You touch our hearts with grateful wonder
at the tenderness of your forbearing love,
revealed in your Son, Jesus Christ. 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever.

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 123

To you I lift up my eyes,*
 to you enthroned in the heavens.
As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters,*
 and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
So our eyes look to the Lord our God,*
 until he show us his mercy.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy,*
 for we have had more than enough of contempt,
Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich,*
 and of the derision of the proud.

A Song of Repentance (1 John 1:5-9)

This is the message we have heard from Christ
and proclaim to you:
that God is light,
in whom there is no darkness at all.

If we say that we have fellowship with God
while we walk in darkness,
we lie and do not do what is true.

But if we walk in the light
as God is in the light,
we have fellowship with one another.

And the blood of Jesus, the Son of God,
cleanses us from all our sins.

If we say that we have no sin,
we deceive ourselves
and the truth is not in us.

If we confess our sins,
the One who is faithful and just will forgive us
and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 147:13-end

Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem;*
 praise your God, O Zion;
For he has strengthened the bars of your gates;*
 he has blessed your children within you.
He has established peace on your borders;*
 he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
He sends out his command to the earth,*
 and his word runs very swiftly.
He gives snow like wool;*
 he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
He scatters his hail like bread crumbs;*
 who can stand against his cold?
He sends forth his word and melts them;*
 he blows with his wind and the waters flow.
He declares his word to Jacob,*
 his statutes and his judgements to Israel.
He has not done so to any other nation;*
 to them he has not revealed his judgements.

FIRST READING [Proverbs 30:18-33]:

Three things are too wonderful for me;
   four I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
   the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
   and the way of a man with a girl.

This is the way of an adulteress:
   she eats, and wipes her mouth,
   and says, 'I have done no wrong.'

Under three things the earth trembles;
   under four it cannot bear up:
a slave when he becomes king,
   and a fool when glutted with food;
an unloved woman when she gets a husband,
   and a maid when she succeeds her mistress.

Four things on earth are small,
   yet they are exceedingly wise:
the ants are a people without strength,
   yet they provide their food in the summer;
the badgers are a people without power,
   yet they make their homes in the rocks;
the locusts have no king,
   yet all of them march in rank;
the lizard can be grasped in the hand,
   yet it is found in kings' palaces.

Three things are stately in their stride;
   four are stately in their gait:
the lion, which is mightiest among wild animals
   and does not turn back before any;
the strutting rooster, the he-goat,
   and a king striding before his people.

If you have been foolish, exalting yourself,
   or if you have been devising evil,
   put your hand on your mouth.
For as pressing milk produces curds,
   and pressing the nose produces blood,
   so pressing anger produces strife. 

Words: Frederick William Faber, 1862;
Tune: Beecher

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There's a wideness in God's mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there's a kindness in his justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good;
there is mercy with the Savior;
there is healing in his blood.

There is no place where earth's sorrows
are more felt than in heaven;
there is no place where earth's failings
have such kind judgment given.
There is plentiful redemption
in the blood that has been shed;
there is joy for all the members
in the sorrows of the Head.

For the love of God is broader
than the measure of man's mind;
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful,
we should take him at his word;
and our life would be thanksgiving
for the goodness of the Lord.

SECOND READING [Romans 11:25-32]:

So that you may not claim to be wiser than you are, brothers and sisters, I want you to
understand this mystery: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full
number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved; as it is
'Out of Zion will come the Deliverer;
   he will banish ungodliness from Jacob.'
'And this is my covenant with them,
   when I take away their sins.'
As regards the gospel they are enemies of God for your sake; but as regards election
they are beloved, for the sake of their ancestors; for the gifts and the calling of God
are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but have now received
mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that,
by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. For God has imprisoned
all in disobedience so that he may be merciful to all.

The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or 
Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

Blessed are you, eternal God,
to be praised and glorified for ever.

Hear us as we pray for your holy catholic Church, 
make us all one, that the world may believe.

Grant that every member of the Church may truly and humbly serve you:
that the life of Christ may be revealed in us.

Strengthen all who minister in Christ's name:
give them courage to proclaim your Gospel.

Inspire and lead those who hold authority in the nations of the world:
guide them in the ways of justice and peace.

Make us alive to the needs of our community:
help us to share each other's joys and burdens.

Look with kindness on our homes and families:
grant that your love may grow in our hearts.

Deepen our compassion for all who suffer from sickness, grief or trouble:
in your presence may they find their strength.

We remember those who have died:
Father, into your hands we commend them.

We praise you for all your saints who have entered your eternal glory:
bring us all to share in your heavenly kingdom.

O Lord, we pray to you,
the help of the helpless,
the hope of those past hope,
the savior of the tempest-tossed,
the harbor of the voyager,
the physician of the sick:
You are all things to us,
you know each of us and our need,
each house and its need,
and receive us all into your kingdom
making us children of light:
Bestow on us, O Lord our God,
your peace and love. Amen.

Almighty God, 
whose Son Jesus Christ is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith:
We give you heartfelt thanks for the pioneering spirit 
of your servant Philander Chase, 
and for his zeal in opening new frontiers for the ministry of your Church. 
Grant us grace to minister in Christ's name in every place, 
led by bold witnesses to the Gospel of the Prince of Peace, 
Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, 
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Grant us delight in the mercy that has found us
and bring all to rejoice at the feast of forgiveness. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray),
(c) The Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary Edition_,
copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving and the closing prayer use phrases from a
prayer in _Opening Prayers: Collects in Contemporary Language_.
Canterbury Press, Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is from _New Patterns for Worship_, copyright (c) The
Archbishops' Council, 2002. 

The first collect is from The Liturgy of Saint Basil.

The second collect is from the resolution passed at General Convention
authorizing the feast of Philander Chase.

Philander Chase was born on December 14, 1775, in Cornish, New Hampshire. 
In 1791, having been dissuaded by his father from his earlier aspirations of
becoming a farmer, young Chase enrolled in Dartmouth College. There he
happened upon a copy of The Book of Common Prayer which inspired him to
leave behind his Congregational upbringing and seek ordination as an
Episcopal priest.
When Chase graduated in 1795, Chase traveled to Albany, New York, to study
under the Reverend Thomas Ellison. In 1798, Chase was ordained a deacon
and he spent the next year traveling throughout western New York organizing
parishes. When admitted to the priesthood in 1799, Chase took charge of
Christ Church in Poughkeepsie, New York.
In 1805, Chase accepted an invitation to help establish the first Episcopal
parish in New Orleans, Louisiana. He hoped that the warmer climate would
help alleviate his wife's consumption (tuberculosis). Mary's health did not
improve, however, and the Chases desperately missed their children, whom
they had left with relatives in Vermont. Thus, in 1811, Chase returned to the
New England to take over the rectorship of Christ Church in Hartford,
Connecticut, and to oversee his sons' education.
Chase would not stay long in Hartford. He soon felt the pull westward to
preach on the frontier as he had years earlier in western New York. In 1817,
this urge, coupled with growing tensions between he and John Henry Hobart,
bishop of New York, compelled Chase to follow the migration west. He settled
in Worthington, Ohio, a small pioneer community established in 1803 by a
group of fellow New Englanders. There, Chase purchased a tract of land for a
farm and was appointed principal of Worthington Academy. It was also there,
in 1818, his wife Mary succumbed to her illness.
Shortly after this devastating loss, Chase received the appointment of bishop of
the newly-formed Diocese of Ohio. This appointment was met with much
disapproval by several fellow bishops and Chase was not consecrated until
February, 1819. That same year, Chase married Sophia May Ingraham.
Life in Worthington was not easy for Bishop Chase. He struggled to support
his family, but his income from his farm and from Worthington Academy did
not suffice, and his position as bishop paid him no salary. To better his financial
situation, Chase accepted the presidency of Cincinnati College in 1821.
Chase would return to Worthington after about one year. He soon realized that
the Diocese of Ohio was in dire need of help. Despite his hard work, and
unending travel (he logged over 1200 miles on horseback between June, 1820,
and June, 1821), Chase found it exceedingly difficult to find trained clergy.
Since its split from the Church of England, the Episcopal Church paid little
attention to its western expansion. Thus, with no expectation of help from the
East, Chase formulated a plan: he would found a theological seminary in the
West to train clergy for the West. Many other bishops strongly objected to
Chase's plan, especially his rival, Bishop Hobart. They believed that the
General Theological Seminary in New York (founded in 1817) was sufficient
to train western clergy.
It was clear that Chase could not raise the necessary funds for his theological
seminary in America, so he ignored the opposition from the East and traveled
to England to solicit donations. Accompanied only by a single letter of
introduction (that of Henry Clay to the Lord Gambier), Chase set sail in
October, 1823. That single letter, along with his determination, proved
successful. By July, 1824, Chase had raised nearly $30,000 dollars for his
seminary. Donors included the Lords Gambier, Bexley, and Kenyon, Lady
Rosse, and Hannah More. In December, the Ohio legislature incorporated
Chase's theological seminary, which he would name Kenyon College, after one
of its chief benefactors. This seminary continues today as Bexley Hall
Seminary, both in Rochester, New York, and now back in Ohio on the campus
of Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus.
Problems arose as Chase struggled to keep Kenyon funded and running
smoothly. He argued that since he was bishop of Ohio and founder and
president of Kenyon College, he had absolute authority over all aspects of the
college and the seminary. This caused a bitter conflict between with the
trustees, faculty, and the clergy. Finally, in 1831, the Ohio Convention
demanded he relinquish some control. Chase, both frustrated and exhausted,
instead resigned the presidency of Kenyon College and the episcopacy of Ohio
on September 9, 1831.
Chase left Gambier with his family and settled on a small farm twenty miles
away (near Millersburg) which he aptly named the Valley of Peace. The next
spring Chase moved his family to Gilead, Michigan, where he returned to the
life of a simple farmer and itinerant minister.
Chase's simple life did not last long. In 1835, without his knowledge, a group
of Illinois parishes gathered to form the Diocese of Illinois, and elected Chase
its first bishop. Chase, seemingly pleased to leave the simple life, eagerly
accepted this position and again looked to the East for aid for his new diocese.
As before, Chase received little help from the East, so he quickly formulated
plans for a new theological seminary to be established near Peoria (Jubilee
College, founded in 1839). 
While Chase's position within the church improved (as senior bishop, he was
appointed to presiding bishop in 1843), his new college struggled to stay open. 
By 1852, Chase, now seventy-seven, had lived a hard pioneer life and as a
result, his health was failing. In September, Chase was pulled from his carriage
by his horse. He lingered for a few days, but on September 20, Philander Chase
died. Without Chase at the helm, Jubilee had no chance of survival. It struggled
on for a few more years and finally closed its doors in 1862. Samuel Chase,
after serving as chaplain during the Civil War, attempted once more to open
Jubilee, but was forced to begin selling the lands in 1871.
Philander Chase spent his life hacking through the frontier wilderness
missionizing and educating, as well as traveling throughout the country (and to
England, twice) raising money to support his endeavors. Chase also faced the
death of his wife, Mary, and of three of his children (two of whom did not see
their first birthday), and he endured constant attacks of his enemies, and a life
of dire financial straits, for both him, and his institutions. Nevertheless, Chase
was able to overcome these hardships and achieve his goals of bringing religion
and education to the west thus establishing himself as a seminal figure in the
history of religion, education, and the American frontier. [Kenyon College,

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