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Heritage Facts Bundle #7

February 22, 2014

For 300 years the White Plains Presbyterian Church has been nurturing faith in our city. Heritage Facts, or snippets of  history, appear in our Sunday bulletin every week.        Check the index for other posts.

November – December 2013

HERITAGE FACT: There are bits of history hidden in plain sight all around our building. There is a Japanese maple in our parking lot that was planted by Nan Watkins in 1937. It sits in what was once the front yard of the manse, which was located approximately where the parking lot and playground are now. She did this during her husband Tom’s tenure as pastor of this congregation from 1925-1938. When Nan passed away, a plaque was place in front of the tree by her daughter, Marjorie Watkins (Tweet Timmons). It reads “In memory of Nan Watkins, 1888-1965.

HERITAGE FACT: There are bits of history hidden in plain sight all around our building. On the backside of our organ are two brass plaques. The first reads: “Dedicated to THE HARMONY SINGERS whose initiative and loyalty made the first gift to the Organ Fund – 1927.” The second reads “In loving memory and appreciation of MRS. CORNELIUS P. YOUNG whose interest and generosity made this organ possible – 1931.”

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HERITAGE FACT: There are bits of history hidden in plain sight all around our building. In the chancel there is a plaque which reads: “To the Glory of God / and in Loving Memory of / George A. Allin and Heloise L. Allin / George Gaskell and Sarah P. Gaskell / this window has been dedicated by their son and daughter / George L. Allin and Edith Gaskell Allin.” The window was given during the 1940s as part of a post-war beautification project. At that time, the window was elevated only about as high as our present cross, allowing the congregation to approach it. The window was lifted higher during the sanctuary renovation of 1964. You may have noticed that it is showing its age, darkening in one corner, and the second panel on the left is sliding down. The Church Council, as stewards of this gift and in anticipation of our 300th anniversary, have just approved a restoration project for 2014.

HERITAGE FACT: Our service concludes today with the congregation singing “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” a paraphrase of the medieval O Antiphons. The titles of the coming Christ appeared in the daily Vesper antiphons sung during the week before Christmas; their roots date at least to the reign of Charlemagne. Both text and tune are the fruit of the 19th century efforts to reclaim Christian treasures from pre-Reformation sources.

There are seven stanzas in our current hymnal. One stanza of this paraphrase of the great O Antiphons may be sung on each of the last days of Advent as follows

Dec. 17: O Wisdom (2)                           Dec. 20: O Key of David (5)                         Dec. 23: O Emmanuel (1)

Dec. 18: O Lord of might (3)               Dec. 21: O Dayspring (6)                                                                                    

Dec. 19: O Root of Jesse (4)                 Dec. 22: O Desire of Nations (7)

More information on this hymn can be found in the online or iPad app versions of Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal.

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