Here is a picture of my dear friend, teacher, and living bodhisattva, G. Victor Sogen Hori, professor emeritus of Zen Buddhism at McGill University. For him and for all the mercies and blessings he gave me, thanks and praise to the living God!
P.S. If you listen to the meditation–a special thanks to brother Jeremy Pletter, who bought me my drink at CTB, an Ithaca Ginger Beer-and who is teaching my daughter Annie to sing with power and joy.
At a recent celebration of the rich tradition of African American spirituals, our chaplain emeritus Gurdon Brewster heard the Dorothy Cotton Singers sing the incomparable Moses Hogan’s setting of We Shall Walk Through the Valley in Peace. It so moved him that he arranged to have it sung in his parish church, Epiphany Trumansburg, on Palm Sunday this Holy Week. Sadly Gurdon died before hearing his beloved community sing this wonderful piece of music, but we sang it with spirit and love, and then sang it again at his graveside service at Greensprings Cemetery.
This past Thursday night, the Anabel Taylor Chapel Choir, led by our director Ms. Anna O’Connell of the Cornell Roman Catholic community, sang Hogan’s piece at their regularly scheduled Choral Compline service led by ECC chaplain Clark West. Here is an audio recording of their song, dedicated to the memory and legacy of Gurdon Brewster and the beloved community.
After the sermon, we sang “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” which Gurdon writes about in the chapter “Singing Hymns” from his book No Turning Back. And.yes, we sang the first verse again right after finishing the hymn because it is indeed that good.
Church of the Epiphany in Trumansburg is blessed to have local musician, songwriter, and Irish music lover Mark Bickford as one of its music ministers. This Good Friday he sang his original text and setting of the Passion Gospel. It moved most of us in attendance to tears and we share it here in thanksgiving for the gift of music to soothe our souls in times of grief and sorrow.
I am so thankful to have been able to be with Gurdon’s church family at Epiphany Trumansburg this Palm Sunday. We sang loud and strong and wept with joyful sorrow in the Eucharistic feast over which he presided for so many years.
A sermon preached at Church of the Epiphany in Trumansburg on April 2, 2017. My children Cecilia, Annie, and Amos were sitting in the first row. Cecilia tells me that she listened but that the other two misbehaved. Amos, 6 years old, seemed puzzled by that interpretation of his piety. [That’s my mom Judith Wallace West standing and my Aunt Mary Hall crouched below]