Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on google
Google+
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

This Rare Place

South of Buffalo in New York State, along the banks of a lake perfect for sailing, there is a summer camp for people of all ages. It is an annual community organized around a 9-week season for the liberal enjoyment of arts, education, faith & recreation.

This rare place, Chautauqua Institution, is a community infused with tolerance and core human values — an encouraging contrast to a world of intolerance that pays lip service to human values. How refreshing it is that they humbly profess their imperfection, as they create daily signs of improvement toward human being!

At a recent Chautauqua community faith gathering, a guest speaker, the uniquely remarkable and inspiring Senior Pastor of Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, the Reverend Doctor Raphael Gamaliel Warnock, spoke about the essence and universality of “The Lord’s Prayer.” It takes an amazing orator to bear the “Reverend Doctor” title, and Warnock carries it well.

As prelude to the preaching, some words of “America the Beautiful,” written by scholar, educator and author Katherine Lee Bates (1893), composed the morning prayer. A community quadfecta, Chautauqua Style — Arts, Education, Faith & Recreation — in one hour!

America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

America! America! God mend thine ev’ry flaw,
confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law.

America! America! May God thy gold refine,
till all success be nobleness and every gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream that sees, beyond the years,
thine alabaster cities gleam, undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu