In the church narthex is a small tin communion plate. It sits next to the 1938 youth group song book. Both were recently rediscovered, tucked away among the church's archives.
The book was easy to research. But this communion plate remains something of a mystery.
It was a mass-produced item. The floral designs were stamped into the metal, and the lip was machine-rolled.
In the middle is an inscription, which could possibly have been hand-stamped.
It's seen some hard use. The rim is dented, and the patina suggests frequent handling.
This little communion plate is a part of OPC's history. Albeit it's one with more questions than answers.
Was this a presentation piece to (or from) the Sunday School? Was the plate used for communion at Youth Group gatherings or just for Sunday School events? Was it ever used in regular Sunday worship?
We can only speculate. But it's good to have this tactile piece of history available once again.
If you have an opportunity, pick up the plate. And imagine all the hands that held it before you.
Youth and adults from over a century ago used this humble tin plate to pass the bread. They said the same words and did the same actions we do today in worship for communion.
This plate is not just a historic curiosity. It's a reminder of the continuity of this church's faith over the past 175+ years.
For the First Sunday of Lent, Pastor Rebekah preached a powerful sermon. During Lent, our church is looking at the various roles of God. Her sermon was a contemplation of God as creator.
It reminded me of an obscure song by the Apollas, "Mr. Creator." Although not quite on message with Pastor Rebekah's sermon, I couldn't get the tune out of my head. And so I share it with you.
The song was written by Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson. It was recorded by the Apollas in 1968. The Apollas were supposed to be Warner Bros.' answer to the Supremes. After three years and eight singles, though, the group failed to chart and disbanded in 1968.
That's not the end of the story, though. In the late 1960s a new dance movement emerged in Northern England. it was called Northern Soul. And its soundtrack was obscure soul singles British DJs brought over from the States.
By the mid 1970s. "Mr. Creator" had become a Northern Soul classic (which is how I first discovered it). It can be found on several Northern Soul compilation.
So does this have anything to do with Pastor Rebekah's message? Well, perhaps. Consider these lyrics:
The one who rules the earth and the sky,
You can change my loneliness in the twinkling of an eye.
Mr. Creator, I know you have a lot to do
I hope my problem isn't too small for you.
For God the Creator, can any problem be too small -- or too large?
- Ralph Graves
OPC Communications Team Leader