“O Lord, help us to be masters of ourselves, that we may be servants of others.” - Alexander Paterson
“God doesn’t look at how much we do but with how much love we do it.” - Mother Teresa
“It is much easier to preach the gospel of love for mankind than it is to love single, individual, not very lovable sinners.”(“Amen”– Editor) - William Barclay
“Mammon is the largest slaveholder in the world.” - Frederick Saunders
January 25, 1968 John Pennink received a marvelous write-up in the Inquirer for his brilliant interpretation of Tchaikovsky Concerto No 1, with the London Royal Philharmonic [Orchestra] Sunday at the Academy of Music. Many Bryn Athyn friends attended the concert.
July 25, 1968 Mr. John Walter, Jr. of Fox Chase, passed into the spiritual world on Monday, July 15th, at the age of 59 years….John Walter graduated from the Academy’s Boy’s School. He is survived by his wife, Edna, and five children, all of whom have attended the Academy Schools. Mr. John Walter, Sr., who worked in the construction of the Cathedral for around 13 years, is now 87 years of age.
On Tuesday, April 18th I parked my car on Alden Road in Bryn Athyn, opposite my niece’s home. For 21 years I had lived with my family in a house just behind Brin’s home. And I had not walked around my growing-up neighborhood for the past 35 years. But there I was on a nostalgic adventure as I walked down Fetters Mill Road toward the Bryn Athyn Station, Post Office. When I got there I walked to the right along the new nature trail and former railroad line.
Soon I found a bench to sit on and enjoy the natural beauties of this sunny day. Nearby was an old rusty sign frame perhaps indicating where the former railroad siding was. The rail tracks may still be there but if so they are buried in vegetation.
It was on December 5, 1921 that a passenger train from Philadelphia brought Cathedral workmen to the Bryn Athyn Station and then moved northward about 25 yards and then backed onto the rail siding. The train engineer had orders from Philadelphia to wait on this siding until two trains, filled with commuters, passed by on a single track line, headed for Philadelphia. Well, the engineer waited until one train passed then he pulled out of the siding and headed north. Soon his train collided with the second Philadelphia-bound train with great loss of life. Twenty-six people died and many others were seriously injured.
One wonders what the train engineer was thinking.
Anyway I arose from my bench and headed northward toward a rusty old bridge which spanned the Pennypack Creek. The water was very clear and musical as it flowed peacefully in its allotted place in nature. With my left hand resting on the old bridge I looked down at this beautiful creek. As I viewed its curved banks I thought back to the time when I trapped muskrats there. A classmate of mine and I caught the muskrats over a period of perhaps a year or less. It was fun to collect them early in the morning and I dutifully gave them to my friend who sent them off, to New York City, as I recall. He made a nice profit.
My long-ago friend has worked very hard in his lifetime and probably is worth many tens of millions of dollars. I remained poor, but that is OK. Now I wonder if my friend ever entered into intense self-examination, reformation and regeneration. I hope so, for gaining as it were, the whole world and neglecting personal regeneration is a very poor arrangement indeed as to how to spend one’s few years in the natural world.
Then I walked back toward the Bryn Athyn Station. A short distance from the station I found another bench. There I sat and contemplated a hill about 20 yards in front of me. I was looking for a clear, cold stream of water that used to filter through that stony hill.
Here is an insight into Gunny’s association with this area in the early 1920s: “I was faced with quite a problem concerning my own living arrangements. My wages were $17.60 per week [working at the Cathedral’s glass factory] and room and board at the Inn was $18.00 per week. In order to get along on my income, I joined Doron and Bob Synnestvedt and Randy Blackman, who were living in an old Army squad tent just about a hundred yards south of the Bryn Athyn Station. The tent was on Doron Synnestvedt’s property just above the spring….We carried our water from the spring and bathed in the nearby Pennypack Creek….This arrangement was fine for the summer, but by mid-October our daily baths in the creek were becoming a little too hard to take.” (Opportunity, Challenge and Privilege by Ariel C. Gunther, pp 55&56)
Soon I walked back up Fetters Mill Road and arrived at Brin’s charming home just as she was leaving for her work as a Montessori teacher. She gave me a big hug and I promised to return and walk with her in this area and share my memories with her.
“Oh, Lord, I thank you for the privilege and gift of living in a world filled with beauty and excitement and variety. I thank you for the gift of loving and being loved, for the friendliness and understanding and beauty of the animals on the farm and in the forest and marshes, for the green of the trees, the sound of a waterfall, the darting beauty of the trout in the brook. I thank you for the delights of music and children, of other men’s thoughts and conversation and their books to read by the fireside or in bed with the rain falling on the roof or the snow blowing past outside the window.” Louis Bromfield, 1896-1956
Except for Venetian blinds, it would be curtains for all of us.
Remember, double negatives are a complete no-no.
“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice safe playpen. When they are finished, I climb out.” - Erma Bombeck
In the shadowed light of dust,
Her lights a-twinkle in the gloom,
I gazed upon the Christmas tree
Oh, how she cheers this empty room!
Each bird upon each bough alight
With cocked head and shining eye
Seems so alive it could take flight.
Yet in their nests of straw they lie.
And I recall as I sit here
With what sweet reverence I knelt
To clothe this tree in garlands fair.
And what strange magic I then felt.
Tis like a bride I see her now
Adorned to grace a special day.
To speak of bounty, love and light
That nothing ever can dismay.
Dorothy Linquist 1984
NOTE: Two years ago when the Christmas season ended I asked Dorothy if we should take down the Christmas tree or leave it up. She decided to leave it up and it has been in the living room since then. We enjoy it very much and when the lights are lit the tree shares its happy sphere with us.
“In 1687, [William] Penn granted 10,000 acres of land to his friend Nicholas More which became known as the Manor of Moreland….The Manor of Moreland became known as Moreland Township before eventually being divided into three parts in 1916….”
(The three pieces of information above are from a Lower Moreland Township brochure printed in 2010.)
“…the Bishop [W.F. Pendleton] proposed the name ‘Bryn Athyn,’ derived, he said, from Welsh words for ‘hill’ and ‘cohesion.’ On September 25, 1899, on John Pitcairn’s motion, the Board voted 6 to 3 to name the community Bryn Athyn.”
John Pitcairn: Uncommon Entrepreneur A Biography by Richard R. Gladish
Regular readers of SUNSHINE MAGAZINE of which there are about 500, know that I occasionally present facts which define personalities, many of whom are related to our church. (Incidentally the number of about 500 readers is the number of people who spend 15 minutes to half an hour reading this magazine each month. This is determined by professional statisticians who monitor how much time people spend reading magazines on the internet.) Anyway the pictures I paint of various people are accurate, I believe, but sometimes they are less than flattering. Also their proper names are never revealed to protect their reputations. Maybe only 20% of readers speculate correctly about the names of those I write about. Sometimes however the unrevealed names are more easily apparent to more readers, I suspect.
So it happened that I encountered a man and a woman, a month or two ago, who are readers of SUNSHINE. And I called out to them, “Does anyone want to tar and feather me for what I write.” The man immediately responded, “Richard, you write the truth and I read every word of your magazine.” I thanked him profoundly for his words of understanding. They meant a lot to me.
Recently I read this very fine article in March/April issue of New Church Life by the Reverend Walter Orthwein:
“While He was dying on the cross the Lord said; ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’ (Luke 23:24) This shows how essential knowledge of the truth is. And how deadly lack of knowledge can be.
“Questions of truth and falsity may seem abstract, academic, theoretical – not crucial or of practical importance. But what we believe and think determines how we act, for good or ill. The fact that an evil deed was done unknowingly does not lessen the harm it caused, which can be excruciating.”
“Ignorance, indeed, excuses, but it does not take away falsity that has been confirmed; for such falsity is bound together with evil, thus with hell.” (Divine Love and Wisdom 350)
“The Lord is never angry, never condemns anyone, is always merciful. But His mercy operates by means of truth, and without the light of truth, we are more likely to be drawn into one of hell’s devious plots.” “Nothing therefore is of more importance than to know what is true.” (Arcana Coelestia 794)
Therefore I shall continue to write what I believe to be true, supported by facts. This is done so that readers of this magazine may gain a clearer vision of what is happening or has happened in our church and society, for good and bad. Without truth shared and loved, how can the New Church grow? Let all of us love what we believe to be true. Let us do what is good according to the new consciences which exist in regenerating souls – so is the opinion of this layman.
Face the truth.
Providence helps those who help themselves.
Expand and add new elements to your life.
Give people a second chance.