St Paul's Church, 19th century Easter


John Henry Houghton, Priest of Salem


The One Hundred Fiftieth Anniversary

O God, make the door of this house wide enough to receive all who need human love and fellowship, and a heavenly Fatherís care; and narrow enough to shut out all envy, pride and hate.
Make its threshold smooth enough to be no stumbling-block to children, nor to straying feet, but rugged enough to turn back the tempterís power.
Make it a gateway to thy eternal kingdom.
                                                                                        Thomas Ken

The Feast of Saint Peter and Saint Paul
27 June 2010

Icon of Saint Paul, Patron of the Parish

The principal  celebration of the 150th anniversary year of Saint Paul's Church, Salem, took place on Sunday, 27 June 2010. The day began with the parish celebration of the Sunday Eucharist.


Jared Stamm singing the Prelude:                                                                                   The Holy Eucharist                        
"There's a wideness in God's mercy"                                                                                                                                               

In the afternoon, parishioners, friends, and members of the local community gathered at Saint Paulís for an ecumenical and community celebration of the parish sesquicentennial. Don E. Kerr, former organist of the parish, played a recital on the churchís historic organ. In his introduction of Mr. Kerr, Father Kriss noted his leadership in the restoration of the organ. Mr. Kerr commented on each of the pieces he played by the Dutch composer Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck and invited the choir and congregation to sing the verses of the hymn, Allein Gott in der HŲh, between Sweelinckís variations on the hymn tune.

Program for Recital and Evensong (pdf file)


                Fr Kriss welcomed everyone                                            Don E Kerr at the organ                         Mr Kerr gave background
                and introduced Mr Kerr                                                                                                                         remarks on Pieterszoon
                                                                                                                                                                                    and his music

A choir of more than 20 singers sang the music of the service of Evensong which followed the recital. Saint Paulís parishioner Jared Stamm conducted the choir and parish organist William Briggs accompanied the service on the 1855 E. & G.G. Hook organ. Singers in the choir included parishioners, friends, members of other local churches, and members of the communities of New Skete. They sang Preces and Responses by William Smith of Durham (17th century), an anthem by Geoffrey Shaw (20th century), and plainsong psalms and canticles.

The Choir

The preacher, the Reverend Canon Robert Limpert, told the congregation that church buildings are signs of the Kingdom of God. He said that for 150 years Saint Paulís Church in the earthly Salem has been a place where people have had a foretaste of the heavenly Salem through the sacraments of Baptism, the Eucharist, and Holy Matrimony. He closed his sermon with Thomas Ken's prayer for the church door.

  Fr Kriss and Fr Limpert                    William Briggs at                           Al Cormier reading                              The Sermon             
before the service                                 the organ                                       the first lesson                                                            

The retired Bishop of Albany, the Right Reverend David S. Ball, attended the service and gave the blessing. Town Historian Al Cormier and Methodist Pastor Debbie Earthrowl read the lessons. Also present was one of the former clergy of Saint Paulís, the Reverend Jere Berger.

Bishop Ball with former                          The Rev Debbie Earthrowl                                   Fr Jere Berger      
senior warden Winnie Riggle                      with members of the choir                                                                       

The celebration continued with a sumptuous reception in the old rectory next to the church. Featuring both catered and home-made foods, and local wine, the reception spilled out on to the porch and rectory lawn and continued into the evening.

      Monks of New Skete           John Mielke and Doris Bedell          Fr Limpert and visitors            Enjoying a warm evening

Kathy Gould



Thanks to generous bequests from the estates of Mabel and Blanche Smart, the parish has been able to embark on a program of major renovations to the church property. The work will be ongoing through the year, but the slide show below documents some of the work that has been completed in the church building.

Photos on this page by Nancy Twaddell, Ian Wiltshire, and Gary Kriss.


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