Christ's Lutheran Church in 1963

[ Pastor Norman C. Krapf ] Pastor Norman C. Krapf, pictured here, conducting services. (To enlarge the picture, just click it.) Pastor Krapf later had these reminiscences of his ministry:(1)

From Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976]. (Close)
I remember my nearly eight years as Pastor of Christ's Church as a time of beginnings. It was my first parish. I was married during my ministry there.… It was a time of change. The LCA was born. A new parish education curriculum and Service Book and Hymnal was introduced. New members joined with existing members to maintain and advance our life and work.… It was a time when deep friendships were made.… I recall the many deep relationships with so many which remain among the richest treasures of my ministry at Christ's Church. Above all, I rejoice with you in Christ because he enabled us to come together, sharing joy and sorrow, as we sought to render service together, in His Name.…
Here are some later reminiscences(2): From Christ's Beacon, February 2006. (Close)
It was good to know the many fine people who were members… and this is the most significant recollection I have of my ministry there. I recall an emphasis on fundamentals, Baptism, worship. education, support of our life and work, catechetics, weddings and funerals.… Christ's Church was the first parish I served following seminary graduation.… I remember hearing a world traveler saying: "the Woodstock area is one of the most beautiful areas of the world." Upon gazing at Overlook Mountain…, I felt a sense of awe at its majesty and beauty. It was always a joy to look out of the parsonage window and see the mountain. In making pastoral calls, it was always an inspiration to view the natural beauty of Woodstock and the surrounding area as I traveled to and from the homes of those I visited. Many of the members I knew are now with the Lord. I remember them with thanksgiving and their contribution to the life and work of Christ's Church. I recall a colleague once saying: "that among the parishes I served in my ministry, there is something special about my very first parish and my service there." He was right. I still see and inexperienced Pastor moving into an area of inspiring natural beauty called to serve a parish and learning that yes, the Pastor molds the congregation but likewise the congregation molds the Pastor.…

A cooperative effort of eight synods, including ours, had resulted five years earlier in the publication of the Service Book and Hymnal (or SBH). Luther Reed, a renowned scholar of church music, who had worked on the 1917 Common Service Book, was chairman of the Joint Commission that, prior to publishing the SBH, managed to navigate the shoals of contentious debate regarding the nature of the liturgy and hymnody.

[The] Common Hymnal must be a new work, not simply a conflation of the existing hymnals; it must contain only good hymns providing, as a companion to the liturgy, for the full round of the Christian Year… and Life; the hymns should be devotional rather than didactic or homiletical, and their directions Godward, not manward; the hymnal must be ecumenical in character, expressing the continuity and catholicity of the life of the Church; the final criterion is not Lutheran authorship, but agreement with the teachings of the Word of God; the hymnal must have the highest standards of excellence, and each hymn, being an act of worship, should be exalted in language, noble in thought and reverent in feeling.(3) Quoted in Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 152, citing Reed, Luther, in SBH. (Close)
As church historian Mark Anderson has pointed out, the music in the Lutheran hymnals had been steadily revised since the 1888 common service book (the Book of Worship, the 1898 edition of which our congregation had acquired six decades earlier), eliminating most of the old Protestant and "gospel" favorites of other sects in favor of old-fashioned Lutheran hymns of Reformation days. The SBH was apparently the apogee of this trend; the book included many of the harmonizations of J. S. Bach as well as some beautiful plain-song melodies.
The SBH has been described as being "Anglican," or even "Roman Catholic," in the direction that was taken. Although it restored many of the ancient classical hymns of the church, it did so by omitting some of the basic repertoire of Lutheran hymns from the sixteenth century. It also included many pietistic songs inherited from the Scandinavian Lutherans. Nonetheless, the hymnal did include a solid selection of hymns that used the harmony of J. S. Bach. It was also a catalyst for bringing about unity among some very diverse traditions within the American Lutheran community. Scholarship and a changing aesthetic were at work in the national and the local church.(4) Quoted in ibid., pp. 152-53, citing Schalk, Carl, God's Song in a New Land: Lutheran Hymnals in America [St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1995], p. 172. (Close)
A fund to buy 100 new copies of the SBH was started. According to the April issue of The Scroll(5): Unless otherwise indicated in a footnote, excerpts from church records or from The Scroll are cited in ibid., Chapter 9. (Close)
New Service Book and Hymnal to be introduced into service through the generosity of Percy Croswell.
The use of the new hymnals was to commence on May 19.

The Sunday School children "adopted" a 7-year-old girl from Chile through the Christian Children's Fund, Inc.

The building program was renewed for construction of the Fellowship Hall in back of the church. Construction bids were received: James Gibbons of Kingston bid $73,694 ($458,377 in 2006 dollars); Karl Schroeder of Woodstock bid $49,780 ($309,632); and Guner Peterson of Woodstock put in an incomplete bid. The church council voted to award the contract to Mr. Schroeder.

John Mower agreed to mow the church property for $3 per cutting ($18.66 per cutting in 2006 dollars).

The Woodstock Region in 1963

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The United States in 1963

[ John F. Kennedy ] [ Lyndon B. Johnson ]

John F. Kennedy (Democrat) was President, succeeded during this year by his Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson. The newly elected 88th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $6.22 in 2006 for most consumable products.

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The World at Large in 1963

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