Friday, 27 March 2015

"O God, My Powers are Thine" Frederick Watson Hannan

THE Rev. Frederick Watson Hannan, now professor of pastoral theology in Drew Theological Seminary, Madison, New Jersey, was for eight years the pastor of the Bushwick Avenue Central Methodist Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, New York City, which has a Sunday school of over thirty-three hundred enrolled members. Each fall during Dr. Hannan s pastorate there it was the custom to observe Sunday School Day as a Rally Day, when special exercises were held not only in the school, but also in the morning congregational service. A sermon was preached especially to the teachers, and a service of responsive readings was prepared, in which the pastor and teachers took part. After the sermon a consecration service for the teachers was held, and for this service Dr. Hannan always wrote a hymn, which was sung by the teachers as they stood around the altar. The whole service was very impressive. 

The hymn, "O God, my powers are Thine," was the consecration hymn used on September 24, 1905, and was especially written for that occasion. In the Hymnal it is printed almost exactly as it was in the weekly church calendar of that date. Now this hymn is being used every year in similar consecration services for Sunday school teachers, for it breathes in song the highest ideals of self-surrender to God, which is the first condition for effective service in the work of all truly devoted Sunday school teachers. 


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