Bucks County Herald

Salem U.C.C. sets Oscar Hammerstein Sunday worship

Salem United Church of Christ, Doylestown, celebrates the life and music of Oscar Hammerstein II at the congregation’s worship service at 10 a.m. Sunday July 15.

A Doylestown resident, Hammerstein was born July 12, 1895. The church is commemorating his birthday by filling its entire regular Sunday service with favorite tunes from several of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Broadway shows.

“Oscar Hammerstein made such a positive impact, and his work continues to touch our lives,” said the Rev. David Green, Salem’s pastor.

“His music wasn’t originally intended for a worship setting, but it contains a moral and spiritual dimension that enriches, inspires and elevates our spirits. For us, Hammerstein’s music qualifies as sacred, and it’s still quite relevant. We’ll talk a little about why secular music can be perfectly suited for church. But mostly we’ll let the music speak for itself.”

As examples, Green notes that “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught,” from “South Pacific,” champions tolerance and inclusion, while “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” from “The Sound of Music,” conveys hope and the courage to follow one’s calling.

“This wonderful music, the message it contains, and the fact that Oscar Hammerstein lived and worked in Doylestown made this service a no-brainer for us,” Green said. “We love to have fun, and we often include Broadway and other pop music in our services, so Oscar’s birthday provided a great opportunity to worship in a creative way with some very talented singers.”

Songs will be performed by vocalists including Susan Whitenack, Nathan Harmon, Rhett Commodaro, Elizabeth Honan, Ivan Rivera, and Melissa Palmer. The congregation also will sing Hammerstein selections as hymns. Andrew Monath is Salem’s director of music.

Salem Church is located at 186 E. Court St., Doylestown. For information, visit salemstrong.org or call 215-348-9860.


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