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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Lithuanian Jew Becomes a Presbyterian, then Episcopalian, then Bishop of Shanghai???

Fact, it has been said, is stranger than fiction.  This unlikely missionary's name was Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky.  Born of Jewish parents in 1831, Samuel started on the path to the rabbinate and while finishing graduate studies in Germany he was moved by Christian missionaries from London and his own reading of a Hebrew translation of the New Testament.

Schereschewsky immigrated to America to train for ministry in the Presbyterian Church at their seminary in Pittsburgh.  Midway through his studies he decided to become an Episcopalian and graduated in 1859 from General Theological Seminary in NYC.

Responding to his bishops call for helpers in China, he left for Shanghai, teaching himself to write in Chinese along the way.  While living in Peking [Bejing] from 1862-75 he translated the Bible and parts of the BCP into Mandarin.  After the departure of the Bishop of Shanghai to Japan, Samuel was elected Bishop of Shanghai and consecrated at Grace Church, NYC in 1877.  Upon returning to China Schereschewsky established St. John's University in Shanghai and began a translation of the Bible into Wenli, another Chinese dialect.  Sadly, he became paralysed and resigned as bishop in 1883, returning to the States.

Undeterred by illness, Samuel got together the funds to return to Shanghai; there he completed his Bible translation, by typing 2,000 pages with only one finger of his partially crippled hand.  He moved to Japan in 1895 and died in Tokyo in 1906.  Perhaps we should nickname this saint, bound to a wheelchair for over 20 years, "Saint Persistent"!

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