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Our Help in Ages Past
Our Hope for Years to Come
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.A-merica was opened by men with God upon their minds. Their
vision was prophetic, their passion was freedom. To our fore
fathers America was promises—promises faithfully kept in th«
land's lush prairies, its fish-filled streams, its rolling country rich
with wood and mineral. America was man's new-found land of
opportunity . . .
New Americans flocked in from the nations of the world. Flee
ing religious, economic and political problems, escaping famine
and despair, seeking freedom and opportunity, they came from
the old countries to the new—from England, Scotland, Ireland,
Wales—from German^, Denmark, Sweden, Norway—from
France, Italy, Russia, Poland—they came in their millions from
these and many other countries. And they came to work in their
own land, and to pray in their own churches. The land opened to
these pioneers. It received their sweat and rewarded their labors.
On its rich soil they raised their generations and marked their
names. Deeply in itr heart, they planted their faith.
Over the American farmland, that faith blossomed sweetly. It
grew from a sapling to a great tree, which now shelters millions
from storms of the spirit. Today the churches of all denomina
tions in America give outward and visible signs of the strength
and purpose within our people. And in a new time of global doubt
and fear, of clouded issues and terrible distress on the continent«
which otw forefathers left, America's churches art a source of th«
courage and perception we need.
Now another Christmas is over the land . . . another old year
draws to its close. Joyously, at this time of spiritual accounting,
churches are bright and fragrant with the faith of owr fathers.
Over Bethlehem the Star still burns, and if this statement may
close, reverently, with a text, let it be from the writing of David,
the poet, the great singer, who began as a tender of sheep, and be
came a king in Israel. For all of ns in America today, a quotation
from the Psalms is at once a rededication, and an act of faith in
church and country: "Be ikon, my refuge henceforth andforever, and
my portion in the land of the living."
ewr friends In America,
vo* at Swift A Company
ansk « Merry Christmas and
a Happy He
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