Reformed Church Center Examines Routley’s Legacy In Reformed Worship
At various times in the history of the Reformed Church in America, the denomination has been profoundly influenced by people from outside our church community, often without even realizing it. One of these people was Erik Routley (1917-1982) a minister of the United Reformed Church of England and Wales who was considered one of the great hymnologists of the twentieth century. Late in his life, he immigrated to the United States to teach at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, where he met Howard Hageman and became involved with the RCA hymnal project that would be Rejoice in the Lord.
Nancy Graham, the 2021-2022 Poppen-Young Fellow in Reformed Worship at the Reformed Church Center, is writing a biography on Routley and his massive work in the fields of Biblical studies, liturgics, theology, and hymnody. Her work on the fellowship is a small piece of that, looking at the Englishman’s involvement with the RCA hymnal, one of his last large projects, and his impact on congregational song in the US. She will present results of her research on Thursday, March 10, 2022, at 11:00 am in the program “What We Still Owe Erik Routley.” A response to her presentation will be given by James Hart Brumm, Director of the Reformed Church Center and General Editor of the Historical Series of the Reformed Church in America, who has written and presented extensively on Reformed hymnody and Routley’s work.
Nancy L. Graham is a hymnologist, author, musician, and teacher, with a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Foundation, Foundation House in Oxford, United Kingdom, and a Doctor of Sacred Music from The Graduate Theological Foundation, as well as a Master of Music from Westminster Choir College.
The Alvin J. Poppen-John R. Young Fellowship in Reformed Worship was established by members and friends of the RCA denominational staff in honor of these two long-time staff members, who each assisted and mentored countless RCA pastors and congregations. It provides a stipend and the possibility of a two-week residency at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, along with the wide variety of worship resources and experiences in the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan area, to support research in Reformed worship, particularly as it pertains to the RCA.