As I walked this morning, I remembered something about Jean Cramer-Heuerman, who was featured in the CIW for T, 7-31-18, and so an addendum to TRUE CLICHES…
As I mentioned yesterday, Jean and I were rabble rousers in our Conference [all the Methodist churches in central IL]. We were both young [one of us in her 20s and the other in his 40s] and full of youthful enthusiasm and ideas. We were definitely not afraid of change. In fact, we were sure the church had to change or die. 
We served on a couple of Conference committees together and would sit in the back of the room and make “clever” remarks to each other behind our hands about the desultory ideas and clichés that came from the leaders at the front of the room. When the time was fulfilled, we would suggest some radical alternative that didn’t have a chance of coming to fruition but that satisfied us—and would actually have worked better than what we ended up with. As a District Superintendent said to me not long before I retired, “To show you how bad things have gotten, we are now considering seriously ideas you had twenty years ago.”
Then Jean and I got cancer. Our times together at the back of the room became times of sharing about our feelings and complaining about our therapies. One day she told me about a particularly painful treatment she had undergone. “I could tell it was bothering the doctor and nurses because they were hurting me so much, so I decided to sing to them. I did the entire score of ‘The King and I,’ because I knew it from performing in it in high school, and then I did all eighteen verses of ‘O for a Thousand Tongues.’ They were amazed. They had no idea there were that many verses to that hymn. I think they all became Baptists on the spot.”
I doubt that. She had a beautiful singing voice.
Where did July go? Anyway, Happy August!
1] In my career, I was blessed with the friendship of many young women ministers. I think they befriended me because—even though I was an old man by the time we began to accept women into the clergy ranks--I did not treat them as young women ministers but simply as fellow ministers.
2] Although Charles Wesley composed more than six thousand hymns, “O for a Thousand Tongues” is THE quintessential Methodist hymn. [Although Lutheran Lorraine Bruehl says she thinks “Are Ye Able” by Earl Marlatt represents the Methodist spirit best.]