Phillips Brooks vs. Julia Chester Emery

The second match-up of the Elate Eight pits a renowned preacher and bishop against a tireless lay woman. Both were spiritual giants, although at six foot six and nearly 300 pounds, Brooks was also a physical giant.

To get to this point, Phillips Brooks defeated Simeon and Catherine of Siena while Julia Chester Emery was victorious over Charles Henry Brent and F.D. Maurice. Don’t forget you can see all the previous match-ups to refresh your memory about the contestants by going to the bracket page and scrolling down.

Yesterday saw Lydia sneak past Basil the Great in another squeaker 51% to 49%. Yowza! Fortunately there was no great scandal with this battle as there was in the Charles Wesley/Thomas Merton match-up. To put everyone at ease, please know the Supreme Executive Committee keeps Jimmy Carter on retainer as an impartial election observer. Also, one member of the SEC used to work for IBM so BIG FATHER is always watching.

Maple Anglican has released his daily Archbishops’ Update featuring everyone’s favorite Lent Madness colour commentators. which you can watch here. And we’re getting closer to our goal of 10,000 likes on Facebook before the Golden Halo as we’re now pushing 9,740. Spread the word!

unnamedPhillips Brooks

Phillips Brooks’ Trinity Church was the first Episcopal Church I ever entered. It was 1980, and The Empire Strikes Back had been released that summer (retain this important detail). I was on a college orientation trip to Boston with 400 other freshman, and one stop was Copley Square. Trinity Church beckoned and, as I stepped inside, the spectacular sacred space of Brooks’ imagination stunned me. Christian and Missionary Alliance churches didn’t look anything like this.

But enough of this reverie! Let’s get to the saintly kitsch!


A cursory search for Phillips Brooks treasures on Zazzle turns up the usual pithy quote-bedecked beer stein and travel mug, both a whopping $29.95, and sporting a particularly Victorian-sounding epigram: “Jesus Christ, the condescension of divinity, and the exaltation of humanity.”

The young children in your life might like this O Little Town of Bethlehem stocking stuffer pop-up book on Amazon.A visit to the web store of the Phillips Brooks Elementary School in Menlo Park, California, turns up the requisite long-sleeved t-shirt for only$29.99.

unnamedBut where are the items of devotion for a man whom Peter Gomes described as the most famous American preacher since Cotton Mather? Where are the commemorative goods for the first American minister to be invited to preach at Westminster Abbey? The man who had 15,000 Bostonians turn up for his funeral.

Where, where you ask? The answer, in a word, is Ebay.

My first find is this rather spectacular lithograph with a quote from one of Brooks’ sermons can now be  yours for $89.99 OBO. “O, do not pray for easy lives! Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks!” it begins.

That first search led to dozens, nay, tens of dozens of vintage Brooks books and memorabilia. For just $3.00 youunnamed can own a lovely volume from 1908 titled, Jewels of Phillips Brooks. It contains color plates and pithy quotes from his sermons and is way better (and cheaper) than a coffee mug.

unnamedThere is even a Phillips Brooks precursor to Forward Day by Day published shortly before his death, a “yearbook” that offers “day by day guidance to live a meaningful life, for yourself and for others.”

One of the most remarkable finds is this 1953 wall calendar that commemorates Phillips Brooks. 1953! Such was the appeal of his preaching and wisdom and the longevity of his reputation that 60 years after his death people were still buying calendars upon which to note their dentist appointments. You can own this “used not abused” calendar for a mere $12.99 plus $3.00 for shipping.unnamed

unnamedBut now we must return to Copley Square in 1980. Somehow upon entering the church I missed the famous statue of Brooks by the sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens that was installed in 1910. Saint-Gaudiens had intended to place a stylized angelic figure behind Brooks. But, alas, he died in 1907 before it was completed. However, a group of artists decided a depiction of Jesus would be better. Unfortunately they designed the creepiest Jesus ever cast in bronze, whom I would have immediately identified, having seen The Empire Strikes Back three times that summer, as Emperor Palpatine.

Here’s what I believe: The real and loving Jesus steered me clear of the creepy statue-Jesus and led me into unnamedTrinity Church, because having seen it first, I would have turned around and gone to get a coffee at the old Harvard Book Store Cafe on Newbury Street. Instead I entered and the beauty and peace of that sacred space lodged itself in my heart and opened a door for a new way of thinking about the mystery of God.

Thank you, Phillips Brooks. Without your life and witness and your perseverance in building that stunning church, I might have turned out to be a CMA missionary in some remote, buggy place with spotty Internet and poisonous snakes.

 Heidi Shott


Julia Chester Emery

unnamedAlthough her influence in the Episcopal church was far-reaching (remember how as national secretary of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Board of Missions for the Episcopal Church from 1876 to 1916 she visited EVERY DIOCESE and set up more than 5,600 chapters of what is now the Episcopal Church Women (ECW)? How she visited missions all over the Far East as well? And how she championed the canonical office of deaconess? And how she created the United Thank Offering (UTO)?), Julia Chester Emery’s actual likeness appears on … basically nothing. As Forward Movement notes: “She was a modest and self-effacing Victorian lady who was so careful to stay out of the limelight …”

unnamedStill, as such a major figure in the church and in the world through her encouragement and support of missionaries (we know that she was a major inspiration for all sorts of wonderful things. For instance, look at all these Julia dolls! Clearly she is the model for the cute baby, the adorable toddler wearing Crocs, AND the demure teen. Clearly she is the model for the “My Friend Julia” machine washable doll!


unnamedunnamed(OK, and this last doll is actually inspired by Christina the Astonishing, who, sadly, did not survive the first round even though lots of people wanted to see what sort of kitsch she inspired, so here you go.)unnamed

She also clearly inspired the trucking industry! How many people can say that?

unnamedAlso, check out this toast rack in the “Julia” pattern from Royal Winton china. Perfect for holding your Virgin Mary and/or Jesus toast. (There are salt and pepper shakers, teapots, and other lovelies in the Julia pattern, too.)

Naturally, Julia also inspired such important and useful items as key chains. See?unnamed

_DSC8634Now, all of these other Julia-inspired items are available for purchase, somewhere. (Well, maybe not the truck.) However, there’s another Julia item that is unique and priceless, and I own it. It’s almost like a relic. This is a raku pottery UTO box (circa 2000) made by my son when he was in elementary school.

So vote for Julia and send her to the round of the Faithful Four!

Penny Nash


Phillips Brooks vs Julia Chester Emery

  • Phillips Brooks (51%, 2,281 Votes)
  • Julia Chester Emery (49%, 2,203 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,483

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115 Comments to "Phillips Brooks vs. Julia Chester Emery"

  1. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    April 9, 2014 - 8:08 am | Permalink

    For kitsch, Phillips has Julia beat (for two lovely people of God, how else to find a way to differentiate?) Plus, Heidi provides a chance to reminisce on my Star Wars memories.

  2. Nancy Strong's Gravatar Nancy Strong
    April 9, 2014 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    I know there are stained glass memorial windows for Phillips Brooks (I’ve seen at least one in an exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston), but personally I haven’t seen stained glass tributes for Julia. I own a couple of those Brooks’ books, courtesy of my mother-in-law, so PB it is for me!

  3. Susan B's Gravatar Susan B
    April 9, 2014 - 8:12 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Julia today. And I think it was because there wasn’t anything that could be posted that celebrated the actual Julia. No posters or calendars or statues. But I sure hope we all have blue boxes in our homes. And there are UTO funded projects all over this world that stand in tribute to the difference her saintly faith has made.

    • Bob Corey's Gravatar Bob Corey
      April 9, 2014 - 10:37 am | Permalink

      I share your sentiment. But Brooks found my vote anyhow, as I was glossing over a sermon of his, called Beauty of a Life of Service. I was expecting Victorian platitudes, and found… hard to name what I found. Found, as he addressed it explicitly, an answer to the (Baptist’s) question, “Is another yet to come?”

    • Another Peg's Gravatar Another Peg
      April 9, 2014 - 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Susan, you make me feel better about voting for Julia. If she goes all the way, she will be on a coffee mug, at last! I came here to vote for Brooks, but somehow that dear little raku UTO box touched my heart, and my cursor touched Julia’s name. Awesome kitsch for Brooks, with wonderful quotes, but those mite boxes are mighty mighty.

    • Lynda Moses's Gravatar Lynda Moses
      April 9, 2014 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

      I was struck by the fact Julia did what we should do, cause people not to look at us, but at Jesus, and the people God created around us. She has a daily focus in my home, not of her, but of the needy through her HOPE boxes. That is truly how a deacon functions – shows us the needs, and shows us how to meet the needs.

  4. Mary Wright Baylor's Gravatar Mary Wright Baylor
    April 9, 2014 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    I voted for Julia in spite of her doll wearing crocs. We are called to unconditional love.

  5. Sarah's Gravatar Sarah
    April 9, 2014 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    I am a big Julia Chester Emery fan, and was charmed by the UTO box. I think she could win this round had Ms. Nash focused on the many UTO boxes through time. I used a needlepointed/plastic canvas version for years (in fact, our bazaar (not bizarre) ladies made them). My vote has to go to Phillips Brooks this time. Sigh.

  6. Bonnie's Gravatar Bonnie
    April 9, 2014 - 8:20 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Julia! The United Thank. Offering sill needs her presence, perhaps now more than ever. Phillips presence is carved in stone or atleast brick and mortar.

    • Anna Dee Lastick's Gravatar Anna Dee Lastick
      April 9, 2014 - 8:25 am | Permalink

      Vote for Phillips! Vote for Phillips!

      P.S. I bought the little gift book on eBay.

      • Heidi Shott's Gravatar Heidi Shott
        April 9, 2014 - 5:09 pm | Permalink


  7. Kim Forbes's Gravatar Kim Forbes
    April 9, 2014 - 8:24 am | Permalink

    Had to vote for Julia because in her life, she just workmanly-like, head-down, plowed on to serve, and now in death, she deserves to just as workmanly-like head-down, plow on to the final four.

    • Lindsay Graves's Gravatar Lindsay Graves
      April 9, 2014 - 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Hear, Hear!

  8. Sheila Wheltle's Gravatar Sheila Wheltle
    April 9, 2014 - 8:25 am | Permalink

    You are gonna have another squeaker on your hands today. I like both candidates so I had to vote on the Kitsch–PB hands down.

  9. Susan Fiore's Gravatar Susan Fiore
    April 9, 2014 - 8:27 am | Permalink

    I still don’t know enough about Emery to discern what her contributions were beyond little blue boxes, which I concede have financed some good things. Brooks’ words continue to convert the hearts and minds of people. Brooks today.

    • April 9, 2014 - 9:18 am | Permalink

      She helped pave a way for women to serve in the Church when we were not officially allowed to do anything beyond altar guild or choir. Most of the CB writers are too young to remember those days — the days of deaconess ministry when even they were not equal to deacons.

  10. Christine's Gravatar Christine
    April 9, 2014 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    This was hard. There is always a blue box on a counter here. Trinity was just about the second Episcopal church I visited- his sermons, the church the hymn. Had to be Phillip.

  11. Mary Lou Creamer's Gravatar Mary Lou Creamer
    April 9, 2014 - 8:31 am | Permalink

    “O, do not pray for easy lives! Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks!” vs. the little blue UTO box. What a tough choice! Do I choose the man whose words continue to influence people today, or the woman whose dedication to the church has helped so many? Both are so worthy. But for some reason, I can’t get that little blue box out of my mind. Go Julia!

    • Yvonne's Gravatar Yvonne
      April 9, 2014 - 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Julia did what Phillips preached. She did not take on an easy life and she certainly took on immense tasks which she completed with great strength. Phillips challenged men and Julia accepted the challenge.

      • Verdery's Gravatar Verdery
        April 9, 2014 - 3:24 pm | Permalink

        Well put! Makes me lean toward Julia.

  12. MaurineRuby's Gravatar MaurineRuby
    April 9, 2014 - 8:32 am | Permalink

    I still vote for Julia, for the opportunities she gave women to serve in a male-dominated church. And somehow the absence of items directly related to her speaks so much to her real servanthood–her good works have surpassed any fame she might have had. That UTO box,Penny, is priceless!

    • April 9, 2014 - 9:19 am | Permalink

      Isn’t it though? I love owning such a masterpiece!

  13. April 9, 2014 - 8:36 am | Permalink

    My vote has been with Brooks the whole of this thread, but it was made even more so by the CMA shout-out. Special denom for me!

  14. Deborah DeManno's Gravatar Deborah DeManno
    April 9, 2014 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Cast my vote for Julia, today’s underdog (at least this morning). While the Brooks kitsch is more numerous and inspiring, that means WE as the Church should do more to highlight Julia’s legacy to us. Maybe her time on the LM bracket will help spread her story.

  15. Joy's Gravatar Joy
    April 9, 2014 - 8:37 am | Permalink

    Voting for Julia today. UTO boxes, deaconesses, ECW, so much that she championed still influencing folks every day all these years later.

  16. Emily's Gravatar Emily
    April 9, 2014 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    I have no doubt of the influence of Brooks, but the little blue box has been a part of my life since childhood and still is. Brooks might have preached about praying for powers equal to the task but in my opinion Emery actually went out and did it. (And I am persuaded more by the lack of kistsch, as other commenters have noted.).

  17. cjennings's Gravatar cjennings
    April 9, 2014 - 8:38 am | Permalink

    I have to wonder of the motivation for continually matching women against men.

  18. Linda T.'s Gravatar Linda T.
    April 9, 2014 - 8:42 am | Permalink

    This is my third time voting for the other holy person, as opposed to Julia. I say that because I’m not really voting against Julia, just for someone else. Hopefully, this will diminish the amount of haunting I will experience from my late mother who was a diocesan ECW president. As can be expected, she was fierce about ECW and UTO. She always had a little blue box on her dresser – I thought everyone’s mother had one.

  19. Elaine Hood Culver's Gravatar Elaine Hood Culver
    April 9, 2014 - 8:44 am | Permalink

    Another day, another LM competition with no bad decisions possible. I’m going with Phillips Brooks this time because “O Little Town of Bethlehem” is one of my favorite Christmas carols, especially when sung to Williams’ tune, “Forest Green.” I love the verse that ends with, “Where charity stands watching, and faith holds wide the door, The dark night breaks, the glory wakes, and Christmas comes once more.” In addition, one of the former rectors of our parish also served as rector of Holy Trinity, Rittenhouse Square.

  20. Donna Devlin's Gravatar Donna Devlin
    April 9, 2014 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    How could you forget the rousing song in praise of Juleeaaa offered by the Beatles? Julia got my vote because of the current UTO mess — she needs all the support we can give to her great work.

  21. Bonnee's Gravatar Bonnee
    April 9, 2014 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Yes, Elaine, that is such a beautiful verse. PB today for me.

  22. Geri Swanson's Gravatar Geri Swanson
    April 9, 2014 - 8:53 am | Permalink

    FYI…the chapel at St Clement’s in Hell’s Kitchen/ Manhattan/NYC sports a lovely stained glass window of Julia holding the infamous “Blue Box” in one hand, an a coin in the other.

  23. pat royalty's Gravatar pat royalty
    April 9, 2014 - 8:55 am | Permalink

    Julia it is, altho it hurts, two quite admirable, to put it lightly, folk. however, my uto box is staring at me, so an unavoidable vote.

  24. Carol Gardner's Gravatar Carol Gardner
    April 9, 2014 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    Ditto Joy and Emily. Plus I cannot imagine traveling to every diocese which back in Julia’s days meant by train,boat or horse-drawn vehicles. Such journeys surely took tremendous dedication.

  25. linda's Gravatar linda
    April 9, 2014 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Geaux Julia! the box that penny’s son made swept me over to Julia…

  26. April 9, 2014 - 9:06 am | Permalink

    Glad I came to the comments for inspiritation. Yes, I think it is Julia’s day. Carol’s aforementioned travel itinerary is what pushed me over the edge. And the thought of all those different UTO boxes that are stuffed away in drawers and musty smelling boxes in attics out there somewhere … here’s to Julia and all her humble work.

  27. Millie Ericson's Gravatar Millie Ericson
    April 9, 2014 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    I agree with others that the kitsch for Phillips Brooks could tilt the ballot in his favor. But kudos to Penny for working as hard as Julia would have to find items to include! Great write ups today for two of my favorites this year. It was hard for me to choose as I greatly admire them both. Either way, I knew I would regret not voting for the other. Cast my vote for Brooks because his spirit has inspired so many in dedicated ministry. But I’m feeling sad at the same time because Julia’s legacy lives on through the women of the church and our beloved blue boxes (even though I bet most have never heard of her).

  28. Mary Beth Butler's Gravatar Mary Beth Butler
    April 9, 2014 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    I’ve had a blue box in my home as long as I can remember. There’s one in front of me next to my monitor at work. It’s better than the kitsch (great as the PB kitsch is) because it reminds me to be grateful and to share my gratitude. It’s because of Julia Chester Emery, and she gets my vote today.

  29. Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
    April 9, 2014 - 9:26 am | Permalink

    Again I vote for Julia Chester Emery in honor of Martha Perry at St. Peter’s in the Mountains, Callaway, VA, our United Thank Offering coordinator.

  30. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    April 9, 2014 - 9:30 am | Permalink

    Julia, the song, can be found here:
    Products including her Blue Boxes, Envelopes, the Handbook for ECW and a booklet on the Theology of Thanksgiving can be found here:
    Thousands of examples of Blue Boxes are available at
    And, if she wins the Golden Halo, there will be a mug!

  31. Donna's Gravatar Donna
    April 9, 2014 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    O, do not pray for easy lives! Pray to be stronger men! Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks!”
    This inspired my vote today!

  32. Rev. Lucy Porter's Gravatar Rev. Lucy Porter
    April 9, 2014 - 9:32 am | Permalink

    The hymn writer always gets my vote. Phillips Brooks for me!

  33. billfleming's Gravatar billfleming
    April 9, 2014 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    I voted for Phillips Brooks based upon your point

  34. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 9, 2014 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Hi Penny,
    I am completely on the same page with you on the UTO box that you have. I have a terra cotta figurine that my daughter made and if Bill Gates his own self offered me his entire fortune for it, I would laugh my most scornful laugh in his face and point to the door. Remove your unsightly presence from my sight sir. Before I apply my foot to your unsightly buttocks.
    But I digress.
    Phillips Brooks gets my vote today!

    • April 9, 2014 - 1:48 pm | Permalink

      Ha ha, Madeleine. I will remember your words in case Mr. Gates comes my way waving some Benjamins.

  35. Mike Spring's Gravatar Mike Spring
    April 9, 2014 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Our humble yet lovable, and surely esteemed guest commentators are working much to hard. Please consider a 15% increase in their renumeration.

  36. Mike Spring's Gravatar Mike Spring
    April 9, 2014 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    too. I know better than I do.

  37. Laura J. Schomberg's Gravatar Laura J. Schomberg
    April 9, 2014 - 9:40 am | Permalink

    Although I voted for Julia in the last two rounds,. this time Phillips Brooks got my vote. One of the reasons is that there is a statue of him along with other saints in (on) the pulpit of my church., Cathedral Church of St Luke, Orlando, FL .

  38. April 9, 2014 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    Another vote for Brooks today (though I must say, Penny, you almost had me at that ceramic UTO box!)

    • April 9, 2014 - 10:49 pm | Permalink

      Gosh, I don’t know what else I could have done to persuade you, Cynthia.

  39. Sandrita's Gravatar Sandrita
    April 9, 2014 - 9:43 am | Permalink

    This is my lesson for the day, I’ve know about the UTO boxes of course, but, never knew they were started by an Episcopal woman…….Sorry Phil, you did great work but Julia reigns!

  40. Claire Fitzmaurice's Gravatar Claire Fitzmaurice
    April 9, 2014 - 9:53 am | Permalink

    I was tempted to vote for Brooks for the most provincial of reasons; he is a fellow alum of the Boston Latin School. As a Unitarian Universalist and a latecomer to LM, I was unaware of Julia Chester Emery. Her story is so inspiring! Thank you to all the commentators for helping me to vote for her. Church Ladies Arise!

  41. Anthony Lee's Gravatar Anthony Lee
    April 9, 2014 - 10:05 am | Permalink

    The choice between Emery and Maurice was relatively easy (one of the few times I picked a winner), but the choice between Emery and Brooks is more difficult. However, I will stick with Emery, for the same trivial personal reason as before: the UTO mite box in-gathering at Washington Cathedral in the late 1940s was the epiphany which set my life’s goal.

  42. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    April 9, 2014 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    Oh, another day in Lent Madness Paradise! Voting for Brooks. And I’m ordering my calendar, despite creepy Jesus……

  43. aleathia (dolores)nicholson's Gravatar aleathia (dolores)nicholson
    April 9, 2014 - 10:15 am | Permalink

    How ominous to see Brooks in the lead but I will not, I will not, I will not desert the most outstanding churchwoman of all time. Plus that, the head of the Diocese of TN Churchwomen is a good friend and the Head of our DOK is a good friend and it would be like deserting them both. In their honor, JCE gets my vote + the Julia kitsch really is the pits so she needs all the help she can get. Only Mario Bitali…Batali…whatever.. (sp) runs around on the CHEW in those gross Crocs. Has he prepared a snail dish lately, dear Madeleine?

  44. Jane Schmoetzer's Gravatar Jane Schmoetzer
    April 9, 2014 - 10:20 am | Permalink

    Julia was admirable, but I have to vote for Phillips Brooks–the preacher and hymn writer whose words still proclaim the Gospel and persuade hearts so clearly.

  45. Fran C's Gravatar Fran C
    April 9, 2014 - 10:21 am | Permalink

    I think that the content of today’s biographical statements is tilted toward Brooks and will influence the voting. Think about it. You showed books, sculptures, and the most powerful man in the Star Wars universe as images for Brooks. And for Emery, you showed dolls (and one frighteningly unanatomically correct doll at that!) and an “I heart Julia” keychain! I smell patriarchy. And I voted to Emery just to balance the scales a little.

  46. April 9, 2014 - 10:24 am | Permalink

    Vote for Julia Chester Emery – she started the ball rolling on women’s ordination.

  47. Mary W.'s Gravatar Mary W.
    April 9, 2014 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    Fickle filly that I am, I voted based on the writeup for today’s round and not by the saint’s deeds. I’m sure there’s some theologian out there with a ‘salvation by kitsch, not works’ premise. So, I went with Brooks when I otherwise would have voted for Emery.

  48. Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
    April 9, 2014 - 10:44 am | Permalink

    Today I am voting for Julia, but not because of the little blue boxes – the time for mite boxes has come and gone – but rather because we are approaching Holy Week and her quite, strong work reminds me of the good work of the altar guild members, many, many communions, changing of hangings, and flower, candle [and smells and bells] arrangements all in one week [depending on how High Church yours happens to be]. Many things “just happen” because of the work of people who have no memorials or “kitsch”. Here’s a vote for Julia, buried in the church of St. James the Less, from an upstate New York parish member of another St. James church (Please note that Winchester county is NOT upstate to us). Julia probably did not have hundreds of people turn out for her funeral, but she represents the saint in all of us.

  49. Phil's Gravatar Phil
    April 9, 2014 - 11:09 am | Permalink

    Another vote for the hymnwriter!

  50. Karina's Gravatar Karina
    April 9, 2014 - 11:10 am | Permalink

    For me, there are two kinds of saints. There are saints that are larger than life and inspire us with their words, their writings, and their music. Then there are the saints that inspire us by the way they lived their lives. Brooks is a larger than life saint and Julia a saint that inspires us by her action. I tend to vote for the ones that inspire us through their actions as they have not received enough recognition even though they have made as much of a contribution, just in a quieter way. I hope that we will recognize one of the quieter Saints with the Golden Halo this year and Julia is a great candidate!

  51. Lindsay Freeman's Gravatar Lindsay Freeman
    April 9, 2014 - 11:17 am | Permalink

    Blue boxes! Great graphic idea. Julia is not competing adequately with Phillips today on the graphics. I’m surprised the doll thing hit me so hard, because I’m usually pretty relaxed about things like that. I like what Patricia said, that sometimes there is not kitsch (or adequate kitsch) for people, especially women, but there are strong, strong people behind the symbols who change the world.

  52. Teri's Gravatar Teri
    April 9, 2014 - 11:19 am | Permalink

    I love PB because of :O Little town”; sang it in the grotto at Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and was moved to tears. But I also saw/witnessed what those little blue boxes do in Palestine. So it has to be JCE for me!

  53. April 9, 2014 - 11:33 am | Permalink

    I once attended a UTO Ingathering in the Diocese of Chicago’s cathedral.

    The Bishop of Alaska was the preacher, and after he stomped across the marble floor in his boots (leaving the poor verger trailing behind him), he told us about the airplane that the UTO had bought for his diocese. He called it the “Blue Box” and it made possible his visits to the remote congregations of Alaska.

    The apostolic ministry, the preaching, teaching, and shepherding, could not happen without the tools made available by selfless giving,even if it is pennies in a mite box on my dresser.

    Julia Chester Emery for the win today! And thanks!

    • Patricia's Gravatar Patricia
      April 9, 2014 - 12:24 pm | Permalink

      I love the picture of UTO helping the Bishop of Alaska to minister to the remote congregations of the Diocese. Maybe there is still a place for mite boxes, or e-versions of them. This tie-in to Julia’s legacy of UTO and ministry to, at that time, “remote regions” Japan, China, Hong Kong and the Philippines is wonderful. Please add your vote for Julia! I have already cast mine… [As one of those who helps keep our holy spaces “welcoming” by cleaning up, I’m less thrilled about the boots thing… ]

    • dngeorgia's Gravatar dngeorgia
      April 9, 2014 - 3:48 pm | Permalink

      So you saw Bishop Gordon, the flyer of the “Blue Box?” They called the plane the blue box but it actually is yellow. There is a replica of it in the museum in Fairbanks. One of the many benefits that may dioceses receive from the UTO

  54. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    April 9, 2014 - 11:36 am | Permalink

    At this point I start considering who I will be creating a crochet figure of for the hall of fame. Julia could use a little more kitsch so that’s that.
    I did notice the name Phillips Brooks under the daily prayer on the back of my Forward Day by Day and thought, hey, I know that name!
    Thanks Lent Madness for bringing both of them to me.

  55. Wanda's Gravatar Wanda
    April 9, 2014 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    There are some saints who say and write wonderful things to inspire generations. They leave a living legacy. There are some saints who do amazing things. They leave an inspirationsl legacy. Today I vote for the doer who inspires me with her amazing life. Go Julia.

  56. Eileen's Gravatar Eileen
    April 9, 2014 - 11:41 am | Permalink

    Have to go with JCE… she has her own semi! Perhaps Alcuin can formulate some math word problems ala… how many full blue boxes can fit in a full semi, and after crossing five rivers at an average eco friendly speed of 55 mph…, how many people will her efforts help? 🙂

  57. April 9, 2014 - 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I imagine that the two people in today’s match knew each other… each inspiring the other. I have to vote for Phillips Brooks whose quotes and legacy at Virginia Seminary were foundational for me.

  58. Anne C's Gravatar Anne C
    April 9, 2014 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    This was a tough one, but since PB penned the prayer on the back cover of Forward Day by Day (which I pray every day), I feel we have a closer relationship.

  59. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    April 9, 2014 - 12:55 pm | Permalink

    julia chester emery uto

    A Google search on that phrase and this blog post is on the first page of results. Perhaps that is kitsch for Julia Chester Emery?

    It’s interesting to read the comments. I went with Phillips and his abundance of kitsch to give him my vote, but now informed by some other viewpoints, I would have been nail biting to make my decision. I have new sympathy for how Julia’s lack of kitsch could support giving her a vote.

    Only one saint can have my vote to earn this year’s golden halo. I do appreciate all the 32 wonderful people that started in this year’s fun madness.

  60. Mollie Douglas Turner's Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner
    April 9, 2014 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Penny is my friend. I studied Greek at a CMA college (Toccoa Falls) before going to seminary at Emory (the TFC folks weren’t too sure about me…). Penny tried oh, so hard to overcome not the dearth, but the non-existence of kitsch. But Heidi and the Reverend Mr. Brooks caught me with all that stuff. And I didn’t even vote for him on the first round. Sorry, Penny!

  61. Bob Mayer's Gravatar Bob Mayer
    April 9, 2014 - 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Had to support Brooks because the family’s mens clothing line might need it.
    So I couldn’t support Julia; how childish.

  62. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    April 9, 2014 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    I voted for both of them in rounds 1 and 2, so once again I am forced to make a choice between two people whom I greatly respect! Phillips Brooks’ writings speak very loudly to me, so I will have to go with him, even though I have Julia Chester Emery’s little blue box in my window. Unfortunately, I can’t split my vote.

  63. April 9, 2014 - 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Phillips Brooks: “If you limit the search for truth and forbid men anywhere, in any way, to seek knowledge, you paralyze the vital force of truth itself.
    In the best sense of the word, Jesus was a radical. His religion has been so long identified with conservation — often with conservatism of the obstinate and unyielding sort — that it is almost startling for us sometimes to remember that all of the conservatism of his own times was against him; that it was the young, free, restless, sanguine, progressive part of the people who flocked to him.” Vote PB!

  64. Gloriamarie Amalfitano's Gravatar Gloriamarie Amalfitano
    April 9, 2014 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Given all of the huge contributions made by Julia Chester Emery, I cannot believe that you would trivialize her so with dolls etc. Why not pictures of her accomplishments? Pictures speak a thousand words. You provided Brooks with some great pics of things he’s done. Why not give Julia the same courtesy? Or os it because she was a woman? Sorry, th question had to be asked.

    • Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
      April 9, 2014 - 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Gloriamarie, there’s still time for people to read comments and vote. If you can find some web searches with pictures, post them here as replies. It could help Julia’s cause between now and close of voting. My vote is cast, but I don’t mind helping with this. I’ve tried to find something but no luck so far with my own attempts. Cheers.

    • Sally Sinclair's Gravatar Sally Sinclair
      April 9, 2014 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

      I agree Gloriamarie

  65. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 9, 2014 - 1:22 pm | Permalink

    Dear Aleathia,
    I’m sure I don’t know……ewwwwww……

  66. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    April 9, 2014 - 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I had to go with Brooks and the Creepy Jesus, a statue reminiscent of the Adams Memorial that St. Gaudens designed for the Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D. C. Henry Adams’s description of this monument to his wife is a great tribute to the power of art to move onlookers and not incidentally to bring out the shallowness in much contemporary condemnation of art that isn’t “uplifting.” This is LENT Madness, after all.

  67. John Lewis's Gravatar John Lewis
    April 9, 2014 - 1:45 pm | Permalink

    PS: My hands are a bit shaky when I try to hit buttons on my computer, and my first “Vote” appeared not to register, so I tried again. After the recent chastisement from our Benevolent Overlords, I fear to transgress. I’m a duffer, not a stuffer!

  68. Jane Cutting's Gravatar Jane Cutting
    April 9, 2014 - 2:13 pm | Permalink

    A difficult decision. I voted for Julia because I would like people to know more about her accomplishments. However, when I think of Phillips Brook I am always reminded of the story of him sitting with an eight year old Helen Keller explaining to her who God is. Her response was “Oh I know Him I just didn’t know His name.” That story of the great man communicating the God of love to a blind and deaf eight year old touches me as deeply as his wonderful sermons if not more. As I say, a tough vote.

  69. Sally Sinclair's Gravatar Sally Sinclair
    April 9, 2014 - 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I am disgusted about your treatment of Julia Chester Emery. How could you trivilize visiting EVERY DIOCESE and setting up more than 5,600 chapters of what is now the Episcopal Church Women (ECW) plus creating UTO, by talking about dolls?

    • Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
      April 9, 2014 - 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Because today it’s about kitsch. Maybe next year we can weigh in on who has the most frequent flier/horseback/Model T/wagon/walking miles. Maybe that would that be less offensive. It’s Lent Madness!

  70. Glenis Elliott's Gravatar Glenis Elliott
    April 9, 2014 - 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Tough choices and I voted before reading everyone’s comments. I went with Julia, however I won’t be upset if Brooks goes to the Final Four!!

  71. Karen's Gravatar Karen
    April 9, 2014 - 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The little blue box won my heart today! Julia’s lack of kitsch could actually bring more support. Here’s hoping!

    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      April 9, 2014 - 3:38 pm | Permalink

      It got my support. I voted for Phillips Brooks the last time he was up, but I find myself going with Julia today. As was pointed out, PB has plenty of memorials to his saintliness, but what has Julia got? A toast rack! So, in the interest of giving this woman of God her due, I voted for Julia.

  72. April 9, 2014 - 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Crooks for Brooks:

  73. Pastor Deb's Gravatar Pastor Deb
    April 9, 2014 - 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Both inspiring but the edge goes to Phillips Brooks, only partly because today there is an alert out in NJ for an 81 year old missing person named Phillips Brooks — really. May he soon be found.

  74. Heidi Shott's Gravatar Heidi Shott
    April 9, 2014 - 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t have room to include the link to the facsimile of Helen Keller’s letter to PB
    Found in the UPenn archives. It is so dear.
    Scroll down the page to see it.

    • Mary Celestia's Gravatar Mary Celestia
      April 10, 2014 - 3:04 am | Permalink

      Hello Heidi—I used your link and spent 2 hrs reading the info that popped us and I’d like to thank you. It was 2 hrs well spent.

  75. Tim Dewart's Gravatar Tim Dewart
    April 9, 2014 - 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Julia also inspired the Beatles. Witness their song “Julia” from “The White Alblum”.

  76. martha's Gravatar martha
    April 9, 2014 - 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I remember seeing a stained glass window in our small church (St. Mark’s Episcopal in Fall River, MA) as a youngster and asking my dad who the man was, since he looked much too modern compared to others portrayed in other windows. My Dad then poured forth with a history lesson. As much as I disliked studying history, Phillips Brooks story has stayed with me all these years. Sorry, Julia. My vote goes to Bsp. Brooks.

  77. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 9, 2014 - 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi Carl Peter Klapper, thank you so very much for posting this! It only reinforces my conviction that I voted correctly :-)!

  78. Jane C's Gravatar Jane C
    April 9, 2014 - 5:09 pm | Permalink

    Creepy Jesus vs Raku Pottery UTO Box? No contest. Julia all the way.

  79. Kate Guistolise's Gravatar Kate Guistolise
    April 9, 2014 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Brooks for me – I need preaching assistance. Perhaps he’ll intercede…

  80. Ann Willis Scott's Gravatar Ann Willis Scott
    April 9, 2014 - 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Well, well, well, it’s come to this. Two good people nose to nose, but I’m still for Julia. She made it possible for my great aunt to teach in China. That made her responsible for the fact that I was taught to use chopsticks at a tender age when it’s easier to learn stuff like that. My Aunt Aimee even taught me to count to 10 and to sing “Onward Christian Soldiers” in Mandarin! And think of all the wonderful Chinese things that I inherited. It’s Julia all the way. I’m about to add some green stuff to my zippered UTO coin purse in her honor. In fact , if I knew how to add a picture, I’d show you the coin purse, as well as the cover of a 1916 primer used at St. Hilda’s School in Wuhan. I can scan them, but….I don’t know how to plop them into my note.

  81. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 9, 2014 - 9:28 pm | Permalink

    …..and, thus endeth my day……….later…….as I was typing this, the alarm system in my apartment building went off. Naturally, I gathered up my phone, AND my cat, and headed for the stairs. Turns out, some moron on the 2nd floor was less than careful with the combustibles and the building had to be evacuated.
    I am back in my apartment now, having been given the all clear by the ypsi fire department(for everyone except 2nd floor tenants, that is) to return to my apt. Which is on the 4th floor.
    Boy Hidee, what a night.
    SEC, who is the patron saint of fire fighters?
    And can this saint be on the bracket sometime?
    And no, Fred Rogers is NOT negotiable.
    Peace out, y’all,
    PS: God bless all firefighters. Whatever they’re paid, it’s not nearly enough, amen

    • Phil's Gravatar Phil
      April 9, 2014 - 11:38 pm | Permalink

      Not fun at all! Good that you did not have to eat any smoke ….. or worse! And as always we devalue those who protect our safety (police and fire), teach our children …..

      • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
        April 10, 2014 - 3:52 am | Permalink

        Hi Phil,
        Ain’t it the truth?! God bless our unsung heroes, wherever and whoever they may be!

    • Harlie Youngblood's Gravatar Harlie Youngblood
      April 10, 2014 - 1:00 am | Permalink

      Florian is the patron of fire fighters. He was a Roman soldier in command of a squadron (or battalion or corps or whatever) of soldiers whose sole duty was to fight fires. He was martyred in the persecution of Diocletian.

    • Ann Willis Scott's Gravatar Ann Willis Scott
      April 10, 2014 - 1:09 am | Permalink

      Florian? And all these years I thought it was St. Dalmatia!

      • Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
        April 10, 2014 - 3:33 am | Permalink

        Hi Ann,
        Is there a saint dalmatia? Will Google……can’t sleep anyway……brb

  82. Claire Woodley's Gravatar Claire Woodley
    April 9, 2014 - 9:49 pm | Permalink

    Now more than ever…Julia!

  83. Carol Virginia's Gravatar Carol Virginia
    April 9, 2014 - 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I voted for both of them in the ‘primaries’ and I want to continue with their ardent support but must decide on just one with some personal rationale. The wonderful Helen Keller story reminded me. The big man gets
    my vote.
    When I was a little eight year old, my beloved 11 year old cousin died of an enlarged heart. He hadn’t been able to run and play freely but he loved scholarly things and music. His favorite hymn was the Christmas Carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.
    It comforts me to remember it comforting him.
    Yes, Madeleine, you voted correctly!
    I’d like to join you.

  84. Leonora's Gravatar Leonora
    April 9, 2014 - 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I associate the box with some scolding and lectures on duty, and this did not contribute to a a journey of faith and charity.

  85. Jane Schmoetzer's Gravatar Jane Schmoetzer
    April 10, 2014 - 1:00 am | Permalink

    “There is one universal religion, Helen – the religion of Love. Love your Heavenly Father with your whole heart and soul, love every child of God as much as ever you can, and remember that the possibilities of good are greater than the possibilities of evil; and you have the key to Heaven.”
    ― Phillips Brooks

  86. Martha Frances's Gravatar Martha Frances
    April 10, 2014 - 2:36 am | Permalink

    It’s late, your comments are getting less inspiring every day, I love both Brooks & Emery & don’t wanna make a choice tonight. But I will. The perseverance of the early professionalism in the deaconess movement continues to inspire me. Especially Julia & her sister. Brooks seems to adequately inspire & wow his constituents, & Emery represents the best of her vocation. I have to go w/ Emery again.

  87. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 10, 2014 - 3:28 am | Permalink

    Hi Phil, and Harlie,
    Thanks for the heads-up on St. Florian, I am grateful that it wasn’t worse!
    Now, at this wee hour (I’m usually asleep at this time!), the words of Phillips Brooks bring true for me in a way that couldn’t have 24 hours ago, specifically: “don’t ask God for tasks equal to your strength, ask God
    for strength equal to your tasks .” When I was going down the stairs with my freaking out cat Esther digging her claws into me and yowling her displeasure at the situation……
    My gratitude to the Ypsi fire department, to firefighters everywhere, you guys ROCK!!!
    And may we never see you parked in our lot

  88. Madeleine Baier's Gravatar Madeleine Baier
    April 10, 2014 - 3:42 am | Permalink

    Hi Ann,
    St. Isaac of Dalmatia was a 5th(?) Century monk, he was the patron saint of the Romanovs. I just looove Google 🙂

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