F.D. Maurice vs. Julia Chester Emery

With their life spans overlapping by 20 years, today's battle sees F.D. Maurice take on Julia Chester Emery as both vie to advance to the next round. The pairing of contemporaries in Lent Madness is rare (unless they happen to be siblings) so there's that. They're also closely identified with initials: "F.D." Maurice and Julia Chester "ECW" Emery. So there's that as well.

Yesterday, Antony of Egypt failed miserably in his attempt to turn Basil the Great into pesto. Lent Madness bracketologists have determined that the loss was one of historic proportions; the worst drubbing in the history of Lent Madness -- 87% to 13%. Ouch. Basil becomes the first saint of 2014 to make it into the Elate Eight where he'll face the winner of Lydia vs. John of the Cross.

It's hard to believe we've made it through another week of the Madness! After a quick breather, we'll be back bright and early on Monday morning with Harriet Beecher Stowe tangling with Alcuin. If you encounter a Celebrity Blogger on your travels this weekend, be sure to ask for his or her autograph. It's very affirming and helps make up for the severe lack of monetary compensation.

fd moF.D. Maurice

Frederick Dennison Maurice (1805-1872) was among the foremost theologians of 19th century England, who held as his foremost theological and practical cause the advancement of the Kingdom of Christ. This primary conviction led him to serve as a theological forerunner to modern ecumenical movement, and to deeply involve himself in social reforms of the time with the foundation of the Christian Socialist movement. His ideas and activism often led him into conflict with religious authorities of the day; he persisted nonetheless. Contrary to some assertions, he was not called Maurice for his speaking of the pompatus of love.*

 On the church present and active:

We have been dosing our people with religion when what they want is not this but the Living God…we give them a stone for bread, systems for realities. -- As quoted in Life of F.D. Maurice (1885)

On the union of all of heaven and earth in the Kingdom of Christ:

All stages of our earthly life to the last are consecrated; so every beautiful spot in nature as well as all the forms of art share in the same consecration, and have that one name of ‘Father’ illuminating them all. -- from Sermons Preached in Country Churches

Christ is with those who seem to speak the most slightingly of him, testifying to them that he is risen indeed, and they have a life in him which no speculations or denials of theirs have been able to rob them of, even as we have a life in him, which our sins often hinder us from acknowledging, but cannot quench. -- from Theological Essays (1853)

On Relationships in Humanity and in God:

Human relationships are not artificial types of something divine, but are actually the means and the only means, through which man ascends to any knowledge of the divine… every breach of human relation, as it implies a violation of the higher law, so also is a hindrance and barrier to the perception of that higher law – the drawing of a veil between the spirit of a man and his God. – from The Kingdom of Christ (1838)

On the Liturgy and the Work of the Church:

I hope you will never hear from me such phrases as ‘our incomparable liturgy’: I do not think we are to praise the liturgy but to use it. When we do not want it for our life, we may begin to talk of it as a beautiful composition. Thanks be to God, it does not remind us of its own merits when it is bidding us draw near to him. -- As quoted in Life of F.D. Maurice (1885)

 *41-year old Pop Cultural Reference. If you don’t get it, ask your parents, or Google it.

-- David Sibley

jcemeryJulia Chester Emery

Julia Chester Emery (1852-1922) was for 40 years the national secretary of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Episcopal Church. She came from an unusual family: her father Charles was a sea captain and Episcopalian, and he and her mother Susan encouraged all of their eleven children not only to be personally pious but to actively work to further the kingdom of God. Two of her brothers were priests, and Julia and three of her sisters were missionaries or supported missionaries in the manner of Phoebe, whom Paul mentioned in the Letter to the Romans as a deacon and servant/helper to many in the church, and whom Susan Emery held up as an example to her daughters.

She was also a cousin to the four Emery sisters who were patrons of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (SSJE), the Episcopal monastic community which now offers retreat space at Emery House in Newbury, MA.

Julia visited every single diocese in the United States and helped organize branches of the Women’s Auxiliary in more than 5,600 parishes. Many of these branches continue today as the Episcopal Church Women, or ECW.

She wrote: “There are hundreds more earnest, faithful, devoted women who would be cheered if only they knew what is being done by their sisters in the church and see their offering, small and insignificant as it seems, increased and multiplied by the union with the gifts of others” (Spirit of Missions, volume XXXVII, 1872).

Emery led the charge for canonical status for the office of deaconess. She also created the United Thank Offering, represented by small blue boxes with slots for coins to encourage daily giving and thanks to God. The UTO is still under the purview of the ECW, having awarded $1,517,280 in mission grants in 2012.

Apparently, her only training for this ministry was a willingness to try it, for she possessed no special education or preparation. Her only authority was collegial, for being a lay woman, she had neither the office nor the perquisites of ordained status to buttress her leadership. Julia Emery reminds us that we all possess the resources we need to be effective missionaries, except perhaps the two most important qualities exemplified in her — a willingness to try and the commitment to stick with it, even for a lifetime. (Brightest and Best: A Companion to the Lesser Feasts and Fasts by Sam Portaro.)

Known as “Miss Julia,” Emery died in 1922 and is buried in the cemetery of St. James the Less in Scarsdale, New York, a cemetery that also contains a secret room and tunnel that was part of the underground railroad through which slaves were able to escape to Canada.

-- Penny Nash


F.D. Maurice vs. Julia Chester Emery

  • Julia Chester Emery (67%, 3,085 Votes)
  • F.D. Maurice (33%, 1,540 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,623

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144 comments on “F.D. Maurice vs. Julia Chester Emery”

  1. Mary, I hear you. I often vote for the opposite gender, my vote actually has little to do with genitalia !

  2. I am left w/ Julia. She was a doer. We need Maurice to keep our visions sharp and understanding focused on Jesus, but Julia fulfilled his vision of the living bread. I am not really sure of what Maurice was doing or where he was going so the choice was easy for me.

  3. And as for the. SM band and the song in question, that song got played to death,back then, to this very day I STILL can't abide it.

  4. I think the closing of Julia's information may have led to a piece of possible misinformation:" Known as “Miss Julia,” Emery died in 1922 and is buried in the cemetery of St. James the Less in Scarsdale, New York, a cemetery that also contains a secret room and tunnel that was part of the underground railroad through which slaves were able to escape to Canada." This does not say she had any connection to the “Underground Railroad "; but the placement of this information in the closing has led some people to connect her with that movement.

  5. Like many others, I found this a tough choice. Although I'm not a great fan of "feminism" as it's understood these days, I would never call Emery a feminist, but simply a woman who served Christ and His Church at a time when it was difficult for women to do this in the ways she did it. Plus, the UTO Thank Offering has a special little place in my childhood that helped direct me toward my life work as church musician.

    1. "Feminism as it's understood these days" is often not defined by feminists, but by their opponents. If you believe in equal rights for women, you're a feminist. There are feminists on all sides of the abortion issue, for instance.

  6. No question of choice here - it's Maurice all the way. Even if I were not disposed already to choose him because of his thinking, that first quotation would have sealed it. Nothing against ECW and Miss Julia but there is no difficulty in making a choice in this match-up.

  7. I really liked Emery until I read the quotes from Maurice! I loved what he has to say about relationships! Wow! I had to vote for him - hard decision!

  8. I love both Maurice's and Emory's
    compelling faces, souls and contributions. After reading Maurice's bio I was sure I needed to read no further, but I did. Then after reading Emory's I was convinced I'd better read again from the top. They each spent a lifetime of devotion actualizing their personal potential, impacting millions well beyond their own lifetimes because of a willingness to persevere with their gifts. The genius of Maurice's mind won by a fraction. Both are absolutely beautiful saints and a great team.

  9. Julia Emery was a staunch and ardent church worker who led many women to exert power with their gold and silver jewelry and silverware to fashion basins to collect the UTO s, especially in the Volunteer state of Tennessee. She was one woman who empowered many women when women's rights was a non-existent term as measured by today's standards. UTO funds were given to newly ordained women clergy when I was ordained a deacon to help purchase clerical garb. The visits she made were, as has been mentioned. before air travel. She was truly a powerhouse who commanded respect when women in our church had little, if any. Remember, women were not allowed to be seated with vote at diocesan nor general conventions in her day. A great churchwoman dedicated to God and the Church Triumphant.

  10. Julia Chester Emery's life is theology in high heels!
    The influence and ministry of the UTO world-wide is the legacy of this practical approach to the Gospel. What she and her sisters accomplished in their time reads like a primer for missionary work.

    1. Susan, love the "high heels" imagery. I'll be sure to share it with our associate rector, who usually wears flats. Often striped. Or red.

  11. Maurice - a great truth which I will post on my desk for when I am discouraged with relationships:
    Human relationships are not artificial types of something divine, but are actually the means and the only means, through which man ascends to any knowledge of the divine… every breach of human relation, as it implies a violation of the higher law, so also is a hindrance and barrier to the perception of that higher law – the drawing of a veil between the spirit of a man and his God. – from The Kingdom of Christ (1838)

  12. Though I wholeheartedly agree with Maurice's sentiment that "I do not think we are to praise the liturgy but to use it," and even though it further busts my flat-broke bracket, I have to vote for Julia today.

    Her indomitable spirit and traveling witness make real what happens when people use the liturgy of the church and follow its leading into a life of praise and service.

  13. Two fine examples of people we should pattern our own lives after. But in the end, I heeded my mother's admonition: "Actions speak louder than words." Julia gets my vote.

  14. Julia is awesome. I learned much more about her in the book "New Wine" by Pam Darling. Just thought I'd let people know if they are interested.

  15. Having decided in the last 20 min that Maurice ought take the Halo, I'm shattered to see him trounced midway in the first period of the second round. Ms. Emery took down an ecumenist in the first round. I hate to see another fall.

    I only know what I read about either person -- what I read these past 20 min, coming late into the tourney. The first round blurb and the second round's for Ms. Emery are nearly identical. Shallow, though broad, accomplishments over her 40 years. Nod and move one. Maurice had the pompetus of a polemicist, being both a convert to the faith and a thorn to the establishment and the broker of an uneasy marriage the likes of which have been eclipsed only in our time in with the nuptials of Ayn Rand and Josemaria Escriva and their love child, Paul Ryan. I want to know more. And that wanting is what makes him a saint.

    1. Google Play has a brief biography of FDM by Richard H Schmidt, called Citizen of the Kingdom. In the spirit of wanting to know more, I've been reading it just now and discovered a fact of his ministry material to the field of battle for this round -- the same court on which Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King fought.

      Queen's College of London was founded by JDM. Look it up!

  16. Julia Chester Emery got my vote because she expressed her faith by her actions. No slight intended to F. D. Maurice; however, there always will be a never-ending supply of wordsmiths.

  17. It seems to me that once again all too many are voting merely based on gender. What Julia did is no different that what many other women in many other denominations have done. Nor should this exclusively be about Episcopalians. That's why others of us are participating (I'm Lutheran)! What F.D. Maurice said and did speaks more to the church universal, which is why I voted for him. It saddens me that members of the church cannot look at the contributions of different people to the church without dividing them up according to gender!

    1. Perhaps "merely" gender should be viewed in the same vein as "mere" Christianity. For you to assume that Julia's contributions are less "universal" than Maurice's actually seems counter to what Maurice preached. The assumption that gender must be the only reason that women (only some, apparently) voted for Julia is an example of the very sexism you decry.

      1. Linda Monk, you do not know me! I have stood up for more women and against bias against women than you ever will -- I have advocated on their behalf in ways you probably have not! Stop insulting me! You are way off base. Every time there has been a woman against a man in Lent Madness, it has been the same outcome. Julia's contributions were in the Episcopal Church. That is fine, I have absolutely nothing against that. However, there are other women who have done the same for the Lutheran Church or the Baptist Church or the Presbyterian Church, etc., etc. None of them are included here, number one, yet their contribution is equal to Julia's. I am sick of this bit where men are wholly discounted and you did it again where I am concerned. I will repeat, I have advocated against bias against women, actively, my entire life on this earth and I RESENT your insult!

          1. Madeleine, how about telling Linda Monk to ease up, I am not the one who went around insulting somebody who I don't know and others have made the same point that I made, so why call me sexist? Besides, nothing, absolutely NOTHING could be further than the truth!

        1. I agree I've become increasingly surprised and distressed by the tone in some of the comments which seem to me nothing to do with fun or community but quite openly hostile. I doubt very much that the women among us are nearly so dull witted as some assume. Women as a gender have endured too much to fall into the gender discrimination trap. It's Lent after all.

          1. Apparently you have not read through all the comments. Others have commented on the same thing, including some women -- and one even looked into it a little more, to the point where her results, while not conclusive, indicate the same thing. As members of the church we should ALL be more enlightened than that. But since I was called sexist, without any evidence of that, that is apparently not so! I have in fact actively advocated for women in situations where they were clearly being abused, so I have to say how dare anyone, especially people who call themselves Christian, insult me in that fashion!

        2. Phil (btw, what is your last name?), you don't know me either. Your words speak for themselves. And you are factually incorrect, as another person has pointed out in the comments. Go in peace.

  18. As a past parish level ECW VP & President & also literally a one time parish UTO gatherer (a few months before I moved), I feel I must vote for Julia, though I wouldn't cry if F.D. were to pull off a come from behind Cinderella victory. (But I'm not holding my breath.)

  19. It's Julia all the way! Many of the 30-some churches in the Diocese of NWPA would not be accessible to the physically challenged today if it wasn't for the grants from UTO. She is still working today.

  20. Well, spit. I may have mistakenly voted twice today ... Internet connection failed partway through my vote for Maurice going through. Dear Supreme Executive Committee, please do not punish me if I have sinned! I only wanted to cast my ballot for FD!

  21. Tough choice as usual but I had to go with F. D. because of his writings on social concerns, making the gospel a reality and what he had to say about human relationships.

  22. Much as I admire Julia, I had to go with ecumenism, "don't let liturgy get in the way of Jesus", "All stages of our earthly life to the last are consecrated", etc. I'm glad they're both in the Communion of Saints.

  23. For those of us who are a bit forgetful, it would be helpful if you put a link to the previous post on each Saint in the first round of Lent Madness. This way we could refresh our memories as to the earlier facts that got each Saint through to the Saintly 16.

  24. F. D. Maurice is one of those figures whose stock with me has risen and fallen and risen over the decades. At the moment it's fairly high, but once again I voted on the basis of personal associations, going with Julia for her family associations with SSJE, her trailblazing concept of sisterhood, and her (ahem, posthumous) association with the Underground Railroad.

  25. "...he was not called Maurice for his speaking of the pompatus of love."
    Har! Har! Har! (David, that was so baad!)

  26. Easy-- just switch the genders, and then think about it with a calm mind. Rebellious Frederica's theological influence on the whole Anglican imagination far overshadows wealthy Julian's fundraising and organizing of American men's groups. That said, Julian does not speak in his own voice in this bio, so we do not know how his faith informed his fundraising and campaigning, which is unfair (Evidence perhaps that men are still expected to be stoically silent about their religious feelings?) Since wealthy benefactors of the Gilded Age did sometimes have notable inner lives-- eg Isabel Stewart Gardner-- that seems a loss. For saints to be saints, we need more than effective organizing, well-used connections, and praiseworthy stamina (though these things have never hurt eg yesterday's St Basil the Great, inventor of the hospital). Maurice, obviously, but with protest attached on behalf of modern American saints.

    PS-- The comments for Julia in this thread are so flatly gender-driven that they suggest an interesting result. The margin in this vote may quantify the 'chick flick' vote closely enough that we can deduct it from some of the other tallies to see how the thoughtful people of both sexes have been voting in some more interesting matches.