Anna Cooper vs. Charles Wesley

After yesterday's Harriet Havoc, it appears we have our first true Cinderella in Harriet Bedell since Emma of Hawaii made it to the championship round in 2012. She trounced Harriet Beecher Stowe 74% to 26% in the first blowout of the week after three days of tense back and forth battles.

Today we finalize the Faithful Four as Anna Cooper squares off against Charles Wesley. To make it to the Elate Eight, Anna defeated Joseph of Arimathaea and J.S. Bach while Charles beat out his brother John and Thomas Merton. The winner will cut down the proverbial nets and join Lydia, Phillips Brooks, and Harriet Bedell as the four remaining saints of Lent Madness 2014.

Here's today's Archbishops' Update for your viewing pleasure:

Have a good Palm Sunday weekend, all, and remember there are only three days left of this year's Madness. We'll have Faithful Four contests on Monday and Tuesday and voting for the Golden Halo on Spy Wednesday with the winner announced at 8:00 am on Maundy Thursday. Onward!

4983189771_c4cd337a85_zAnna Cooper

If you haven’t yet planned your next vacation, why not consider a road trip to the Mid-Atlantic — that is, of course, if you can’t make it to the great nation of Texas? Along with enjoying delectable blue crabs, artificially sweetened ice tea, and excessive humidity, you can embark upon a spiritual pilgrimage in honor of Dr. Anna Julia Cooper’s commitment to human dignity, equality, and Christian discipleship.

Begin your trip in Raleigh, North Carolina, with a visit to St. Augustine’s Normal School & Collegiate Institute AJC_Banner2B-RGB(now St. Augustine’s College), where Anna Julia Cooper began attending school at the age of nine. While there, recall Anna Julia’s early foray into activism as she demanded entrance into the same courses as her male counterparts, including classes in theology and pastoral ministry.

Anna J. Cooper Home

Anna J. Cooper Home

After that, hop onto I-85 and make your way to Richmond, Virginia, where you’ll find the Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School in Richmond’s East End. Visit with the amazing students there, and perhaps you can join some of the teachers as they make regular visits to their students’ homes — not because they’re in trouble, but because their teachers are committed to maintaining an active role in their students lives. Be sure to purchase an AJCES t-shirt while you’re there, too.

After a day in Richmond (make you sure to visit their fantastic

M Street School

M Street School

Museum of Fine Arts), hop on I-95 to Washington, D.C. While most of the traffic will be headed to the National Mall, drive on over to the less-crowded, but culturally rich & vibrant LeDroit Park to visit the M Street School (now Dunbar  High School) where Anna Julia Cooper served as principal.

If you get a chance, take a moment to enjoy the majestic sounds of Dunbar’s marching band. Upon leaving Dunbar, pass through Anna J. Cooper Circle on your way to visit her beautiful home. Be sure to take some pictures to mail home to your family and friends. Naturally, you’ll want to use the commemorative stamps in honor of Dr. Cooper, which you can purchase after taking a tour of the United States Postal Museum a few blocks away.

If the heat should become unbearable as you travel, recall Anna Julia’s tireless activism in heels and corsets and be encouraged. Besides, I’m not so anna_j_cooper_tshirt-r1088beff11e643a1b8822955bfd51001_8nhmp_324sure that Mr. Wesley — classy and talented he may have been — was so impeccably and painfully dressed.

Educators, unite—
Writers, speak—
Clergy spouses (and widows), find a new companion—
Francophiles, raise a glass—
World travelers, behold your passport—
Overachievers, join your tribe—
Believers of equality, stamp out injustice—
Everyone, channel your inner “Anna Julia” and live the Gospel with boldness & hope (corset & heels, optional)

Vote Anna Julia Cooper, y’all!

-- Maria Kane

Charles Wesley 

unnamedYou may fear, dearest reader, that as the younger of the famous Wesley Brothers, Charles Wesley would be bereft on nice, shiny, new kitsch. After all, youngest siblings always seem to get only hand-me-downs: clothes a few years out of style, “lovingly” used toys, and the like. And a lack of kitsch for Charles Wesley would mean a weak showing in the Elate Eight, and next to no chance of advancing. It would almost be as if he failed to show up for this late round of Lent Madness.

So can it be that Charles Wesley should gain an interest in the Zazzle’s kitsch? Yes, dear reader, Yes! unnamedZazzle is here to remind us: There’s Methodist in My Madness!

But there are some in the kitsch-o-sphere that feel it is necessary to remind us that, even as a Methodist remains in our beloved Lent Madness, John and Charles Wesley were, indeed, Anglicans. Both died before Methodism split from the Church of England, and Charles, in particular, was very vocal against any potential split.

unnamedBut people of all kinds of denominations can unite behind Charles Wesley, and especially behind his over 6,000 hymns which continue to inspire the faithful. Inspire the faithful, so much, that he hangs out with his fellow hymn writers William Cowper, Fanny Crosby, John Newton, and Isaac Watts on an exquisite “Sing Hymns Loud!” tie that is said to inspire a thousand tongues to sing.

Indeed, ‘tis mercy all, immense and at a fee, all this kitsch didst find out me! Of course, Lent unnamedMadness isn’t all about kitsch. It’s about preparing for Easter, and for so many, Charles Wesley’s hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is among their favorites. The hymn is an adaptation of the earlier version from the 1708 Lyrica David original; The United Methodist Hymnal uses Wesley’s adaptation, but in the Episcopal Church’s Hymnal 1982, the original is blended with Wesley’s own verse in “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.” In one form or another, the hymn is beloved enough to deserve a place on your living room wall.

unnamedSpeaking of that favorite Wesley Tune, it looks like choir soloist John Daker from First United Methodist Church is getting ready to sing a song that’s very popular nowadays, with Charles Wesley being a contestant in Lent Madness. And then he’s gonna sing Amore too, okay?

On second thought, Charles Wesley's bust is not amused… so help him recover from that incredibly unique rendition of one of his hymns by voting him into the Faithful Four. 

-- David Sibley


Anna Cooper vs. Charles Wesley

  • Charles Wesley (57%, 2,664 Votes)
  • Anna Cooper (43%, 2,033 Votes)

Total Voters: 4,695

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154 comments on “Anna Cooper vs. Charles Wesley”

  1. I agree with M.K. Miller that it does seem the underdogs weregiven written descriptions supporting claim to sainthood while poor Harriet Beecher Stowe was reduced to the face of souvenir marketing without expanding on the many "whys" for her popularity. Charles has been treated somewhat better, but was still farther over in the kitsch side than his competitor, who was, like millions of people, probably influenced by the deep theology expressed in CW's hymns. Unlike yesterday, though, this does not appear to have impacted early voting.

  2. Fabulous kitsch today, Anna's very classy as was she (was she an eldest?); Charles not so much, but hilarious and goofy as fits the younger son who is always trying to gain attention one way or the other. Who to vote for? Who to vote for? Oh, dear!

  3. Charles Wesley, of course. Looking forward to singing Christ The Lord is Risen Today very soon.

  4. I was not sure how I'd vote today until that video and its unholy marriage of two songs that were never really meant for medley-making, especially delivered in an earnest, lyric-mangling Gary Cooper-style with the pianist blissfully pounding away in the background. I laughed so hard I nearly spilled my Lent Madness coffee mug. It was courageous and sincere and oddly touching, offering its own kind of joyful noise and reminded me how much I love Wesley's writings and how far they reach. These are fine, halo-worthy candidates. I am so glad to have met Ms. Cooper, but today I'm one of Charlie's angels.

  5. Charles deserves your vote today, if for no other reason than to make up for John Daker. (Bless his heart).
    And as for activism in heels and corsets and in the heat? I’m SURE that both John AND Charles were as painfully dressed whilst they were missionaries in Georgia. After all, it was the 1730s, and men even had to wear WIGS in the sultry Southern heat!

  6. Both of these are definitely halo worthy. I've supported both in previous rounds. Finally decided on Anna as the lesser known. Charles lives forever in his magnificent hymns. I would love to see Anna become known more broadly as she so richly deserves to be, hence today I support the lesser known.

  7. As a former Methodist, I have always wondered why the Episcopal Hymnal changed "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" which I have always loved, especially when sung at Easter Sunrise services. Much as I love Charles Wesley's hymns and wish to goodness that my fellow Episcopalians would sing them in a little faster tempo ( as well as sing Phillips Brooks best-known hymn to the tune I learned as a child), I have to go with Anna Julia Cooper. Women's education and civil rights win it for me.

    1. The mention of that fabulous hymn brought it soaring into my head-- but it's still Lent! I had to override it with another Charles Wesley creation: "A Charge to Keep I Have."

    2. Actually, the original first line of that hymn is "Surrexit Christus hodie". The first published English translation ("Lyra Davidica", London 1708) begins "Jesus Christ is risen today", so it's "Christ the Lord is risen today" that is changed from the original English version. Only stanza 4 ("Sing we to our God above") is by Charles Wesley anyway. As for the 1708 version, the second verse there begins, "Haste ye females from your fright, Take to Galilee your flight", which might not be considered very suitable in A.D. 2014, so change in wording is not necessarily a bad idea.

  8. The photo of the students at Anna Julia Cooper school in Richmond, taken by an Episcopal priest and teacher there, Rock Higgins, is on the Facebook Lent Madness site. It should be part of the material here. But you can all go look. The link above in the entry today to the report on the school in the local newspaper will give you an idea of what an amazing place the school is.!/photo.php?fbid=10152092767763131&set=p.10152092767763131&type=1&theater

  9. I voted for Anna Cooper because she demanded admission, along with men, to theology and pastoral ministry classes.
    TBTG for both. Hard work, great rewards. May both contestants rest in peace and rise in glory.

  10. No wonder Charles is not amused! That was awful! But it's not Charles' fault. I agree that Charles deserves the vote! He certainly got mine.

  11. The SEC is awesome, of course, as is the whole journey of Lent Madness. But maybe next year the kitsch round could be pointed down another route...because this is the week that people really tune in and turn to Lent Madness because the final eight or four saints have done wonderful, great things...I find myself wanting to learn more about them and feel a little profound as I turn to the competition every I hope people of other denominations are tuning in...and then the kitsch stuff doesn't make sense, and we concentrate on that rather than the person...and if one person has better kitsch stuff (am I still spelling that right?)...then we get distracted. It's kind of like celebrating at the altar...if we do it every week, we might get tired of Prayer A or B or whatever, but for someone that is in the pews or even new to the congregation, it's brand new. Most of these saints have given their lives and made world-changing contributions...and it might be good to review their contributions again without seeing if they had salt or pepper shakers designed in their image. (Of course those would be the coolest thing... hmmm....)Anyways, keep up the great work, SEC- this is a wonderful thing you all are doing and it brings us a great deal of joy. Blessings!

    1. Lindsay, you may hate this idea, but I'm wondering whether the SEC would succeed in actually selling timely kitsch online through an online store year round.

      The revenues could at least subsidize Forward Movement's costs. It would be nice to see the bloggers given honoraria for their creative work.

      Dreaming a bit, it would be excellent to see checks go to some of the causes that these saints have advanced. That would draw people in, which would help sales, which would increase donations, which... A virtuous circle.

  12. I'm confused. Would Wesley beat Bach in a matchup? So how is the woman who beat Bach doing so poorly against Wesley? Especially given the spite vote of Morton fans and the purported LM gender bias. (I've done my own purporting)

    The Anna Cooper Project website is down for maintenance until this afternoon. Perhaps a ploy to protect their servers from heavy LM traffic, but alas, they sacrifice Dr. Cooper's halo in the process. She'd have my vote over Frances Perkins. She has my vote today.

  13. Anna Cooper was an important person in American civil and women's rights. Charles Wesley continues to inpire many throughout the world. Sorry Anna.

  14. I'm voting for Charles, for the golden halo!
    There is a silent film version of King of Kings, which has a score performed on the pipe organ @ a beautiful old church in downtown Detroit. Said score includes "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" and it's enough to give one goosebumps every time!

  15. Let's see - making music, or working very hard to get a PhD, and then passing on knowledge to others so they can learn and grow. I can write because of a teacher....I vote for Anna!

  16. Really hard to choose today, but since I couldn't see the picture of the students of Anna's namesake school, I took it as a sign that I should vote for Chuck. Anyway I love his hymns.

  17. Voting for Charley today. Love that tie. Jesus Chris is Risen Todaaaay, Aaaaaaaalleeeluuuuuia!

  18. Since I believe that humor is an important part of spirituality, I'm so glad to have listened to and watched the video! I missed it altogether until I read the Comments, and had to go back and click on the link next to the writer's name. So glad I did!
    In the voting, as a college and grad school voice major, former choir director, still performing at age 76 with my husband, as well as a lifelong Methodist, I'm voting for Charles Wesley. Oh, and I was baptized in my mother's home church in Burlington, NC on Easter Day! Remember, everybody, Charles wrote the words, not the music. But he wrote them intending for them to be sung. Alleluia!

  19. Got to vote for Charles--yeay! (Or should that be "Yea" as in "Yea, I am with you always"?) Especially since Anna beat my best buddy Bach. (Let us not gloat, Verdery!)

  20. This round could be called "Kitsch or Culture". The candidates today are a classic example of how this could work. Charles Wesley is well represented by all manner of "kitschy"kitsch. ( tasteful or otherwise, you decide). Consequently the CB has much material for the "kitsch pitch". Anna Cooper, who is not as well known in popular culture, has a dearth of kitsch, but because of her legacy is celebrated with monuments and memorials, as the CB has presented. Kudos to both CBs for doing a magnificent job with the available material. Even though Wesley has exceptional kitsch, I voted for saintly Anna.

  21. Again, I think your presentation of the two candidates today is unbalanced -- a helpful presentation reminding voters of the gift of Anna Cooper and then a presentation of Charles Wesley which is mostly about stuff and not a serious account of his gifts to the church.

  22. Charles' music continues to inspire persons such as Anna Cooper to perform works of compassion and love all over the world. Music wins the day. Charles' ability to Move us in all of our times of trial or triumph garners my vote.
    God bless.

  23. I was all set to order a couple of Sing Hymns Loud t-shirts when I noticed the padlock at the bottom of the page. Remember not to use the Internet sites with that until they fix the bug! I'll get my t-shirts later!

  24. Since we already have Harriet and Lydia, I voted for Charles to even it out. Not just because I love to sing hymns.