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Candler to hold Centennial Convocation for Emory community, public

Emory University's Candler School of Theology invites the public to take part in the official commemoration of the school's 100th anniversary with a centennial convocation on Friday, Oct. 24 at 10:30 a.m. at Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the Emory.

Luther E. Smith Jr., professor emeritus of church and community at Candler, will deliver the convocation address, entitled "Since We Are Surrounded."

A new arrangement of the hymn "Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart," composed by Carlton R. Young, professor emeritus of church music at Candler, will also debut at the convocation.

The fall portion of Candler's yearlong centennial celebration focuses on the school's heritage, with the convocation highlighting Candler's historic significance within and to the larger Atlanta community over the last century. Church, university and city dignitaries will offer words of greeting and congratulations to the Candler and Emory communities.

In addition, Jan Love, dean of Candler, will recognize 56 individuals selected as Centennial Medalists for their extraordinary service to the school, the church, and society over the past 100 years. The recipients, both living and posthumous, include Candler administrators, faculty, alumni and supporters.

View a list of the medalists.

Watch the centennial convocation via live stream.

About Luther E. Smith, Jr.

Smith, who retired in August as professor of church and community, spent 35 years at Candler impressing upon students the need for justice and inclusivity and teaching them how to actively work toward transformation in the world around them. He served as a live demonstration, working as a humanitarian and activist everywhere from homeless shelters and welfare agencies to boardrooms and government buildings in his effort to create meaningful change.

Among his accomplishments was founding the Interfaith Children's Movement in 2001 to mobilize people of faith to address the challenges of poverty and sexual exploitation that were facing children in Georgia.

In addition to being an activist, Smith is a leading scholar of Howard Thurman and an outstanding teacher. He has garnered numerous teaching accolades, including the 2010 Emory Williams Distinguished Teaching Award, Emory University's highest award for excellence in teaching.

Smith was selected to deliver Candler's centennial convocation address because he is the epitome of all that Candler hopes to empower and inspire in its next 100 years: great teaching, great preaching and great church leadership.

New Hymn Arrangement Honors Candler's Centennial

The debut of the new arrangement of the hymn "Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart," is for congregation, choir, brass quintet, timpani and organ. Associate Dean of Worship and Music Barbara Day Miller calls it "the sort of strong hymn that would have been sung by Candler's first students."

According to Young, who served as editor on the last two editions of the United Methodist Hymnal, the text comes from Psalm 20:4 and Philippians 4:4a, and was first sung in England's Peterborough Cathedral in 1865.

"It is one of only a few triumphal and optimistic Victorian hymns still in common use," he says. "Its inclusion in all 20th century Methodist hymnals parallels the span of Candler's history."

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