6 October 2022 – Ken Rowe Memorial Service

A Service of Death and Resurrection

Rev. Dr. Kenneth E. Rowe
Craig Chapel, Drew Theological School
Thursday, October 6th, 2022

Gathering Music

“Stillness” – Lindy Thompson/Mark A. Miller

Julian Wamble, soloist

Words of Life

Dean Tanya Linn Bennett

Dying, Christ destroyed our death.
Rising, Christ restored our life.
Christ will come again in glory.
As in baptism Ken put on Christ,
so in Christ may Ken be clothed with glory.
Here and now, dear friends, we are God’s children.
What we shall be has not yet been revealed;
but we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like the Beloved,
for we shall see Christ as Christ is.

Processional Hymn

“O, For A Thousand Tongues to Sing”
Words: Charles Wesley, Music: Mark A. Miller

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories ever echoing
the triumphs of God’s grace!
the triumphs of God’s grace!

My gracious Savior and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread through all the earth abroad
the honors of thy name.
the honors of thy name.

You speak, and listening to your voice,
new life the dead receive;
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice,
the humble poor believe.
the humble poor believe.

O for a thousand tongues to sing (echo)
O for a thousand tongues to sing (echo)
O for a thousand tongues to sing (echo)
O for a thousand tongues to sing (echo)

Jesus! The name
that charms our fears,
that bids our sorrows cease;
‘tis music in the sinner’s ears,
‘tis life, and health, and peace.
‘tis life, and health, and peace.

Glory to God and love and praise
Be ever, ever giv’n!
By all the saints in every age
The church in earth and heav’n!
The church in earth and heav’n!

O for a thousand tongues to sing
my great Redeemer’s praise,
the glories ever echoing
the triumphs of God’s grace!
God’s grace!


Dean Edwin Aponte

We have come together
to remember before God and one another the life of Ken Rowe,
to give thanks for all he has meant to us,
Drew Theological School
the General Commission on Archives and History,
and our beloved United Methodist Church.
We gather to commend him and our lasting memories
to God his creator
and to affirm his faith and ours
in the saving power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.


Rev. Dr. Fred Day

All: Living God
we remember those who have gone before us,
who have finished their course in faith.
Their example strengthened us,
their wisdom and integrity have deepened our discipleship.
They stood by us and helped us,
cheered in friendship,
inspired devoted service to the Church
which guided our life together.
Especially we praise you for Ken
who you have graciously received into your presence.
To all we remember, grant your peace.
Let perpetual light shine upon them,
and help us so to believe where we have not seen,
that your presence may lead us through our years,
bringing us at last with them into the joy of your home
not made with hands but eternal in the heavens;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Scripture: Romans 8:14-25

Dr. J. Terry Todd

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.


Sermon By Water and the Word

Rev. Dr. Heather Murray Elkins

Musical Response

“The Cloud of Witnesses”
Words: Laurie Zelman, Music: Mark A. Miller
Seminary Choir

Service of Reaffirmation of Baptism

Rev. Drs. Elkins, Bennett, and Day

Leader: Beloved in Christ:
Through the Sacrament of Baptism
we are initiated into Christ’s holy Church.
We are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation
and given new birth through water and the Spirit.
All this is God’s gift, offered to us without price.
Through the reaffirmation of our faith
we renew the covenant declared at our baptism,
acknowledge what God is doing for us,
and affirm our commitment to Christ’s holy Church.

Leader: On behalf of the whole Church, I ask you:
Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness,
reject the evil powers of this world,
and repent of your sin?
All: I do.
Leader: Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you
to resist evil, injustice, and oppression
in whatever forms they present themselves?
All: I do.
Leader: Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior,
put your whole trust in his grace,
and promise to serve him as your Lord,
in union with the Church which Christ has opened
to people of all ages, nations, races, classes, cultures,
gender identities, sexual orientations, and abilities?
All: I do.
Leader: According to the grace given to you,
will you remain faithful members of Christ’s holy Church
and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world?
All: I will.

Leader: God be with you.
All: And also with you.
Leader: Holy One, Holy Three:
When nothing existed but chaos,
you swept across the dark waters
and brought forth light.
In the days of Noah
you saved those on the ark through water.
After the flood you set in the clouds a rainbow.
When you saw your people as slaves in Egypt,
you led them to freedom through the sea.
Their children you brought through the Jordan
to the land which you promised.

Sung Refrain: “Wade in the Water,” Negro Spiritual

Wade in the water,
wade in the water, children,
wade in the water.
God’s gonna trouble the water.

Leader: In the fullness of time you sent Jesus,
nurtured in the water of Mary’s womb.
He was baptized by John and anointed by your Spirit.
He called his disciples
to share in the baptism of his death and resurrection
and to make disciples of all nations.

Sung Refrain: “Down to the River to Pray,” American Folk Song

As I went down to the river to pray,
studyin’ about that good old way,
and who shall wear the starry crown,
good Lord, show me the way.

Leader: Pour out your Holy Spirit,
and by this gift of water call to our remembrance
the grace declared to us in our baptism. For you have washed away our sins,
and you clothe us with righteousness throughout our lives,
that dying and rising with Christ we may share in Love’s final victory.
All: All praise to you, Holy One, Holy Three.
As it was in the beginning, is now,
and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


Leader: God of love, we thank you
for all with which you have blessed us to this day:
for the gifts of your abiding presence and promise
in days of pain and grief.
We praise you for home and friends,
and for our baptism in your Church
with all those who have faithfully lived and died.
Above all else we thank you for Jesus,
who knew our grief,
who died our death and rose for our sake,
and who lives and prays for us.
As he taught us, so now we pray:

(All sing the Lord’s Prayer.)

Our God, in heaven, holy is your name,
your reign come, your will done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread, and help us forgive, as we have been forgiven.
In the time of trial lead us into light,
for yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.
Our God, in heaven, holy is your name, holy is your name.


Rev. Dr. Heather Murray Elkins

Closing Hymn

“We’ll Understand it Better By and By”
Words and Music: Charles Albert Tindley

  1. We are tossed and driven
    on the restless sea of time;
    somber skies and howling tempests
    oft succeed a bright sunshine;
    in that land of perfect day,
    when the mists have rolled away,
    we will understand it better by and by.

By and by, when the morning comes,
when the saints of God are gathered home,
we’ll tell the story how we’ve overcome,
for we’ll understand it better by and by.

  1. We are often destitute
    of the things that life demands,
    want of food and want of shelter,
    thirsty hills and barren lands;
    we are trusting in the Lord,
    and according to God’s word,
    we will understand it better by and by. [Refrain]
  2. Trials dark on every hand,
    and we cannot understand
    all the ways that God would lead us
    to that blessed promised land;
    but he guides us with his eye,
    and we’ll follow till we die
    for we’ll understand it better by and by. [Refrain]
  3. Temptations, hidden snares
    often take us unawares,
    and our hearts are made to bleed
    for a thoughtless word or deed;
    and we wonder why the test
    when we try to do our best,
    but we’ll understand it better by and by. [Refrain]

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