“For the Jones Family of Bristol Springs” and “Only One Way” by Darius M. Ratcliff

GuideMeOThouGreatJehovah

FOR THE JONES FAMILY OF BRISTOL SPRINGS
Mr. and Mrs. Ward (Irene E.) Jones, Julia E. and Virginia A.

Yours is the home where the singers dwell,

Oft have I listened to their songs glad swell:

As they have followed the day’s occupations

Voices were raised in joyous pulsations.

Gone are the song birds now from their nest,

Stilled are the echoes that never knew rest,

Caught in the whirl of the maddening rush,

Stifling out music and bidding it hush.

Oh, may they sing through the world’s dark night

Songs of the gospel of light:

Hearts may they gladden by the songs that they sing,

Souls may they save by the message they bring.

ONLY ONE WAY
Changed from one by Mrs. Ward Jones. Written for Virginia to sing.

There’s only one way to heaven,

From palace or from slum;

Only one way to the Pearly Gate,

Only one way to come.

This is the way called Jesus,

The Glorious Son of God;

Jesus the world’s one Savior,

Who once here on earth has trod.

There’s only one way to Jesus,

But the gate is open wide;

There’s only one way to enter,

And be at the Savior’s side.

The way by the cross of Jesus:

To there be crucified,

Just by the cross of Jesus,

The cross where our Savior died.

“Thanksgiving” by Darius M. Ratcliff

“Landing of the Pilgrims” – Stained Glass Windows  in Pilgrims Hall

THANKSGIVING

For our supply of daily bread,

By which we’ve been so duly fed;

For clothing meet the year round,

And homes where shelter we have found:

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For magazines and books to read,

And other things the mind may need;

For music’s gifts for our delight,

And all the beauties for our sight;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For loved ones dear to human kind,

And blessings we in friendships find;

For nature’s children large and small,

For outdoor treasures enriching all;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For blessings ours when we receive,

For blessings greater when we give;

For service sent when we had need,

For chance to serve by word and deed;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For institutions of our land,

For public schools on every hand;

For churches free to serve our God,

And freedom greater than the rod;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For a nation’s prayer that right decide,

For a nation’s prayer that love abide,

For a nation strong where freedom reigns,

For a nation armed where night remains;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

For a loving Christ who for us died,

For a present Christ now at our side,

For a life on earth with Jesus shared,

For a Father’s house for us prepared;

Our Father God we thank Thee.

Image above:

Source: http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?79395

Image Title:  Landing of the Pilgrims – Stained Glass Windows in Pilgrim Hall;  Additional Name(s): Burbank, A. S. — Publisher; Medium: Offset photomechanical prints; Source: Detroit Publishing Company postcards / Unnumbered cards; Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building / Photography Collection, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs

Catalog Call Number: MFY 95-29;  Digital ID: 79395;  Record ID: 186200; Digital Item Published: 4-8-2004; updated 3-25-2011

“A Welcome to Rev. and Mrs. Frank Sperduto” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Presbyterian Church
Naples, Ontario County, New York


A WELCOME TO REV. AND MRS. FRANK SPERDUTO

You’ve made, by now, your own preview;

My welcome can be hardly new:

I’ll add tonight of words a few:

This for my church I gladly do:

A welcome warm to both of you.

A lovely lake our border makes,

Its charming shore affection takes:

The sportive trout its water breaks,

To joyous beauties the heart awakes:

A welcome to our land of lakes.

We once were noted for our mills;

We boast some shaded woodland rills;

For those who practice climbing skills,

Our peaks afford real mountain thrills:

A welcome to our land of hill.

If you grow tired of stuffy dens,

And of wise words from prophets’ pens,

And wish a rest from sung “amens,”

We have a world shut out from men’s:

A welcome to our land of glens.

Our orchard trees will you salute,

They with the vines some farms dispute;

Their blossoms preach with voices mute,

Their autumn offerings your taste will suit:

A welcome to our land of fruit.

It matters not what church you’re of,

Our game is not to push and shove;

Our bird is just the friendly dove,

Our model is the God above:

A welcome to our land of love.

Now, I’m a Baptist, through and through,

And I am loyal to that view;

But God loves Presbyterians, too,

And they to Him can be as true:

The Baptist Church here welcomes you.

And as our work together blends,

And prayer to God from each ascends,

And each to work of Christ attends,

And grace from Him to both descends:

May we become the best of friends.

Naples Baptist and Presbyterian Churches
Naples, Ontario County, New York

Reference:
http://www.fultonhistory.com
Newspaper: “The Naples News”, Naples, New York; Wednesday, March 3, 1943, Volume XXXXV, Number 9; “Rev. Sperduto To Be Installed”.

On Thursday, March 4, at 7:30 according to Presbyterian custom,the Rev. Frank Sperduto, will be installed as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Naples.”

 “The participating clergymen at the service will be: Rev. D. M.Ratcliff, Baptist Church, Naples ; Rev..J. Wesley Babock, Methodist Church, Naples; Rev. Luther Bostrom, Seneca  Presbyterian Church, No. 9 and Moderator of the Presbytery of Geneva; Rev.William Halbert Campbell, First Presbyterian church, Waterloo; and Stated Clerk of the Presbytery; Rev. Angus J. MacMillan, Oak Corners Presbyterian Church, Waterloo; and Frederick L. Harper, First Presbyterian Church, Geneva.”

Churches of Naples, Ontario County,  New York (Presbyterian, Baptist, and Methodist)
Artist: Donald Gelder of Naples, New York

Images above:
 Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

Rev. Frank Sperduto

RACINE – Rev. Frank Sperduto, 86, passed away at Lincoln Lutheran Care Center on Saturday, February 10, 2001. He was born in Sommerville, Mass. on November 18, 1914, son of the late James and Annina (nee: DiTucci) Sperduto. On August 24, 1941, he was united in marriage to Ruth M. Roth. Rev. Sperduto was ordained on July 11, 1939, in Chicago, Ill. He subsequently served churches in Naples, N.Y., Syracuse, N.Y., Ithaca, N.Y., Wichita, Kan., and then in 1962, he was called to Milwaukee to Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church where he served for 18 years, retiring in 1980. He then came to Racine, where he assisted at the First Presbyterian Church for four years and had remained a member until present. Rev. Sperduto was a member and past President of the Kiwanis Golden K’s. He enjoyed camping, fishing, and traveling with his family. His survivors include his wife, Ruth; his son, Ted (Mary) Sperduto of Wausau; his daughter, Susanne (Keith) Doe of Racine; his five grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Sperduto of Green Bay, Tim Sperduto of Eau Claire, Jennifer (Tim) Figlmiller of Elk Mound, Robyn (Jason) Gardner of Flagstaff, Ariz., Heidi Doe of Franksville; his great-grandson, Ian Matthew Figlmiller; brother, Rev. Ted (Muriel) Sperduto of Annandale, Va.; sister, Civita (Ray) Trotto of South Weymouth, Mass.; brother-in-law, Albert Roth of Atlanta, Ga.; and nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many dear friends. In addition to his parents, he was also preceded in death by his three sisters, Mary Camelio, Rose Camelio, and Nancy CiCicco; and an infant brother, Raymond. Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue, on Friday, February 16, 2001, at 11 a.m. with Rev. Randall K. Bush and Rev. Steve Fringer officiating. Interment will follow at Wisconsin Memorial Park in Milwaukee. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church on Friday from 9:30 a.m. until time of service. Memorials to the First Presbyterian Church have been suggested.

Source:

Newspaper: “The Journal Times”, 212 4th St, Racine, WI, 53403; Date: February 14, 2001

http://journaltimes.com/wednesday-feb/article_b302dc0f-bd69-5ee7-b6f5-6f35ed439282.html

RACINE – Ruth M. (nee: Roth) Sperduto, 89, passed away at the Kenosha Care Center Saturday, May 8, 2004.

Ruth was born in Ridgeway, Pa. on January 14, 1915, daughter of the late Albert and Susanne (nee: Kubli) Roth. On August 24, 1941, Ruth was united in marriage to the Rev. Frank Sperduto, who preceded her in death February 10, 2001.

Ruth was a very active member of the First Presbyterian Church. She had previously taught and cared for pre-school children at Trinity Presbyterian Church, where her husband, Frank had served as Associate Pastor for 18 years. Ruth enjoyed her times spent with her family. She will be sadly missed.

Survivors include her son, Ted (Mary) Sperduto of Wausau; her daughter,Susanne (Keith) Doe of Racine; her five grandchildren, Aaron (Jody) Sperduto of Green Bay, Tim Sperduto of Minnesota, Jennifer (Tim) Figlmiller of Eau Claire, Robyn (Jason) Gardner of Parker, Colo., Heidi (Ernesto) Lopez of Racine; five great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law; nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends. Ruth was also preceded in death by four brothers.

Funeral services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, 716 College Avenue, Saturday, May 15, 2004, 11 a.m. with Rev. Randall K. Bush officiating.

Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the church Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until time of services. Interment will be held at Wisconsin Memorial Park. Memorials to the First Presbyterian Church or to Trinity Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee have been suggested.

Source:

Newspaper: “The Journal Times”, 212 4th St, Racine, WI, 53403; Date: May 11, 2004

http://journaltimes.com/news/local/obituaries/article_950b06a7-6967-540c-b073-7a86c5f369d4.html

“Marjory Dear”, “To Rosemary”, and “Shirley” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Girl on Her Way to Church by George Hitchcock (1850 – 1913)


MARJORY DEAR

Here’s a word for Marjory dear:

Summer days will soon be here;

School ‘ll be left to memories dread

Joyous times’ll then appear.

When you’re through with Sunday’s preaching

And your teacher  has done with teaching,

Let the care come out a screetching,

Make it hum till here you’re reaching.

First we’ll start right in to talk,

Then we’ll take a pleasant walk,

Keep it up till ladies balk,

Act as mad as any hawk.

You must plan to stay till night:

That’s the time that skeeters bite,

Cat’s come out and start to fight,

Give the girls an awful fright.

Cats will come a catawauling,

Start the babies all a squalling:

Bugs and worms will come a crawling;

Girls and boys will then be bawling.

Then the night air you’ll be feeling,

Hear the pigies all a squeling:

You’ll be someraults a keeling

Till little head and heels are reeling.

Won’t we have alot of fun.

Get all blackened in the sun,

Scare the cows and make them run.

All get sick, every one.

Won’t we have a lot of funning,

For the day with us is doneing?

Eyes pop out and start to running,

Heads jump off and start to spunning.

Girls like you to Christ are dear,

He would have you ever near.

You should Sunday school attend,

And from church too, never wend.

You should give to Christ your heart,

Of His church become a part.

You should ask Him to take you,

Keep you His your journey through.

You should come to Him in prayer

Let Him meet you often there.

You His word should daily read,

And to what it says give heed.

You should do for Him some work

Never let yourself this shirk.

You should love Him more and more

Till your earthly life is o’ver.

TO ROSEMARY

I’ve not forgotten Rosemary,

Nor lost her pleasant smile

She was a little fairy,

And did my heart beguile.

I send my love to Rosemary,

The little southern maid:

Sweet words take wings and carry,

Nor let your message fade.

Tell her the love of Jesus

Can human hearts adorn;

From ugliness it frees us,

When in our bosoms worn.

Tell her the love of Jesus

Is free from all alloy:

That it from sorrow frees us;

Is freighted rich with joy.

SHIRLEY

(Written for a family who had just lost their baby.)

And have you come and gone so soon?

And have you left us desolate?

We dreamed your life you’d share with us,

But such was not to be your fate.

We will not say that all was vain,

That we have hoped and loved for nought:

Perhaps we do not understand,

Perhaps God’s hand through you has wrought.

Some live for years and some for days,

But all at last will pass away.

Who knows what mansions are above?

And whom God needs in heaven’s day?

Our little one we bid adieu:

Our hearts with heaven now have a tie:

We’ll think of you close to our God,

We’ll plan to meet you by and by.

Public Domain Image above retrieved from:
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_Girl_on_Her_Way_to_Church_-_George_Hitchcock_-_overall.jpg

“Morning on the Farm” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Barn, Homestead of Charles Benton and Louise Mitteer Ratcliff, abt. 1910
Hurleyville, Sullivan County, New York

MORNING ON THE FARM

Its morning on the farm,

The day begins to break;

The creatures of the farm world

Are everywhere awake.

The roosters from their perches,

Now near, now far away;

Their challenges repeat

To greet the coming day.

A thousand little birds

Are singing in the trees:

Our friendly robin redbreast

Is loudest of all these.

A plaintive phoebe’s call

Is heard among the songs

Of many feathered songsters,

As she her note prolongs.

A mournful cuckoo adds

A doleful sweet  “oo-OO”

And sparrows chatter loudly

As days comes on anew.

A cow in distant pasture

Is lowing now and then;

And slowly from their dwellings

Come forth the world of men.

The milk pails in the milk house

Give out a cheery sound,

And noises from the big barns

Betray someone’s around.

And early in the morning

I come my Lord to thee.

I ask, O Lord, that thou

Will dwell today in me.

Photo Above: Source – Personal photo collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

“Trip to Grandmother’s II – Fall, 1942” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Canandaigua Lake, between Canandaigua and Naples,  Ontario County, New York

TRIP TO GRANDMOTHER’S  II

Fall 1942

 All day long those wipers swing,

All day long the rain drops cling,

And then slip down and disappear,

Here wind can toss them to the rear.

All day long in the road side gutter,

The rain strikes sown with tossing sputter.

All day long the rain gray sky,

Seems pressing down to the hill tops nigh.

All day long the trucks come zooming,

Out of the rain made mist glooming:

All day long the cars come gliding,

And to our rear so quickly sliding.

My life is like this rainy trip,

Where every thing’s with wet adrip.

The days frown by with sorrow and pain:

My heart fights back ‘gainst storm and rain.

But I keep the road to the home of God,

I hold my feet to the part Christ trod.

No storm of earth can my faith subdue,

Nor ever close out the heavenly view.

Though storm crushed now, I’ll not complain,

I know what lies beyond the rain:

A goal’s placed there by the God above,

That will make plain  He’s a God of love.

It may be now that joys draw near,

Exceeding those to my heart so dear;

But if grief still my heart must test,

I know full well it’s for the best.

I bathe myself in the gospel light,

My heart find strength in His word’s might:

And I have joy in promised peace;

And I can wait till troubles cease.

And I press on this blood marked way,

And I wait the perfect day,

And I’ll sing now my hymn of praise,

And I’ll thank God for the rainy days.
Photo Above: Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

“Canandaigua Lake II” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Canandaigua Lake at Woodville, Ontario County, New York

CANANDAIGUA LAKE II

As your charms I recall

With a halo o’ver all,

This one question rises,

“Are you of God’s prizes?”

Will your charms’s fond reach

Assist me to preach?

Will your beauties mild sway,

Enable to pray?

Will your long winding shore

Make me love God the more?

Will your glories at night,

Turn my heart to the right?

Is the great God of fish,

All that mortals can wish?

Can your beauties man teach?

Man for God can you reach?

Is our pleasure our aim?

Was for this that we came?

Peace with God can you give?

Or bid mountains to live?

God’s scroll is unfurled,

“You must love not the world,”

The reply back is hurled,

“Nor the things of the world.”

So your beauties today,

That are passing away,

As a means I may use,

In my work I may fuse.

I must give all my love

To the one God above;

I must serve while I may,

I must serve while ‘tis day.

I must leave you alone

On your cold bed of stone,

I must linger no more

By your whispering shore.

I must leave the gay throng

On your shore spread along;

To the work on the hill

God is calling me still.

I’m a pilgrim while here,

And to me nought is dear

Not the fairest of views,

I must bid all adieus.

I must live for Christ’s sake,

And not for my lake;

So I’ll press along still

To my work on the hill.

Photo Above: Source – Personal postcard collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

 

“June Evening” by Darius M. Ratcliff, June 6,1944

South end of Canandaigua Lake, Bare Hill and Vine Valley, looking toward Canandaigua, New York

JUNE EVENING

Its evening on the farm,

The sounds of day are still;

Down by the woodland pasture

There calls a ship-poor-will.

(Actually beyond Sennett’s at Bristol Springs)

The trees beyond the gate,

Back giants of the night; (The Park)

With dense and inky mass

Shut all the north from sight.

A little mother owl

Must have a home nearby;

Her fuzzy furry brood

Wake up with dismal cry.

There’s one upon our house

(He also came down on the porch later.)

Exploring with big eyes;

A silent little ball

Outlined against the skies.

In darkened fields around

Are tiny flashing lights;

Wee firefly decorations

Of calm sweet summer nights.

The low melodious music

Of gentle evening’s breeze

Is whispered softly downward

From tops of rustling trees.

The daylight world’s asleep;

The farmers are in bed.

My thoughts to God I turn

By evening’s magic led.

Tonight God seems so near

I almost touch His hand.

There’s mystery in God,

More than I understand.

Photo above: Source – From the personal postcard collection of B. J. Johanningmeier

“Home” by Darius M. Ratcliff, October 10, 1944

Home of Charles Benton and Louise Mitteer Ratcliff, abt. 1910
Hurleyville, Sullivan County, New York

HOME

Dearest place of all the earth,

Place of childhood’s carefree mirth,

Place of father’s noble face,

Place of mother’s loving grace,

Place of brothers, sisters, too;

Loved one always, ever true.

All through life my heart returns,

For the old days often yearns;

But they served their purpose then,

Nor do they return again.

Still their riches I enjoy;

Nothing can their good destroy.

Many years have passed away

Since my home abiding day;

But that home is still the place

Where I find a loving grace;

And my heart is always there:

There are folks who really care.

When that home has passed away,

Still the light of its glad day

Linger will within my heart

Forming of my life a part.

Dreams will come with magic wings,

Bring again those blessed things.

God who gives me my glad home

While on earth a while I roam

Has a better home by far

Where saved in Jesus are.

That’s the home does never fade,

That’s the home for which we’re made.

That’s the home of grandest love,

Home of Christlike saints above.

That’s the home where come no tears,

Never partings, never fears.

That’s the home of peace and joy,

That’s the home nought can destroy.

In that home we’ll be revealed,

We who here by Christ are sealed.

Glory like the Christ’s we’ll share,

And His image always bear.

On that home I’ve set my heart,

Chosen thus the better part.

As a foretaste of that home,

Long before to it we come,

Stands the church of Christ on earth,

Entered by a second birth:

Where we’re loved and learn to love,

With a love like that above.

Boys of ours need homes out there.

Let them know you always care.

Help our church to make them feel

Our concern for them is real.

Point them to the home above;

Tell them of eternal love.

 

Photo above: From the personal collection of B.J. Johanningmeier

“Moonlight Devotion” by Darius M. Ratcliff

Moonlight on the Lake
Chautauqua Institution, Chautauqua, New York

MOONLIGHT – DEVOTIONAL

 When on days of balmy June

The sun at last withdraws its light

Then you bring a mystic glow

To lovers strolling in the night.

The moon enriches us on earth, by soft and welcome light. But of itself the moon has no light. It only reflects the light of the sun. From this we can learn a lesson. Christ is introduced in these passages from Gospel of John. “….In him was life and the life was the light of men.” If man had ever had light on his own, by sin he had lost it. “….I am the light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” “When I am in the world I am the light of the world.” “….Yet a little while is the light among you. Work while you have the light, that darkness overtake you not; and he that walketh in darkness knoweth not where he is going. While you have the light believe in the light, that you may become children of the light.”

But while Jesus was with us in visible form, the time was short, very short; and the territory he could cover was small, very small. But he had his followers “As the Father sent me into the world, I am sending you.”

The church is well called the body of Christ. Christians by abiding in Christ and he abiding in them can reflect his lights to all the world till the end of time. So Jesus told his disciple “You are the light of the world.” “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

We then have the supreme opportunity of earth, and the responsibility is equally grave. In our day and in our time there are those whom we can so bring the light of Christ, they will eternally share with us the love and joy, and glory as the children of God. If we fail that will be forever lost to them. Let your light shine now and where you are.

Image above retrieved from:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/id?79477
Source: Detroit Publishing Company postcards / Unnumbered cards
Digital ID: 79477