Next weekend’s opening hymn is The Church’s One Foundation which was written in response to one of the many schisms which has plagued the church over the centuries. This turmoil occurred in the Church of South Africa by the Bishop of Natal, John William Colenso. Colenso was a British mathematician, theologian, Biblical scholar and social activist. At first, he was a pious servant of the Anglican Church, taking a printing press to South Africa to help spread the word of God and translating the New Testament and other portions of Scripture into Zulu. He soon began to run afoul of the church when he questioned the validity of parts of the Bible and the church’s teaching. For example, his experiences as a missionary prompted him to refuse to teach that the ancestors of newly-Christianized Africans were condemned to eternal damnation. He was eventually excommunicated for his growing biblical criticisms and his views on the ill treatment of African natives. It was while this storm of controversy raged that The Church’s One Foundation was written by an English poet, hymnodist and priest in the Church of England, Samuel John Stone. He wrote twelve different hymns based on twelve tenets in the Apostles’ Creed, and The Church’s One Foundation was based on the ninth article: “the holy catholic church, the communion of saints.” The lyrics we use are slightly altered from Stone’s lyrics, and the music was penned by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, grandson of Charles Wesley who wrote many of the hymns we enjoy.