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The Valley of Dry Bones

March 19, 2013

June 1879, "The Valley of Dry Bones," Ezekiel 37:1-10, from 13-0310, American Sunday-School Union posters and prints.

We've recently received from First Presbyterian Church (York, Pa.) a group of posters and prints made by the American Sunday-School Union between 1874 and 1879. The most impressive of these are a set of three woodcut prints, made from two blocks and glued in the middle to create a 40" x 60" print. Shown above is the lesson for June 8, 1879, Ezekiel 37:1-10. The text of the print is from John 6:63: "It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life."

The ASSU was organized in Philadelphia in 1790 as the First Day Society. From 1817 to 1824 it was known as the Philadelphia Sunday and Adult School Union. In 1824, it was reorganized as the American Sunday-School Union with a wider remit for planting Sunday schools and churches. In 1939, the ASSU spun off its adult work in Philadelphia into the Philadelphia Council of Churches, which continues today as the Metropolitan Christian Council of Philadelphia. The ASSU renamed itself the American Missionary Fellowship in 1974, and became InFaith in 2011. We're excited to share this piece of Presbyterian history with you, and we thank Jeff Lehn of First, York for shepherding these prints to us!