Today the church remembers Thomas Gallaudet, 1902, with Henry Winter Syle, 1890.Thomas Gallaudet was the son of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a leader in creating deaf education in the United States, and Sophia Gallaudet, who was deaf. Gallaudet was profoundly affected by his parents" work. Called to ordained ministry, he began a Bible class for the deaf at the parish where he was a deacon. Later, he helped found St. Ann"s Church for Deaf-mutes in New York City. Among his disciples was Henry Syle. Syle was born of Episcopal missionary parents in China and became deaf at the age of six. He received a substantial education at Trinity College, Hartford, and earned a master"s degree from Yale University. Although totally deaf, he was able to serve as a lay reader at St. Stephen"s Church in Philadephia, Pennsylvania. There he read for holy orders and it was in that church that he became the first deaf person ever ordained in America. Syle was an indefatigable servant of Christ and of the deaf. In 1888 he founded All Souls" Church for the Deaf in Philadelphia. Gracious God, help us to serve you tirelessly, that we may share your Good News with all people. Amen.
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O loving God, whose will it is that everyone should come to you and be saved: We bless your holy Name for your servants Thomas Gallaudet and Henry Winter Syle, whose labors with and for those who are deaf we commemorate today, and we pray that you will continually move your Church to respond in love to the needs of all people; through Jesus Christ, who opened the ears of the deaf, and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.