Hymn #565: God, Whose Giving Knows No Ending

            Robert Lansing Edwards (b. 1915) wrote this text in 1961 for a hymn contest on the theme of stewardship.  Edwards wrote the hymn while vacationing in the White Mountains of New Hampshire during the summer months.  The hymn was first published in Ten New Stewardship Hymns (1961).

            Robert L. Edwards was educated at Princeton University, Harvard Divinity School, and Union Theological Seminary, New York.  Ordained to the United Church of Christ ministry in 1949, he has served churches in the Connecticut conference.

           Franz Joseph Haydn’s (1732-1809) AUSTRIAN HYMN is one of only a few cases in which a classical composer has composed a piece to be used specifically as a hymn tune.  It was first sung on February 12, 1797, for the emperor’s birthday.  Haydn later used the tune in the slow movement of his “Emperor” string quartet.

            Franz Joseph Haydn was the oldest son of a wheelwright.  He was educated in Roman Catholic schools in Vienna, Austria, and at age eighteen composed his first mass.  While he was playing in a street band, he was “discovered” by a comedian, who asked him to set a farce to music.