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Notes on the Notes – April 26, 2015

This week’s scripture reading:

1 John 3: 16-24

This week’s music:

“Mother Earth, Our Mother Birthing” (MV #39)rotating_earth

“Mother Earth, our Mother birthing every creature from the ground.
Jesus too was flesh and breathing, kin to all that’s green and brown.

Sister Air, our Sister lifting every creature born with wings;
Jesus shared the breath of forests, breath that makes our spirits sing.

Brother Water, Brother pulsing deep through every vein and sea,
Jesus drank the very raindrops for our wine and in our tea.

Father Fire, our Father burning with the sacred urge to live.
Jesus’ death completes the cycle, bringing life beyond the grave.

Celebrate with all creation: God has formed the web of life;
Celebrate with all creation: God has formed the web of life.”

This new hymn celebrates the four traditional elements of creation and the interconnectness of the Creation through time and place.   The words were written by Norman Habel in 1999.  Neil Weisensel composed the tune in 2006.  In introducing the song, Habel says,”The occasion for this song was the 40th anniversary of the ordination of Rev. John Sabel, who is a poet and a disciple of St. Francis of Assisi.  The poem honours St Francis by acclaiming Earth, Air, Water and Fire as our kin, components we have in common with planet Earth and with Jesus of Nazareth.

The Church is Wherever God’s People” (VU #579)

“The church is wherever God’s people are praising,
Singing God’s goodness for joy on this day.
The church is wherever disciples of Jesus remember his story and walk in his way.

The church is wherever God’s people are helping,
Caring for neighbours in sickness and need.
The church is wherever God’s people are sharing the words of the Bible in giftbe the church and in deed.”

Carol Rose Ikeler was a staff member of the Board of Education of the United Presbyterian Church (USA) when she wrote this children’s hymn.    The tune is a traditional English Christmas carol, known as the setting for “Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day.”  The arrangement used in Voices United was made for The Hymn Book (1971) by F.R.C. Clarke, composer and organist at Sydenham Street United Church in Kingston, Ontario.

 “In Loving Partnership We Come” (VU #603)

“In loving partnership we come, seeking, O God, your will to do.
Our prayers and actions now receive; we freely offer them to you.

We are the hands and feet of Christ, serving by grace each other’s need.
We dare to risk and sacrifice with truthful word and faithful deed.

Loving community we seek; Your hope and strength within us move.
The poor and rich, the strong and weak are brought together in your love.

In loving partnership, O God, help us your future to proclaim.
Justice and peace be our desire, we humbly pray in Jesus’ name.”

This is one of many songs which appear in United Church hymn books written by Jim Strathdee.  This hymn became know to congregations in the United Church of Canada through the hymn book supplement Songs for a Gospel People.  It was first published in 1983 and speaks of God’s church, Christian unity and our role as disciples.

Jim Strathdee (b. 1941) and his wife, Jean, are performing artists whose concerts reach thousands of people each year. They say their songs “are a musical offering of hope and encouragement for all people, bringing a message of compassion, justice and healing.”

The Strathdees’ ministry was centered for many years at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Sacramento, Calif., where they were directors of music. Since August 2006 they have been “in ministry to the church-at-large.”

“We are Yours, Lord”

When we pray, we will pray with thankful hearts.
When we sing, we will sing with joyful voices.
When we serve, we will serve with willing hands
For we are Yours, Lord. We are Yours, Lord.

When we speak, we will speak with loving care.
When we act, we will act with firm conviction.
When we give, we will give with boundless joy
For we are Yours, Lord. We are Yours, Lord.

You lift us up.
You give us hope.
You fill our lives with the power of Your Spirit.
You give us life.
You make us whole, and we are changed forever through Your love.

Within this calm and peaceful place, near to Your heart, O Lord,
We find the joy of saving grace, near to Your heart, O Lord.

Your gentle hand will lead us, guiding us evermore.
Your tender love will keep us near to Your heart, O Lord.

As we live, we will live in grace and truth.
As we share, we will share with love and kindness.
As we walk, we will walk in humble faith,
For we are Yours, Lord. We are Yours, Lord.

You lift us up.
You give us hope.
You fill our lives with the power of Your Spirit.
You give us life.
You make us whole, and we are changed forever through Your love.”

This week’s anthem is by Nancy Price and Don Besig.  It was commissioned by the choir of Orr’s and Bailey Island UMC in Maine.  It also incorporates the hymn tune MCAFEE, with alterations to the hymn’s original words.  Cleland Boyd McAfee (1866-1944) was an American theologian, Presbyterian minister and hymn writer, best known for penning the gospel hymn, “Near to the Heart of God,” and its tune called “McAfee”. He wrote the song after the concurrent deaths of two of his young nieces, caused by diphtheria.

“I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” (VU #575)

“I’m gonna live so God can use me anywhere, Lord, any time.

I’m gonna work so God can use me anywhere, Lord, any time.

I’m gonna pray so God can use me anywhere, Lord, any time.

I’m gonna sing so God can use me anywhere, Lord, any time.”

     This traditional African-American spiritual is from the Presbyterian Hymnal (1990).

 

 

Categories: Notes on the Notes, Worship