Windsor Park United Church

Notes on the Notes – April 28, 2019

Earth Day Service

This week’s Scripture readings:

Genesis 2:4b-17        John 1:1-5

This week’s music:

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

“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.”

“It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker” (MV #30)

“It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the thrush sings high in the tree.
It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the gray whale sings in the sea,

And by the Spirit you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
And sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.

It’s a call of life to the Giver when waves and waterfalls roar.
It’s a call of life to the Giver when high tides break on the shore,
And by the Spirit…

It’s a hymn of love to the Lover; the bumblebees hum along.
It’s a hymn of love to the Lover, the summer breeze joins the song,
And by the Spirit…

It’s the chorus of all creation; it’s sung by all living things.
It’s the chorus of all creation; a song the universe sings,
And by the spirit…”

Praise

Ruth Duck and Ron Klusmeier collaborated on this song, which is based on Psalm 148. Ruth uses the Psalm as inspiration for this hymn, which encourages us to join with all creation to “sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.” It is a psalm which resounds with praise to the Lord God Almighty – the Creator of Heaven and the Earth. As the work of His hands, it is only right and proper that all of heaven and earth praise the Lord.

(Ron Klusmeier –  leading this hymn – music starts at 1:38)

“Like a Rock” (MV #92)

“Like a rock, like a rock, God is under our feet.
Like the starry night sky God is over our head.
Like the sun on the horizon God is ever before.
Like the river runs to ocean, our home is in God evermore.”

The words for this song are by Keri K. Wehlander (1998), adapted to music by Linnea Good (1998).  The words of the song portray our confidence in the eternal nature of God.

“Called by Earth and Sky” (MV #135)

“Called by earth and sky, promise of hope held high,
This is our sacred living trust,
Treasure of life sanctified,
Called by earth and sky.

Precious these waters, endless seas,4-elements
Deep ocean’s dream,
Waters of healing, rivers of rain,
The wash of love again.

Precious this gift, the air we breathe;
Wind born and free.
Breath of the Spirit, blow through this place,
Our gathering and our grace.

Precious these mountains, ancient sands;
Vast fragile land.
Seeds of our wakening, rooted and strong,
Creation’s faithful song.

Precious the fire that lights our way,
Bright dawning day.
Fire of passion, sorrows undone,
Our faith and justice one.

Called by earth and sky…”

This song by Pat Mayberry and Margaret Stubbington (2005) is a call to live with respect in Creation, celebrating the ancient tradition of the four elements: water, air, earth and fire.

Hear the song at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGIYVfEaATA

“As the Wind Blows”

“As the wind blows, as the seed grows, lifts its harvest to the sun,
So my heart lights to your Love on this journey just begun,
Allelu, Allelu, Alleluya,
Now I understand.
Now I know I can.

As the dawn breaks, as the sky wakes to the glory of the day,
So my heart shines with your Love as I light upon the way,
Allelu, Allelu, Alleluya,
Now the way is clear
There will be no fear.

Rain may fall,
Clouds may gather,
Shadows call,
Listen now, hear the sound.
Rain may fall,
Clouds may gather,
Night may fall,
Listen now, ah.

As the tide swells, as the waves tell of their voyage to the sea,
So my heart fills with your Love on this journey called to be,
Allelu, Allelu, Alleluya,
Hurt is washed away,
Now you’re here to stay…”

The words and music for this week’s anthem are by Pat Mayberry (2012), arranged by David Kai (2014).

“A New Creed”

“We are not alone,
We live in God’s world,
We believe in God,
Who has created and is creating,
Who has come in Jesus, the Word made flesh,crest
To reconcile and make new,
Who works in us and others by the Spirit.
We trust in God.

We are called to be the Church,
To celebrate God’s presence,
To live with respect in Creation,
To love and serve others,
To seek justice and resist evil,
To proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
Our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death,
God is with us.
We are not alone.
Thanks be to God.”

This statement of faith of the United Church of Canada was set to music by Richard Hall.   Through it, we define our covenant relationship with God, what we believe, and our response to that belief.  To learn more about the history of the writing of the New Creed, go to:  http://www.windsorparkunitedchurch.com/a-new-creed/

“All Praise to You” (VU #297)

“All praise to you, O God of all creation:
You made the world, and it is yours alone.
The planet earth you spun in its location
Amid the stars adorning heaven’s dome.
We lease the earth but for a life’s duration,
Yet for this life it is our cherished home.

With wondrous grace you clothed the earth in splendour;
With teeming life you filled the sea and land.
Instill in us a sense of awe and wonder
When we behold the bounty of your hand.
Then when we hear the voice of bird or thunder,
We hear the voice our faith can understand.

To tend the earth is our entrusted duty,
For earth is ours to use and not abuse.
O gracious God, true source of all resources,
Forgive our greed that wields destruction’s sword.
Then let us serve as wise and faithful stewards
While earth gives glory to creation’s Lord.”

Our closing hymn is set to the music “Finlandia” by Sibelius.   Take the time to sit back and watch this magnificent video celebrating the Creation (the hymn tune starts at 6 minutes in) and then re-read the above words for the hymn. (click play and then click on the square in the bottom right corner to watch full-screen)

To ponder:

Where do you see your place,
and what is your role,
in God’s Creation?

Posted in Notes on the Notes on April 27, 2019.