Windsor Park United Church

Notes on the Notes – Covenanting Service – Nov. 4, 2018

Covenanting Service between

Winnipeg Presbytery
Windsor Park United Church
Rev. Patrick Woodbeck

“Come Touch Our Hearts” (MV #12)

“Come touch our hearts that we may know compassion,
From failing embers build a blazing fire;
Love strong enough to overturn injustice,
To seek a world more gracious,
Come touch and bless our hearts.

Come touch our souls that we may know and love you,
Your quiet presence all our fears dispel;
Create a space for spirit to grow in us,
Let life and beauty fill us,
Come touch and bless our souls.

Come touch our minds and teach us how to reason,
Set free our thoughts to wonder and to dream;
Help us to open doors of understanding,
To welcome truth and wisdom,
Come touch and bless our minds.

Come touch us in the moments we are fragile,
And in our weakness your great strength reveal;
That we may rise to follow and to serve,
Steady now our nerve,
Come touch and bless our wills.

Come touch us now, this people who are gathered,
To break the bread and share the cup of peace;
That we may love you with our heart, our soul,
Our mind, our strength, our all,
Come touch us with your grace.”

This hymn has words and music by Gordon Light (2002).  The words draw us into relationship with God, as we ask for God’s touch in our lives and work as God’s people of covenant.

“Where Two or Three Are Gathered” (MV #14)

“Where two or three are gathered in my name,
I am there, I am there.”

This short response was written by Bruce Harding in 2002. The words are taken directly from Matthew 18:20.

“I Have Called You by Your Name” (MV #161)

The lyrics of this hymn by Daniel Charles Damon have their root in Isaiah 43:1.  This hymn is written from God’s perspective, saying “I have called you by your name, you are mine” and goes on to speak of God’s hope for us.   It commissions us to have the courage to follow where God leads and reminds us of everyone’s innate value in God’s eyes.

“I have called you by your name, you are mine;isaiah-43_1
I have gifted you and ask you now to shine.
I will not abandon you; all my promises are true.
You are gifted, called, and chosen; you are mine.

I will help you learn my name as you go;
Read it written in my people, help them grow.
Pour the water in my name, speak the word your soul can claim,
Offer Jesus’ body given long ago.

I know you will need my touch as you go;
Feel it pulsing in creation’s ebb and flow.
Like the woman reaching out, choosing faith in spite of doubt,
Hold the hem of Jesus’ robe, then let it go.

I have given you a name, it is mine;
I have given you my Spirit as a sign.
With my wonder in your soul, make my wounded children whole;
Go and tell my precious people they are mine.”

“I, the Lord of Sea and Sky” (VU #509)

“I, the Lord of sea and sky,
I have heard my people cry.
All who dwell in deepest sin my hand will save.
I who made the stars of night,
I will make their darkness bright.
Who will bear my light to them?
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.here-i-am-lord
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain,
I have borne my people’s pain.
I have wept for love of them;
They turn away.
I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of wind and flame,
I will tend the poor and lame.
I well set a feast for them;
My hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.
Whom shall I send?

Here I am, Lord.  Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.

“When this hymn was published in 1989, it’s popularity was immediate… The stirring refrain is perhaps the first part of the hymn to capture the singer’s imagination.…“Here I Am, Lord” recalls immediately Isaiah 6:8: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’”

An unusual attribute of this hymn is the change in point of view that the singer makes between the stanzas and the refrain. The stanzas speak from the perspective of God in the first person singular, while the refrain, though remaining in first person, is from the perspective of the singers of the hymn offering their lives to God.

Each stanza reflects a paradox. The powerful God, creator of “sea and sky,” “snow and rain” and “wind and flame” is also the God who hears the “people cry,” bears the “people’s pain” and “tend[s] the poor and lame.” This is a hymn of transformation. God transforms the darkness into light in stanza one, melts “hearts of stone” with love in stanza two and nourishes the “poor and lame” with the “finest bread.”

Each stanza ends with the question, “Whom shall I send?” … The refrain immediately offers the response, “Here I am, Lord.”…”  (Source: http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-here-i-am-lord)

“Go Now in Peace” (VU #964)

“Go now in peace, go now in peace.
May the love of God surround you
Everywhere, everywhere you may go.”

We will close our covenanting service with this sung blessing by Natalie Sleeth (1976).

Posted in Notes on the Notes, Worship Council on November 3, 2018.