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Notes on the Notes – June 14, 2015

This week’s theme:  The 90th Anniversary of the United Church of Canada!

This week’s scripture readings: Mark 4:26-34

This week’s music:

For the celebration of the 90th Anniversary, we will be using music representing the history of the United Church.

“We are the Church”

 “I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus, all around the world, yes, we’re the church together!”We are the church

The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple,
The church is not a resting place; the church is a people…

We’re many kinds of people with many kinds of faces,
All colors and all ages, too from all times and places…

And when the people gather, there’s singing and there’s praying,
There’s laughing and there’s crying sometimes, All of it saying:…

I count if I am ninety, or nine or just a baby,
There’s one thing I am sure about and I don’t mean maybe:…”

This song was written by Richard Avery and Donald Marsh in 1972 and gained popularity in the United Church in the 70s. Avery and Marsh have seen over 150 of their songs published in various songbooks and hymnals, but sadly, even though their songs are used and well-loved by many congregations in the United Church, none of their hymns were ever published in a United Church hymn book. However, this song was published in a very popular United Church children’s resource, “All God’s Children Sing,” and so has maintained its presence in many congregations.

“Let Us Build a House” (MV 1 – vs 1, 4 & 5)AllAreWelcome-600x400

“Let us build a house where love can dwell and all can safely live,
a place where saints and children tell how hearts learn to forgive.
Built of hopes and dreams and visions, rock of faith and vault of grace;
Here the love of Christ shall end divisions:
All are welcome, all are welcome,  all are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where hands will reach beyond the wood and stone
To heal and strengthen, serve and teach, and live the Word they’ve know.
Here the outcast and the stranger bear the image of God’s face;
Let us bring an end to fear and danger:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.

Let us build a house where all are named, their songs and visions heard
And loved and treasured, taught and claimed as words within the Word.
Built of tears and cries and laughter, prayers of faith and songs of grace;
Let this house proclaim from floor to rafter:
All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place.”

Our opening hymn of welcome comes from the hymn book supplement More Voices.  The supplement serves to introduce congregations to newer music that has been composed in between the publications of our larger, main hymn book. This hymn was written by Marty Haugen in 1994.  Hear the song at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mAZC65CwTEA

“Holy, Holy, Holy” (VU #315 v. 1)Holy, Holy, Holy

Today we will be using verse one of this hymn.  In many United Churches “Holy, Holy, Holy” has traditionally been used as the opening hymn.   At Windsor Park United, we often enter into the sacrament of communion by singing the opening verse.  In the original United Church Hymn Book, “Holy, Holy, Holy” had the honored position of being the first hymn in the book.

The words for this hymn are a paraphrase of Revelations 4:8-11, which were written by Reginald Heber in 1820. The tune, NICEA, was written by John B. Dykes in 1861. It is named for the Council of Nicaea (325 A.D.) where the doctrine of the Trinity, known as the Nicene Creed, was formulated.

“Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!  Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and mighty!  God in three persons, blessed Trinity!”

Hear the hymn sung by an acapella choir at:  https://youtu.be/QWRgsXYf8EY

“The Church’s One Foundation” (VU #331 and VU #332)
Throughout the 90 year history of the United Church, both language and theology have undergone changes. In order to keep up, yet still maintain our heritage, words are sometimes updated.  In the United Church hymn book, Voices United, we see the original version of this hymn at #332. This hymn was sung at the opening service of the United Church of Canada on June 10, 1925. The original words are by Samuel John Stone (1866) with adaptations by Laurence Hull Stooley (1983). The music is by Samuel Sebastian Wesley, grandson of Charles Wesley  (1864).   The hymn is based on the ninth article of the Apostles’ Creed, on “the Holy Catholic Church:  the Communion of Saints.”  It was written in 1866 in defense of the orthodox view of scriptural authority against the challenge to it.

  “The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ her Lord;
She is his new creation by water and the word;
From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
With his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.”

The updated version can be found at #331:

“The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ our Lord;
We are his new creation by water and the Word,
From heaven he came and sought us that we might ever be
His living servant people, by his own death set free.

Called forth from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth;
One charter of salvation: one Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name professing and at one table fed,
To one hope always pressing, by Christ’s own Spirit led.”

Hear the hymn with original lyrics sung by the Choir of Clifton College, Bristol  at:  https://youtu.be/_UaYAVm2R28


“Hey Ney Yana” (MV #217)
“Hey ney yana,medicine wheel
Hey ney yana,
Hey ney yana,
Hey ya hey yo, hey ya hey yo.

I walk in beauty, yes I do, yes I do,
I talk in beauty, yes I do, yes I do,
I sing of beauty, hey ya hey yo, hey ya hey yo.

I leave in beauty, yes I do, yes I do,
I sleep in beauty, yes I do, yes I do,
I dream of beauty, hey ya hey yo, hey ya hey yo.”

The syllables in the chorus of this song of respect for Creation are vocables, non-lexical syllables meant as vehicles for praise. The words and music for this song are by Brook Medicine Eagle, as taught by Leonard Eagle Cloud Howell.  The four colors of the Medicine Wheel have been incorporated into the United Church crest.  Learn more about the Native Spirituality teachings of Brook Medicine Eagle at:  https://youtu.be/mhnJp5J25iE

“Celebrate and Sing With Praise” celebrate

“Lift up your heart,
Lift up your voice.
Join in thanksgiving, come sing and rejoice!
Servants of God gather this day to celebrate,
Celebrate and sing out with praise!

Sing out with joy;
Sing out with love
And lift up your voices to heaven above.
Children of God, here in this place
We celebrate, celebrate and sing out with praise!

Rejoice in those who came before us.
They built, with faith, this fellowship we share.
Come raise your voice and join the chorus
As we go forth with songs of joy
And show God’s love to people everywhere.”

This week’s anthem is a call to celebration for our life of faith.  It was written by Don Besig and Nancy Price in 1993.

“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” (VU #333 v. 1 & 2)

“Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling, all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion, pure, unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation, enter every trembling heart.

Come, almighty to deliver; let us all thy grace receive;
Suddenly return, and never, nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, service thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee, without ceasing, glory in thy perfect love.”

This hymn was written by Charles Wesley in 1747.   Charles Wesley was an English leader of the Methodist movement, one of the founding faiths of the United Church of Canada.  Charles Wesley wrote over 6500 texts and was known as the “sweet singer of Methodism.”   The text is derived from John Dryden’s “Fairest Isle, all isles excelling” in Henry Purcell’s opera King Arthur (1691).  It was first published in Wesley’s collection Hymns for Those That Seek, and That Have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ (1747).  In the Canadian hymn tradition, it is set to music by Rowland Huw Prichard (1831).

Hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing this hymn at:  https://youtu.be/yRF4KKx7czU

“Jesus Loves Me” (VU #365)

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so,Jesus loves me
Little ones to him belong, in his love we shall be strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!  The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me, this I know, as he loved so long ago,
taking children on his knee, saying, “Let them come to me.”

Jesus loves me still today, walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give light and love to all who live.”

This popular song has been loved among children and adults alike since it was written in 1860. Anna B. Warner wrote the original version and later David Rutherford McGuire added stanzas two and three. Anna’s sister Susan had asked her to write a song for a Sunday School teacher who wanted to cheer a dying boy.  The song first appeared in a novel, Say and Seal. In 1862, William B. Bradbury composed the music and added the refrain. 

See the hymn played on the harp at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bXvTOpLw94

“Praise God, From Whom all Blessings Flow” (VU #541)

“Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise God, all creatures high and low;
Give thanks to God in love made known;
Creator, Word and Spirit, One. 

Gloire a Dieu, notre Createur;
Gloire a Christ, notre Redempteur;
Gloire a l’Esprit Consolateur!
Louange et gloire a Dieu, Sauveur.  Amen”

This doxology, the closing stanza of “Morning and Evening Hymns,” was written by Thomas Ken while he was chaplain at Winchester College, and was probably in use by 1674.  It was first published in 1695.   The words were slightly altered by the United Church of Canada in the interest of inclusivity.

The tune, OLD 100TH, was composed or adapted by Louis Bourgeois and published in the enlarged edition of the Genevan Psalter of 1551, where it was set to Psalm 134.

Hear an acapella version at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbjpG0SeXYU

Hear a contemporary Christian version with the David Crowder Band at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SHl_BmTqfk

“Will You Come and Follow Me” (VU #567 v. 1)

“Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don’t know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown, will you let my name be know,
Will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?…”

This hymn, also known as “The Summons” was written by John Bell of the Iona Community.  The tune is the traditional Scottish tune KELINGROVE.

Hear it sung by Robert Kochis at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0aAkOe87mo

“Northern Lights”

“Holy Mystery, Wholly Love,
God who comes in wind and dove:
Fire of creation, ice on sea,
Wave of wheat field, word in Cree;
All who sing your love are loved.
All who love your song now sing:
Singing thanks for your embrace,
Lead us to healing with holy grace.

Emerging, united, we speak our prayers,
Step up where the Spirit dares:
Celebrating a church that leads
Open to truth and faithful deeds.
Bless this day as we recall
Mission for the good of all
Justice, peace and dignity:
Holy vision of what will be.

Northern lights that cool the soul,
Mountain streams that keep the land whole,
Our sacred trust of earth and air;
Saint-Esprit, ecoute no prieres!
All who sing your love are loved.
All who love your song now sing:
God who comes in wind and dove,
Holy Mystery, Wholly Love.”

The hymn was written by Catherine MacLean in 2008 to makr the anniversary of the United Church of Canada. The words refer to “A Song of Faith,” a statement of United Church beliefs. It will be sung to the tune ST GEORGE’S WINDSOR (VU #516), which was composed by George Job Elvey in 1858, and is known as the tune for the Thanksgiving hymn, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come.”  Hear the hymn played on the organ at:  https://youtu.be/TRMo8UIsJ9E

“The New Creed”
This statement of faith of the United Church of Canada, was written in 1972. We will be singing it using music written by Richard Hall in 1978.

“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, 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.”


United church crest


Categories: Notes on the Notes