Notes on the Notes – May 12, 2013
Theme: Mother’s Day – The Precious Legacy of Faith
Today’s Reading: John 17:20-26
“Come In, Come In and Sit Down” (VU #395) – This family song became known to United Church congregations in the arrangement made by Darryl Nixon for Songs for a Gospel People (1987). Singer songwriter James K. Manley, the composer of this hymn, is a minister in the United Church of Christ (USA). “Part of the Family” reminds both members and visitors that our congregation is an open, diverse group that welcomes people of all ages, every marital status, and all views, interest levels, and stages in the faith journey. As the first two verses state:
“You know the reason why you came, yet no reason can explain, so share in the laughter and cry in the pain, for we are a part of the family.
God is with us in this place, like a mother’s warm embrace. We’re all forgiven by God’s grace, for we are a part of the family.”
“For Who You Are” – Today’s anthem by the Joyful Noise, written by Ruth Elaine Schram, expresses gratitude for the blessing of parents from the perspective of a child.
“We Are One” (VU #402) – This new hymn text was submitted for Voices United by Doreen Lankshear-Smith of Thunder Bay, Ontario. The tune was composed for this text by Jeeva Sam of Regina, SK and arranged by David Kai of Gloucester, Ontario. The opening verse welcomes us to worship as the family of God:
“We are one as we come, as we come, joyful to be here, in the praise on our lips there’s a sense that God is near.
We are one as we sing, as we seek, we are found; and we come needful of God’s grace as we meet, together in this place.”
“As a Family, We Thank You” – This beautiful anthem of thanksgiving by Ruth Elaine Schram encourages us to look deeper into family life and to view it as an opportunity to see something of the divine:
“Lord, humbly we thank You for giving us the gift of children, so we may see ourselves the way You see us, Lord.
Lord, humbly we thank You for giving us the gift of parents, so we may catch a glimpse of how You love us, Lord.
Lord, humbly we thank You for Your design of home and family; help us to understand this picture of the family of God.
Lord, as a family, we lift our hearts and hands t’ward heaven, open to Your blessing, open to Your love.
As a family we thank You.”
“Would you Bless our Homes and Families” (VU #556) – This hymn, by Walter Farquharson and Ron Klusmeier, was published in Worship the Lord (1977), a collection of hymns by Walter Farquharson, Fred Kaan, and Ron Lusmeier, and it was also a popular selection in the United Church Hymnary supplement, Songs for a Gospel People (1987). The song opens with the following:
“Would you bless our homes and families, Source of life who calls us here; in our wold of stress and tension teach us love that conquers fear.
Help us learn to love each other with a love that constant stays; teach us when we face our troubles, love’s expressed in many ways.”