Notes on the Notes – May 24, 2015

This week’s theme:  Pentecost

This week’s scripture readings:

Romans 8:22-27

John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15

This week’s music:

“She Flies On” (VU #380)

“She comes sailing on the wind, her wings flashing in the sun;
On a journey just begun, she flies on.
And in the passage of her flight, her song rings out through the night,
Full of laughter, full of light, she flies on.

Silent waters rocking on the morning of our birth,
Like an empty cradle waiting to be filled.
And from the heart of God the Spirit moved upon the earth,
Like a mother breathing life into her child.

Many were the dreamers whose eyes were given sightdove
When the Spirit filled their dreams with life and form.
Deserts turned to gardens, broken hearts found new delight,
And then down the ages still she flew on.

To a gentle girl in Galilee, a gentle breeze she came,
A whisper softly calling in the dark,
The promise of a child of peace whose reign would never end,
Mary sang the Spirit song within her heart.

Flying to the river, she waited circling high
Above the child now grown so full of grace.
As he rose up from the water, she swept down from the sky,
And she carried him away in her embrace.

Long after the deep darkness that fell upon the world,
After dawn returned in flame of rising sun,
The Spirit touched the earth again, again her wings unfurled,
Bringing life in wind and fire as she flew on.”

This folk-style song was written by Gordon Light of the Common Cup Company, a group originally formed in Winnipeg and subsequently based in Burnaby, BC.  It was written in 1985.  The verses lead us through the stories of Creation, Old Testament prophecy, Jesus’ birth, baptism, Easter and Pentecost, while the chorus emphasizes the eternal nature of God’s Spirit.

“Oh, a Song Must Rise” (MV #142)

“Oh, a song must rise for the spirit to descend
Oh, a song must rise once again
Singing out God’s   praises and glory, the faithful voices blend,
Oh a song must   rise for the spirit to descend.

From the mountains to the valleys, from the desert to the sea,
A song must rise once again.
From the voices of our leaders, the voice of you and me,
A song must rise for the spirit to descend.

From poverty and riches, from the voice of young and old,
A song must rise once again.
From the free and the imprisoned, the timid and the bold,
A song must rise for the spirit to descend.

From ev’ry house of worship, in ev’ry faith and tongue,
A song must rise once again.
From the villages and cities a new song must be sung,
A song must rise for the spirit to descend.”

The words and music for this song are by Paul B. Svenson (1995).  The arrangement we will be using this week is by Bryn Nixon (2006) as it appears in More Voices.

“Holy Spirit, Come into Our Lives” (MV #6)

This hymn has words and music by Ken Canedo (1998).  Gifts of the Spirit

“When I was youth minister at St. Monica Parish in Moraga, California, I used to compose a new song for each year’s Confirmation class. The candidates would learn their song in the middle of the year and sing it as the opening prayer for each session. By the time we celebrated the sacrament in May they knew the song well and sang it with all their hearts. That is the context from which this song was composed.

First, the song had to be simple and catchy for our youth musicians. That’s why I chose to use only three chords arranged as a rock riff. The refrain is a loose rendering of the church’s traditional invocation of the Holy Spirit: “Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, . . . that we may be truly wise and always rejoice in your consolation.”

I also wanted my candidates to learn and appreciate the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, as expressed in the first and second verses:

Give us a spirit of WISDOM . . .

– Wisdom gives us the perspective we need to see problems and situations as they really are, to see things from God’s point of view.

. . . an UNDERSTANDING heart. . .

– A person who is understanding accepts others just as they are and cares for people who are forgotten and ignored.

Give us a spirit of KNOWLEDGE, and lead us to the truth.

– We need knowledge to help us make sense of this complex world. Education is our way to develop God’s gift of knowledge.

Give us a spirit of COURAGE . . .

– Courage is the strength to do the right thing, no matter what obstacles, challenges or temptations come our way.

. . . and JUDGMENT that is wise.

– We need the gift of right judgment to help us face the big and small decisions of life, everything from the choice to drive safely to the question of which college to attend.

Give us a spirit of REVERENCE . . .

– Reverence helps us to see the true value of every person and of everything that God has created.

. . . of WONDER and of AWE.

– This is the gift that helps us to realize how the awesome and powerful God who created the universe still chooses to be present in our lives as gentle, loving, and forgiving.

I truly believe that if the only thing that stays with our young people after Confirmation is an appreciation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, then we youth ministers have done our job. The gifts of the Spirit can help today’s generation to deal with the many challenges they face while growing up in this fast-paced world. The Spirit can lead to inner peace and help give clear direction to one’s life. Holy Spirit, come into our lives!”

– Ken Canedo (Source:

“The Power of My Spirit” 

On the day of Pentecost, the believers joined as one, when from heaven came a sound like a mighty wind.
Tongues of fire came down upon them and they spoke in ev’ry tongue, so the Word of God was heard by everyone.

pentecost Power of my Spirit

God said, “The young men will see visions, and the old men will dream dreams as my Spirit moves among you like a wind.
Your sons and daughters will rise, they will boldly prophesy when the power of my Spirit comes again.”

“So fear not, but rejoice, for I am your God, and know that I will always be with you.
You will see my many wonders, great blessing I will pour.
So rise up, praise the name of the Lord.”

“So continue in your visions and never lose your dreams, for my Spirit moves among you like a wind.
Your sons and daughters arise, ’til they boldly prophesy when the power of my Spirit comes again.”

This week’s anthem by Pepper Choplin was written in 2004.  The opening verse retells the story of the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost.  Then the perspective changes to the voice God as seen in Acts 2:16, which is a retelling of Joel 2:28, – “And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

“Healing River of the Spirit” (tune – VU #374)

Healing river of the Spirit, bathe the wounds that living brings.
Plunge our pain, our sin, our sadness deep beneath your sacred springs.
Weary from the restless searching that has lured us from your side,
We discover in your presence peace the world cannot provide.

Wellspring of the healing Spirit stream that flows to bring release,
As we gain our selves, our senses, may our lives reflect your peace.
Grateful for the flood that heals us, may your church enact your grace
As we meet both friend and stranger may we see our Saviour’s face.

Living stream that heals the nations, make us channels of your power.
All the world is torn by conflict; wars are raging at this hour.
Saving Spirit, move among us, guide our winding human course,
Till we find our way together, flowing homeward to our Source.”

The words for this hymn were written by Ruth Duck and appear in her collection, Circles of Care.  She says, “I wrote Healing river of the Spirit on a Sunday in August 1994, on the Isle of Iona in the Hebrides on the west coast of Scotland.  Iona Community founder George MacLeod said that the veil between worlds is thin on that island; certainly Iona has been a center for Christian spirituality for many centuries.  My visit there with my partner, John Stoppels, was a healing time for me.  One of the emphases of the Iona Community is on healing ministries.  Therefore, it seemed fitting to write a hymn about healing during some quiet time that day. ”  (Source:  Circles of Care)

The words are set to the familiar melody BEACH SPRING.

 “Dance with the Spirit” (MV #156)

“Dance with the Spirit early in the mornin’
Walk with the Spirit throughout the long day.
Work and hope for the new life abornin’,
Listen to the Spirit to show you the way.”

Our benediction response for the season of Pentecost was composed by Jim Strathdee in 1995.   It is from the Strathdee “Mass for the Healing of the Earth.”  This shorter song celebrates the presence and prodding of the Holy Spirit.

dance with the spirit

Categories: Notes on the Notes, Sunday Bulletin and Announcements, Worship
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