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Notes on the Notes – November 17, 2013

This week’s theme: Change-makers with Vision/Celebration of Volunteers-Serving our church and community

This week’s scripture: Isaiah 65: 17-25

This week’s music:

“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!”

This song was written by Richard Avery and Donald Marsh in 1972.  Born in 1934,  Avery at­tend­ed the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Red­lands, Cal­i­for­nia (BA) and Un­ion The­o­lo­gi­cal Sem­in­ary, New York Ci­ty (MDiv). He served as pas­tor of the first Pres­by­ter­i­an Church, Port Jer­vis, New York, from 1960 to at least 1979. He wrote over 100 hymns.

Donald S. Marsh (1923-2010) spent his childhood in Asia and then received Bachelors and Masters degrees in music, art and drama from the University of Houston. For 17 years he was involved in the theater, concert and TV world of New York City – as actor, choreographer and teacher. For three decades he served on the staff of the First Presbyterian Church of Port Jervis, directing over 75 plays and musicals, and conducting three choirs. He was an ordained Presbyterian elder. With his colleague, Richard Avery, they 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.

 “My Soul Cries Out” (MV #120) –

“My heart shall sing of the day you bring.  Let the fires of your justice burn.  Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!”

This hymn by Rory Cooney was written in 1990.  The words are a paraphrase of the Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55, but also bring to mind the new world prophesied by Isaiah.  The melody is the traditional Irish tune, STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN (KINGSFOLD), arranged by Rory Cooney.

Hear a choral version of this song at: http://vimeo.com/30873346

“Jesus’ Hands Were Kind Hands” (VU #570) –

“Jesus’ hands were kind hands, doing good to all, healing pain and sickness, blessing children small, washing tired feet, and saving those who fall; Jesus’ hands were kind hands, doing good to all.

Take my hands, O Jesus, let them work for you, make them strong and gentle, kind in all I do; let me watch you, Jesus, till I’m gentle too, till my hands are kind hands, quick to work for you.”

Margaret Cropper wrote the text for this hymn in 1926 and it was published in Hymns and Songs for the Church Kindergarten in 1930.  The traditional French tune (AU CLAIR DE LA LUNE) has been attributed to the 17th-centure French composer Jean Baptiste Lully (1632-1687).   The arrangement used in Voices United is by Carlton R. Young.

 Anthem – “O Day of Peace” – Today’s anthem by Hal Hopson, is an arrangement of the Scottish tune “Ye Banks and Braes” with words written by Carl P. Day, Jr.  It was dedicated in memory of Charlotte Morse on the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the First Congregational Church of Southampton, Mass.  The text references today’s reading from Isaiah:

“O day of peace that dimly shines through all our hopes and prayers and dreams, guide us to justice, truth, and love, delivered from our selfish schemes.  May swords of hate fall from our hands, our hearts from envy find release, till by God’s grace our warring world shall see Christ’s promised reign of peace.

Then shall the wolf dwell with the lamb, nor shall the fierce devour the small; as beasts and cattle calmly graze, a little child shall lead them all.  Then enemies shall learn to love, all creatures find their true accord;  the hope of peace shall be fulfilled, for all the earth shall know the Lord.”

To hear a beautiful instrumental version of the song, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-eZJxyE-Ao

 

 

 

“I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” (VU #575) – This traditional African-American spiritual is from the Presbyterian Hymnal (1990).

“I’m gonna live so God can use me, anywhere, Lord, anytime.”

  

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