Notes on the Notes – October 20, 2019
“Called to Be the Church”
This week’s scripture reading:
This week’s music:
“The Church is Wherever God’s People” (VU #579)
“The church is wherever God’s people are praising,
Singing God’s goodness for joy on this day.
The church is wherever disciples of Jesus
Remember his story and walk in his way.
The church is wherever God’s people are helping,
Caring for neighbours in sickness and need.
The church is wherever God’s people are sharing
The words of the Bible in gift and in deed.”
Carol Rose Ikeler was a staff member of the Board of Education of the United Presbyterian Church (USA) when she wrote this hymn. The simple lyrics remind us that “church” is not about the church building, but that we can be the church wherever we are by our words and actions as God’s people. The tune is based on a traditional English carol, “Tomorrow Shall be My Dancing Day.” The arrangement used in Voices United was made for The Hymn Book (1971) by F.R.C. Clarke, composer and organist at Sydenham Street United Church in Kingston, Ontario.
Enjoy listening to a string arrangement of the tune at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t6HhlbNlL4
“God is Here” (VU #389)
“God is here! As we your people meet to offer praise and prayer,
May we find in fuller measure what it is in Christ we share.
Here, as in the world around us, all our varied skills and arts
Wait the coming of the Spirit into open minds and hearts.
Here are symbols to remind us of our lifelong need of grace;
Here are table, font, and pulpit, here the cross has central place.
Here in honesty of preaching, here in silence, as in speech,
Here, in newness and renewal, God the Spirit comes to each.
Here our children find a welcome in the Shepherd’s flock and fold;
Here as bread and wine are taken, Christ sustains us, as of old.
Here the servants of the Servant seek in worship to explore
What it means in daily living to believe and to adore.
God of all, of church and kingdom, in an age of change and doubt
Keep us faithful to the gospel; help us work your purpose out.
Here, in this day’s dedication, all we have to give, receive;
We, who cannot live without you, we adore you! We believe!”
Fred Pratt Green wrote the words for this hymn for the closing of an eight month church festival on worship, music and the arts at University Methodist Church in Austin, Texas in 1978. The third verse celebrates the sacraments of baptism and communion and the commitment to serve God daily. The closing verse reminds us of our search for understanding in today’s complicated world, closing with the affirmation that, through it all, “We believe!” William Rowlands composed the tune BLAENWERN during the Welsh revival of 1904-05.
Hear the hymn played on pipe organ at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0rAtG4vCpQ
“The New Creed”
“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.”
These words are the Creed of the United Church of Canada and are a statement of our beliefs. The musical setting is by Richard D. Hall (1981).
Learn about the history of The New Creed at: http://www.windsorparkunitedchurch.com/a-new-creed/
The video below is from Knox United Church in Vancouver. The Creed is spoken over Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.”
“Song of Fellowship”
“We are here this day to share God’s love;
We have come with burdens and cares,
For within this place we are bound as one
In this fellowship we share.
Whether weak or strong, whether old or young,
When we’re feeling lost and alone,
There is comfort here in this family of God
Where love and friendship grow.
Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.
There fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
May the peace of God be with us all
To guide our hearts and minds,
And help us reach beyond these walls
To share the friendship we find.
Blest be the tie that binds.”
This week’s anthem was written by Don Besig and Nancy Price in 1986. Along with original words and music, the song also incorporates the first verse of the hymn Blest Be the Tie That Binds by John Fawcett and Johann G. Naegeli. John Fawcett, an English Baptist pastor, school master, and author, spent his entire ministry in Wainsgate, Yorkshire, and most of his hymns were written to follow his sermons. It is alleged that he wrote the text for this hymn after a last-minute decision not to leave his pastorate to go to a church in London. It was first published in 1782.
“As We Chart Our Course”
“As we chart our course for tomorrow,
And we set our sights on our goal,
When we join to forge a new vision,
Making all relationships whole,
When we walk together as pilgrims,
We will rise to crisis and test.
And when we make room for the Spirit,
We will find our journey is blessed.
We are called to follow our purpose,
Forming bridges, building up lives.
By rekindling zeal in our mission,
Our community comes alive.
As we strive to fashion disciples,
Serving neighbours, helping the weak,
Than we’ll claim our role as a beacon
For the brighter future we seek.
When we find ourselves at the crossroads,
Let our focus firmly be laid
On horizons bright with potential,
Not on burdens we would evade.
Witness to an undying message
In the Good News we have to share.
When we foster hope and compassion,
We will find God’s presence is there.”
Allan Baer, of Kingston, Ontario, wrote the words and music for this hymn in 2009. The song was written when Allan’s congregation was contemplating amalgamation with another church and they were working through the idea of change and what it would mean for their community. (Source: https://www.crossroadsunited.ca/spirit/) The church as a whole, however, is in a constant state of change. Will we journey forward with purpose and intent, or sit quietly in our corner, hoping for the best? How do Allan’s words speak to us, as members of Windsor Park United Church?
“With a Vision of Hope”
“With a vision of hope we move along.
Empowered by faith we carry on.
Reaching out far and wide, moving forward reaching high.
Filled with hope, filled with dreams, we journey on.”
Our benediction response is by Mary-Ellen Kish (2008), and encourages us to move forward in faith with God.
What does the phrase “we are called to be the church” mean to you?