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Notes on the Notes – October 6, 2019

World-Wide Communion Sunday

Finding God!

This week’s scripture readings:

Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4                 Luke 17:5-10

This week’s music:

“Into the Unshaped Silence” (VU #305) 


“Into the unshaped silence sings the sound of God’s own voice.
The darkness bows to light newborn, the moon and stars rejoice.

Each day unfolds with wonders new, first grass, first tree, first bird!
Plain, peak, and vale all take their place, each shaped by God’s own word.

The Word sings out with power once more, into the new-made earth;
And in their Maker’s image formed, woman and man know birth.

A day of rest, and o’er the earth God’s voice again is heard:
A song of joy that celebrates the goodness of the world.

God calls us all to join and sing the wonder of the earth
And through our careful stewardship to guard creation’s worth.”

The words for this hymn were written by S. Curtis Tufts, a United Church minister in Calgary, Alberta, in 1986, and are based on the creation story from Genesis.  Verses 4 and 5 bring the celebration and stewardship of the creation to all people of the earth.   The tune is PRIMROSE, an early American hymn tune.

“All Who Hunger” (VU #460)

“All who hunger, gather gladly; holy manna is our bread.
Come from wilderness and wandering.  Here, in truth, we will be fed.
You that yearn for days of fullness, all around us is our food.
Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.communion

All who hunger, never strangers; seeker, be a welcome guest.
Come from restlessness and roaming. Here, in joy, we keep the feast.
We that once were lost and scattered in communion’s love have stood.
Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.

All who hunger, sing together; Jesus Christ is living bread.
Come from loneliness and longing. Here, in peace, we have been led.
Blest are those who from this table live their lives in gratitude.
Taste and see the grace eternal. Taste and see that God is good.”

Born in 1955, Sylvia Dunstan attributes her love of song to her grandparents, who kept song alive in the family and entrusted Sylvia’s formal musical education to one of the nuns at the local convent. Sylvia began writing songs in the early seventies and soon after met Sister Miriam Theresa Winter, who encouraged her to write songs based on Scripture. Sylvia eventually realized that her talents did not lay with the music and concentrated instead on the lyrics.  In 1980, she was ordained by the Hamilton Conference of the United Church of Canada. During her career she served as a minister, a prison chaplain, and editor of a Canadian worship resource journal, Gathering.

In the summer of 1990 she was invited to lead the annual conference of the Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada in a session exploring her hymnody.  She became acquainted with the American folk hymns in William Walker’s Southern Harmony (1835) at this conference.   She wrote “All Who Hunger” for the tune HOLY MANNA, composed in 1825 by William Moore.  The arrangement used in Voices United is by David Kai, a member of the Hymn and Worship Resource Committee which compiled Voices United.   (Source: http://www.giamusic.com/bios/)

To hear the tune go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqVPd4JKsP8

Hear the hymn sung at Southern Congregational Church at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXrB8x6-jbU

“Be Still and Know” be still 21

“Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.”

This prayer response is a setting of Psalm 46:10.  The origin of the music is unknown.

“Increase Our Faith, O Lord”

“Increase our faith, O Lord!
We look to You today.
Remind us of Your Word and pow’r,
Come stir our hearts to pray.

Look down on us in love,
Draw near us in this place.
With confidence, we come in Christ,
To seek the throne of grace.mustard seed.jpg

If we but had the faith,
Small as a mustard seed,
Then we would see the mountains move
For God has power indeed.

Look on us with mercy, Lord
And hear the prayers we raise,
That we might see Your power displayed
And offer thanks and praise.”

Kenneth A. Puls wrote the words for this hymn in 2017, based on Matthew 17:20:  “…for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you”

“Sing Out Your Song, Christians of the World”

Today’s anthem, by Don Besig and Nancy Price was written in 1985.  Besig combines original music with one verse of the classic hymn “In Christ There is No East or West” with the tune ST. PETER.  On this World-Wide Communion Sunday, we are reminded of our unity of belief and purpose to live as followers of Jesus with Christians throughout the world.

“Though we come from different places, though we speak in different ways,
So many creeds and different races, so many questions we must face.

But these things must not divide us.  We know our purpose is the same.
For we have chosen Christ to guide us; we are united in His name.

So sing out your song, Christians of the world.
Lift up your voices and let them be heard,
For the gospel of peace is the message we bring.

Rejoice in our Saviour and King!” 


“Everything is Connected”       

“Everything is connected
In the world that God has created.
No one should be neglected
Since the love of God is for all.

We depend on our planet
For the food and water that feeds us.
How can nature withstand it
If we don’t take care of our world?

When we help one another,
Even small things will make a difference.
Everyone is our neighbour,
When we live as children of God.

From the earth to seed, sun to tree,
All life works in unity.
With you and me, can you see?
We are all one family.”

Our closing hymn this week was written by Allan Baer in 2017.  When speaking about the song, he says:

” …nature is incredibly interwoven – life would cease to exist if that weren’t so. The poet John Donne wrote “No man is an island”. But humanity often devalues its ties to the earth and to others. Those ties cut across time as well. Just as we have inherited much from our ancestors, we connect with future generations by what we leave, whether materially or spiritually. That’s why I would use this song to pass along to youth the need to respect our world and our neighbours. When we look to tomorrow, it is worth reminding ourselves that we’re all in this together – we are connected.”   (Source:  www.crossroadsunited.ca/spirit)


To Ponder:  

If you had to use an image for the size of your faith, what image would you use?


Categories: Notes on the Notes