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Notes on the Notes – Sept. 27, 2015

This week’s theme:  Creation 3/Worship Choir contemporary service

This week’s music:

“Each Blade of Grass (Circle of God)” (MV #37)

“Each blade of grass, ev’ry wing that soars,
The waves that sweep across a distant shore,yin-yang-byjimthompson

Make full the circle of God.
Each laughing child, ev’ry gentle eye, a forest lit beneath a moon-bright sky,
Make full the circle of God.

Each silent paw, ev’ry rounded stone, the buzz that echoes from a honeyed comb,
Make full the circle of God.
Each fire-brimmed star, ev’ry outstretched hand,
The wind that leaps and sails across the land,

Make full the circle of God.

Each icy peak, ev’ry patterned shell, the joyous chorus that the dawn foretells,
Make full the circle of God.
Each cosmic hue, ev’ry creature’s way, all form the beauty of this vast array,
Making full the circle of God.”

This hymn by Ken K. Wehlander was written in 2005.  It is a simple list of everyday things in God’s Creation that we sometimes miss or forget to be thankful for, yet which when joined together complete the circle of creation.  The melody, RHODE ISLAND, is taken from The United States Sacred Harmony and was adapted by Linnea Good in 2005.

“Great is Thy Faithfulness” (VU #288)

 “Great is thy faithfulness, God our Creator;
There is no shadow of turning with thee;
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
As thou hast been thou forever wilt be.

Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, ever to me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above

Join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Great is thy faithfulness!…

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,

Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow –wondrous the portion thy blessings provide.

Great is thy faithfulness!…

Thomas O. Chisholm, a Methodist minister, wrote the poem in 1923 about God’s faithfulness over his lifetime. William Runyan set the poem to music, and it was published that same year and became popular among church groups. The song was exposed to wide audiences after becoming popular with Dr. William Henry Houghton of the Moody Bible Institute and Billy Graham who played the song frequently on his international crusades. The version in Voices United is from the Hymnal of the Evangelical United Brethren (1957).

Listen to Chris Rice singing this hymn at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0k1WhFtVp0o

Hear an instrumental version of the hymn at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoFJzsEF3ZM

“O Beautiful Gaia” (MV #41)

nature-balances-herself“O beautiful Gaia,
O Gaia, calling us home.
O beautiful Gaia,
Calling us on.


Soil yielding its harvest,
Waves crashing on granite,
Pine bending in windstorm,
Loon nesting in marshland,
Calling us on.”


The term Gaia (guy-ah) represents “Mother Earth,” inviting us to live into our care and respect for all creation. It asks us to consider our relationship to the earth in the context of our faith.
The words (printed here in abbreviated form)and music are by Caroly McDade, with verses created by the singers gathered in Altantic Canada in 2006. The musical arrangement is by Lydia Pedersen (2006).

“I’ll Sing Praise”

“In you, O Lord, I’ve found a home. I delight in your presence each day.
My heart overflows with thanksgiving. Your faithfulness I will proclaim.

And I will sing of a love everlasting, I will sing of a hope born in grace.
I’ll sing of a joy that refreshes my soul. With all that I am, I’ll sing praise.

As a tree that is rooted in fertile ground, so the truth of your word keeps me strong.
When I meet trouble, or face death itself, nothing will silence my song.”

This week’s anthem was written in 2002 by Grace Allison in memory of Wilma Tait. Grace Allison is a Canadian composer and piano teacher in Prince Edward Island.

“I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry” (VU #644)

“I was there to hear your borning cry,  I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized,  to see your life unfold.

I was there when you were but a child, with a faith to suit you well,
In a blaze of light you wandered off to find where demons dwell.

When you heard the wonder of the word,  I was there to cheer you on;
You were raised to praise the living Lord, to whom you now belong.

If you find someone to share your time and you join your hearts as one,
I’ll be there to make you verses rhyme from dusk till rising sun.

In the middle ages of your life, not too old, no longer young,
I’ll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I’ve begun.

When the evening gently closes in and you shut your weary eyes,
I’ll be there as I have always been with just one more surprise.

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.
I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.”

This is perhaps the best known song of Iowa composer John Ylvisake.  Today we are singing it in memory of Jean Gibb, long-time member of Windsor Park United Church, who passed away this summer.

Hear the song at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEJFNbwoKZg

Watch a video of the song at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSIjIpkVrk0

Categories: Notes on the Notes