Notes on the Notes – September 14, 2014
This week: Welcome Back Sunday/Blessing of the Backpacks*
This week’s scripture reading: Romans 14:1-12, Matthew 18: 21-35
Season: Creation time in the season of Pentecost**
This week’s music:
“Come In, Come In and Sit Down” (Voices United #395) – This family song became known to United Church congregations in the arrangement made by Darryl Nixon for Songs for a Gospel People (1987). Singer songwriter James K. Manley, the composer of this hymn, is a minister in the United Church of Christ (USA). “Part of the Family” reminds both members and visitors that our congregation is an open, diverse group that welcomes people of all ages, every marital status, and all views, interest levels, and stages in the faith journey. As the first two verses state: “You know the reason why you came, yet no reason can explain, so share in the laughter and cry in the pain, for we are a part of the family. God is with us in this place, like a mother’s warm embrace. We’re all forgiven by God’s grace, for we are a part of the family.”
“This is God’s Wondrous World” (VU #296) – This hymn is often recognized as the old CGIT (Christian Girls in Training) hymn, slightly altered for inclusiveness. It has helped shaped the creation spirituality of many people. The text is adapted from a poem published in a collection of Maltbie Davenport Babcock’s work entitled Thoughts for Everyday Living (1901). The origin of the tune is unknown. It was adapted to the hymn text by Stanley Oliver, organist at St. James United in Montreal, in 1929 and the hymn was published in Songs of Worship (1930) and The Hymnary (1930). This is God’s wondrous world, and to my listening ears, All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is God’s wondrous world, I rest me in the thought Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas, God’s hand the wonders wrought. This is God’s wondrous world, the birds their carols raise, The morning light, the lily white, declare their maker’s praise. This is God’s wondrous world. God shines in all that’s fair, In the rustling grass or mountain pass, God’s voice speaks everywhere. This is God’s wondrous world. O let me ne’er forget That though the wrong seems oft so strong. God is the ruler yet. This is God’s wondrous world: why should my heart be sad? Let voices sing, O let the heavens ring! God reigns, let earth be glad.
“Draw the Circle Wide” (More Voices #145) – “Draw the circle wide. Draw it wider still. Let this be our song, no one stands alone, standing side by side, draw the circle wide. God the still-point of the circle, ’round whom all creation turns; nothing lost, but held forever, in God’s gracious arms. Let our hearts touch far horizons, so encompass great and small; let our loving know no borders, faithful to God’s call. Let the dreams we dream be larger than we’ve ever dreamed before; let the dream of Christ be in us, open every door.” This now-familiar hymn of inclusion was written by Gordon Light of the Common Cup Company in 1994. It was arranged by Michael Bloss in 1998.
“How Deep the Peace” (MV #95) – Linnea Good’s life journey is an example of how faith can empower a person to become something bigger and more beautiful than they ever could have imagined. The eldest daughter of an accountant and a librarian, her early start on a music career was as a children’s animator at the local church in New Brunswick. She was 12 years old then and has hardly looked back since in her quest to create music that is memorable, faithful and socially relevant. Linnea Good used the poetry of Lynn Bauman as the lyrics for this short response (2004). It is based on Psalm 32. “How deep the peace, the confidence, of those whose wrongs are forgiven. How deep the peace, the confidence, of those whose hearts are healed.”
“For Love Shall Be Our Song” “God is love, God is peace, God is joy and gladness. May we then live our lives in love, in peace, in joy with Christ our Lord. For love shall be our song, as we lift our hearts to the Lord; so as members of the family of God, rejoice, give thanks and praise. And when others do us wrong, patience we will show, to forgive as Christ did us; seeds of love we’ll sow.” Today’s anthem was written by Douglas E. Wagner in 1987, based on an adaptation of Colossians 3:12-15.
“Grant Us, God, the Grace of Giving” (VU #540) “Grant us, God, the grace of giving with a spirit large and free, that ourselves and all our living we may offer faithfully.” The text of our offering response comes from the Mennonite hymn book, “Hymnal: a Worship Book.” The tune is a familiar one which is also used for the Advent hymn “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” (VU #2).
“Love Knocks and Waits” (MV #94) – “Love knocks and waits for us to hear, to open and invite; Love longs to quiet every fear, and seeks to set things right. Love offers life, in spite of foes who threaten and condemn; embracing enemies, Love goes the second mile with them. Love comes to heal the broken heart, to ease the troubled mind; without a word Love bids us start to ask and seek and find. Love knocks and enters at the sound of welcome from within; Love sings and dances all around, and feels new life begin.” The words for this hymn were written by Dan Damon in 1994. Damon is an internationally published writer of hymn texts and tunes. This week we will be using the tune from the hymn “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” (VU 344)as our melody.
*As we have recently begun a new school year, this week students are invited to bring their backpacks to church, where we will bless the backpacks, students and teachers.
**To learn more about the season of Creation copy and paste this address into your browser: http://seasonofcreation.com/about/the-season-of-creation-story