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Notes on the Notes – Sunday, May 20

This week’s theme:  Pentecost


Pentecost commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the twelve apostles and other followers of Jesus as described in the Acts of the Apostles 2:1-31. For this reason, Pentecost is sometimes described as the “Birthday of the Church.”  Pentecost is celebrated seven weeks (50 days) after Easter Sunday.

This week’s readings:

Acts 2:1-21           Philippians 4:4-7

This week’s music:

“Spirit, Spirit of Gentleness” (VU #375)

“Spirit, Spirit of gentleness,
dove Blow thro’ the wilderness calling and free;
 Spirit, Spirit of restlessness,
Stir me from placidness,
Wind, Wind on the sea.

You moved on the waters, you called to the deep,
Then you coaxed up the mountains from the valleys of sleep;
And over the eons you called to each thing:
Wake from your slumbers and rise on your wings.

You swept thro’ the desert, you stung with the sand,
And you goaded your people with a law and a land;
And when they were blinded with their idols and lies,
Then you spoke through your prophets to open their eyes.

You sang in a stable; you cried from a hill;
Then you whispered in silence when the whole world was still;
And down in the city you called once again,
When you blew thro’ your people on the rush of the wind.

You call from tomorrow, you break ancient schemes,
From the bondage of sorrow the captives dream dreams,
Our women see visions, our men clear their eyes,
With bold new decisions your people arise.”

This popular hymn by songwriter James K. Manley grew out of a sabbatical leave at the School of Theology at Claremont, California. It was first sung at Waiokeola Congregational Church in Honolulu, after which Manley added the fourth verse at the suggestion of a church member. The hymn was first introduced to the congregation at WPUC in the green hymn book “Songs for a Gospel People.”

Hear the song on piano at:  https://youtu.be/gNdbq8Bf1GQ

“Oh, a Song Must Rise” (MV #142)

“Oh, a song must rise for the spirit to descend
Oh, a song must rise once again
Singing out God’s   praises and glory, the faithful voices blend,
Oh a song must rise for the spirit to descend.

From the mountains to the valleys, from the desert to the sea,
A song must rise once again.
From the voices of our leaders, the voice of you and me,
A song must rise for the spirit to descend.

From poverty and riches, from the voice of young and old,
A song must rise once again.
From the free and the imprisoned, the timid and the bold,
A song must rise for the spirit to descend.

From ev’ry house of worship, in ev’ry faith and tongue,
A song must rise once again.
From the villages and cities a new song must be sung,
A song must rise for the spirit to descend.”

The words and music for this lively song are by Paul B. Svenson (1995).  The arrangement we will be using this week is by Bryn Nixon (2006) as it appears in More Voices.

See a teaching video of this song sung by choir and congregation at: https://youtu.be/Y4Q7XghWg-c

Read Jeff Doucette’s blog about music and faith at:  http://jeffdoucette.webs.com/apps/blog/show/7336990

“Spirit of the Living God” (VU #376)

“Spirit of the living God,  fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.

Spirit of the living God, move among us all,
Make us one in heart and mind, make us one in love;
Humble, caring, selfless, sharing
Spirit of the living God, fill our lives with love!”


Pentecost S. Rumak 2006

This is one of the most long-lasting and widely used choruses in Christian worship. Every aspect of the song embodies a simple sincerity.   The melody encompasses only five notes.  The harmonies can be played by a very modestly skilled pianist, and three of the four lines repeat the same nine words.  Yet for many, the straightforward petitions of this song draw the singer into an attitude of prayer.

The first verse of the hymn was written by Daniel Iverson (1890-1977), a native of Brunswick, Ga.  As a Presbyterian minister, Iverson served churches in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.  In 1927 he organized the Shenandoah Presbyterian Church in Miami, Fla., remaining with this congregation until his retirement in 1951…source: The United Methodist Reporter, Dr. Hawn – professor of sacred music at Perkins School of Theology, SMU.

The second verse of the hymn was written by Michael Baughen for Hymns for Today’s Church (1982).  The arrangement in Voices United is the one written by Darryl Nixon for Songs for a Gospel People (1987).


“Here We Stand, Lord”

“We are gathered in this place, O Lord, joined in worship and in prayer.
Come and touch us with Your grace, O Lord; keep us always in Your care.
Help us show our faith and love in all we say and do
As we follow in Your way, O Lord, help us put our trust in You.

Here we stand, Lord, Yours forever.
You have called us to spread Your Word.
Hand in hand, Lord, we’ll serve together,
Sharing Your light with all the world.

To this fellowship we come, O Lord, joined in gratitude and praise.
In Your spirit we are one, O Lord, blessed in many special ways.
Help us share the joy and peace we find in knowing You.
May the wonder of Your Love, O Lord, show in everything we do.

Here we stand, Lord…

We will sing in glory, voices joined clear and strong.
We will go forth telling your story,
And all the world will hear our song.
This is our song.

Here we stand, Lord…

We are Yours, Lord.
Here we stand!”

This anthem of commitment was written by Don Besig and Nancy Price in 2000.  It was composed in celebration of the 100th anniversary and dedication of a new church for First Lutheran Church in Missoula, Montana.

“We Give You But Your Own” (VU #542)

“We give you but your own,
Whate’er the gift may be,
All that we have is yours alone,
We give it gratefully.”

The words for our offering response were written by William Walsham How in 1858, and updated for use in Voices United. The music is by Johann Balthasar Konig (1738), with adaptations by William Henry Havergal (1847).

“I Can Feel You Near Me God” (MV #48)

“I can feel you near me God
I can feel you near
Yes I know you’re with me God
I feel you here
I can feel you near me GodJump
I can feel you near
Yes I know you’re with me God
Heaven is here.

I can feel you loving me
Yes I know you care
God I know you’re loving me always everywhere
I can feel you loving me
Yes I know you care
God I know you’re loving me
I know you’re there.

And I’ll jump for joy
I’m singing Alleluia
Jump for joy for you
I will jump for joy
I’m singing Alleluia
Jump for joy for you.”

This joyful song was written by Pat Mayberry in 2000 and arranged by Margaret Stubbington in 2006.

“Send Us Out”

“Send us out in the power of Your Spirit, Lord,
May our lives bring Jesus to the world.
May each thought and word bring glory to Your name,
Send us out in Your Spirit, Lord, we pray.”

The words and music for our benediction response were written by Ruth Fazal (1993).

Categories: Notes on the Notes