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History of Hymns: Apocalyptic vision leads to famous 19th-century hymn

“Shall We Gather at the River” Robert Lowry UM Hymnal, No. 723 Shall we gather at the river, Where bright angel feet have trod, With its crystal tide forever Flowing by the throne of God? Yes, we’ll gather at the river, The beautiful, the beautiful river; Gather with the saints at the river That flows […]

History of Hymns: Watts’ ‘Power of God’ composed for children

“I Sing the Almighty Power of God” Isaac Watts UM Hymnal, No. 152 I sing the almighty power of God, That made the mountains rise, That spread the flowing seas abroad, And built the lofty skies.  I sing the wisdom that ordained The sun to rule by day; The moon shines full at God’s command, […]

History of Hymns: New Zealand composer bases best-known song on call to servanthood

“The Servant Song” Richard Gillard The Faith We Sing, No. 2222 Brother, sister, let me serve you, let me be as Christ to you; pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant , too.*   Richard Gillard (b. 1953) was born in England and brought at age 3 to New […]

History of Hymns: Famed hymn expresses writer’s longing for heaven

“Nearer, My God, to Thee” Sarah F. Adams UM Hymnal, No. 528  Nearer, my God to thee, Nearer to thee! E’en though it be a cross That raiseth me, Still all my song shall be, Nearer my God, to thee; Nearer, my God to thee, Nearer to thee. The English poet Sarah Adams (1805-1848) was […]

History of Hymns: Spirit of Reformation marks ‘Lift Our Song’

“In Unity We Lift Our Song” Ken Medema The Faith We Sing, No. 2221 In unity we lift our song of grateful adoration, for brothers brave and sisters strong. What cause for celebration! * Ken Medema (b. 1943), one of the most versatile, creative and enduring Christian artists today, is now in his 40th year […]

“Mrs. Gospel Music” bridged racial barriers

“Lead Me, Guide Me” Doris Akers The Faith We Sing, No. 2214  I am weak and I need thy strength and power To help me over my weakest hour Lead me through the darkness thy face to see Lead me, O Lord, lead me. Lead me, guide me along the way, For if you lead […]

Evening hymn declares that ‘Christ is our light’

“Now It Is Evening” Fred Pratt Green The Faith We Sing, No. 2187  Now it is evening: Lights of the city bid us remember Christ is our light. Many are lonely, who will be neighbor? Where there is caring Christ is our light. *  The tradition of singing evening hymns in Christianity dates back at […]

South Carolina podcast urges Christian dialogue

By Jessica Connor, Special Contributor… Like a weekend getaway in the middle of a crazy season, a new United Methodist audio initiative is sweeping the denomination’s South Carolina Conference while generating diverse conversation about Scripture. It’s called Sunday Scripture Podcast, a weekly 15-minute show that is the brainchild of the Rev. Joe Cate, associate pastor […]

‘Grandfamilies’ provide love, sanctuary with church support

By Susan Passi-Klaus, UMNS… By the time Mollie and John Moore had reached their mid-50s, pre-retirement life was looking great. Both were winding down busy careers and had a lot of freedom to do what John refers to as “run around.” They enjoyed weekend getaways to visit family, trips to watch the University of Tennessee […]

Foot washing stirs spirit at Oklahoma Conference

By Bill Sherman, Tulsa World… TULSA, Okla.—Bishop Robert E. Hayes Jr. removed his vestments, knelt and washed the feet of 12 people who were being ordained May 29 in the United Methodist Church. About 1,000 delegates to the Oklahoma Annual Conference witnessed the rare foot-washing ceremony at Boston Avenue UMC. “People were just blown away,” […]