Season of Creation 1A - Forest Sunday (6 September 2020)

Genesis 2:4b-22
  • Online Resource / Tune In / ATAR612 God is walking in the garden (Dave Brown) A gentle song that starts in the Garden of Eden and ends with Easter. "We heard you walking, We hid because we're afraid". A great song for the start of Lent. Reference recording, lyrics and free downloadable songbook.  
  • STB269 God of the galaxies spinning in space (Shirley Murray) Excellent words about our beautiful creation, and our call to care for it. Chorus is "Let us care for your garden and honour the earth". It has 5 verses, so get the congregation to join in as they learn it. Lyrics & sheet music.  
  • Recorded Music Beautiful Things (Gungor) A sweet and popular song. "You make beautiful things, you make beautiful things out of the dust".... Not so much a congregational song, unless everyone knows it well. It's not hard to play, so if you have good musicians, they may like to give it a go. Youtube with lyrics. Guitar instructions. Good for teenagers
  • CH171 / A&M568 /  SP253 Take up the song and sing the praise of God (Rae Whitney) Simple, upbeat tune, and great words about creation, our choice and responsibility. Nice time signature. Choral recording for download.
  • Online Resource / Tune In / ATAR663 Save us in the time of trial (Shawn Whelan) A song with a reflective almost-Taize-like chorus. We have sung this a cuople of different ways, it's quite flexible. I will suggest this quite a bit during Lent, so this might be a good time to teach it. Lyrics, sound sample and free downloadable songbook.
  • TiS 668 / AoVK-34 / ATFG587 / NCH569 / CH243 / VU307 / R254 / ELW739 / AA143 / A&M553 / GtG713 / G(3)805 / W&R38 / Cha693 / URW189 / StF729 Touch the earth lightly (Shirley Murray) Sings of the redemption of creation and our complicity in its destruction. Sources vary in their set tunes. TiS has a good tune (TENDERNESS) with a nice minor key change to the relative minor for the second verse. Can also be sung to BUNESSAN, if you need a familiar tune. Youtube video with all lyrics. New words to old tunes (if you want).
  • MV150 Spirit God be our breath (Bruce Harding) A lovely gentle song, with a nice descant part. Comforting. 
  • *CH244 / FFS75 Where are the voices for the earth? (Shirley Murray) Very very nice. Haunting tune. While the harmonies are complex, I don't think this is hard to sing. Lyrics.
  • NCH568 / PH283 God marked a line and told the sea (Timothy Troeger) Sung to the familiar hymn tune KEDRON, this hymn is a song about limits and how to define freedom. "God set one limit in the glade where tempting, fruited branches swayed". Would be great to initiate a discussion.
  • VU295 The earth and all who breathe (Ruth Duck) Good words about creation and the tower of Babel, and the need for us to step up and care for the earth. Set to a standard tune (ICH HALTE TREULICH STILL). New words to old tunes 
  • NCH559 / PH266 / W&R36 Thank You God for Water Soil and Air (Brian Wren) Good words asking God's forgiveness for the way we have damaged the planet we have been entrusted with, and a plea to help us renew the face of the earth by caring for creation. A prayer of confession. Can't tell you much about the tune, because I don't have these hymnals and can't find it on the internet anywhere. Lyrics.
  • Here in this place Dawn heralds this day's journey (Helen Wiltshire) Beautiful words of creation dawning, trees reaching, clouds moving, wind dancing. Sung to CRUGER, and will also work with PASSION CHORALE. Highly recommended. Download songbook here for free
  • VU248 / StJ / WoV799 / ELW861 / CP307 When long before time / The Singer and the song (Peter Davison) Easy tune. Nice imagery of God the Singer and Song Incarnate. 
  • Protest and Praise / Online Resource Two trees rose from the garden ground (David Bjorlin / Benjamin Brody) A reflection on trees which starts with the choice of the tree of good and tree of evil, leads to the tree on which Jesus dies, and ends with the restoration of Eden. Lyrics, sheet music sample and purchasing options 
  • TiS 159 / AHB 94 / CH226 / VU300 / R252 / ELW734 / CP261 / CP(E) 271 / StF122 / Lau733 God whose farm is all creation (John Arlott) Simple words of caring for the crops and harvest as well as well as all creation. Lyrics.
  • PH266 / W&R36 Thank You God for Water Soil and Air (Brian Wren) Good words asking God's forgiveness for the way we have damaged the planet we have been entrusted with, and a plea to help us renew the face of the earth by caring for creation. A prayer of confession. Can't tell you much about the tune, because I don't have these hymnals and can't find it on the internet anywhere. Lyrics.
Psalm 139:13-16
God knows us better than we know ourselves. We cannot hide.
I have listed songs that take up the theme of the whole Psalm - the Psalm will continue next Sunday, so you may wish to choose a version that you would like to sing again next week.
  • AoV2-031 / ATW 424 / CH97 / A&M747 / GtG029 / GC(II)509 / SP301 / StF728 / Lau779 O God, you search me and you know me (Bernadette Farrell). My favourite version of Psalm 139, which fits this reading too. The tune flows effortlessly and it has a nice little hook at the end of each verse. Sample music and lyrics here
  • TiS 87 / CH096 / VU862 / GtG028 / PH248 / PfAS139D You are before me, Lord, you are behind (Ian Pitt-Watson) Excellent words, set either to the chant-like tune SURSUM CORDA or the Scottish tune HIGHLAND CATHEDRAL. The words are directly from the Psalm and are very beautiful. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • *CH145 God made me as I am (Bernadette Farrell) A lovely little song.  "God made me as I am, part of creation's plan. No-one else can ever be the part of God's plan that's me". Good for kids. Youtube with gestures (maybe American sign language?).
  • PfAS139C Lord you have searched me and you know (Hal Hopson) A very simple refrain for a responsive reading or chanted reading of this Psalm. 
  • NCH Psalter 139 (Jane Marshall) is a very simple refrain for this Psalm which is worth a look.
  • ATOK 320 / NCH351 / VU645 / StJ / WoV770 / ELW740 / SFFS 2051 / GtG488 / HPP516 / W&R680 / Cha075 I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry (John Ylvisaker) A song of God’s presence in all stages of life. Very simple tune to sing. This always makes me think of Center Church on-the-Green in New Haven, CT. Lyrics, and a nice (slow) sound sample
  • SP&P084 You know my words before they’re said / All My Days (Laurie Zelman) A good contemporary version of this Psalm. It would be good sung by a soloist at first.  Youtube recording.  
  • Worldmaking.net God of My Breathing (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan). Excellent words to a well-known hymn tune. Sample and lyrics.  New words to old tunes
  • *ATW 487 Make your home in me (Fay White) A simple beautiful invitation by Melbourne songwriter and teacher. “If you fly to the point of the day’s sunrise or westward across the sea, if you travel to the uttermost ends of the earth, there I will be; Make your home in me as I make my home in you. I am everywhere that you can be. Make your home in me”. This is quite different to the Vineyard / Josh Young version you can find all over the internet. Sound sample. 
  • Taizé / TiS 725 / ATE 275 / AoV2-167 / ATE 275 / StJ / GA538 / GtG678 / G(II)553 / GC763 / URW391 In our darkness there is no darkness in your sight, the deepest night is clear as the daylight (La tenebre) (Jacques Berthier) Also translated as "Our darkness is never darkness". Sample music and lyrics.
  • NCH274 / CH118 / SFFS 2046 / GtG003 / CP390 / Cha014 Womb of Life and source of being (Ruth Duck) Feminine trinitarian imagery. An easier tune, listed in some hymnals is IN BABILONE. Others have LADUE CHAPEL which is a little less intuitive. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • STB008 Come Lord Jesus Christ / Esho hae Probhu (Bangladesh) (Bart Shaha) A good chant to sing in times of darkness. It has words in English and Bengali. The tune will need to be taught. Midi sample (very quick!) (search for Shaha).
  • URW349 Search me O God (Jane Marshall) A good and simple Psalm refrain. Great if you can add some additional parts
  • *Music by Heart 15 Darkness is not dark (Eric Law) A simple round, with optional cantor part. Good to teach to your congregation without lyric sheets or projections. Would be appreciated by kids, as it is simple. Good for kids.
  • StF109 In the darkness of the still night (Margaret Rizza) Good words connecting God's creative love with our own lives and concerns. The tune is gentle, but not simple. I suggest encouraging the congregation to join in on the line "Creator God you are there" during the verses for the first time it is used (but let them know that the tune is a little bit different in the middle of the verse, compared to the end of the verse). Lyrics
  • URW416 Listen to the song of the wind (Thomas Turner) This is quite lovely, and you could choose whichever verses are most appropriate for any service. Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • VU623 Dear weaver of our lives' design (Nancy Dorian) Beautiful imagery of God as the Weaver. Sung to the familiar tune REPTON. New words to old tunes. Lyrics.
  • *VU384 / SFFS 2052 / HPP229 / PH320 The Lone Wild Bird in lofty flight (Marty Haugen) Familiar tune and excellent words. First 3 verses and tune sample. New words to old tunes
  • < AoV2-079 / GA081 How Rich Are The Depths (Christopher Willcock) A good Cantor and refrain version of the Psalm.
  • *Worldmaking.net Open unto me light for my darkness (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan). This is really lovely and meditative. Sample here.
  • *MV131 You, Creator God, have searched me (George Mulrain) Get out the maracas for this one! This joyous calypso chorus for this Psalm is so refreshing. I think it’s really good fun, and very catchy! Good fun for kids.  Good for kids
  • ATW 423 Examine my heart, explore my mind (Robin Mann) This is a bit tricky, but if familiar to your congregation would be great to sing. Lyrics

Acts 17:22-28
Universal longing for God
  • Online Resource / Worldmaking.net God of My Breathing (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan). Excellent words to a well-known hymn tune (BUNESSAN). Sample and lyrics.  New words to old tunes.
  • AoV2-003 / ATOK 313 / CH543 / StJ / GA404 / A&M042 / ELW715 / GtG314 / GC(II)512 / G(3)590 / SP13 / URW114 / Lau883 / StF706 Longing for light we wait in darkness / Christ, be our light (Bernadette Farrell) One of my favourites, especially if someone can sing or play the descant line in the later verses. Sound sample and lyrics. Good for kids.
  • UMH088 / VU321 / CP329 Maker in whom we live (Charles Wesley) Good inclusive lyrics to DIADEMATA. The first verse picks up a lot on Acts 17:28.  Lyrics, sheet music and sound samplesOldy-but-a-goody.
  • Online Resource / Tune In: Longing for you (Elaine Loukes). A simple chant of longing for God. Reference recording, lyrics and free downloadable songbook
  • TiS 182 / AoV2-010 / NCH11 / CH134 / VU268 / GtG760 / SFFS 2047 / HPP13 / CP395 Bring many names beautiful and good (Brian Wren) This is a beautiful song, but it's very long (especially if sung too slowly). Try singing one verse unison, then one women, one men, then all together again, to keep people interested in what they are singing. Lyrics and sheet music
  • Here in this place As we live and have our being (Helen Wiltshire) Lovely words to one of my favourite scripture verses, focused on God in all our life and action. Suggested tune is FELICITY. Download songbook here for free.
  • SP&P89 / Worldmaking.net Ground and Source of all that is (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) This song is very beautiful and easy to sing. Lyrics and sound sample. 
  • StF033 O Lord we are always in your presence (Philip Jakob) A lovely chant, best if you can sing it in parts. Slightly mushy tune. "O Lord we are always in your presence, in you we live and move and have our being. You hold us in the palm of your hand. And you lead us to your glory". Sound sample.
  • TiS 387 / CH416 / UMH318 / VU158 / LBW363 / ELW389 / A&M199 / GtG246 / PH108 / CP(E) 140 / W&R312 / 82Hml-182 / Lau272 / StF297 Christ is alive Let Christians sing (Brian Wren) Excellent words of Christ's saving, and still relevant grace. A couple of tunes are offered in different hymn books. I prefer TRURO. Lyrics and sheet music New words to old tunes.  
  • NCH70 / UMH660 / VU389 / WoV719 / ELW526 / A&M445 / HPP486 / GtG409 / PH461 / GC741 / GC(II)737 / G(3)843 / CP(E) 301 / W&R1 / Cha280 / STB049 / StF025 God is here as we your people (Fred Pratt Green) Great lyrics, but not inclusive in all sources and set to a range of tunes. I like it sung to the familiar tune ABBOT'S LEIGH. Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music sample. New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 180 / UMH105 / W&R58 / Cha013 God of many names (Brian Wren) If this is new it will need to be taught to your congregation as the tune is not intuitive, but it is worth knowing. The chorus is particularly appealing to kids. Lyrics
  • Iona (One is the Body) / ATAR601 / MV103 Ka mana'o 'i 'o (Joe Camacho) Hawai'ian song. Fun to sing and good words. The chorus is not too hard to sing in Hawai'ian if you teach it. Nice with guitar and/or ukelele. Note for BUC: We have two ukelele players in the congregation. Sound sample.
  • NCH398 / MV044 / W&R599 / URW072 Shadow and Substance (Daniel Damon) Good clear words of being Christ's community in all our diversity. A simple tune. Sample sheet music.
  • Online Resource In this one holy one (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A simple chorus, designed for community singing, with verses that pick up the theme of oneness with the universe and earth. Sound sample, lyrics, and purchasing options
John 3:1-16
Nicodemus
  • GtB God is love and love is giving (Ross Langmead) A simple kids' song about God's love. A round. We love this!  Good for kids.
  • *NCH297 / CH736 / VU706 / StJ / AA45 / HPSS528 / W&R518 / Cha649 / URW131 Give thanks for life the measure of our days (Shirley Murray) This song is also good for funerals and is sung to the familiar tune SINE NOMINE. "Give thanks for life, the measure of our days, mortal we pass through beauty that decays, yet sing to God our hope, our love, our praise: Alleluia, Alleluia!". Lyrics (scroll down). New words to old tunes.
  • TiS 721 / Iona (LFB) / URW431 / StF344 / Lau124 He became poor that we may be rich (John Bell) A simple chant. Timing is a little bit tricky, so you will need to take a little time to teach it initially. This has gorgeous parts if you have some singers. Sound sample
  • *Iona (M&G) / ATAR609 / CH359 / MV033 / GtG137 / ZSS54 / StJ / ELW253 / GA293 / SFFS 2085 / G(II)276 / GC370 / GC(II)364 / G(3)429 / CP368 / W&R402 He came down that we may have love/ Jesus came bringing us hope (Traditional Cameroon) A lovely simple song - you can make up words and have a lot of fun with this if you also use some drums. Lyrics. Good for kids.
  • Online Resource / Tune In In the shape of a cross (Dave Brown) A cry to God for help and a call for God to enter our world. Sound samples and free downloadable song book
  • TiS 242 / AHB 183 / AoV1-018 / ATN 27 / CH404 / UMH261 / VU352 / A&M667 / HPP163 / GtG157 / PH302 / G(II)481 / GC708 / GC(II)689 / G(3)796 / CP(E) 468 / W&R118 / Lau765 / StF247 I danced in the morning / Lord of the Dance (Sidney Carter). Lyrics, sheet music and sound sample. You all know this one, right? Good for kids Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • *Taizé / CP530 By night we hasten in darkness / De noche (Jacques Berthier) One of my favourite Taize chants. Sheet music, lyrics, translations and sound samples.   
  • *Online Resource Holy Holy Holy One (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) An energetic rocky song about God's love. Sound sample, lyrics etc.
  • TiS 494 / W&R678 / Cha375 In water we grow (Brian Wren) Great words, especially if you have a baptism this week. Tune is quite straightforward. Lyrics
  • ATW 451 Jesus Saviour of the world (Schubert) Simple chant-like song.  
  • *Taizé / MV100 / Lau782 Lord God you love us, source of compassion (Jacques Berthier) A very simple refrain, which would work well as a response during prayers of confession or of intercession. Sound sample, sheet music and translations.  
  • TiS 174 / UMH194 / A&M544 / CP(E)259 / 82Hml-585 / StF012 Morning glory starlit sky (William Vanstone) Quite formal words, but very very beautiful song of God's boundless love "Drained is love in making full, bound in setting others free, poor in making many rich, weak in giving power to be". Not all sources are inclusive. The tune is not difficult, but will need to be taught to a congregation if not familiar. The lyrics could also be read as a poem, and challenges the image of Christ as monarch, but also affirms God's reign. Lyrics.
  • AoV1-003 / HPP258 / GA394 / G(II)342 / GC497 / GC(II)495 / G(3)576 / Lau693 / StF803 / MP648 The heavens are telling the glory of God / Canticle of the Sun (Marty Haugen) Energetic waltz of cosmic praise with great lyrics "Come dance in the forest, come play in the field, and sing, sing to the glory of the Lord". Sound sample. Lyrics and sheet music sample 
  • NCH271 / UMH538 / VU196 / PH131 / CP249 / W&R333 Wind who makes all winds that blow (Thomas Troeger) Excellent words. Familiar tune (ABERYSTWYTH). New words to old tunes. 
  • Various Sources Blowin' in the wind (Bob Dylan) Thanks to Ed in LA for this suggestion. "The wind blows where it will". This could be a good song to add to this reading.
  • Recorded Music You must be born again (Mahalia Jackson) A good old song - if you have good musicians, they could do their own version of this classic. Lyrics and Youtube.
Alternate reading: Matthew 17:1-9 
See the post for Transfiguration Sunday

Extra forest-y songs
  • TiS 755 / ATA 196 / CH804 / VU884 / SFFS 2278 / A&M484 / HPP219 / GTG080 / CP772 / W&R710 / SP82 / Srcs830 / URW449 / Lau878 / STF487 / MP796  You shall go out with joy / The trees of the field (Stuart Dauerman) This is a good hand clappy foot stomping song. Fun. Good for kids. Oldy-but-a-goody.  
  • Linnea Good Strong as living Trees (Linnea Good) A lovely haunting chant. Good for kids and adults alike. 
  • StS116 I saw a tree by the riverside / The Tree Song (Ken Medema) A great kid’s song about roots growing down to the water, and leaves growing up to the sunshine, and bearing fruit, and all that great stuff. Good for kids. Lyrics. 
  • TiS 135 / AHB 70 / AoVK-110 / NCH31 / A&M533 / CH137 / UMH147 / VU291 / WoV767 / HPP35 / PH267 / GtG020 / CP415/6 / CP(E) 251 / W&R30 / Cha061 / Srce21 / StF100 / Lau685 / MP023 All things bright and beautiful (Cecil Frances Alexander) The TiS version has beautiful Australian imagery. If you are in Australia and your congregation only has the AHB or other versions of the music, it is worth making copies of the TiS lyrics; the congregation will know the tune. Verse 2 and 5 have masculine language for God.Oldy-but-a-goody
  • *URW450 For you shall go out with joy (Don Saliers) A fun song for group singing; this, and the last line, will need to be taught to four groups in your congregation, who each repeat their simple line over and over. Particularly good for less formal services or to involve all ages; it could be taught during the children's talk, along with a conversation about what it might mean. No projections or pewsheets needed! 
  • TiS 671 / AoV2-121 Made in God's Likeness (Patricia Lewis / Alister Spence) Excellent Australian imagery. This is one of my very favourite songs. It is not difficult if you have a good musician at the helm. If it is new to your congregation, they will be able to join in on the verses by the time you get to the 3rd one. The change in tone with the verse really lifts this song. Lyrics and sound sample. I had an interesting discussion with a friend at church who doesn't like the line "Called to create a new world for the Lord", and I realised that I was interpreting the line quite differently to her. I think of it as a world being created that is "for God", like when you vote for someone.
  • NCH313 Like a tree beside the waters (James Martin) Good congregational words of richness from the waters. Tune is a little bit tricky, so will need to be introduced. It can also be sung to the more familiar HYFRYDOL. 
  • Online Resource Imagine now our world renewed (Helen Wiltshire) A song of prayer for healing of our beautiful earth. Free download.
  • AoV1-003 / HPP258 / GA394 / G(II)342 / GC497 / GC(II)495 / G(3)576 / Lau693 / StF803 / MP648 The heavens are telling the glory of God / Canticle of the Sun (Marty Haugen) Energetic waltz of cosmic praise with great lyrics "Come dance in the forest, come play in the field, and sing, sing to the glory of the Lord". Sound sample. Lyrics and sheet music sample
  • Online Resource As rivers flow from a distant spring (David Bjorlin / William Beckstrand) Beautiful words using imagery of creation to inspire us to lives based in God's love that care for others, including the earth; two verses are about trees and forests. Sound sample. Book available to purchase and download here
  • FFS63 These hills where the hawk flies lonely (Colin Gibson) This is a really beautiful song that would work well for all the Seasons of Creation Sundays. For this reading the phrase "Forests where the tree ferns tower" is a particularly nice part. Lyrics & sample sheet music.
  • Online Resource I will sing of your love, love, love (Christopher Grundy) This is just so joyfully happy, and very catchy. "I will sing of the trees so tall". Sheet music for purchase and sound sample.
Also, look at new songs from Norm Habel at Habel Hymns Volume three, and a list of songs from ecofaith Uniting Church

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi Natalie,

I first learned The Tree Song from Faye White - she recorded it on a cassette album called "Trees, Stars and Other Wonders" that was commissioned by, I think, the Victorian Education Dept for use in primary schools - songs with a spiritual flavour rather than overtly Christian. However, Bruce (my husband) tells me that Amy Grant also recorded it, so I suspect that you were exposed to it from one or both of these sources.

Lectionary Singer (Natalie Sims) said...

Thanks Judy,
On further reflection, I think it was on an old Evie Tornquist cassette.