For the beauty of the earth

For the beauty of the earth …
Lord of all to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise …

I’ve been remembering that a year ago I was part of a chorus that sang “For the Beauty of the Earth” and “The Blue Green Hills of Earth” for Earth Day. That night I wished we could stay and sing them over and over again, and I wish we could come back together and sing them again now, but YouTube will have to do.

For the Beauty of the Earth, https://youtu.be/-0qQyW0W0Rw
John Rutter

For the beauty of the earth
For the beauty of the skies
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies
Over and around us lies

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

For the beauty of the hour
Of the day and of the night
Hill and vale and tree and flower
Sun and moon and stars of light
Sun and moon and stars of light

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

For the joy of human love
Brother, sister, parent, child
Friends on earth and friends above
For all gentle thoughts and mild
For all gentle thoughts and mild

Lord of all, to thee we raise
This our joyful hymn of praise

The Blue Green Hills of Earth, https://youtu.be/fN7iPUVJfqI
Kim Oler, from Missa Gaia by Paul Winter

For the earth forever turning,
For the land, for skies and sea,
To our Source we sing returning
Home to our blue green hills of earth.

For the mountains, hills and pastures
In their silent majesty
For the stars, for all the heavens
Sing we our joyful praise to Thee.

For the sun, for rain and thunder,
For the seasons’ harmony,
For our lives, for all creation
Sing we our joyful praise to Thee.

For the earth forever turning,
For the lnd which gave us birth,
To our Source we sing returning
Home to the blue green hills of earth.

A sermon for Good Shepherd Sunday

I found myself in the narthex counting sheep one day last week, but don’t worry, I wasn’t sleeping on the job. I just got curious about how many of them there actually are out there. The answer, if you’re interested is about 20, counting all of the sheep in every different format. That’s enough for a good-sized little flock.

We do love our sheep here, and we love the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who will know us and love us and keep all of us little lambs safe.

We celebrate that image today, the fourth Sunday of the Easter season, the day that’s nicknamed Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel readying always includes a section of the passage we call the Good Shepherd discourse in John’s Gospel, where Jesus talks about himself as the Good Shepherd.

It’s a special day for us in church when we get to lift up the Good Shepherd at Good Shepherd Church—and it’s also the day when we gather for a celebration lunch afterwards. At our annual meeting after lunch, we take time to listen reports from the various ministries and committees about how things have gone over the past year, and to elect members of the Vestry.

We do love that image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd.

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Rivers, not reservoirs

Don’t think about saving your love as if you’re going to need it later. We’re meant to be rivers, not reservoirs.

~ Bob Goff, Everybody Always (paraphrase)

A sermon for the third Sunday of Easter

Chris and I went out to breakfast one day last week at a local place in New Hope. It’s the kind of place where they serve a good, hearty old-fashioned breakfast, the kind of meal we used to enjoy back in the days before anybody ever warned us about things like cholesterol and fat and salt. And they’re really proud of that menu. You sit at a counter that sort of wraps around the kitchen, and you can see a sign over the kitchen that says, “If it isn’t bad for you, it isn’t worth eating.”

So I ordered a waffle, and Chris ordered corned-beef hash, which both happen to be the things that our fathers would make for breakfast when it was their turn to cook for us when we were growing up. When the food was served, a woman who was like sitting around the corner of the counter from us said, “That looks great. I’m really glad you didn’t order anything healthy”—because they do have a few healthy choices at this place

She said, “I’m glad that you didn’t go for the healthy stuff, because every once in a while, we really ought to stop and enjoy the good things of life, and that includes eating food like the breakfast that you’re sharing together.” That opened up a whole conversation that went on for most of the meal about food and the place it plays in our lives: how it brings us together in community and fellowship, how it’s one of the good things that God has given us in this life.

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Welcome, child of God

I love walking through these doors at the Morrisville United Methodist Church. I’m pretty sure these words are intended for the children of the Montessori school there, but they make me feel special, too.

My bridge, our town

If you love a place as I love this place, how could you not love all the places in this world that other people call home? And if we did, how could there not be peace on Earth?

I was thinking of the hymn “This Is My Song, O God of All the Nations” when I took this picture this morning:

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.

https://youtu.be/H8FPOjgX07c

Good to go

Getting ready to move house – literally. Change is so hard. It usually feels safer just to stay in one place. And then they tell you that if they’re careful, they can move this 234-year-old stone house across a narrow bridge and down the road a quarter mile, and you think, well, maybe it would be ok to let my world change just a little …

(The former Odette’s, a local landmark in New Hope PA)