Posts Tagged ‘religion’

For This Place and Time (Gathering Hymn of the City) With so many people on the planet living in cities these days, and those within cities moving downtown and to more urban areas, I’m surprised the church doesn’t offer more hymns that celebrate the work and theology of the church in the city. So I decided to contribute to the small body of urban hymns by composing one of my own (words below). We’ve sung twice now at the Old Stone Church (First Presbyterian Church of Cleveland), both times as a processional hymn. It makes a great Ascension Sunday hymn or hymn for any Sunday.

Work and pray for the well being of the city. Jeremiah 29:7
Wait here in the city until you are clothed with power from on high. Luke 24:49

If your congregation or choir would like to sing For This Place and Time (Gathering Hymn of the City), you will have my permission. Just send me a note and I will give you a little permission blurb to include in your bulletin. I wrote it to the tune of Hyfrydol (Come Thou Long Expected Jesus, Love Divine, etc.), which means “cheerful” with the hope that choirs and congregations would sing this new song with joy. Blessings!

For This Place and Time (Gathering Hymn of the City)
©2018 R. Mark Giuliano

Come, dear friends, and let us gather;
Be restored by God’s great hour.
In the city, yes, the Spirit,
Clothes us with a greater power.
Sent from heaven far beyond us,
To our hearts where love can reign.
Be renewed of God’s good labor
For the city once again.

Here we meet as one great city,
Friend and stranger, one in love.
Here we’ll find the great encounter
Where God’s word is spoken of.
Let us praise God, all together,
Let God’s people, here, rejoice!
Rich mosaic of all creation*
Let us lift to God our voice.

We give thanks to you, the Holy,
For this place and for this time.
Let us cherish where we live, now,
Let us make it wholly thine.
May the path each day we travel,
In the city that we all share
Be the place of divine blessing,
Of your presence everywhere.

Sung to HYFRYDOL (Come, Though Long-Expected Jesus) 8.7.8.7.D

*Special thanks to Dr. J. Barrie Shepherd, Minister Emeritus, First Presbyterian Church, New York City and fellow poet/hymn writer who made a wonderful suggestion on this particular line.

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RICK MORANIS, THE CANADIAN COMEDIAN SAID THAT HE TOOK A SABBATICAL FROM ACTING because shooting movies was stealing him away from his young children. “Keeping in touch with them from hotel rooms and airports wasn’t working for me. So I stopped.” Some take sabbaticals because they need to spend more time with their kids. Others, like myself, take sabbaticals because we need to spend more time with ourselves.

Too often pastors are very good at taking care of everyone but themselves. If you’ve been following my blog, you already know that this summer, I’m taking a long-overdue 12-week sabbatical from my ministry in downtown Cleveland – almost 16 weeks when I throw in a few weeks of vacation, to do something wonderfully countercultural: take care of myself. But “Where, O where is my pastor going?” you ask.

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In a world of bigotry, hate, and white nationalist marches, the story of David and Goliath has great impact. Not only did David defeat his nine and a half foot giant, Goliath, he disclosed Goliath’s weaknesses, and the foolishness of false powers.

I preached part one of Conquering Giants on August 20, 2017 after the tragedy of Charlottesville and the anti-hate marches of Boston and around the country the following week. I pray that you find some hope and empowerment in watching it, as we all pray for healing and peace in America today.

– RMG

LINK: Conquering Giants Part One – Video

“The Christian religion asks us to put our trust not in ideas, and certainly not in ideologies, but in a God Who was vulnerable enough to become human and die, and Who desires to be present to us in our ordinary circumstances.”

― Kathleen Norris

Connect with CreationBy R. Mark Giuliano
The Old Stone Church, Cleveland
Adapted from a piece I wrote for Singing a Song of Faith (Toronto:UCPH, 2007) while living in Savannah, Georgia.

Of all the places to be pecking out thoughts on Lent and the natural world! As I reflect on the gift of creation this evening, my unfortunate location dawns on me: I’m stuck in my basement office at the Savannah College of Art and Design.  The musty room is windowless and poorly cooled with minimal puffs of conditioned air which feel much like my dog’s steamy breath panting in my ear.  My nicely pressed shirt looks like a damp rag and probably smells only slightly better.  No wonder they wear sear-sucker in the South.
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“In the pursuit of knowledge, everyday, something is added.
In the pursuit of enlightenment, everyday, something is dropped.”

– Lao Tzu

“Prayer is not asking for what you think you want, but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine.”
― Kathleen Norris