July 12, 2014
Dear <<First Name>>
Thank you for your interest and use of the new hymns by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. We hope the following new hymn-prayers might be helpful for your church's worship, and also for personal devotions.
The following new hymn, completed last night, is inspired by the crisis in Central America that has caused over 70,000 children to take the dangerous journey to the United States in recent months. Carolyn has led many mission trips to Honduras for the past sixteen years
. The brother of a child that Carolyn sponsored in Honduras was recently killed there. Carolyn wrote “The Storm Came to Honduras” in response to Hurricane Mitch that was sung and used by many to support the relief work. This 1998 hymn was featured on national PBS-TV and is in Community of Christ Sings (2013).
Today please share this new hymn with pastors and church musicians who might want to use it in this Sunday worship (maybe read or sung by a soloist as part of the prayers of the people) or soon as well as others to encourage Christians to respond to this crisis. Permission is given for its free use in local churches. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy of it formatted in MS Word as a half sheet insert with the hymn note on the other side. We also hope to find someone (you or a friend?) to format it with the music. FINLANDIA is in the public domain and best known for being used in Be Still, My Soul” and "This Is My Song, O God of All the Nations" (Audio recording and MIDI
) so let us know if you want this new hymn formatted with the music.
The Children Come
The children come, not sure where they are going;
Some little ones have seen their siblings die.
They’ve traveled north—a tide that keeps on growing,
A stream of life beneath the desert sky.
Their welcome here? Detention, overflowing.
O Lord of love, now hear your children’s cry!
The children come in search of something better;
They’ve traveled here with nothing in their hands.
On one boy’s belt, a number carved in leather
Leads to a phone, a brother here, a plan.
They come alone—or sometimes band together;
They bring a plea that we will understand.
O Christ our Lord, you welcomed in the stranger;
You blessed the children, telling them to stay.
Be in the desert, with the tired and injured;
Be at the border where they are afraid.
Be on each bus where children sense the danger,
As angry crowds are shouting, “Go away!”
God, let each one know justice, peace and welcome—
And may your gift of mercy start with me.
For unto such as these belongs your kingdom,
And in each child, it is your face we see.
May we, your church, respond in truth and action,
And with you, Lord, say, “Let them come to me.”
Biblical references: Matthew 25:31-46; 19:14-16
Tune: Jean Sibelius, 1899.
Text: Copyright © 2014 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved
New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com Email: email@example.com
Permission is given for free use of this hymn for local church use by those supporting efforts to help these children and immigration reform now.
Hymn Note for “The Children Come”
This hymn is inspired by the crisis in Central America that has caused over 70,000 children to take the dangerous journey to the United States in recent months. Hymn writer Carolyn Gillette has led mission trips to Honduras for the past sixteen years. She wrote “A Storm Came to Honduras” in response to Hurricane Mitch that was sung and used by many to support the relief work. The brother of a child that Carolyn sponsored in Honduras was recently killed there.
The hymn’s reference to “
On one boy’s belt, a number carved in leather” is from a news report ("Boy's Death Draws Attention Immigration Perils") of a body of a dead child found with his brother’s phone number on his belt. “As angry crowds are shouting, “Go away!” comes from the news reports of Americans yelling at the detained children on buses in Murrieta, California. Jim Wallis of Sojourners reflects on this incident in his powerful online essay “The Moral Failure of Immigration Reform: Are We Really Afraid Of Children?" Biblical references in the hymn are Matthew 25:31-46 and Matthew 19:14-16.
The Presbyterian Church (USA) and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS) have developed a very helpful “Frequently Asked Questions: The Exodus of Children from Central America”:
Who are these “unaccompanied immigrant children”? How do they end up in the United States alone?
Unaccompanied immigrant children are minors under the age of 18 who cross the U.S. borders alone, without their parents or caregivers. They come to the United States from all corners of the world, but the most recent influx of children has primarily been from Central America — Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. They travel by foot over the border or as stowaways on freight trains. Sometimes they are victims of human trafficking, sometimes they must pay to get to safety, and sometimes they just travel alone. The number of children making this perilous journey has grown astronomically.
Why are they fleeing their home countries?
There are several main push factors: faltering economies, large youth population, and rising crime and gang activity. There are also pull factors: the desire for family reunification and changing operations of smuggling networks.
How old are these children?
They are usually in their early teens, but can be as young as three. They are both boys and girls.
Read more at http://www.presbyterianmission.org/site_media/media/uploads/pda/pdfs/faq_unaccompanied_children.pdf
Abraham Journeyed to a New Country is another good hymn about immigration and is available formatted with the music.
The Sermon on the Mount: A Service of Lessons and Songs is a service based on Jesus' teachings in Matthew 5-7; it includes new hymns (to well-known hymn tunes) based on each chapter of the Sermon of the Mount. This creative worship service is a great resource to use instead of a guest preacher or for a lay Sunday with over twenty parts that can be read by different people. It is a powerful way to hear Jesus' whole sermon in one worship service
. Donations for use of this special service are requested to go to support the work of UrbanPromise Honduras, an ecumenical ministry with poor children and youth
. Carolyn has volunteered as a reading tutor for inner-city children with UrbanPromise in Wilmington for several years. Our daughter Sarah is doing a summer intern with them now. Our daughter Catherine worked the summer of 2011 with UrbanPromise in Honduras. We appreciate your support of this ecumenical ministry for children in one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
Carolyn's new hymns web site includes an index to the scriptures that inspired them: Scripture Index (click for index). Her web site has a variety of other indices for the three-year common lectionary, tunes and special topics: Easter, Communion, Creation Care, Stewardship, Women and favorite book lists linked to Amazon to see excerpts and for easy ordering. Beyond planning for worship services, we hope these indices can help with sermons, teaching, writing devotions, for newsletter and other publications.
Please Share Carolyn's Web Site and Facebook with Friends We are very grateful to supporters of Carolyn's hymns who forward this email hymn news note to friends (locally and online), share her new hymns web site URL and Facebook with friends (locally and online) who are pastors, church musicians, worship committee members and those who simply love hymns. We thank you and hope they will as well!.
Do You Have Friends in Eastern Massachusetts? Our daughter, Catherine Gillette, has just accepted a new job to serve as Boston Presbytery's Young Adult Volunteer Coordinator for Food Justice starting August 1st. After graduating from the College of Wooster (Phi Beta Kappa), she spent the past year serving as a Young Adult Volunteer with the Worker's Defense Project in Austin, Texas. Her new job's office will be in Sommerville, Massachusetts and the home for the Young Adult Volunteers will be in Watertown. Housing is very expensive in this area and Catherine's job is part-time so help is needed finding affordable housing (and maybe another part-time job) and would be greatly appreciated. Here is a note that you might share with friends in Eastern Massachusetts with the request for it to be put in their church's weekly email notes to church members and friends as well as in their Sunday worship bulletin notes: Housing Needed: As the new Boston Presbytery Food Justice Young Adult Volunteer Site Coordinator, I am looking for inexpensive housing in the Somerville or Watertown area. I am a neat and friendly nonsmoker who enjoys cooking and is looking for either a quiet studio/garage apartment for a single person or responsible roommates to share housing with. If living in shared housing, I am willing to help with childcare, elderly parent care and/or errands. Please contact me for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you! --Catherine Gillette
May God bless you, your loved ones and your ministry!
Grace and Peace,
Bruce & Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, Co-Pastors
Limestone Presbyterian Church