Monday, 6 May 2013

A hymn about diversity

This hymn is set to the tune Grand Isle (AHB 551). The rhythm of the words is very irregular. I tried to keep the playfulness of the earlier hymn associated with this tune, the classic children’s hymn “I sing a song of the saints of God …”.

This hymn probably won’t suit every worshipping congregation, but it’s offered with joy to those who can use it.

Let’s sing a new song of the people of God,
who are found all around the earth.
All are diverse, and each is unique,
and all are of priceless worth.
And some are Irish, and some are Dutch,
with Maori, Koori, Cherokee, and such --
none is remote from God’s sacred touch.
All people can know God’s love.

Some worship God with ancient words,
with icons and incense and bells.
Others clap their hands to drums and guitars,
but each of God’s mercy tells.
And some are Uniting, and some R.C.,
Anglican, Orthodox, or A.C.C. *
With unity in diversity,
all people can know God’s love.

They all pray to God using different names,
and the one God hears them all.
With different traditions and paths of faith,
each seeks to heed God’s call.
And some are Christians, and some are Jews,
some are Muslims, and some Hindus,
some are Buddhists or Sikhs -- still the Spirit will choose
all people to know God’s love.

Their household patterns and family styles
will not always look the same.
Though we can’t understand all ways of life,
it’s not our place to blame.
And some are lesbians, and some are gay,
some are straight, some follow a celibate way.
If it’s loving and faithful, still we can say
all people can know God’s love.

With different talents and gifts and skills,
all can from each other learn.
All sorts and conditions of human life
are blessed by our God’s concern.
Some are deaf, some are fat, and some are blind.
If you’re bald or left-handed you won’t be left behind.
God is loving and merciful, generous and kind.
All people can know God’s love.

Copyright: Robert J. Faser, 1996, with various revisions, this version 2013. (May be used in worship with acknowledgement.)

  * This is the Australian version of this verse. (ACC stands for “Australian Christian Churches”, a Pentecostal denomination.) Other versions can be used elsewhere, i.e.:

In the United States:
And some are Lutheran, and some RC,
AME Zion or UCC.

In England:

And some are Methodist, and some RC,
United Reformed, or C of E.

If you can can come up with words for your context, please share them.

1 comment:

  1. For those in Scotland, how does this sound?

    And some are Episcopal, and some R.C.,
    Church of Scotland, and even "Wee Free".


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