Hymns responding to Christopher Walsh’s Seminar for Bramhall Methodist Church Climate Change Series

Pre-meeting text

Is it time to pause the picture, 
freeze the frame until we learn. 
Listen more to one another, 
as we focus to discern 
differences of our perspectives, 
how our neighbours live and grow, 
till in Christian understanding,
Jesus’ love begins to show?
Accidents of birth have placed us 
into poverty or wealth, 
having access to possessions, 
bringing peace? Destroying health?
When will humans learn together 
how to meet our common need? 
How to live with one another, 
nurture love, that precious seed.
God enable us to treasure 
those with whom we share this earth, 
those whose lives are marked by difference, 
yet who share our human birth; 
bring a clearer understanding 
of the planet that we share, 
till we grasp the trust that’s given, 
measured out for all to care.

Andrew Pratt 15/5/2021
Words © 2021 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.
Metre: D
Tune: BETHANY (Smart)

Hymn responding to Christopher Walsh
PhD Student, Tyndall Centre, University of Manchester

How we trust and work together 
with our partners on this earth, 
will sustain, or damn our planet, 
place of nurture, home of birth.

Yet removed and isolated 
we have not been stewards of faith, 
as we pray with understanding 
may we channel active grace. 

May our prayer inspire our actions, 
not just words or empty rhyme, 
all our lives are interactive, 
interwoven threads in time.

With a common understanding 
sisters, brothers work as one, 
reap the value of creation 
as our time on earth is run.

Andrew Pratt 18/5/2021
Words © 2021 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England copyright@stainer.co.uk . Please include any reproduction for local church use on your CCL Licence returns. All wider and any commercial use requires prior application to Stainer & Bell Ltd.

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John Wesley – timely words for today…

Words of John Wesley in his sermon on the catholic spirit – original, non-inclusive language of the 1700s – strong inclusive sentiment:

Is thy heart right toward thy neighbour? Dost thou love as thyself, all mankind, without exception? “If you love those only that love you, what thank have ye?” Do you “love your enemies?” Is your soul full of good-will, of tender affection, toward them? Do you love even the enemies of God, the unthankful and unholy? Do your bowels yearn over them? Could you “wish yourself” temporally “accursed” for their sake? And do you show this by “blessing them that curse you, and praying for those that despitefully use you, and persecute you?”

Do you show your love by your works? While you have time as you have opportunity, do you in fact “do good to all men,” neighbours or strangers, friends or enemies, good or bad? Do you do them all the good you can; endeavouring to supply all their wants; assisting them both in body and soul, to the uttermost of your power? – If thou art thus minded, may every Christian say, yea, if thou art but sincerely desirous of it, and following on till thou attain, then “thy heart is right, as my heart is with thy heart.”

“If it be, give me thy hand.” I do not mean, “Be of my opinion.” You need not: I do not expect or desire it. Neither do I mean, “I will be of your opinion.” I cannot, it does not depend on my choice: I can no more think, than I can see or hear, as I will. Keep you your opinion; I mine; and that as steadily as ever. You need not even endeavour to come over to me, or bring me over to you. I do not desire you to dispute those points, or to hear or speak one word concerning them. Let all opinions alone on one side and the other: only “give me thine hand.”

I do not mean, “Embrace my modes of worship,” or, “I will embrace yours.” This also is a thing which does not depend either on your choice or mine. We must both act as each is fully persuaded in his own mind. Hold you fast that which you believe is most acceptable to God, and I will do the same. I believe the Episcopal form of church government to be scriptural and apostolical. If you think the Presbyterian or Independent is better, think so still, and act accordingly. I believe infants ought to be baptized; and that this may be done either by dipping or sprinkling. If you are otherwise persuaded, be so still, and follow your own persuasion. It appears to me, that forms of prayer are of excellent use, particularly in the great congregation. If you judge extemporary prayer to be of more use, act suitable to your own judgement. My sentiment is, that I ought not to forbid water, wherein persons may be baptized; and that I ought to eat bread and drink wine, as a memorial of my dying Master: however, if you are not convinced of this act according to the light you have. I have no desire to dispute with you one moment upon any of the preceding heads. Let all these smaller points stand aside. Let them never come into sight “If thine heart is as my heart,” if thou lovest God and all mankind, I ask no more: “give me thine hand.”