With tender conviction I sense love is calling,
no grace is withheld, nor forgiveness repressed,
all people are held in unfathomable comfort,
this love is eternal, forever expressed.
The judgment some fear is a human construction,
for grace is a scandal for those who would judge,
they see it as fair to condemn, exact hatred,
while mercy is something they want to begrudge.
For me none is distanced from love by an action,
a word or a deed, we might not understand,
yet God’s love is wider, beyond comprehension,
if you share this creed, my friend, give me your hand!
[For me none is distanced from love by an action,
compassionate grace, could not set us apart,
for God’s love is wider, beyond comprehension,
if you share this creed, then we are of one heart.]*
*Alternative last stanza after conversation and critique by Pesky Methodists, thankyou!
© Andrew Pratt 5am 29/11/2021 - 4/12/2021
Link to A version of John Wesley’s sermon
A hymn written earlier this year https://hymnsandbooks.blog/2021/04/24/change-us-god-into-the-likeness-hymn-for-times-of-debate-and-decision/
Churches (of whatever denomination) that believe themselves to be inclusive need to listen to those who feel excluded rather than ridicule or silence them. All are welcome so often has conditions attached.
Amanda Udis-Kessler (Colorado Springs) words, on the prompting of John Churcher (United Kingdom), have now been recorded by Canadian, Reba Sigler, who is also an opera singer. The wonders of internet communication! The recording can be found here - Reba Sigler sings Amanda Udis-Kessler's Rebuilding starts with weeping. US hymnwriter and sacred music composer Amanda Udis-Kessler wrote the text just after the 2020 US Presidential Election and has re-shared it following the violence at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. I have asked and been granted permission to reproduce it here. It is pertinent in the US context but also in the UK and Europe through pandemic and Brexit. Do visit her site - link below.
Rebuilding starts with weeping, with tears that fall like rain, With full and honest grieving for years of loss and pain, For suffering and sorrow that never had to be. Rebuilding starts with weeping for all who are not free. Rebuilding starts with praying, with hopes allowed a voice, With visions for our country, with reason to rejoice. We offer up our spirits, our hearts and minds and hands. Rebuilding starts with praying for strength to heal our land. Rebuilding starts with loving, with care for every soul, With yearning in compassion that all may yet be whole, That enemy and neighbor may know a better day. Rebuilding starts with loving, for love will show the way It is most often sung to the Bach Passion Chorale.
Amanda’s many other inclusive hymns, worship songs, and rounds are freely available for listening and download at https://queersacredmusic.com.
Personal message from the President of the Methodist Conference, UK, the Rev Dr Barbara Glasson – https://www.methodist.org.uk/about-us/news/latest-news/all-news/a-personal-message-from-the-president-of-the-methodist-conference-the-revd-dr-barbara-glasson/
My hope is that the Methodist Church in the UK takes action to enable the inclusivity of ALL people. I have to repent personally of those times when I have, consciously or unconsciously, by action or inaction excluded anyone. I have to commit myself to listening to those who are excluded and to act or speak to enable their inclusion – TODAY.
I will not always succeed but that is no excuse for not aiming in the right direction, that of total inclusion, even if that puts me at odds with the church.