A new hymn for Saint George's - Part II

Susan Palo Cherwien, Poet  



For a wonderful article on Susan and her creative process and bio, please view this article: 
Master of the artfully-turned phrase, Susan Cherwien, Poet.  Michael L. Sherer. Metro Lutheran.

I love this text!

I love SO many things about this text.  

I love:
- that it was created for our parish, based on our ministries and life together
- that it was created for the world-wide church and its ministry to all people.
- that it is based on so many wonderful and beautiful images.
- the idea that our church (nave) be as beautiful as that within us
- that it juxtaposes this idea of the church as God's house, but also our hearts.
- the word - All-embracing - yes - this is what we are called to be and do!
- that it celebrates what we strive to do in this place
- that it challenges us - "prodding us to evolve" & "May we in fair lives God's grace proclaim"
- that it motivates us to action in many ways- to serve as Jesus did
- that it continually reminds us that we are "signed and marked and sealed" in the waters of  baptism, claimed as Christ's own.
- that it is a prayer - of praise - of thanksgiving - of hope - of action
- that it reminds us we are created in the image of God.
- that it is Trinitarian - God, Christ, Fire (spirit)
- the last phrase of stanza 5 - "in the now that does not pass away" - referring to God's time, not ours, and that God has, is and always will be with us, loving, serving, and prodding us.
- that it reminds me why I'm a follower of Christ, and why I'm thankful to be a part of this community.

This Sunday we sing our new hymn for the first time together.  I hope for you it is a most meaningful experience, and that these words become words on your heart and inspire you to love and serve God.

Dr. Ben Keseley
Minister of Music

*** (11/23/2016) - We have learned this hymn will be published in a collection of new hymns due out in 2017 by Augsburg Fortress.  We couldn't be happier that this hymn will no be more easily accessible to the greater church.

All-embracing God,
Builder of all worlds,
In your house your people rise to praise;
By your Holy Name
Signed and marked and sealed,
May our hearts become your dwelling place.
All-embracing Christ,
Servant of all worlds,
Humbly seeking out the last and least,
By your Holy Love
Signed and marked and sealed,
May we strive for justice and for peace.
All-embracing Fire,
Spirit of all worlds,
Prodding all God's people to evolve,
By your Holy Gifts
Signed and marked and sealed,
May we seek and serve all that you love.
All-embracing Church,
Gathered from all worlds,
Temple of the Fire, the Love, the Name,
By the font and meal
Signed and marked and sealed,
May we in fair lives God's grace proclaim.
All-embracing God,
Trinity of Love,
Dwell within us now, do not delay;
Make your church alive
With your very Life
In the Now that does not pass away.

Susan Palo Cherwien
March 3, 2016 trochaic
Copyright©2016 Susan Palo Cherwien
Commissioned by St. George's Episcopal Church, Arlington, Virginia
for the rededication of the church sanctuary 2016

Sources/Imagery for the creation of
All-Embracing God

2 Corinthians 5

Ezra 3

The Baptismal Covenant in the Book of Common Prayer

•The 5th century prayer of Balai, Chorepiscopose of Aleppo: 
May the temples built within ourselves be as beautiful as the temple built of stone.  May your kindness impel you to live in both kinds of temple, for our hearts, no less than these stones, bear the mark of your Name.

•The word katholikos meaning "all-embracing"

•Augustine's unc stans  "the Now that does not pass away"

Read Part 3 - Tune

Read Part 1