Many thanks to Donna Henderson who recommended this beautiful hymn!
Pastor Fred Green, another “rock star” (as in Jesus is our rock!) from Liverpool, England published God Is Here in 1977. It is one of the few to devote attention to how customary church features facilitate worship. The tune was written years earlier by Pastor and musician Cyril Taylor. Taylor composed this elegant tune in 1948 to replace one named AUSTRIA, that became overshadowed by German militarism. He called this famous tune ABBOT’S LEIGH, the place where he was BBC’s producer of Religious Broadcasting during WWII.
How it resonates today! In this world of “change and doubt”, we are reminded to keep our faith strong.
God is here! As we your people, meet to offer praise and prayer,
May we find in fuller measure what it is in Christ we share:
Here as in the world around us, all our varied skills and arts
Wait the coming of his spirit into open minds and hearts.
Here are symbols to remind us of our lifelong need of grace;
Here are table, font and pulpit, here the cross has central place:
Here in honesty of preaching, here in silence as in speech,
Here in newness and renewal God the Spirit comes to each.
Here our children find a welcome in the Shepherd’s flock and fold.
Here the bread and wine are taken, Christ sustains us as of old;
Here the servants of the servants seek in worship to explore
What it means in daily living to believe and to adore.
Lord of all, of church and kingdom, in an age of change and doubt,
Keep us faithful to the gospel; help us work your purpose out.
Here, in this day’s dedication, all we have to give, receive;
We who cannot live without you, we adore you, we believe!