Upcoming Service Notes, February 21, 2016

Lent is a season of change.  This second Sunday the scriptures talk about the need for change and the power of God to transform us and transform the world. (Psalm 27, Philippians 3:17-4:1 and Luke 13:31-35)  Psalm 27 puts it beautifully: “I believe that I shall see the goodness of God in the land of the living.”  Lent is a wilderness journey, and that journey can be a struggle.  It can also be full of hope.  The Promised Land and Easter dawn wait at the end.

Last Sunday Mary Sanborn reminded us that it was President Lincoln’s birthday last week.  She asked why we never hear about him in church.  She said we hear about the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which she approves, but we should hear about Abe Lincoln, too.  This Sunday we will feature them both!

We will sing three beautiful hymns, Abide With Me, Turn Back, O Man, Forswear Thy Foolish Ways and one that the choir has sung and loved from the New Century Hymnal, Pues si vivimos (In All Our Living).  Its words and music are simple and moving.  It is the kind of hymn you will find yourself humming to yourself for days.

The choir will sing a verse from another Lenten hymn from the New Century Hymnal, O God, How We Have Wandered, set to the Passion Chorale that J.S. Bach harmonized and used both in the Christmas Oratorio and most prominently in his great St. Matthew Passion.  The Anthem will be Draw Nigh to God by D. Duane Blakely.  John will play two organ pieces by J. Pachelbel and one by J.P. Sweelinck who was an extremely influential Dutch organist and composer of the early Baroque era.