We rise and look around us – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

We rise and look around us:
all life that breathes or lives,
has shared a common construct
its composition gives.
A careful, complex coding
embodies what we see,
but how we treat each other
defines what we might be.

The cosmos seethes with sadness,
lament infuses prayer,
we cry with one another,
and strength is grounded there.
Yet we are still confounded,
by things we cannot grasp,
for we are only human:
our ignorance will last.

All life is short and finite,
we sometimes live a lie,
that we are born immortal,
yet love will never die.
Beyond this time of living,
through what we see as death
God’s coded love is spanning
our last, our final breath.

Written in response to Professor Peter Howdle’s Seminar on Healthy intercessions
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.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.
Tune: ELLACOMBE (StF 311)
Metre: 7.6.7.6 D

Hymn books or projectors and screens?

Worth a reading – noted by the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland

https://thefederalist.com/2019/06/18/churches-should-ditch-projector-screens-bring-back-hymnals/?fbclid=IwAR0YIzvlJnY9o1nAm6k3JCDecSgldplR138Ra0ZMvqFZ8JCEIZ9_TbjJZv8

Minds matter when we come to pray – https://bramhallmethodists.org.uk/scienceandprayer/

Minds matter when we come to pray
as we are held within God’s play.
We call for things we want or need,
or simply rest: a dormant seed.

A spirit moves within each prayer,
intention draws through silent air
direct to God, to other’s needs,
or mystically, beyond our creeds

We feel detached, yet not adrift.
Sometimes our self-awareness shifts,
we seek forgiveness, need a balm,
or find, detached, a sense of calm.

No sacred place, yet words demand,
an explanation of this strand,
a shore where waves will shift and drift,
some spirit that will change and lift.

Caught up, uplifted by a light
within a dark and dim lit night,
and in this place of calm there rests,
a sense of love, ecstatic, blessed.
Andrew Pratt 19/10/2019

Tune: O WALY WALY
Metre: LM
Written in response to Rev’d Canon Dr Joanna Collicutt seminar on The Psychology of Neuroscience and Prayer
Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.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.

The calling of Jesus bids us to build peace – vocation

The calling of Jesus bids us to build peace,
the time is this moment, to cease to deride
the weak and down-trodden the world might despise,
to bury  our prejudice, pack away pride.

The people are waiting God’s offer of love,
the different, disfigured, untutored or poor.
The grace of the God-head should not be confined,
how could we discard those who wait at our door?

While failing together we follow the Christ,
with ones deemed as worthless, as cruel or unkind,
as carrying our neighbours we cease to condemn,
while finding the heaven to which we’ve been blind.
Andrew Pratt 18/10/2019

Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.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.
Tunes: DATCHET

When faith has lost its energy – learning brings about challenge and change

When faith has lost its energy
and hearts have turned to stone,
communities are lacking love,
and prayer is said alone,
we cling to old, familiar things,
firm routed in the past,
not knowing that rigidity
ensures faith will not last.

To challenge frozen certainty
a fiery Spirit came,
to melt the hearts that sadness killed,
to mend a sagging frame.
Tradition smeared our faith with rust,
we clung to what we knew.
We felt that any change that came
would leave us fraught and few.

A lost, bedraggled remnant feared,
our cherished gift once sold,
would leave our worship cold, bereft,
devalued, rank and old;
such change would lead to darkened skies,
a deep and feared unknown,
diminishing our treasure trove,
all we had left to own.

Another generation then
would gasp in disbelief,
as though God’s loving, faith and care,
was plundered by a thief!
By holding on so tightly then,
we missed the vital chance,
to grasp God’s wonder, grace and love:
we hardly caught a glance.
Andrew Pratt 18/10/2019

Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.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.
Tunes: ELLACOMBE; VOX DILECTI
Metre: CMD

This fragile, passing beauty…Remembrance hymn

On the 1st September 1939, 80 years ago, the Second World War began. Germany invaded Poland; with the United Kingdom and France declaring war on Germany two days later…

This fragile, passing beauty,
this autumn, red and gold,
a season’s recollection:
love never will grow cold.
The seasons change and fracture,
the leaves of green turn brown,
as life seems tinged with sadness,
as petals flutter down.

This time of our remembrance
that reaches back to pain,
the chill of recollection
can open wounds again;
But this we must remember
that human war and hate
are matters of our choosing
and not some random fate.

God let this time of grieving,
of mem’ry and regret,
enable reparation,
in case we just forget.
Fill human hearts with courage,
frame human words with grace,
that love might flow among us,
make Earth a sacred place.

Andrew Pratt 16/9/2019

Words © 2019 Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, England, http://www.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.
Tunes: BRED DINA VIDA VINGAR (Reclaiming Praise, No.142 – https://stainer.co.uk/shop/b891/), another setting of this tune can be heard at https://youtu.be/V6dDt3OJf6Q ;
Another tune: AURELIA.