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

We will not own the words of hate – a plea for mutual humanity

We will not own the words of hate
that lead to horror, carnage, death;
our song is love and only love,
from now until our final breath.

We stand with those who share with us,
humanity and human grace,
and those who own a different way,
another heritage or face.

God, show us how to join our hands,
to value life, to share and pray,
until we break down walls of hate
embodying a different way.
Andrew Pratt 23/4/2019
Tune: RIVAULX
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.

After the bombing of churches in Sri Lanka, at a time when inter-faith tension has a risk of increasing across the globe.

Christchurch – New Zealand – Hymn – O Source of many cultures

1 O Source of many cultures,
of lives, beliefs and faith;
you brought us all together
to share one world in space;
now show us how to honour
each vision of your way,
to live within the tension
of difference you display.

2 The colour and the culture,
that kept us both apart,
are gifts that we can offer,
a means for us to start
a journey with each other,
till hand in hand we show,
through mutual understanding,
respect and love can grow.
Andrew E Pratt (born 1948)
7 6 7 6 D Iambic
Tune: AURELIA
Words © 2000 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.

Galactic clouds that surf through space – Hymn

Galactic clouds that surf through space,
remote from time and art;
beyond our sense of God or grace,
can make us freeze or start.

Collisions in a cosmic void
disturb our sense of peace,
set spinning hopes and fears and dreams
distorting our belief.

For earth-bound concepts tie our minds
to this material earth,
while metaphysical extremes
are wombed, then come to birth.

A new perspective shifts and shines,
a thousand stars give light,
a supernova come and gone
to brighten faith’s dark night.

Andrew Pratt 8/1/2019 & 2/2/2019
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.

Note: A catastrophic galaxy collision could send our solar system flying into space. That’s the conclusion of new research conducted via the EAGLE Project – a comprehensive computer simulation aimed at understanding how galaxies form and evolve – conducted on some of the world’s largest supercomputers. Astrophysicists at Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology, working with the University of Helsinki in Finland, use data from the Eagle Project to predict a collision between our Milky Way galaxy and the nearby Large Magellanic Cloud. The collision might dislodge our solar system, and send it flying, some two billion years from now. (Accessed 3/12/2019 https://earthsky.org/space/galaxy-collision-milky-way-lmc-solar-system )