Special Worship Resource on Immigration
from the National Council of Churches USA
12, Ruth 1; Matthew 2:13-16, 10:40; 25:31-46; Hebrews 11, 13:2;
Leviticus 19:18, 33-34
Copyright © 2010 Carolyn Winfrey Gillette.
All rights reserved. Email:
Permission for free use of this hymn is
given to churches that support the National Council of Churches and
its communions in their advocacy for justice in immigration
Hymn Notes for “Abraham Journeyed to a New
Bible, we see stories of immigrants – people called to settle in new
lands and begin new lives for a variety of reasons, people who
trusted in God's protection along the way.
Abraham and Sarah
heard God's promise of a new land.
is the story of God's people being led from slavery to the freedom
of the Promised Land. Later,
went with Naomi, her mother-in-law, because her love of family led
her to take risks and leave the home she knew for a new home.
Jesus himself was a refugee in
when his parents had to ﬂee from Herod for his safety.
Jesus taught that one of the greatest
commandments is to love our neighbors; these neighbors include
foreigners (Luke 10:25-37 with references to Leviticus 19:18,
33-34). He also taught that all people will be judged on their
compassion for those in need and their welcome of strangers (Matthew
25:31-46). Today, people are immigrants for many of the same
reasons that these biblical people were.
The Church is called to follow the
Bible's teachings by welcoming and supporting immigrants today.
The hymn tune,
Bunessan, is a
traditional Gaelic melody that was originally associated with the 19th
century Christmas carol, "Child in a Manger,” by Mary Macdonald.
When the Gaelic hymn was translated into English, the melody was
named after the small village on the Scottish island
by the translator, Lachlan Macbean. Eleanor Farjeon wrote a new hymn
to this tune, "Morning Has Broken," that was published in 1931.
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of Songs of Grace: New
Hymns for God and Neighbor (Discipleship Resources/Upper Room
Books, 2009) and Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship
(Geneva Press, 2000) and the co-pastor of Limestone Presbyterian
Church in Wilmington,
Delaware. This congregation includes ﬁrst
generation immigrants from Brazil,
and South Africa, and provides
space for a Ghanaian Presbyterian Fellowship.
A complete list of Carolyn's 160+ hymns can be found at
Two-page layout of the hymn text, without
suitable for worship bulletins: