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Haitian anguish leads to a prayerful hymn
by Presbyterian pastor and ecumenist

New York, January 15, 2010 -- Placing international anguish over Haiti at the cross of Jesus has resulted in a sadly lyrical hymn by a noted Presbyterian pastor and ecumenist.

The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, who with her husband, Bruce, is pastor of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Del., has written, "In Haiti There is Anguish," sung to the tune of, "Beneath the Cross of Jesus."

Many congregations have used Gillette's past hymns related to past disasters and relief efforts  (9/11: O God, Our Words Cannot Express, Katrina:  God of Creation  and California Fires:  O God of Mighty Wind and Flame ) . 

The hope is that this new hymn will help churches respond to the tragedy in Haiti following the devastating earthquake on January 12.

The hymn is printed below and can be downloaded for printing here.

A version of the hymn that combines words and music can be downloaded here, and an MP3 recorded by the Limestone Presbyterian Church Choir is available here.

In Haiti, There is Anguish
(" Beneath the Cross of Jesus")
In Haiti, there is anguish that seems too much to bear;
A land so used to sorrow now knows even more despair.
From city streets, the cries of grief rise up to hills above;
In all the sorrow, pain and death, where are you, God of love?
A woman sifts through rubble, a man has lost his home,
A hungry, orphaned toddler sobs, for she is now alone.
Where are you, Lord, when thousands die-the rich, the poorest poor?
Were you the very first to cry for all that is no more?
O God, you love your children; you hear each lifted prayer!
May all who suffer in that land know you are present there.
In moments of compassion shown, in simple acts of grace,
May those in pain find healing balm, and know your love's embrace.
Where are you in the anguish? Lord, may we hear anew
That anywhere your world cries out, you're there-- and suffering, too.
And may we see, in others' pain, the cross we're called to bear;
Send out your church in Jesus' name to pray, to serve, to share.

Tune: Frederick Charles Maker, 1881
Text: Copyright 2010 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Churches affiliated with the National Council of Churches USA have permission to use the hymn.



NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell) ,
EPA photo by Orlando Barrla

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