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Engaging the immigrant experience in worship;
Journeyed to a New Country” is set to the familiar Gaelic tune of “Morning
Has Broken.” Examples of biblical immigrants like Abraham and Sarah, Ruth,
and Jesus are featured in the five-stanza text, among the resources offered
NCC/CWS Immigration Task Force.
"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. "
Gillette, who with her husband, Bruce, is co-pastor of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, is no stranger to members of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service communities. She is also written lyrics to hymns reflecting on the church's response to the earthquake in Haiti, war, and Christian responsibility in government, among other issues.
She is currently writing lyrics for a hymn that will be presented at the Centennial Gathering of the National Council of Churches and Church World Service in New Orleans November 9-11.
"We immediately recognized how valuable the hymn is for all the congregations related to the 36 member communions of the National Council of Churches," said Wesley M. "Pat" Pattillo, NCC associate general secretary, Communication and Justice & Advocacy. "The issues that cry out for hospitality and immigration reform could not be more biblical. Yet for many of us they don't seem relevant to our Sunday morning church experiences. Carolyn's hymn shows how relevant -- and how urgent -- those issues are for all persons of faith." (See www.ncccusa.org/immigration)
Church World Service has more than twenty of Carolyn's hymns related to hunger, poverty, justice and peace.
Carolyn's latest book, Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor, was published by Discipleship Resources/Upper Room Books in 2009. This collection of 77 new hymns to well-known tunes celebrates biblical stories, the church year, and a wide range of church activities, from older adult ministries and stewardship to social justice and many other topics in between. Accompanying each new hymn is a meditation that can be used for personal, family or group devotions.
Carolyn's first book, Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today's Worship, is a collection of forty-five of her hymns. Her hymns are also in the new supplements for the Episcopal, Presbyterian and United Church of Canada hymnals. Circuit Rider, The Christian Century, The Presbyterian Outlook, Presbyterians Today, Horizons, Ideas! For Church Leaders, Church & Society, and other magazines have published her hymns.
Bruce Gillette was the Presbyterian representative on the Executive Committee for the Consultation on Church Union (COCU) that created Churches Uniting in Christ (CUIC). He is the co-author of A New Creation In Christ: A Study Guide for Churches Uniting in Christ.
Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 36 member faith groups -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.
NCC News contact: Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell), email@example.com
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