Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

download (1)In our music this Sunday


“Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”

Hymn #345

 “Remember not our past sins; let your compassion be swift to meet us.” Psalm 79:8


The author of this thoughtful text has often been called “America’s beloved Quaker poet.”  John Greenleaf Whittier wrote this hymn in 1872 to express his conviction that the way to God was through simplicity and sincerity.  It was part of his larger 17-stanza poem, “The Brewing of Soma,” published in Atlantic Monthly.  Soma was the name of an intoxicating drink used in the religious rites of a Hindu sect in India.  It was purported to put its users into a “…frenzy, an ecstatic storm of joy, an emotional trance.”  Whittier deplored this kind of religious practice popular in his day, and sought to reflect our belief in God in our love relation to others.

Whittier had little personal knowledge of hymn singing, since the Quakers did not allow singing at that time.  He once said, “Two hundred years of silence has taken all the sing out of the Quakers.”  Yet it was Whittier who also claimed, “A good hymn is the best use to which poetry can be devoted…”

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,

forgive our foolish ways;

reclothe us in our rightful mind,

in purer lives thy service find, 

in deeper reverence, praise.


Some churches today use the inclusive language “Dear Lord, Creator, good and kind,” or “Dear God, embracing humankind.”

Frederick Maker set Whittier’s poem to the tune REST in 1887 for use in the Congregational Church Hymnal.  Maker is also the composer of the hymn “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.”



I am very grateful for the musicians who offered their talents in worship this summer.

Jay Lough, Fitz Kirwin & Allison Ali, Geoff & Colin McLean, Anne Scroggs, Carolynn Baer, Eric Westrate, Carolyn Tate, June Gladding & the Music Camp children


Music Opportunities at Christ Presbyterian Church

Chancel Ringers – Tuesdays 7:30 – 8:45pm – RINGER NEEDED!

Sanctuary Choir – Wednesdays 7:30-8:45pm

Children’s Choir – Sundays 9:30 – 9:55am

Chime Choir – Sundays 12:15 – 12:45 (twice a month)

Instrumental Solo or Ensemble – Any time




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Join a Christ Presbyterian Church Music Ensemble!

music & worship

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Psalm 100:1-2


Sanctuary Choir

Age 14 & up Wednesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:45 starts Sept 7


Children’s Choir

K – 6th grade Sunday mornings, 9:35 to 10:00 starts Sept 18


Handbell Choir

6th grade & up Tuesday evenings, 7:30 to 8:45 starts Sept 20


Intergenerational Chime Choir

Ages 9 to 99! 2 Sundays a month, 12:15 to 12:45 starts October 2


Instrumental Ensemble

Christmas Cantata strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion mid-December


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Celebrating Our Music Camp Volunteers!

Picture1Over 50 CPC, community & parent volunteers contributed generously to the splendid success of our “Shout for Joy” Music Camp last week! Many thanks to all of you for offering your talent, time, creativity, energy & faithfulness.


Maestro: Geoff McLean


June Gladding – Orff & Singing

Lindsey Smith – Music Appreciation

Rachel Sarrano – General Music

Jay Lough – Story & Song

Marilyn Dorn – Arts & Crafts

Susie Twedt – Arts & Crafts

Deb MacLean – Musical Food

Christy Raut – Musical Food

Barbara Stefan – Handbells & Chimes

Betsy Stagno – Registration

Bonnie Short – Registration


Assistant Conductors

Anne Scroggs, Stephanie Twedt, Nayana Raut, Colin McLean



Sheila McLean (registration), Peggy Crawford (painting), Charles Thies (carpentry)

Section Leaders

Charlene Bennett, Gretchen Bennett, Nancy Dean, Ashley Boichot, Romita Mandal, Howell Thomas, Sandy Williams, Maria Chang, Teresa Bennett, Maddy Raut, Kendra Bush, Bill Gilchrist, Jack Absetz, Lou Goelz, Mary Ellen Absetz, Keith Scroggs, Tisha Kramer, Don Williams, Kappy Vorona, Carolynn Baer, Dereck Rinehart, Jim Baer


Parent Helpers

Ethel Wong, Jenay Fricke, Cathy Yu, Briana Solomita, Kathryn Reyes, Annie Tang, Jenny Kim, Cathy Dai, Meiyun Zeng, Kaeley Kim




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Our Music This Summer

 Summer MusicMake a joyful noise

It is our tradition to invite musicians from our congregation and beyond to provide worship music during the summer months.  We are grateful for their offerings of talent in the praise of God.


July 24 & 31: Many thanks to Jay Lough, psaltery and Colin & Geoff McLean, duet for their musical offerings during worship. Jay played “Be Thou My Vision,” and the McLean duet was a lovely arrangement of John 15, “I Am the Vine.”

August 7: If you missed the band High Energy in July, you have another chance! Alison Ali and Fitz Kirwan will be back to sing our service music again this Sunday. Their island rhythms and melodies combined with their upbeat spirituality will offer us a meaningful worship experience.

August 14: We are very excited about our Music Camp next week!  100 children from the surrounding community will learn songs based on Psalm 100. Some of those children will join us to lead in worship.

♪ Prelude: Song of Joy – Music Camp Handbells

♪ Call to Worship: Make a Glad Noise/Shout for Joy

♪ Hymn: He Has Made Me Glad

♪ Anthem: His Love Endures Forever

♪ Scripture: We are God’s People (Psalm 100)


August 21: Anne Scroggs will play a Handel flute sonata during our worship. God has given us all a variety of gifts. Today we celebrate the gift of composing great music and the talent God has given Anne, a lifetime musician who uses her gift diligently and faithfully to bring music to life.

August 28: Eric Westrate and Carolynn Baer will provide our worship music.



Our handbell choir, the Chancel Ringers, is in need of a ringer. If you want to be part of a dynamic and committed musical group, please see me about joining. We ring in worship several times a year and practice from 7:30-8:45 on Tuesday evenings.




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CPC Music Camp: Save Your Stuff!

Music Camp Needs You and Your Stuff!

Shout For Joy Logo


Share your stuff!

Don’t send your empty water/soda bottles to recycling! Bring them to church instead for Music Camp projects. We also need beads and colorful masking tape. Toss in the boxes provided during June and July.


Share your time!

We still need 6-8 adult and youth volunteers to shepherd the children from class to class mornings August 8-12, no experience necessary.


Share your talent!

Do you like crafting? We need you to help our littlest ones (4s and 5s) have fun making some simple projects related to our theme.  Planning already done, just come and lead.


Music Camp Theme: Psalm 100


Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his.

We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him and praise his name.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever.

His faithfulness continues through all generations.


Contact Barbara after church or by phone 703-346-3512

or by email


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Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty!


trinityEveryone I know loves the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and would be very disappointed if we didn’t sing it on Trinity Sunday.

When Reginald Heber’s widow found the hymn among her deceased husband’s papers, she found the words of one of the most powerful hymns ever written. But years would pass before the lines took their place in worship services around the world.

Reginald Heber was a Bishop in the Church of England. He wrote the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy” for Trinity Sunday as he was compiling a hymnal around the church calendar.  When Heber was 40 years old, he and his family left  England to begin service as Bishop of Calcutta, India.  After three years, the combination of arduous duties and hostile climate brought about his collapse and death in 1826.


After Heber’s death, Hymns Written and Adapted to the Weekly Church Service of the Year was published and it included all of his hymns.  Even today, most hymnals include two or three. But it is this one “Holy, Holy, Holy,” that has blessed people all over the world.  Translated into many languages, it was Heber’s most enduring gift to the church.


Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee;
Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and Mighty!
God in Three Persons, blessed Trinity!


Composer John Dykes played organ, piano, violin, and horn, but is best known for composing over 300 hymn tunes. After receiving the words from Heber’s widow, he wrote the tune Nicaea within thirty minutes. The tune is named for the First Council of Nicaea which formalized the doctrine of the Trinity in 325.


Did you know?

“Holy, Holy, Holy” is sung in the 1953 film Titanic.



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Music for the Day of Pentecost

Pentecost Sunday

music pentecost


 “I will pour out my Spirit on all people…And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (from the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 2)


Come, Spirit, Fill Our Hearts

Children’s Choir

Arranged and directed by June Gladding


As we gather on the day of Pentecost, the Children’s Choir will sing the choral call to worship, asking the Holy Spirit to come and “bless us as we sing and pray.”  To the singing, June Gladding has added choral speaking, drums, recorders, and xylophones.  It reminds me of that first Pentecost when the people spoke in many languages, but could all be understood.  June is an excellent teacher of the many “languages” of music.

You may recognize MADRID, a traditional Spanish tune, paired in our hymnal (and 93 others!) with the text “Come, Christians, Join to Sing.”  This hymn began as a Sunday school song for children. Originally entitled, “Come, Children, Join to Sing,” the hymn’s name was changed when its author Christian Bateman realized everyone loved to sing his hymn. The text was written in 1843 and first appeared in a Scottish hymnbook for children entitled Sacred Melodies for Sabbath Schools and Families. The hymnbook reached a circulation of a million and a half by 1862, four million by 1872, and above six million by 1881.



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Music as Prayer

music as prayer



“…my peace I give to you…Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”    John 14:27



Every Sunday at Christ Presbyterian, we hear prayer requests for ourselves or people we know who are facing significant uncertainty in their lives. Some are struggling with their physical health, and concerned about how they will face the next steps in their treatment. Others are facing changes in their employment, experiencing fear and doubt about how they will survive financially. Still others are dealing with mental illness or depression in a world that doesn’t always provide good help.


“Healer of Our Every Ill,” by Marty Haugen is a prayer for healing, not only of the body, but also of the mind, and spirit.


The refrain, “Give us peace beyond our fear and hope beyond our sorrow,” is a powerful prayer for all of us.  Sometimes the text of a hymn or anthem, can express thoughts we find difficult to put into words.


This hymn is also about joy (stanza 2) – “your grace is still unfolding.” It is also about love and kindness (stanza 3) – “Give us strength to love each other.”  It is also about compassion for others (stanza 4) – “Spirit of compassion, fill each heart.”


May God answer your every prayer with hope and peace.



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Good Shepherd Sunday April 17


 Good Shepherd Sunday is my favorite Sunday of the church year, probably because of the wonderful and descriptive images of the “good shepherd” in scripture. Here are a few:


He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms…Isaiah 40:11


When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  Matthew 9:36  


I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  John 10:11 


Prelude   “He Leadeth Me”

Joseph Gilmore was preaching at a prayer service on the topic of Psalm 23. He wrote later, “I set out to give the people an exposition of the 23rd Psalm, but I got no further than the words ‘He leadeth me.’ Those words took hold of me as they had never done before.”


Call to Worship   “Psalm 100″

Sung by the Children’s Choir, this psalm includes the confident words, “…we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.”


Anthem “The King of Love My Shepherd Is”

Written by the English musician, Sir Henry Baker, this text paraphrases Psalm 23 – without question the most beloved of the psalms.  Families often request the reading of the 23rd Psalm at funerals, because its words offer so much comfort, but they strengthen us also in happier moments.


Hymn “Savior, Like a Shepherd, Lead Us”

The authorship of these words is uncertain, but there’s no doubt about the composer of the music. It was the famous William Bradbury, one of the most prolific hymnists of the 19th century.




CPC music groups wish Marge Sielinski well as she relocates to Roanoke. Her loss leaves a big hole in our music ministry, as Marge was very involved in our choir, handbells, and chimes.  If you would like to help us fill those positions, please contact Barbara at or 703-346-3512.


Handbell Choir rehearses weekly on Tuesdays from 7:30 – 8:30.

Chime Choir rehearses twice a month after 11am worship.

Sanctuary Choir rehearses weekly on Wednesdays from 7:30 – 8:30



Willingness to serve the Lord through music; no experience necessary!





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Holy Week and Easter – Music and Meditation

Holy Week & Easter 1Our music this week reflects Jesus’ last days, from his dramatic entry into Jerusalem, to the Passover supper and foot-washing, to the disciples’ lethargy in the Garden, to Jesus’ betrayal, trial, crucifixion and glorious resurrection.  Music can help us to “think on these things.”

Palm Sunday

The Children’s Choir sang “He Comes” at the Palm Processional, re-enacting the excitement of the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem. As worship continued, we transitioned to the events of Holy Week. Our Chime Choir rang the postlude, “ Were You There?”

Meditation: What were the people thinking as they followed the procession?

Maundy Thursday

As we disciples approach the table of grace, Pastor Geoff will sing “An Upper Room Did Our Lord Prepare.”

 Meditation: How must it have felt as Jesus washed the feet of his disciples

knowing about the betrayal to come? 

Good Friday

On this dark night, our Handbell Choir will begin our worship with “Song of the Cross,” incorporating the lovely hymns, “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross” and “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.” At the close of worship, the choir will sing the haunting spiritual “Calvary.”

Meditation: Consider the confusion, devastation, and sorrow of Jesus’ family

and close friends as they witnessed his cruel death.

Worship and reflect with us this Thursday and Friday at 7:30 pm.


Easter Sunday at 11 am worship

Join the Handbell, Children and Adult Choirs, Boys’ Quartet and instrumental ensemble as we tell the story of the Love That Never Dies. 

Holy Week & Easter 2

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