Monthly Archives: May 2017

Our Music This Sunday

Ascension Sunday 

and our call to discipleship


The lessons this Sunday point to Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit to the disciples.  After he “opened their minds to understand the scriptures…and blessed them… he was lifted up,  and a cloud took him out of their sight.”  (Luke 24:50-51)


And from the book of Acts, Paul tells the apostles (from the Greek for “send forth”), what Jesus had instructed: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)


Our hymn of praise for the opening of worship is “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus.” The “alleluias” that begin each stanza create a joyful tone for the entire hymn. As we sing, we acclaim the glory of Christ now that the work of redemption is finished (stanza 1); we are reminded that Christ has ascended but is always present with his people by his Spirit (stanza 2); we petition Christ to hear the cry of sinners and be our Intercessor (stanza 3); and we celebrate Christ as both human and divine (stanza 4).


Alleluia! Sing to Jesus;  his the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! his the triumph, his the victory alone!
Hark! The songs of peaceful Zion thunder like a mighty flood:
“Jesus out of every nation has redeemed us by his blood.”


Alleluia! Not as orphans are we left in sorrow now;
Alleluia! he is near us; faith believes nor questions how.
Though the cloud from sight received him, when the forty days were o’er,
shall our hearts forget his promise: “I am with you evermore”?


Alleluia! Bread of angels, here on earth our food, our stay;
Alleluia! here the sinful flee to you from day to day.
Intercessor, friend of sinners, earth’s redeemer, hear our plea
where the songs of all the sinless sweep across the crystal sea.


Alleluia! King eternal, Lord omnipotent we own;
Alleluia! born of Mary, earth your footstool, heaven your throne.
As within the veil you entered, robed in flesh, our great high priest;
here on earth both priest and victim in the eucharistic feast.


These words were written in 1866 by William Chatterton Dix.  Dix made many valuable contributions to hymnody; most of his best-known hymns are in common use in America.

One of the most loved Welsh tunes,  Hyfrydol (Welsh for “tuneful” or “pleasant”) was composed by Rowland Hugh Prichard when he was only nineteen. Prichard was an amateur musician, but he had a good singing voice and was a cantor, someone who helps facilitate worship.  Hyfrydol was published with about forty of his other tunes in his 1844 children’s hymnal The Singers’ Friend.


More music for Sunday

Lindsey Smith will play trombone: “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

Colin & Geoff McLean will sing “Teach Me Your Ways, O Lord.”




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Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music!

Psalm 98:4

There are still openings for you to sing or

play an instrument in worship this summer!


So far, we have three dates reserved and they’re all sure to bring wonderful musical offerings to our worship while our choirs are on summer break.


  • July 23 June Gladding & Anne Scroggs – piano duet

  • July 30 Fitz Kirwin & Allison Ali – vocal & instrumental; praise-filled island sound

  • Aug 27 “Before the Throne of Grace” – women’s quartet: Sue Ferguson, Anne Scroggs, Rachel Winograd, Kelly Hagan

Sundays still available

June 11, 18, 25; July 2, 9, 16; August 6, 13, 20; Sept 6

Instrumental or vocal, individual or group – Accompanists available

Talk to Barbara after church, by phone 703-346-3512 or by email

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His Eye is on the Sparrow


Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”    

John 14:1

Civilla Martin, who wrote the lyrics to this familiar gospel song in 1905, said this about her inspiration to write the song:


“Early in the spring of 1905, my husband and I were sojourning in Elmira, New York. We contracted a deep friendship for a couple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doolittle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doolittle had been bedridden for nigh twenty years. Her husband was an incurable cripple who had to propel himself to and from his business in a wheel chair. Despite their afflictions, they lived happy Christian lives, bringing inspiration and comfort to all who knew them. One day while we were visiting with the Doolittles, my husband commented on their bright hopefulness and asked them for the secret of it. Mrs. Doolittle’s reply was simple: “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.” The beauty of this simple expression of boundless faith gripped the hearts and fired the imagination of Dr. Martin and me. ‘His Eye Is on the Sparrow’ was the outcome…”


The next day she mailed the poem to Charles Gabriel, who set it to music. Gabriel composed thousands of songs, edited 35 gospel song books, 8 Sunday school song books, 7 books for male choruses, 6 books for ladies, 10 children’s song books, 19 collections of anthems, 23 choir cantatas, 41 Christmas cantatas, and 10 children’s cantatas.


2nd stanza:

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,

And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;

Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;

His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.



Share your talent!


We are nearing the end of the church year and things are winding down. But there is music after Celebration Sunday and I hope you’ll want to part of it! While our choirs are on summer break, we want special music during worship.

  • Instrumental or vocal, individual or group – Accompanists available

  • Sundays available: June 11, 18, 25; July 2, 9, 16; August 6, 13, 20; Sept 6


I am happy to discuss with you anytime.


  • after church

  •  by phone 703-346-3512

  • by email


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In Our Music May 7 – Good Shepherd Sunday


 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”  

John 10:11 





Shepherd’s Peace

While this handbell choir selection has no words, its calm and serene tempos give us a feeling of assurance in the Shepherd’s love. You might recognize the hymn tunes.


Call to Worship

Lead Me, Shepherd/Shepherd’s Tune  

In Sunday’s call to worship, our Youth Choir describes, Jesus, the Shepherd, as loving his sheep (us), teaching us to hear his voice, and keeping us from straying from the right path.  June Gladding has skillfully arranged the two songs using xylophones, metallophones, recorders and voices.



The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Psalm 23 portrays God as a shepherd, feeding and leading his flock. Some say that “you prepare a table for me” in verse 5 refers to the old shepherding practice of using little raised tables to feed sheep.  The psalm has a long tradition ascribing authorship to King David, said to have been a  shepherd himself as a youth.  In Jewish tradition, Psalm 23 is sung during Friday afternoon services and as part of the Sabbath meals. For Christians, the image of God as a shepherd suggests connections not only with David but with Jesus as “the Good Shepherd” in the Gospel of John.



Shepherd of My Soul

Susan Dengler has written these words, a tender expression of God as the “Shepherd of my soul, Keeper of my heart, Guardian of each step I take.”  I hope the prayerful words, paired with an equally gentle melody, written by her husband Lee Dengler, will remain with you as you leave worship and move through your daily lives.


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