“Give Me Jesus,” “I Have a Dream,” “In Unity, We Lift Our Song.” | Hymns & Music for Second Sunday After Epiphany

COME SING WITH US THIS SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY  

Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!

At Princeton United Methodist Church, we play beautiful classical and sacred music during worship, which refreshes the spirit. We also sing new or well-known hymns and “gospel and folk songs.” PUMC music ministry includes a handbell choir, children, youth, and adult choirs. We pray that our music will inspire everyone, old and young, and help them find faith and hope

This Sunday, we commission the elected leaders of our beloved PUMC (virtually) in worship.  God has blessed us enormously with the incredible and many leaders we have among us! You can find a list of the elected leaders here. The hymns that we sing at this worship service go perfectly with our scripture passages Acts 2:41-47 and 2 Corinthians 5:16-21 and are in line with Pastor Jenny Smith Walz’s sermon, “Weave Us Together with Compassion.” Pastor Jenny is inviting us to look at OUR PUMC community. “How can WE be more of a beloved community for one another and those beyond our church family?” she asks. To survive these challenging times we live in, Ephesians 2:14 reminds us, “Christ himself is our peace. He has made Jews and Gentiles into one group of people. He has destroyed the hatred that was like a wall between us.” 

  Video: “Give Me Jesus.” 

 During worship, watch our two music interns Christina Griffin, soprano, and Emily McDonald, piano, perform Mark Hayes’ arrangement of the traditional spiritual, “Give Me Jesus,” for the Music Ministry.

  Video: I Have a Dream”

Pamela J. Pettitta Methodist minister in Britain, wrote the hymn “I Have a Dream” and published it in 2005 to the tune  REPTON. “The hymn’s title, “I have a dream,” stems from Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous speech delivered to over 200,000 civil rights supporters on 28 August 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In his speech, King called for racial equality and an end to racial discrimination.” Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday, will be observed tomorrow Monday, January 18, 2021.

                            Video: “In Unity, We Lift Our Song” 

Ken Medema, blind from birth, is a songwriter, composer, recording artist, and storyteller through music and is the author of the hymn “In Unity, We Lift Our Song.” It is set to the tune EIN’ FESTE BURG. This hymn teaches us that we are all welcome in God’s kingdom. It refers to Galatians 3:28: “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Click here to listen to the PUMC worship service, hear the beautiful music, the children’s storytime, the scripture readings, the sermon, the prayers, and the story sharing.

“Down by the Jordan,” “Down to the River to Pray,” “Baptized in Water.” | Hymns and Music for First Sunday after the Epiphany

COME SING WITH US THIS FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY  

Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!

At Princeton United Methodist Church, we play beautiful classical and sacred music during worship, which refreshes the spirit. We also sing new or well-known hymns and “gospel and folk songs.” PUMC music ministry includes a handbell choir, children, youth and adult choirs. We pray that our music will inspire everyone, old and young, and help them find faith and hope

This Sunday, we celebrate Christ’s baptism, and we reaffirm our baptismal vows as we come to the waters to renew our commitments to Christ. This recommitment will remind us of how Christ heals us, especially in light of what is going on around us today. The hymns that we sing at this worship service go perfectly with our scripture, Mark 1:4-11, and are also in line with Pastor Jenny Smith Walz’s sermon, “Baptism of Christ.”  Here are three of the hymns:

  Video:  “Down by the Jordan”

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette wrote the hymn “Down by the Jordan; a Prophet named John was Baptizing” and published it in 2000. It draws from Bible scripture in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and tells about the chosen one, birth and baptism, love and joy. The tune generally used for this hymn is LOBE DEN HERREN

  Video:  “Down to the River to Pray” 

“Down to the River to Pray” is a traditional American song differently described as a Christian folk hymn, an African-American spiritual, Appalachian music, and a gospel song. The text contains some scriptural references. Ephesian 4:5 tells us, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” This profoundly spiritual hymn is about “keeping the faith in a time of darkness.” It gained popularity in 2000 after Alison Krauss performed it for the film’s soundtrack, “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” 

     Video:  “Baptized in Water”

Michael Saward wrote “Baptized in Water” in London on May 29, 1981, a few days after the twenty-fifth anniversary of his ordination to the ministry. The tune generally used for this hymn is BUNESSANThe text is rich in baptismal images and scriptural references. It is a great hymn for infant or adult baptism. It also tells of being cleansed by Jesus’ blood for salvation, godly living, dying and being buried with Jesus and rising again, free and forgiven, becoming God’s children and praising God.                                                 

Click here to listen to the PUMC worship service, hear the beautiful music, the children’s storytime, the scripture readings, the sermon, the prayers, and the story sharing.

Letter To The Congregation: GNJ Leadership

Dear Clergy and Congregational Leaders,

Blessings for the new year. Thank you for your ministry and service to God, the church, and the world as we celebrate the Epiphany.

The following are essential actions and information for this week.

1. Small Groups for Epiphany on Wednesday – All
As we transition to a new year, God will be revealed to us anew. All are invited to share in small group sessions on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 9:00 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. to explore how God is speaking to us through observing, quieting and curiosity. Please share this invitation with your congregation.
Zoom link for small groups   Webpage for more information

2.  January 10 Epiphany Services – Pastors, SPRC, Worship Leaders
The second Epiphany service created to provide renewal time for our clergy is available for download and will be broadcast live on GNJ’s YouTube and Facebook pages at 9:00 a.m. on January 10. All congregations are encouraged to provide a time of renewal for your pastors by using this service on January 10 and inviting worshipers to join in a small group session on January 13. For more information.

3.  Special Annual Conference Session – All Clergy and Lay Members to the Annual Conference
A special annual conference session will be held remotely from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22 to review a shared billing plan and adopt any necessary budget changes. The session will be conducted over Zoom and registration for the session will be open later this week. Look for an email on January 8 with a report outlining recommendations. Two information sessions will be held on January 12.  For more information.

4. Second Round of PPP Funding – Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairperson  
Congress has passed additional funding for PPP loans which includes forgivable loans for churches and nonprofits whose income was 25% less in at least one quarter in 2020 as compared to 2019. Last year, GNJ, its congregations and ministries received more than $8 million in PPP funding. The Small Business Administration will be issuing guidance on the application process this week and GNJ will inform and resource you as details become available, but you should prepare to act quickly as soon as the application process is open. All congregations, including those who received funding last year, are strongly encouraged to apply. For information on key provisions of this new funding, visit our web pages here.

In Christ,

GNJ Leadership

Quick links to information in this email:
Small Groups Zoom link
Info on Small Groups
Download for January 10 Renewal Service
Special Annual Conference Session
Info on PPP Funding

“O Sing a Song of Bethlehem,” “My Soul Gives Glory to My God,” “Il est né le Divin Enfant: |Hymns for the Fourth Sunday of Advent.

COME SING WITH US THIS FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT 

Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!

At Princeton United Methodist Church, we play beautiful classical and sacred music during worship, which refreshes the spirit. We also sing well-known or new hymns and “gospel and folk songs” that lift us to Heaven. We pray that our music will inspire everyone, old and young, and help them find faith and hope. Our hymns this Fourth Sunday of Advent – the last Sunday before Christmas – resonate with the theme of peace as we prepare to celebrate Jesus’ birth in a few days. The Messiah’s coming will indeed bring liberation.

Video “O Sing a Song of Bethlehem” 

“O Sing a Song of Bethlehem” was written by Louis Fitzgerald Benson of Philadelphia (1855-1930). It portrays Jesus’ life from birth,  his growing up to adulthood, his ministry, death, and resurrection. The stanzas describe scenes about Jesus in Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee, and Calvary. They speak of ordinary human experiences such as our desire to hear angels, our enjoyment of nature, our praying for God’s peace, and our longing for Jesus’ second coming:

‘The light that shone on Bethlehem fills all the world today; of Jesus’ birth and peace on earth; the angels sing always’

Video  “My Soul Gives Glory to My God”  

“My Soul Gives Glory to My God,” written by Dr. Miriam Therese Winter, paraphrases the “Magnificat,” Mary’s Song, as recorded in Luke 1: 46-55. For centuries, people thought that with the “Magnificat,” their leaders were bent on changing the status quo with a reversal of economic fortunes. They considered the “Magnificat” a dangerous hymn because it sings of promising food for the hungry, power for the powerless, and resource sharing. However, Dr. Winter notes. “It is a song of hope for times of disparity and for any situation in which we feel personally or systemically overwhelmed. It is just the song for a time such as this:”

‘My soul gives glory to my God; My heart pours out its praise. God lifted up my loneliness; In many marvelous ways.’

Video   “Il est né le Divin Enfant” 

Il est né, le Divin Enfant,” published for the first time in 1862 by R.  Grosjean, a French organist, is a traditional French Christmas carol. The English translation is “He is born, the Heavenly Child.” The song describes Jesus’ birth as the prophets had foretold and the 4000 years wait for this happy event. It acknowledges Christ’s’ humble birth in a stable and calls on the Kings of the Orient to look after the Holy Child:

‘He is born, the Heavenly Child. Oboes play; set bagpipes sounding. He is born, the Heavenly Child, Let all sing His nativity.’

Click here to listen to the PUMC worship service, hear the beautiful music, the children’s time, the scripture readings, the sermon, the prayers, and the story sharing.

 

Meet Tyler Mathiasen, Our New Office Manager

Joining PUMC staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tyler has proved himself as a liaison between the pastors, staff, and lay leaders in responding to the congregation’s needs. He communicates on behalf of our lead pastor, prepares for worship, manages the church calendar and contact lists, and puts processes in place to support the Church during this virtual season. 

Tyler’s desire to work for organizations emphasizing social justice and finding common cause around helping others helped him embark on a journey to discover the joy of working in a church environment. “I am looking forward to being a part of this vibrant community and getting to know the members of this Church,”  Tyler said, talking about how he enjoys connecting with people in his community. 

A passionate reader of historical biographies and team leader, Tyler is an alumnus of the Pennington School and The College of New Jersey, who has worked in health care, community development, and the non-profit sector. Right out of college, he had volunteered as a marketing coordinator for the Hopewell Valley YMCA and as a recruiter for political and environmental campaigns. He later moved to DC to work on the presidential election in 2016, both as a door-to-door canvasser for the Public Interest Research Group and as an office coordinator for a center-left lobbying firm, NVG LLC. 

Before working for PUMC, Tyler had mastered the coffee brewing technique, which led him to work as a barista at ‘Small World Coffee’ for two and a half years. At this precise time, he fell more in love with Princeton, New Jersey, this bustling university town, with its suburban feel, coffee shops, restaurants, and parks.

Continue reading “Meet Tyler Mathiasen, Our New Office Manager”

Children’s Time: “Who Built the Stable?”

For the second Sunday in Advent, Who Bulit the Stable?  was read at Children’s Time by Pastor Jenny Smith Walz. Written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan. it tells of a boy, a shepherd and a carpenter, who helped provide the place where Jesus was born.

The boy looked in the infant’s eyes
And in his heart he knew
The babe would be a carpenter
He’d be a shepherd too.

As the publisher says, “this is a picture book that captures the reason for the season in all its wonder and beauty. Who Built the Stable? is a celebration of Christmas, of the kindness of children, and of the new hope born with each new baby.”

“Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” “Freedom is Coming”: Hymns for First Sunday of Advent

COME SING WITH US THIS FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

 Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!

At Princeton United Methodist Church, we play beautiful classical and sacred music during worship, and that refreshes the spirit. We also sing well-known, new hymns and “gospel and folk songs” that lift us to Heaven. We pray that our music will inspire everyone, old and young, and help them find faith and hope. Our hymns this First Sunday of Advent – the Fourth Sunday before Christmas – resonate with the theme of hope as we prepare for the Messiah’s coming and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Our gospel music is a cry for freedom and justice.

“Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” 

“Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” was written in 1774 by Charles Wesley as an Advent hymn to celebrate the Nativity of Jesus and prepare for the Second Coming. The orphans’ situation in the areas around him and the great class divide in Britain inspired Him to write this hymn. His texts allude to Scripture passages: “Born Your people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, Now Your gracious kingdom bring.” Wesley’s hymn recalls Isaiah’s words of a sin-weary and captive Israel longing for freedom, reminding us that God’s promised redemption is the “hope of all the earth.” The hymn also refers to Mark, chapter 13, which assures believers that Christ will come again, inspiring us to continue to hope for that promise. To watch a Youtube video of this hymn, click here.

“Freedom is Coming”

“Freedom is Coming” is a South African protest song that has been performed by choirs around the world. The original version was a gospel song, “Jesus Is Coming.” The words were changed in South Africa by people wanting to end apartheid. “Freedom is coming (3x) oh yes, I know (repeat).” “Justice is coming (3x) oh yes I know (repeat).” “Freedom is coming” helps raise awareness of the political context, and the stanza “Jesus is Coming” brings hope with the expectation of Jesus’ birth. This song carries with it a significant promise that should always  be fulfilled — “Oh, yes, I know!” However, some feel that the freedom it promises is never fully realized, considering the injustice that people continue to suffer worldwide. Nevertheless, just singing it brings a feeling of liberty. It has also inspired the song “Freedom is Coming Tomorrow” in the passionate South African musical, “SARAFINA” first performed in Johannesburg in 1987. School choirs have also sung “Freedom is Coming” as a tribute to Nelson Mandela. To watch a Youtube video of this hymn, click here.

Click here to listen to the PUMC worship service, hear the beautiful music, the children’s time, the scripture readings, the sermon, the prayers, and the story sharing.