“For All The Saints” – Hymns for All Saints’ Day



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What is the story behind the hymn “For All The Saints“?

For All the Saints” was written as a processional hymn by the Anglican Bishop of WakefieldWilliam Walsham How. It was first printed in Hymns for Saints’ Days, and Other Hymns, by Earl Nelson, 1864. (Wikipedia)

The hymn was sung to the melody Sarum, by the Victorian composer Joseph Barnby.  In 1906  Ralph Vaughan Williams used a new setting which he called Sine Nomine (literally, “without a name”) about its use on the Feast of All Saints, 1 November (or the first Sunday in November). It is “one of the finest hymn tunes of [the 20th] century.” 

“For All the Saints” describes the ordinary life of all the saints. We thank Jesus Christ for drawing us all to him, for the strength and guidance that we continue to draw from Him and for our joint communion in Christ. We pray that Christ will guide us in the continuing struggle against evil and lead us to the coming day when the dead shall rise, and we shall all worship together before God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. “No matter what path each of us travels, we all will enjoy the same glorious eternal life.” 

 On Sunday, we will name our PUMC family members and others connected to us who have passed on since last All Saints’ Day. We will also honor and celebrate the work of God’s saints in the church, in the community, and the world today. “For All the Saints” is a beautiful, accessible thanksgiving prayer in remembrance of those who’ve gone before us.

Our musicians will include Tom Shelton, Camilla Pruitt, Delaney McCarty, Julia Hanna, John Girvin, the PUMC Youth Choir and Hyosang Park who will be playing the “bell tree” as we pray.

Click here to enjoy a Youtube performance of “For All the Saints” Hymn by The Choir of Paisley Abbey, a parish church of the Church of Scotland.

To worship with us, hear our beautiful music, sing with us, enjoy our children’s time, the scripture readings, the sermon, our stories, and join in our communion and our prayers, go to our Facebook page, or click here.

Tom Shelton’s New Anthem for All Saints’ Day

Here is a link to the premiere of “Into the World of Light” by Tom Shelton and Camilla Pruitt. A re-engineered version may be found here: PUMC Youth Choir – Oct 2020 subtitles De Hiss De crackle.mp4 – OneDrive

Dedicating his new anthem to those who lost their lives to Covid-19, Tom Shelton, director of Princeton UMC’s Youth Choirs, took all the precautions against the disease. Recording outdoors at Veteran’s Park in Lawrenceville, the singers wore special “singers masks,” and Delaney McCarty’s flute had its own mask. Bill Gardner managed the recording.

After finding no appropriate anthem for the youth choir to sing on All Saints Day, Tom had written “Into the World of Light” with his sister, Camilla Pruitt. The text  is based on Ecclesiastes 3:11 and words by 17th century poet Henry Vaughan, including these lines:

They are all gone into the world of light!/ As stars and angels in my dreams

Lighting the darkness with a ray of light/As Saints illumine me. 

To hear  “Into the World of Light” in the context of the All Saints Day worship, tune in to the archived worship service for November 1 at Princeton United Methodist Church’s  web page, or on Facebook.

Service of Lament and Healing 10/29/20 at 7 pm


Troubling times like these call us to lament our sorrows and cry out to God together as a community. Please join us for a virtual service of Lament and Healing on Thursday, October 29 at 7 pm. This service will be livestreamed on this website at this link (not on Facebook) and will include an opportunity for individual prayer via Zoom breakout room during the service (The Zoom link will be available on the video page) We will ask God to meet us in our pain, give us courage, and grant us hope and healing through one another and in Christ. We hope you’ll join us. 

Even those of us who haven’t lost something we’d consider major or tangible, even those of us who aren’t grieving the death of a loved one, we’ve lost our sense of normalcy, our ability to plan, our rhythms, the options we are used to having. We are having to use our energy in different ways, make all sorts of choices we never had to before, think through things with new factors in mind. It takes courage to lay this out before God and one another. ..

During the service you will be able to request private prayer with a member of the pastoral staff via the individual Zoom rooms. After the livestream, the video of the service – but not the Zoom rooms – will be archived on the Princeton  UMC website to watch at a later time.


Welcome to PrincetonUMC Interns for 2020-2021!

“Hello, I am Carly Bartow. I have been attending Princeton UMC since the Fall of 2019. I am a second-year MDiv student and my greatest passion is homeless ministry! I have been a UMC member since 2014 and I’m very devoted to the Methodist Church. I am working and studying remotely from Northwest Arkansas this academic year where I am happy to be close to my home church, Genesis UMC, and living with my best buddy, his wife, and eight-month-old baby girl. I am looking forward to being able to be a part of Princeton UMC this year as well, and I hope that we can grow closer to God, to each other, and in mission this year!”

“I’m Tayler Necoechea (neck-oh-chay-ah) and I’m a 2nd year MDiv student at Princeton Seminary. My pronouns are she/her/hers. I am originally from San Diego, California and when I’m home I love spending time near the beach. My particular interests are women in the Old Testament and talking about discipleship and families but when I’m not in school or at church I am painting or cooking! I am very thankful to be a part of Princeton UMC this year.” Tayler feels strongly that she is called to be ordained as an elder in the UMC as a minister of Word, Order, Sacrament, and Service. For her candidacy letter to the congregation, click here.

Hyelim Yoon is a second-year MDiv student at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is originally from Cheongju, South Korea, and studied Theology at Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea before coming to Princeton last year. When she first visited our church on the Easter of 2019, she was captivated by the diversity and welcoming spirit of Princeton UMC and decided to be part of our community since then. Hyelim is so excited to serve our open and unique church community, and she is hoping to contribute to deepening our congregation’s inclusiveness. For Hyelim’s letter to the congregation, click here. 

All Are Welcome

PrincetonUMC commissioned this banner to display on the lawn.

In the fall of 2018, the Relationships and Faith Team organized a program that included reading the book A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion by Trevor Hudson. One of the topics Princeton UMC examined was social justice for the LGBTQIA+ community. In the spring of 2019, they invited a panel of three speakers to visit after the United Methodist Church announced its position on human sexuality. One of the questions put to the panel was, What is it like to be a queer Christian, and what advice do you have for people?” Below are their responses: 

First Panelist: “My advice would be to join us who are queer in the church as we open up this conversation. I think that as we begin to learn from one another and sit around the table more with one another, those spaces will be less hostile. For those who are experiencing hostility, if you are a queer, find a place where you’re neither under oppression nor where you’re always on a panel. I don’t sit on a panel at my church. I just sit in a pew and I’m taught by a wonderful, queer pastor every week. I get to be comfortable. Just create those safe spaces to just belong. That would be my advice to the queer community, and to the those who are identifying as queer in the churches. Just look around, because we’re here.” 

Second Panelist: “I think the first piece of advice I would say is to listen to people’s stories deeply. Hold them with some care. For someone to share their stories, even in a culture that’s moved in a lot of ways, it is a risky and courageous thing to do. So, if somebody shares their story with you, then hold it really tenderly and let that story drive you back to the Scriptures, drive you back to tradition, and drive you back to your own feelings about your own body. I think, for example in their conversations, we turn to people of color to solve things for us. Right? (For us) to be the authoritative speakers into this. But I wonder if among those of us who are straight, we can listen carefully to the stories of our queer neighbors, and don’t ask them to be in charge of our re-imagination of who they are and what their bodies are. So do the hard work of listening and then digging deep back into the scriptures.” 

Third Panelist: “Now as a person who is black, and female, and queer, and a Christian, it brings me great freedom in that I can exhale into who I am, and know that I am a called daughter, child beloved of God that’s fearfully and wonderfully made. It matters that I am embodied in this body. It matters that my identities are what they are across the board. And so the joy of resistance is showing up in a space. I’m showing up in spaces that I also feel that we asked queer people to “out” themselves in ways that we don’t ask cisgender and heterosexual people: “When you get up there, you have to tell people you’re divorced, or you’re having an affair and going through counseling.” All of the ways we are provocative around the LGBTQIA+ community, imagine if we did that to cisgender straight people?And so my resistance is showing up unapologetically, and that when I show up into space I don’t have to say first you must know that I’m black, then you must know I’m a woman, and then you must know that I am deeply in love and I’m queer. We don’t do that in society. The southern word I want to say is just “nosy”, but I also think that it’s a way of control. We like to control people’s narratives for them, and so if you are queer, if you are in an environment that’s not healthy for you, absolutely find your people in a space that is truly loving. They’re out there. And just because there’s a certain group that’s making the most noise. it does not mean that they’re the only group.” 

Princeton UMC’s Mission Statement is “We are a diverse community joyfully responding to God’s love and growing as Disciples of Christ by nurturing, teaching, reaching and serving all people.” Repeating and emphasizing reaching and serving all people. Our goal is to create an environment to make all feel welcome and loved. 


In Spite of Covid, CCK Continues

Led by Tim Ewer, right Cornerstone Community Kitchen (CCK) volunteers serve takeaway meals, groceries, and clothing on Wednesdays from 5 5 to 6:30 p.m. Donors, include TASK, Cherry Grove Organic Farm, Bentley Community Services and Jewish Family and Children Services, enable CCK to deliver two dozen meals to home bound people, plus 25 to 30 people have been picking up takeaway meals, groceries, and clothing.

Since Covid hit, Judy Miller and Clothing Closet volunteers have distributed clothing outside in the walkway beside the church. Because of the cold weather, October 23 was the last CCK clothing distribution day this season.

Celebration: A Healing Practice

For the new sermon series, starting October 18, we will focus on “All Things New: Celebrating God’s Goodness,” about how we can celebrate even when we are in a  wilderness — of Covid, of personal trials, or of the world’s problems.

Pastor Jenny Smith Walz recommends the book,  The Healing Practice of Celebration. It costs under $10 at Cokesbury and is available in a Kindle edition for the same price. The book is part of  a series on different spiritual practices. The author, Elaine Heath, is a former dean of Duke Divinity School.

As described by the publisher: We think of celebration as a response to something good that happens: a birthday, a holiday, a new birth, a graduation. But what about when life is dull or flat, or especially when we hit rock bottom? Does God expect us to celebrate then? Yes, and we can. The Healing Practice of Celebration explores celebration as a response to the reality that God is continually present, always faithful, and ever loving. Celebration as a spiritual practice involves a posture of living so well anchored in the full story of God’s involvement with people throughout history that anticipatory faith and hope, regardless of present circumstances, inform our thoughts, words, and actions.

On October 18, Pastor Jenny opened the service with this prayer from Teresa of Avila

Let nothing disturb you,
let nothing frighten you,
all things will pass away.
God never changes;
patience obtains all things,
she who possesses God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices. Amen.

Church Council: Meet Donna Robinson, Secretary

Donna Robinson has been doing church work all her life, from growing up in a Baptist church in Roebling, New Jersey, to serving at Colesville United Methodist church in the D.C. suburbs. You could find her in the kitchen, or with the prayer shawl ministry, or counseling church members, as the leader of Stephen Ministers.

When she moved here last summer, you could spot Donna sitting on the left side of the sanctuary, halfway down. She joined this year. Like many who transfer from a busy church life, she wanted to take a restful hiatus.  “Sitting in the pew and just being fed, felt like what I needed.”

But – when invited – Donna went to the monthly Coffee with the Pastor, and to the class for newcomers to decide if they wanted to join. Pastor Jenny invited her to be secretary of Church Council, a job that would embed her in the life of the church. Says Donna: “I was shaking my head no, but I said yes.” This position also offers an opportunity for her to stay in the background (her comfort zone) but also to share her experiences from another congregation.

PrincetonUMC matched the profile of the church where Donna raised the children that are the focus of her joy: Michelle (in California), Joshua, (in New York City); and Faith (who stayed in Maryland). She lives in West Windsor with her sister, who works at Princeton University. “My sister Karen felt at home. I felt at home.”

If you get a chance to engage with Donna, you will find yourself doing most of the talking, because she is a professional “listener.” A psychology major at Lafayette College, she earned her master’s degree in spiritual pastoral care at Loyola University. At church, she put this to good use as a Stephen Leader, training Stephen Ministers, “I learned to listen with the ‘third ear’ and enjoyed it very much.”

Though PrincetonUMC’s prayer shawl ministry is on hiatus, she continues crocheting and has donated six prayer shawls so far.  But so far, she has also resisted a call to join the bell choir. “My last two years in Maryland, I rang bells. Being up front was not what I desired to do, but my prayer pal insisted. I finally gave in and it was fun!”


Charge Conference 10/20/2020

Everyone is invited to attend the charge conference, the annual meeting led by our District Superintendant, Rev. Hector Burgos. It will be a zoom meeting on Tuesday, October 20, at 7 p.m.

As we look back at the past year and look ahead to 2021, we will set clergy salaries and elect officers from among the lay members of our congregation. We take a look at changes in the membership rolls.

Pearl Quick
Tayler Necoechea
Hyelim Yoon

An exciting part of this meeting is to recognize and endorse three candidates that are beginning the ordination process: Pearl Quick, our intern for the past two years, and this year’s interns, Tayler Necoechea and Hyelim Yoon,

In every other year, church members were accustomed to signing the attendance sheet at this meeting so their votes could be counted. This year, because the meeting is by Zoom, the bishop’s office has decided that only Church Council members and retired clergy will get a vote. Nevertheless, ALL ARE WELCOME, The zoom link will be available on this website under “News and Events” and then click on Church Calendar. It will also be sent in an email.  Come and find out what’s going on in your church. 

Resolving Conflict: Paul and Appiah Agree

Screenshot from The Bible Project’s animated video about Philippians

This week, the women in Monday Morning Group studied how Paul in chapter 4 of Philippians, advises how to resolve conflict.

  • get to a good emotional place yourself (i.e. gratitude, praise)
  • then focus ONLY on what’s good.

Recently the New York Times ethicist, Kwame Anthony Appiah, gave similar advice when he addressed the Friends of the Princeton University Library. To speak with someone with whom you disagree:  ‘first find what you agree on.’  It also helps, he added if you are engaged in some kind of community activity, like coaching a Little League team.

Details: Paul begins by pleading with two contentious women to “be of the same mind” and calls on others in the group to help them. He continues: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Steve Harper in the lectionary study of the Upper Room book,  Disciplines, explains: “Paul counsels the believers to work for emotional stability. He commends a renewal of gladness and gentleness and an elimination of anxiety brought about through earnest prayer. He knows that very little is changed when we live in the whirlwind of negativity. We don’t think straight. We don’t respond well when we are engulfed by deformative feelings. Paul points to the big Bible word ‘peace’ as the goal for which to aim in reconciliation.”

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Harper continues: “Second, he exhorts the Christians at Philippi to seek edifying soundness… to think of things that are excellent and admirable. Often, reconciliation occurs not by coming to complete agreement but by deciding that the things that unite us are more important than those that divide us. We come together along the lines of common commitments. When we get it wrong through disagreements, we are often reunited through our core convictions and common pursuits.”

DOES THIS MEAN we need more “common pursuits, sports teams, work teams, common projects” Maybe!

For a link to this very informative animated video about the book of Philippians, click here