Hope for the Journey

Sunday, April 7, 2019

4:30pm | Saint James Episcopal Church, Dexter

[Listen to music from Hope for the Journey.]

Gather with us to hear and sing music that will remind us of God’s love for us, fill our hearts with song, and strengthen us for the road ahead.

Featuring the music of

Reception to follow. Service and reception are free and open to the public. Childcare is provided.

Evensong at Saint James programs are sung choral services led by the Elm Ensemble, a group of professional and amateur musicians from around the Midwest. The services are a great opportunity to invite friends in the community to Saint James to hear beautiful sacred music, to experience a unique worship event, and to socialize with people in our community at the reception.

Musical Notes

This evensong program focused on music and texts that remind us of God’s abiding and unconditional love for each and every one of us. Below is a downloadable PDF of the bulletin.

Abbie Betinis’s 3-part motet Blessed Be the Lord, My Rock was written on September 12, 2001, as a tribute to the victims and survivors of the tragedies the day before. The moving text from Psalm 144 escalates to two 4-part chords, continues softly in unison “rescue, me, deliver me,” and closes tenderly with, “I will sing a new song to thee, O God.”

Bobby McFerrin is known for is one-hit foray into pop music stardom and, perhaps to some, for his remarkable career as a classical singer, conductor, and educator. The full title of his composition sung today is The Twenty-Third Psalm (Dedicated to My Mother), and in it you hear not only the comforting and famous message of the twenty-third psalm but also McFerrin’s deep conviction that women and particularly mothers are central to the ongoing health of the world and to having some sense of (divine) peace on our journeys.

The hymn Hope of the World was written by Georgia Harkness and was selected from over five hundred others in a search for a hymn to be used at the Second Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Evanston, Illinois, in October 1954. The theme of the assembly was “Jesus Christ, Hope of the World.” Harkness was an American Methodist theologian and philosopher, considered by many to be one of America’s first prominent female theologians. She was involved in the movement to legalize the ordination of women in American Methodism.

Eric Milner-White’s well-known text was simply and beautifully set by Minneapolis-based composer and Lutheran cantor Robert Buckley Farlee. Called to Ventures assures us of God’s love despite our ways being difficult, unclear, or simply unknown to us at this moment.

[Subscribe to the Elm Ensemble to hear great sacred music in context.]