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  • One of the truly engaging plenary sessions at the 2019 Calvin Symposium on Worship was led by the team of 8-10 scholars and musicians who put together the recently published “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism,” subtitled “An African American Ecumenical Hymnal.”  The session consisted of the team sitting on stage in a semi-circle, with each musician-scholar introducing a portion of the hymnal, reflecting the diversity within the African American worship music tradition and then leading us in the singing of a hymn illustrating their introduction.

     Below is the text of one the hymns we sang that is striking for both its honesty and hope. -EGN

    When Our Confidence Is Shaken

    1. When our confidence is shaken
        In beliefs we thought secure;
        When the spirit in its sickness
        Seeks but cannot find a cure;
        God is active in the tensions
        Of a faith not yet mature.

    2. Solar systems void of meaning,
        Freeze the spirit into stone;
        Always our researches lead us
        To the Ultimate Unknown;
        Faith must die, or come full circle
        To its source in God alone.

    3. In the discipline of praying,
        When it’s hardest to believe;
        In the drudgery of caring,
        When it’s not enough to grieve:
        Faith maturing, learns acceptance
        Of the insights we receive.

    4. God is love; and He redeems us
        In the Christ we crucify;
        This is God’s eternal answer
        To the world’s eternal why;
        May we in this faith maturing
        Be content to live and die.

    Text: Fred Pratt Green, copyright 1971 Hope Publishing Company, Tune: David Hurd, copyright 1983, GIA Publications Inc.  CCLI 637458