New Hymn by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette: 'O God, When We Face Trouble'
By Diana Sanchez-Bushong
This hymn is for use by churches that are assembling or dedicating Church World Service kits. Permission is given for free use of this hymn to support relief efforts. Congregations may want to sing the first and last verses, and then insert a verse (or verses) in the middle for the kinds of kits that they have chosen to make: Hygiene Kits, Emergency Cleanup Buckets, School Kits, Welcome Backpacks, and Period Packs (Menstrual Hygiene Kits) for a three-verse hymn (or more if they are making more than one type of kit). Click here to view the hymn formatted with music.
O God, When We Face Trouble
AURELIA 126.96.36.199 D ("The Church's One Foundation")
O God, when we face trouble, when we need help and care,
you reach to us through others who listen, love and share.
You send us now to neighbors with troubles of their own.
May they know, through our labors, that they are not alone.
We give these kits for hygiene with basic things like soap.
We put in combs and band-aids for health care and for hope.
At borders and in shelters, God, may these items be
a sign of love and friendship, and shared humanity.
We give these kits for cleaning— these buckets and supplies,
for more and more, we’re seeing storms rage and waters rise.
When flooding has receded, God, may these buckets bear
supplies to use and also, the promise: Neighbors care!
We give these gifts of School Kits; they’re filled with simple things
like pencils, crayons, notebooks. What joy a school bag brings!
The gift of education begins with basic tools.
May these help youth and children succeed and thrive in schools.
We give these Welcome Backpacks for those who’ve fled in fear,
for neighbors just arriving have few possessions here.
May snacks and pens and blankets and water bottles, too,
give struggling people courage as they begin anew.
We give these gifts for hygiene— these Period Pack supplies.
When things like Pads are lacking, it complicates young lives.
When women have no money, when girls are forced to flee,
may these gifts be a blessing for health and dignity.
You teach us to be neighbors; you teach us what is true—
that when we’re helping others, we’re also serving you.
God, as we share with others, use all these gifts, we pray,
to help our hurting neighbors look toward a better day.
Biblical References: Luke 10:25-37 and Matthew 25:31-46
Tune: Samuel Sebastian Wesley, 1864 ("The Church's One Foundation") (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2023 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Free permission is given for use by groups supporting the CWS Kits programs: https://cwskits.org
Email: [email protected] New Hymns: www.carolynshymns.com
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette grew up in a family of active Methodists. Her father was a graduate of Drew Seminary and served as a college professor. Her mother volunteered at their church, also at the local hospital and Church World Service. Carolyn was baptized in the Methodist Church in Bridgewater, Virginia, was confirmed in a Methodist Church in Hagerstown, Maryland and graduated from UMC-related Lebanon Valley College. She has served churches in New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey; these churches have been in small town, suburban and inner-city settings. She has also served as a chaplain for a hospital and several hospices. Carolyn has written over 400 hymns that have been sung in churches in all 50 states, six continents (including Welsey's Chapel in London), published in more than 20 books (including four of her own, her Songs of Grace is published by Upper Room Books) and on over 9,000 websites (including UMC's Discipleship Resources) The Christian Century, Sojourners, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, PBS-TV and NPR have all done feature stories on how her hymns relate faith to contemporary concerns. Carolyn and her husband Bruce are pastors of the First Presbyterian Union Church in Owego, NY. They have three adult children and five grandchildren.