Celebrating Women’s History Month #8

Hymn Writer Shirley Erena Murray
by Dean McIntyre

Shirley Erena Murray (b. 1931) was born in Invercargill, New Zealand. The wide-ranging subject matter of her texts, including the sacraments, inclusiveness, the liturgical year, nonviolence, personal faith, social justice, and ecology, has resulted in her hymns being included in more than fifty collections from all over the world. Prior to her achievements as a hymn writer, Murray was a teacher; and she produced hymn programs on radio. Her middle name is derived from the Greek word for peace (eirene), and peace and peace-making are prominent themes in her texts. In 2001 Murray was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit on the occasion of the Queen's birthday "for services to the community as a writer of hymns," the first New Zealand hymn writer so honored.

Shirley Erena Murray's texts in The Faith We Sing and Worship & Song include:

The Faith We Sing

  • 2048, "God Weeps" (author)
  • 2059, "I Am Your Mother" (author)
  • 2095, "Star-Child" (author)
  • 2123, "Loving Spirit" (author)
  • 2128, "Come and Find the Quiet Center" (author)
  • 2177, "Wounded World that Cries for Healing" (author)
  • 2185, "For One Great Peace" (author)
  • 2225, "Who Is My Mother, Who Is My Brother" (author)
  • 2255, "In the Singing" (author)


Worship & Song


  • 3020, "God of the Bible" (author)
  • 3084, "O Christ, You Hang upon a Cross" (author)
  • 3126, "Everything That Has Voice" (author)
  • 3129, "Touch the Earth Lightly" (author)
  • 3149, "A Place at the Table" (author)
  • 3159, "Let Our Earth Be Peaceful" (author)


More information and a photo of Shirley Erena Murray are available at www.hopepublishing.com.




See more about Women's History on the Discipleship Ministries site.

Categories: Womens History Month

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