The Common Good

A Hymn and Prayer for the Gulf: 'O God, the Great, Wide Seas are Yours'

This hymn-prayer was written in response to the ongoing oil spill from the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling rig that started on April 20th.

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O God, the Great, Wide Seas are Yours

MELITA ("Eternal Father, Strong to Save")

O God, the great, wide seas are yours!
You carved the oceans' rugged floors.
You set the waters in their place
And made all sea life by your grace.
You also made humanity
To care for earth and sky and sea.

Forgive us when we disobey
And fail to care for what you've made.
Consuming more than what we should,
We harm the waters you call good.
Forgive us when we fail to be
Good stewards of your wondrous sea.

We pray for those who seek to care
For troubled waters everywhere-
For those who work to stop the spill
Of all that would destroy and kill,
For those who work with loving hands
To tend your marshes, shores and sands.

God, may we hear your call anew
To care for all these gifts from you.
May we protect the sea and shore
By using less, conserving more,
And humbly learning how to live
As stewards of this world you give.

Biblical references: Genesis 1-2:4

Tune: John B. Dykes, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861.
Text: Copyright © 2010 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.

Carolyn Gillette is co-pastor with her husband Bruce of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, DE, and co-author of "A Journey to a Green Church." Churches are also using her other creation hymns, including her popular "The Earth is the Lord's." The first five hymns in her Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor (Upper Room Books, 2010) have creation themes. A complete list of her 160 hymns can be found at:

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