Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is the author of over 300 hymns that have been sung by thousands of congregations around the world, and are found in 18 books and thousands of web sites, including which includes seven other hymns about refugees. Many of her hymns are published at Sojourners and are also found in Christian Century magazine, The New Yorker, National Public Radio, and PBS-TV. She and her husband Bruce started serving as the co-pastors of Overbrook Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, Penn., in April 2017 after previously serving congregations in Delaware and New Jersey.

Posts By This Author

God, We Thank You for the Churches

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 02-05-2018

Christ, we thank you for your welcome
that tears walls and borders down,
that gives hope to people fleeing,
that helps churches stand their ground.
For our neighbors, Lord, are asking,
and they’re wondering what we’ll do.
May our churches give them welcome,
and so find we welcome you.

A Hymn of Radical Welcome: As Simon Was Casting His Net in the Water

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 02-02-2018

O Lord, as you went to that house to bring healing,
You showed us the heart of God's purpose and plan.
With love and with care, you brought health — so revealing
That lives are made whole by God's word and command.

A Hymn for Those Listening for God's Call

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 01-12-2018

May we hear others’ stories — what makes them sad or strong / Till — listening — we find friendship, with love our common song

When Nations Turn Toward Trouble

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 11-28-2017
A Hymn for the First Sunday in Advent

When nations turn toward trouble
and hope seems all but gone,
when threats and conflicts double,
what can we count upon?

A Hymn for Sutherland Springs, Texas

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 11-10-2017

Brandy Jones prays in front of 26 crosses erected near the site of the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland, Texas, U.S., November 6, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Our thoughts and prayers are fleeting breath.

If we just dream of what could be

And do not build community,

And do not seek to change our ways,

Our dreams of change are false displays.

Young Joseph the Dreamer

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 09-29-2017
A Hymn for DREAMers

Image via Vasilis

We thank you for thousands of sisters and brothers

Who seek education, who love this good land.

For they are a blessing to us and to others;

May we reach to offer a welcoming hand.

O God, We’ve Prayed in Wind and Rain

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 09-28-2017
A Hymn for Hurricane Relief

Image via

We pray for others far away

Who’ve seen destruction, too;

We look beyond ourselves, for they

Are also loved by you.

O Christ, We Remember the Things That You Did

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 09-26-2017
A Hymn for Equal Access to Health Care

Image via

By the grace of our God, you brought life to the earth;

As you healed those in need, you saw each person’s worth.

May we who proclaim you now answer your call

To bring hope and healing — and health care to all.

We’re Made in the Image: A New Poem for Health Care for All

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 07-26-2017

We’re made in the image

The Message expresses,

The Good News attests

That we’re formed out of sod,

That we’re made every one

A Little Bit of Salt

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 02-01-2017
A New Hymn for the Church and Immigrants & Refugees

A church that is filled with Jesus’ flavor — and that shares the light of God’s love — can make a profound difference in the world. Pastors, church leaders, and many other loving Christians have been active in welcoming refugees and immigrants, standing up for their rights, contacting their leaders in Congress, protesting unjust policies, and saying clearly that hate has no place in this country.