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 www.carolynshymns.com 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

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 Shutterstock.com/Ververidis 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 Shutterstock.com/Parilov

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 Shutterstock.com

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.

A New Father, Awe-Struck

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 12-22-2016
A New Christmas Hymn

“A New Father, Awe-Struck” is a new hymn-prayer written days before Christmas 2016. It begins with a traditional image of a manger scene, and becomes a prayer that we may look deeper— at our loving God who chose to come into this world as someone who was poor, powerless, in danger, and a refugee.

A Hymn-Prayer for the Election

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 11-07-2016
God of All Peoples, Cultures, and Nations

Image via /Shutterstock.com

God, may this time of anger be over; 
May we grow past our current divide. 
Make us as one, as sisters and brothers; 
In this good land, may your love abide. 

A Hymn: For Schoolchildren and All Who Love Them

by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette 09-02-2015

Image via /Shutterstock

Robert Putnam’s new book, Our Kids: The Crisis in the American Dream, laments the decline in social capital (how we are connected to others and care for them) with its devastating impact on poor children today. Past generations of poor children often had more opportunities because they benefited from connections with churches, teachers, coaches, and other mentors who supported them. Putnam, a respected Harvard sociologist, documents how too many children are missing these caring adults in their lives today. He offers "purple solutions" to the growing "opportunity gap" and poverty that includes support by all for public schools.

Many churches witness to their concern for school children with a "Blessing of the Backpacks" service. Some churches invite the children in the congregation to bring their own backpacks for a blessing before a new school year begins. This is a way to acknowledge that school is a common yet very important part of our children’s lives. Other churches collect school supplies for children in need, assemble the donated supplies in backpacks, and bring them to church for a blessing in worship.

The tune of the following new hymn is the same Gaelic melody used for "Morning Has Broken," and it seems appropriate to sing a joyful "morning" tune as children, parents, and teachers start to get up earlier in the mornings to head off to school.

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