The 20-year senior pastor of our church just had his retirement celebration and last Sunday with us. The interim would begin next week. This Sunday, our district superintendent was supplying the pulpit, and I had to choose a song for the offertory.
That's when I found "May Our Church Be."
Transitions of leadership, regardless of the circumstances, can be very difficult for the entire church body. I've served at more than one church where the departure of one pastor and the subsequent reorganization strongly changed the dynamics. People have resigned, been laid off or fired during leadership transitions. As a 10-year church staffer, I've witnessed or heard of some rough transitions for churches. Such transitions are never pleasant at first, and sometimes the new leadership doesn't work out.
To all those going through transition in their churches, I want to offer this song. "May Our Church Be" is to the tune of Sibelius's "Finlandia," the same tune for the popular hymn "Be Still My Soul." Lyrics (by Barbara Hart) are below. Let us know if you'd like the chords.
May our church be still firm upon the Savior
Where Christ is Head and Counselor and Guide
Where ev'ry child is taught His love and favor
And gives his heart to Christ the Crucified
How sweet to know that though his footsteps waver
His faithful Lord is walking by his side
Give wisdom to our godly elders, leaders
Who always place their hope and trust in Him
Whose tender patience turmoil never bothers
Whose calm and courage trouble cannot dim
May we still find the joy in serving others
May our love shine tho' days be dark and grim
May our church be where Christ is Lord and Master
The Bible read the precious anthems sung
Where pray'r comes first in peace or in disaster
And praise is natural speech to ev'ry tongue
Where mountains move before a faith that's vaster
And Christ sufficient is for old and young
O Lord our God our church is Thine forever
We trust to Thee our problems toil and care
Our bonds of love no enemy can sever
If Thou art always Lord and Master there
Be Thou the center of our least endeavor
Be Thou our guest our hearts and homes to share