Thanks for friends who keep on loving,
finding ways to help us grow,
celebrating our achievements,
sharing in our pain and woe.
God is glimpsed where love is faithful:
mirrored here in time and space.
Thanks to God for friends who love us:
Christ revealed in every face.
Other people help to shape us
when they take the time to share
words of wisdom, honest actions
through our journey in God’s care.
In our faithful, honest learning
we discover things unknown.
Thanks to God for friends who teach us:
seeking talent yet ungrown.
When we find our friendships challenged
through mistakes and different views,
we discover deeper living
as the love of God renews.
For in Christ we see forgiveness;
know a strength still to embrace.
Thanks to God for friends who keep us:
making real the gift of grace.
Praise to God for this great gifting
of relationship and friend:
imaging divine relating;
found in heaven with no end.
Bless us Maker, Word and Spirit
as companions on the way.
Thanks to God for friends who help us
to fulfil our lives each day.
© Gary Hopkins
Metre: 87 87 D
Suggested tunes: Heanish or Ode to Joy
Available in Singing the Faith, no. 619
Eternal source of humankind
be near us in life’s stress:
relieve the strain of troubled mind,
dispel our worries, let us find
your comfort and closeness.
When daily pressures take their toll
in endless busyness,
as social systems claim control
and drown the murmurs of our soul,
enfold us in stillness.
Come, Holy Spirit, help us heed
the presence of your dove:
subdue the noise of selfish greed,
of wealth creation and false need
with whispers of your love.
O guide us through life’s complex maze
with gentleness and peace:
to soothe the rush of hectic days,
come calming Spirit, clear the haze
and let us find release.
© Gary Hopkins 2013
Metre: 86 886 (6)
Suggested tune: Repton
Song (to the tune of I vow to thee, my country)
I dream this world will wake up and see the grief and pain –
lives broken by division, the barriers that remain –
to see that all our hatred brings misery and tears
and conflict with each other will never quench our fears.
For there must be another way to be this human race;
together we can find it and build a better place.
A place where lives are cherished and no one has it rough,
where no one is neglected and each one has enough.
This dream will be accomplished in give and not in take;
through sharing with each other a new world we can make.
A world of peace and justice, with love for everyone,
where hand in hand, united, we all can live as one.
© Gary Hopkins 2011
Tune: Thaxted (I vow to thee, my country – from Jupiter by Holst)
When our views are varied
and emotions strong,
when belief feels threatened,
claiming others wrong;
show us how to listen
and to not accuse,
open and respectful
to each other’s views.
If we let division
distract from Christ’s reign,
we neglect our calling
to aid those in pain:
Justice must speak louder
than our claims to right;
love must be our essence,
living in the light.
God, forgive your people
in our broken state;
we your church have fostered
prejudice and hate.
Let us embrace difference
in our unity;
for the church is richer
Through a dim-lit mirror,
partial truth we know
and as we discover,
grace and love must grow.
Let God’s truth shine brighter
into every place
till we know completely
and see face to face.
© Gary Hopkins 2012
Metre: 65 65 D
Suggested tune: Evelyns
When troubles are around us
and all we see is pain,
may love surround the hurting ones
and healing come again.
God’s care and love is stronger
than all the world’s distress,
so for the love that reaches out
we’ll praise God through darkness.
There’s hope that tries to linger
amidst this darkened world
and echo God’s eternal love
where helpless ones are held.
But when we see such anguish,
of torment and despair,
we find it hard to mean the words,
’We’ll praise God,’ in our prayer.
When suffering is questioned
no quick reply appears
and Jesus didn’t give answers
but shared life’s hurt and tears;
this love that keeps us going
in Christ will never end,
so for the hand that tries to help
we’ll praise God as our friend.
Give praise to God who holds us
and knows our every tear,
whose Spirit walks the path with us
to love and keep us near.
We cannot see the future
or know just what’s in store,
but for the closeness through heartache
we’ll praise God evermore.
In heaven we shall gather
and there’ll be no more pain;
for God will heal and tend the wounds
and peace with joy shall reign.
When all the harm of past years
has faded at that place,
in harmony and one accord
we’ll praise God face to face.
© Gary Hopkins 2011
Metre: 76 86 76 86
Suggested Tune: Bolton (by Michael Higgins in ‘Cantate Domino’, published by Kevin Mayhew Ltd)