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A Hymn for Family Promise

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written, "O God, You Give Welcome," a hymn dedicated to Family Promise. Beginning with the opening lines, “O God, you give welcome; you care and provide. You cherish each person with love reaching wide,” the hymn goes on to praise the work Family Promise does and the families they serve.  A video slideshow of the hymn as performed by the Masterwork Camerata can be viewed here.  Both music and lyrics for performance purposes are available for download here.

In explaining how she came to write "Oh God, You Give Welcome," Carolyn said, “I often write hymns for organizations that I have been involved in, as a way that I can personally support them and encourage others to do the same.  I lifted up the theme found in several different faith traditions: ‘We’re made in your image and so hear your call. To humbly reach out with a welcome to all.’”

Carolyn is a renowned hymn writer. Many churches use the hymns collected in her two books: Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor and Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship.  Carolyn's hymns have been sung by congregations in every state of the USA and in several other countries; they have been on national PBS-TV three times and the BBC-TV in the United Kingdom. Noel Paul Stookey of "Peter, Paul and Mary" made a music video with Emmy winner Pete Staman of Carolyn's hymn, "O God, Our Words Cannot Express," which was written on September 11th. Her hymns are found on the national websites of the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), American Baptist Churches, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Reformed Church in America, Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, the Souper Bowl of Caring, the National Council of Churches and Church World Service.

She and her husband Bruce serve as the co-pastors of the Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware.

Karen Olson, President of Family Promise, said, “All of us at Family Promise, from our national office to our affiliates across the country, wish to thank Carolyn for her beautiful gift. This hymn is, in effect, a prayer, and our affiliates’ congregations will sing it the weekend preceding their host week, as they prepare to provide shelter and comfort to families in need. Carolyn’s inspiring words will help us give thanks for the opportunity we have been provided to help make a difference.”

Masterwork Camerata is a choral chamber ensemble drawn from the acclaimed 90-voice Masterwork Chorus in Morristown, NJ, directed by Andrew Megill.