When We Were a Younger Nation

Full Text

When we were a younger nation,
When new settlers filled this land—
God, you called this congregation
By your guiding, caring hand.
Those you gathered shared a language
And a life of love and praise;
Through your grace, they spread your message
In those pioneering days.

We, your church, have seen great wonders
As we’ve known Christ’s presence here.
We have welcomed in new members;
We’ve been blessed from year to year.
Through our music and our worship,
Through our teaching of your word,
Through our laughter and our friendship,
We’ve proclaimed it: “God is good!”

Yet your goodness that we cherish
Can’t be kept within this place;
So you send us out in service,
Doing justice, seeking peace.
Spirit-filled, we heal the broken,
Build new houses—new lives, too;
God, in ways both lived and spoken,
We have sought to follow you.

In an ever-changing nation,
God, you call us yet again;
You have shown this generation
How to welcome others in.
Crossings bounds of faith and culture,
May we learn and grow and share;
And may we, your church, be faithful,
Loving, serving everywhere.

Source: Songs of Grace: new hymns for God and neighbor #51b

Author: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is a hymn writer and Presbyterian pastor. Carolyn and her husband Bruce have been the co-pastors of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware since August 2004. 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 11. Her hymns are found on the national websites of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church, UMCOR, the Presbyterian Church (USA), American Baptist Church… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: When we were a younger nation
Title: When We Were a Younger Nation
Original Language: English
Author: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2006)
Meter: D
Language: English
Publication Date: 2006
Copyright: Copyright © 2006 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved



C. Hubert H. Parry's (PHH 145) RUSTINGTON was first published in the Westminster Abbey Hymn Book (1897) as a setting for Benjamin Webb's "Praise the Rock of Our Salvation." The tune is named for the village in Sussex, England, where Parry lived for some years and where he died. This is such a distin…

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Songs of Grace: new hymns for God and neighbor #51aText
Songs of Grace: new hymns for God and neighbor #51bText