(Updated) Theologically-Minded Contemporary Hymn Writer: Dr. Gary Parrett

May 16, 2006

Gary ParrettDr. Gary Parrett, associate professor of Educational Ministry and Worship at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, is not only a great teacher but a song/hymn writer. Dr. Parrett's songs have been sung at Gordon-Conwell as well as in some churches. He has given me permission to post his hymns here: GaryParrettHymnalswithlinks.doc (updated). The file only has the words, but most of them are set to a familiar tune. This is what Dr. Parrett says in the last paragraph:

I hereby grant permission for the use of these songs, hymns and Scripture settings for any non-commercial use in congregational or personal worship. (I am a registered songwriter with CCLI, and you can report congregational use of these hymns to them, if you’d like.) The tunes that I have suggested can be heard online at www.cyberhymnal.org (click on ‘Tunes by Name’) & similar sites. If you’d like to discuss the content of these hymns, to suggest or write a contemporary tune for any of these texts, or to discuss their possible usage in any way, my e-mail is: gary.parrett@gmail.com.

SOLI DEO GLORIA!

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Discussion on Worship

May 13, 2006

In the month of May, I would like to invite your participation in a discussion about Worship on my Reforming – Conversation webpage. Korean American pastors and leaders must think more clearly about how we worship God, especially in our corporate gatherings. I invite you to go to one of the links below, read the linked articles, and make comments. I know Asian Americans do not like commenting, especially in a public venue, however, for our own sharpening and, hopefully, for the good of the church, let us discuss these matters. Please feel free to raise issues pertaining to your specific context and let’s help each other toward a more biblical and God-honoring worship.

May: Worship


A Funny Little Story About Hymns and Praise Songs

April 14, 2006

Author Unknown

An old farmer went to the city one weekend and attended the big city church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the farmer. “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang praise choruses instead of hymns.”

“Praise choruses?” asked the wife. “What are those?”

“Oh, they’re okay. They’re sort of like hymns, only different,” said the farmer.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The farmer said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a hymn. If, on the other hand, I were to say to you, ‘Martha, Martha, Martha, Oh, Martha, MARTHA, MARTHA, the cows, the big cows, the brown cows, the black cows, the white cows, the black and white cows, the COWS, COWS, COWS are in the corn, are in the corn, are in the corn, in the CORN, CORN, CORN, COOOOORRRRRNNNNN,’ then, if I were to repeat the whole thing two or three times, well that would be a praise chorus.”

As luck would have it, the exact same Sunday a young, new Christian from the city church attended the small town church. He came home and his wife asked him how it was.

“Well,” said the young man, “It was good. They did something different, however. They sang hymns instead of regular songs.”

“Hymns?” asked the wife. “What are those?”

“They’re okay. They’re sort of like regular songs, only different,” said the young man.

“Well, what’s the difference?” asked the wife.

The young man said, “Well it’s like this … If I were to say to you, ‘Martha, the cows are in the corn,’ well that would be a regular song. If on the other hand, I were to say to you,

Oh Martha, dear Martha, hear thou my cry
Inclinest thine ear to the words of my mouth.
Turn thou thy whole wondrous ear by and by
To the righteous, glorious truth.

For the way of the animals who can explain
There in their heads is no shadow of sense,
Hearkenest they in God’s sun or his rain
Unless from the mild, tempting corn they are fenced.

Yea those cows in glad bovine, rebellious delight,
Have broke free their shackles, their warm pens eschewed.
Then goaded by minions of darkness and night
They all my mild Chilliwack sweet corn chewed.

So look to that bright shining day by and by,
Where all foul corruptions of earth are reborn
Where no vicious animal makes my soul cry
And I no longer see those foul cows in the corn,

then, if I were to do only verses one, three and four, and change keys on the last verse, well that would be a hymn.”