‘Forever Embracing’ Premiers at Central
Sunday, May 19 was an exciting one at Central. Not only did Central see the installation of Rev. Ashley Bair as our Associate Pastor, but it also premiered a new hymn by our composer-in-residence, Abbie Betinis - commissioned by Central Presbyterian Church in celebration of this season of rebirth.
This hymn was inspired by the church's beautiful new logo, which features a half-circle of stained-glass window-like elements which, depending on how you look at it, seem to either spiral inward to the center, or outward to the world. The music is composed to do just that.
In verse 1, high voices begin and low voices echo like a mirror (both coming in to the center), Verse 2 expands and reflects outward by reversing those high and low voices, then Verse 3 celebrates the continuity of the cycle by adding soaring descant so you can hear both the "coming in" and the "going out" at the same time.
In her artist’s statement introduction of the hymn to Central, Abbie also had these words of thanks to share:
“Thank you to Ashley for helping me with this form and for recommending phrases that honor the work of the church. Thank you also to Jennifer, Steve, the choir, and congregation for making it come alive today. What a joy to try my hand at writing a hymn for this very important spiritual home to me!”
For those who have not yet heard this wonderful new hymn, we invite you to observe Abbie’s design in her lyrics.
in to the center,
where God’s always been.
Meet there the water,
the wine and the bread;
we’re coming together in the Word,
where it’s central for good.
the circle expands,
helping our neighbor
through works of our hands.
Meet there the spirit,
where disciples once stood,
advancing the call, the cause, the cry,
to be central for good.
in circles of grace,
and growing in faith.
Here we are called on
to engage as we should.
We’re learning to love as we are loved
here at Central for good.
(Lyrics © Abbie Betinis, May 2019)