In celebration of 150 years of building up the body of Christ, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary has commissioned There Is a Dream that Thrills God’s Heart,
a new hymn
for the church. It will be a featured selection of the Hymn Festival, We Believe in God,
a Louisville community event to be held on October 25, 2002, at 7:30 p.m. in Caldwell Chapel on the Seminary’s campus.
The hymn text is based on the New Testament verses from Ephesians 4, the foundation for the Seminary’s mission statement. It was written by Thomas H. Troeger
, Dean of the School of Theology and Professor of Preaching and Communications at Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. While the hymn text portrays the ethos and vision of the school, it was the Seminary’s intent that the hymn be ecumenically appropriate for congregational singing and worship worldwide.
As a starting point in the commissioning process, a hymn committee
comprised of Seminary employees chose the tune, “BRAY”, an indigenous melody from Kentucky Harmony. As Troeger fit the text to the music, he remarked that the “tune captures the best qualities of vital congregational song. It is accessible, but with enough musical interest to bear repeated singings. There is a clear melodic structure, and a rhythmic vitality achieved by the way the quarter note patterns break into eighth notes and dotted eighths before the final phrase. The music reflects some of the artistic character of the region, and thus reminds us that even though the good news of Jesus Christ is for the whole world, its expression takes particular form in different places and cultures.”
Renowned organist Bruce Neswick
, Canon for Music at St. Philip’s Cathedral and former Assistant Organist-Choirmaster for the Girl Choristers at Washington National Cathedral, arranged the new hymn in four parts and as an anthem. Neswick and the hymn writer have granted all rights during 2003, and congregations are encouraged to make use of the new hymn during the Seminary’s sesquicentennial year. A printable copy
will be available on the Seminary’s website and in its Mosaic magazine.
There Is a Dream that Thrills God’s Heart
will debut at a hymn festival celebrating the Church’s statement of faith. Neswick, who will serve as the festival leader, has created a program of hymns, readings and choral selections built around the words of the Nicene Creed, a recognized confession of faith among many traditions. The event, underwritten in part by grants from the Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) and the Louisville Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), will also feature the Louisville Seminary Choir, members of the St. Paul United Methodist Church choir, and local instrumentalists.
The Hymn Festival is free. However, seating is limited, so tickets will be required. They may be requested by calling 502.895.3411 or toll free 800.264.1839, extension 460, or by e-mail
. More information about the hymn and the artists can be found on the 150th web pages