As Shadyside Presbyterian Church's Director of Music Ministry, Mark A. Anderson, and I were planning worship during this Lenten Season, back on February 21, we were not finding a hymn that we were happy with, to conclude worship on Sunday April 7. The Gospel lectionary reading for that morning was John 12:1-8, when Jesus shared a meal at Bethany with his treasured friends Martha, Lazarus, and Mary.
I said to Mark, "Why don't we sing a hymn that you have written?" His reply, "John, the other option for the first Sunday in April for a closing hymn would be for you to write a text and for me to write the tune. That might be too much, with everything else on your plate, but keep it in mind for future Sundays. It would be great fun to see what we could do."
So, that is what we did. I wrote the words; Mark wrote the music. And the congregation sang our brand new hymn on Sunday, April 7th. It was a joy to work on the hymn with Mark, and a joy to hear the congregation sing it. Here's to more collaborations!