New hymn lyrics support efforts to counter climate change

‘The Climate is Changing’ is a prayer just in front of international climate talks that begin Sunday

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The Revs. Bruce Gillette and Carolyn Winfrey Gillette of First Presbyterian Union Church in Owego, New York. (Photo courtesy of the church)

LOUISVILLE — Ahead of Sunday’s opening of climate talks to be held in Glasgow, Scotland, the Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has written “The Climate is Changing,” new lyrics set to the hymn “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.

According to the hymn-writer’s husband, the Rev. Bruce Gillette, the hymn’s first verse (see below) references Sunday’s lectionary passage from Mark’s gospel, where Jesus instructs a scribe to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

“We all need to be doing more to counter the crisis ASAP,” said Bruce Gillette, vice-moderator of Presbyterians for Earth Care who pastors, together with his wife, First Presbyterian Union Church in Owego, New York. “Prayer (spoken and sung) needs to be the basis for Christian action. We hope this new hymn helps churches in their worship and action.”

“This hymn-prayer,” Winfrey Gillette wrote, “was written to support efforts to counter climate change, including at the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland, Oct. 31-Nov. 12. COP26 is the main decision-making body of 197 countries working to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions and to counter dangerous climate change.”

The author grants permission for free use of the hymn. Learn more about Winfrey Gillette’s work here.

The Climate is Changing

ST. DENIO (“Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise”)

The climate is changing! Creation cries out!

Your people face flooding and fire and drought.

We see the great heat waves and storms at their worst.

We pray for the poor, Lord — for they suffer first.


We pray for the animals here in our midst

who cannot defend their own right to exist.

We pray for the mountains and forests and seas

that bear the harsh footprint of our human greed.


We thank you for people who treasure the Earth,

whose faith has long taught them its beauty and worth.

We thank you as well for the children and youth

who look to the future and speak out the truth.


We thank you, for leaders, courageous and brave,

who know that the Earth is worth fighting to save,

who care about justice and what they should do,

who listen to science and work hard for you.


You love this good Earth, and you sent us your Son!

May we love our neighbors — there’s work to be done.

May we, by your Spirit, do all in our power

to care for your Earth in this critical hour.

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