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The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette produces a Creation care hymn for free use on Sunday

‘O God, Within the Psalms’ draws from Psalm 23 and John 10

Special to Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, a Presbyterian pastor and hymnwriter, has published “O God, Within the Psalms,” a hymn based on two of the passages for Sunday from the Revised Common Lectionary, Psalm 23:1-6 and John 10:11-18. “O God, Within the Psalms” is sung to TERRA BEATA, “This is My Father’s World.

More hymns from the prolific hymnwriter are here.

The hymn combines biblical images with concern for God’s Creation with the climate crisis. Earth Day is Monday, April 22. Permission is given for free use of this hymn, including streaming online.

O God, Within the Psalms

TERRA BEATA (“This is My Father’s World”)

O God, within the Psalms

are pictures of your love:

There, young trees grow as waters flow

and mountains rise above.

The creatures with their young,

the birds that fill the air,

the gentle rain, the harvest grain

proclaim your love and care.


And in the Psalms we see

a Shepherd’s love expressed.

Lord, you provide and lead and guide,

and we — your sheep — are blessed.

You give us food to eat,

and water — safe and clear.

Yes, we’re restored, O Shepherd Lord,

by all you give us here.


Yet as we look ahead,

we fear the things we see.

As earth cries out through storm and drought,

we wonder what will be.

We take more than our share;

we plunder and destroy.

God, we confess we’ve made a mess

of things that bring you joy.


We see within the Psalms

a world where nature sings.

Help us to share, and work, and care

for all your growing things.

O Shepherd, we’ve been blessed;

may we be blessings, too.

This is our prayer: May we take care

of this good earth with you.

Biblical references:  Psalms 1:3; 121;147; 104; 72:16; 23; 8 and 24

Tune: Traditional English melody (“This is My Father’s World”)  (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2024 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email: New Hymns:

The hymn’s verse about the “Earth cries out through storm and drought” is evident in the news.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported “10 straight months of record-setting temperatures and counting. Earth added another remarkably warm month to the year so far, with March 2024 ranking as the warmest March in the planet’s climate record.”

Because of warmer oceans, forecasters predict an extremely active 2024 Atlantic hurricane season. This forecast is the most aggressive one ever issued in the 30 years that the Colorado State University hurricane forecasting team has been issuing April forecasts.

On April 10, CBS News reported “Canadian officials on Wednesday warned the country could face another catastrophic wildfire season after last year’s historic fires…. Smoke billowed to the U.S., blanketing portions of the East Coast and Midwest. Last June, New York City’s air quality became some of the worst in the world in June as Canada’s wildfire smoke blew in.”

These environmental challenges inspire prayers, including those set to music. On Tuesday, another hymn by Gillette (“We Have a Common Calling”) will be sung by over 1,000 people at the National Faith + Climate Forum.

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette serves with her husband Bruce Gillette as the pastors of the First Presbyterian Union Church in Owego, New York. Her hymns are sung by thousands of churches and published in more than two dozen books (including four books by Gillette).  A few weeks ago, she learned that three of her hymns will be in “God Welcomes All,” the new supplement to Church Hymnal (4th edition) published by Church of Scotland and Church of England. Her hymn texts are found on many websites, including

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

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