Thursday, March 15, 2012

Be Green Two Ways For St. Patrick

I was alarmed to read this morning that our commitment to what the Church calls the stewardship of all creation is waning generation by generation. Babyboomers care more than Gen X'ers, who care more than Millennials (today's college-age students).

Preaching today to the upper elementary school at St. John's, I instructed them to take personal responsibility, as their cohort's cutting edge, for reversing the troubling downward trajectory of our collective conscience. My lesson included the song below, which I wrote to correspond to the Bible verse they had memorized for the week (the fourth graders, deep in California history this trimester, had the week off).

As for the St. Patrick angle, it proved to be a winner. You take 180 kids in the middle of a sleepy afternoon chapel in the springtime and ask who's Irish, and just watch the hands stretch to the heavens. The song is set to a generic folk tune that you would probably say sounds vaguely familiar and you've heard sung better. If you call me up, I'll sing it to you. Please. Pictured here is one of our student chaplains, Katie, and her mother, Susan.

Being Green For St. Patrick
(In More Ways Than One)

When Patrick was a sophomore
Slave traders took him away
They made him work in Ireland
He suffered night and day
When Patrick was a young man
He escaped and made it home
But God said in vision,
“I want Ireland for my own.”

3rd graders'verse: Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty – he is the King of glory (Ps. 24:10)

Not only greenest Ireland
But every other place
If you want to know who’s running things
It’s God who’s on the case
The rest of us are stewards
Temporarily, for a bit
If we want to keep the Big Shamrock happy
We’d better take care of it [chorus]

4th graders: Off the hook this week

The fourth grade is distracted
By studying Gold Rush days
How’d all these people get to California?
Well that’s just one of the ways
If you dig up your parents’ garden
In search of precious finds
You’d better fill the holes back in
Or get a piece of someone’s mind [chorus]

5th graders' verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Part of being human
Is thinking we know best
When you feel totally certain
God’s giving you a test
Let’s try not to be greedy
And always get our way
Let’s preserve our emerald creation
For a million St. Patrick’s Days [chorus and out]

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