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The tune Athens was written to accompany James' text to celebrate my installation as Pastor and Teacher at the First Reformed Church in Athens, New York on March 10, 2001.  The refrain is meant to convey the joy of living in faith and hope, and the contrasting setting of the stanzas the work we are in for when we follow Jesus "truly with all our hearts".  "Yes, truly, with all my heart." is the traditional response to the interrogation of the candidate minister in the Reformed Church in America installation liturgy. 

I suspect the fact that a new hymn was presented at an installation rather shocked most of the congregation, given the response to it.  It was a peek into our hymnic future together, though.

This page was last edited on November 08, 2010
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