Musings from Linda

9/17/21

Julian Rush (b. 1936)

 

When the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference of the Methodist Church needed someone to compose a new hymn about DIVERSITY, The Rev. Julian Rush was up to the task… not only did he write the words but he also composed music to go with them; he called it OURS THE JOURNEY (#458 Chalice Hymnal).

Click here to listen to verses 1 and 4.

It begins:

“In the midst of new dimensions, in the face of changing ways
Who will lead the pilgrim peoples wandering their separate ways?
God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar
We your people, ours the journey now and evermore!”

Experiences on his own journey inspired the content of the text. As a clergyman ordained in the United Methodist Church, for 17 years he successfully served congregations as a youth pastor both in Texas and Colorado.  However, when  he came out as a gay man (in the 1980’s)  the same people who had enthusiastically supported his ministry no longer wanted him there and they asked him to leave.  No other appointments were made available to him and although he took a job at Montgomery Ward in order to earn a living,  he missed being able to use his gifts in church ministry.  Eventually an unpaid position was created for him in Denver by one of the first churches to be a “Reconciling Congregation” (the United Methodist’s term for “open and affirming.”)

Where did he find hope and courage in the midst of such devastating rejection?

—  In a loving, affirming GOD —

who walks alongside each one of us on our journeys whatever they may be, supporting us, loving us, giving us strength and cheering us on as we go.

Verse 4 states:

“Should the threats of dire predictions cause us to withdraw in pain
May your blazing phoenix spirit resurrect the church again.
God of rainbow, fiery pillar, leading where the eagles soar
We your people, ours the journey, now and evermore!”

Amen and Amen !!!