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August 31, 2011

The Humane Society of the United States Invites Churches to Celebrate St. Francis with Hymn Video Project

Noted lyricist, pastor donates hymn in honor of work to help animals

The Humane Society of the United States invites churches nationwide to submit their video performance of a new hymn, “O God, Your Creatures Fill the Earth,” by noted lyricist, Pastor Carolyn Gillette. The project is part of The HSUS’s celebration of the season of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, whose feast day is Oct. 4.

Gillette wrote the hymn for The HSUS as a gift for its work to protect animals.

“We are very grateful to Pastor Gillette for giving us the beautiful gift of song,” said Christine Gutleben, director of The HSUS Faith Outreach program. “By launching our video project, The Humane Society of the United States hopes to attract a symphony of submissions from churches everywhere.”

The HSUS encourages churches to perform the hymn in their own style, whether it’s traditional, contemporary, rock, country, folk, choir, acoustic, gospel or any other fashion, and to submit a video of the performance to The HSUS. A sampler of video submissions will be displayed on The HSUS website.

Every church that submits an entry will receive more than $100 worth of resources for St. Francis Day celebrations, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader DVD and Francis: The Journey and the Dream, 35th Anniversary Edition audio book. The resource kit, called St. Francis Day in a Box, includes discussion guides for adults and youth and is designed to engage church communities in celebrating St. Francis Day through special services, pet blessing ceremonies, discussion groups and other ways. Video entries will be accepted through Oct. 31 via YouTube.com and submission instructions are posted here.  

A “favorite” video will be selected and that church will receive up to 100 Green Bibles for their congregation along with Catherine of Tarragon plush toys, courtesy of Washington National Cathedral, and HSUS t-shirts for the church’s youth ministry.

The project is part of the Faith Outreach program of The HSUS, which seeks to engage people and institutions of faith with animal protection issues on the premise that religious values call upon us all to act in a merciful way toward all creatures.

Gillette, co-pastor of Limestone Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Del., has two books of published hymns: “Songs of Grace: New Hymns for God and Neighbor” (Upper Room Books, 2009) and “Gifts of Love: New Hymns for Today’s Worship” (Geneva Press, 2000). She has written nearly 200 hymns.

Noel Paul Stookey of folk group Peter, Paul and Mary recorded a music video with Emmy-winner Pete Staman of Gillette’s hymn “O God, Our Words Cannot Express,” which she penned on Sept. 11, 2001.


Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your iPhone by searching “HumaneTV” in the App Store.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization—backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty—on the web at humanesociety.org.



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