Our blog is filled with recipes we've cooked, poems we've read, sermons we've preached, pictures we like, and recent news. The categories on the left will help you explore.

This and every
Sunday and Monday.
Arrive between
6:30 and 7:00

304 Bond Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

Contact St. Lydia's

Join our
e-mail list!

Build a Shelter / Let It Rest

Build a Shelter / Let it Rest is a beautiful prayer song with words by Pamela Grenfell Smith and tune by Conie Borchardt.  Pamela writes, “This is a lyric about giving permission to rest from one’s own inner struggle and pain.”

Here’s a recording.  Note that the lyrics can change for new verses.  Thus, “Build a shelter for your sorrow” can become “Build a shelter for your anger” and so forth.

And here’s the sheet music, with a brief description of the song’s origin.

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Sermons for Eastertide

Christian’s sermon of 4-25-22 on Revelation 1:4-8.

Christian’s sermon of 5-1-22 on Revelation 5:6-14.

Jack Holloway’s sermon of May 8, 2022 on Revelation 7:9-17.

Posted in: Sermons

Music for Eastertide 2022

Hello everyone!

Here is the music we’ll be singing during Eastertide.

Gathering Song: Kiev Alleluia

Candle Lighting Song: Wade in the Water”

Table Acclamation:  Festive Table Acclamation

Prayer Song: “Down to the River to Pray”

Offering Song: “Duncan Alleluia”

Final Hymn: 

April 3-18  “Now The Green Blade Riseth” (shruti on silver)

April 24-May 9 “Jesus Christ Is Risen Today”

Posted in: Songs We Sing

“Down to the River to Pray”

“Down to the River to Pray” is a beautiful song first published in a 1867 collection of African American songs.  It is classic of various American musical traditions, including African American spirituals and Appalachian music.

You may recall this version by Alison Krauss from the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Here is a teaching recording by Christian.

Here are the lyrics.


As I went down to the river to pray
Studying about that good old way,
And who shall wear the starry crown,
Good Lord, show me the way.


O sister, let’s go down, 
let’s go down, come on down,
O sister, let’s go down,
Down to the river to pray

As Christian points out in his teaching instructions, the refrains allow any number of substitutions for the bolded word.  One could sing . . . 

O sibling
O brother

O parent
O father
O mother
O family

O people
O dear one

If you lead with a gendered word such as sister, include other genders in further refrains so our singing creates a space that welcomes all, including those of us who are nonbinary.  

Posted in: Songs We Sing

“Wade in the Water”

“Wade in the Water” is a powerful African American jubilee song, first sung by enslaved people in reference to the Israelites who escaped bondage in Egypt.  Historians believe Harriet Tubman herself sang the song to encourage those escaping slavery to make use of rivers and streams to lose the dogs used by patrols trying to capture them. 

Many beautiful versions of the song can be found, including this one by Sweet Honey In the Rock.

Here is a recording by Christian, which offers suggestions for teaching and leading.

Here are lyrics:

Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water

See those people dressed in white
God’s gonna trouble the water
The look like the children of the Israelites
God’s gonna trouble the water

Wade in the water
Wade in the water, children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water

See those people dressed in black
God’s gonna trouble the water
They’ve come a long way and they’re not turning back
God’s gonna trouble the water

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Music for Lent 2022

Greetings, beloved song leaders and voices of the congregation, 

Here is the menu of music for the 2022 Season of Lent.

Gathering Song:

“Lament for Zion”


“John Bell Kyrie”

Candle Lighting Song: “Here is Bread for the Hungry Soul ”

Table Acclamation:  Lent Table Acclamation 


Holy, Holy, Holy     

Prayer Song: Any of the St. Lydia’s Prayer Songs

Regathering Song: What We Need Is Here

Closing Song: What Wondrous Love is This

Thank you for leading your community in song!

Posted in: Songs We Sing

Sermons from Lent 2022

Pádraig Ó Tuama’s sermon of 3-6-22 on Ruth 1.

Naomi Brenman’s sermon of 3-14-22 on Ruth 2.

Amelia Schonbek’s Sermon of 3-20-22 on Ruth 3.

Angela Morris’s sermon of 3-28-22 on Ruth 4.

Debbie Holloway’s sermon of 4-4-22 on Matthew 1:1-17.

Liz Edman’s sermon of 4-10-22 (Palm Sunday) on Luke 19:28–44

Posted in: Sermons

Sermons from Christmastide and Epiphany 2021-22

Liz’s sermon of 1/9/22 on Matthew 2:1-12.

Posted in: Sermons

Sermons from Advent 2021

Christian’s Sermon of 11-15-21 on Isaiah 40:1-11

Christian’s Sermon of 11-22-21 on Isaiah 61:1-11

Christian’s Sermon of 11-29-21 on Baruch 5:1-9

The Rev’d Dr. Julius Carroll’s sermon for Christian’s Installation, December 5, 2021 on Zephaniah 3:14-20

Christian’s sermon for Advent V on Zephaniah 3:14-20

Posted in: Sermons

Songs for Advent 2021

Hello Song Leaders,

Advent is here, and it brings a new menu of musical selections!

Gathering song: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” 
Each week, we’ll sing a different verse:

Nov. 7: Verse One
Nov. 14: Verse Two
Nov. 21 Verse Three
Nov. 28 Verse Four
Dec. 5 Verse Five
Dec. 12 Verse Six
Dec. 19 Verse Seven

Candle Lighting Song: Creator of the Stars of Night  (Lead it by call and echo.)

Table Acclamation: Vasile Advent Table Acclamation

Regathering/offering song: The Mighty Will Fall

Final Hymn:
November 7-22: “People Look East” 
November 28-29: “For the Beauty of the Earth
December 5 – 20: “In the Bleak Midwinter

Posted in: Songs We Sing