A few weeks ago I was able to travel to Dallas for a new ChurchWorksMedia project. Here’s the backstory. Paul Thompson arranged two of our hymns for Stonebriar Community Church’s orchestra, choir, and congregation a few years ago, unbeknownst to us. He sent the recordings and arrangements to me and allowed me to post them online. Those arrangements have been a blessing to many, both as MP3s and as PDFs. Paul has a wonderful philosophy of arranging for congregational singing, and he’s exceedingly gifted. The combination of CWM texts and tunes (most of which are written by Greg Habegger), Paul’s arrangements, and Stonebriar’s musicians was a “perfect storm.” I asked Paul if he’d like to do it again—like 10 more times. He said yes, and we collaborated on a total of 12 CWM hymns, which we’ll be releasing soon as a feature CD and as congregational arrangements for piano and organ or full orchestra.
The day after the recording (which was amazing), Stonebriar learned Come, Lonely Heart as a new hymn. It was an unforgettable experience to hear the orchestra, choir, pipe organ (the largest of its kind in the world), and over 3000 people rejoicing in the grace of God extended to the Samaritan women in John 4 and to Samaritan women like us ever since. The last verse just about overwhelmed me. It’s just glorious. The recording below is from that service, so it’s not the version we’ll be releasing on the CD. But it gives you a feel for the beautiful, congregational sound we were after. I trust it will be a blessing to you and whet your appetite for the rest of the CD. And most importantly, I trust it will exalt our great Savior. Grace!