Hymn #353: Great Work Has God Begun in You

 Carol Birkland (b. 1946) wrote this text to express to confirmands the love and support they might expect from God, who is present in their lives both at the confirmation of their faith and throughout their faith journeys.  Trained as a Christian educator, Birkland has spent many years as a confirmation teacher.

 Carol Birkland incorporated in this text three Bible verses that have been significant to her.  Colossians 2:6 was written on the inside cover of her first Bible.  The references to Philippians 1:6 and Ephesians 5:1 are passages she has used in her teachings to reinforce the idea that all are called to respond to God’s call to discipleship.

William Patrick Rowan (b. 1951) wrote the tune VERBUM DEI (Latin for “Word of God”), and it was first published in his 1993 collection of original tunes, Together Met, Together Bound.  Rowan serves as a liturgical consultant for the Roman Catholic diocese of Lansing, Michigan.

 William Rowan was born in San Diego, California, on November 30, 1951.  He has composed more than thirty-five hymn tunes, organ works, and anthems that are in current use.  Rowan’s hymn tunes have been sung at music festivals throughout Europe, Great Britain, and the United States.