Hymn #586: Come to Tend God's Garden

John A. Dalles (b. 1954) wrote this text for the 275th anniversary of the Presbyterian Synod of the Trinity in Pennsylvania. Using the imagery of the world as a garden, the hymn recalls God’s command to be stewards of God’s created order, as recorded in Genesis.

John A. Dalles was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received a degree in architecture from Penn State University. He then attended Lancaster (Pennsylvania) Theological Seminary. Ordained to the Presbyterian ministry in 1982, he has served churches in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) composed this tune in 1925 for the Ascension hymn “At the Name of Jesus.” Vaughan Williams named the tune KING’S WESTON for the country home of a friend that overlooked the Bristol Channel, where he spent many weekends with other musicians.

Ralph Vaughan Williams was the son of an Anglican vicar and a descendant of Josiah Wedgwood, a cousin of Charles Darwin. He became the greatest English composer of his time and edited The English Hymnal (1906), Songs of Praise (1925 and 1931), and The Oxford Book of Carols (1928).