A Resident’s Perspective – Amazing Grace in Christian Hymn Song

Panorama Corporation has no religious affiliations.The community of residents at Panorama is active in pursuing a variety of hobby & interest groups; the Corporation and Panorama staff enjoy helping to support these groups as needed.  Membership to any group on campus is voluntary.

Written by Panorama resident, Mary Jo Shaw. November 2017

“Christian Hymn Sing” is a resident-driven happening that meets at Panorama on the first Wednesday of each month in The Gallery at Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro to give praise to God in an informal way, not to perfect our singing skills, but just use what’s left in us to enjoy praising in song, visiting with new or old friends and enjoying a no-host breakfast together. No RSVP needed. All are invited from on or off campus.

In 2010, words of their pastor’s sermon preyed on two Panorama couples’ heartstrings, “…even if you’re old, you can still do something.” They “prayed,” worked, studied, used individual talents to begin what God nudged and named, “Christian Hymn Sing.”

Mary N. and Mary P. selected copyright-free hymns. Bill used his computer to copy them, and Les worked at his piano. Excited, loving hearts beat nervously long hours and days. The four aimed at making the event a monthly hour of inspiration for Panorama residents. Did they have too many ideas, or not enough? That first event had to be a success so the participants would return. The four weren’t afraid, just had hopeful concern that people would come whether they could sing or not. Maybe five or six would attend and help spread the word for the next months.

Chris and I had just moved to Panorama in July 2011. Our closed-circuit TV caught my attention, as well as notices on bulletin boards: No RSVP needed and ALL invited. Can’t sing? HUM ALONG…

I was one of 19 who showed up to the smaller dining room. A little basket held tiny papers with a short Bible verse for each to take home. We enjoyed visiting with old and new friends over a no-host breakfast, followed by hymn singing…with Les leading us at the upright piano.

Each month we greeted 20, 24, 25..then up to 30! Nov. 1, 2017, we welcomed 39!!! Maybe we’ll overflow into the main dining room. We are invited to share anything for a few minutes. Several have played an instrument, given a testimony, read a snippet, or ?? It’s over in 60 minutes!

Doug has led us now for a couple of years with his strong, beautiful voice and tidbits about the hymn itself, and wife, Patricia, collates and staples the song sheets. I enjoy “advertising” with posters, PCTV reminders, and with this blog. Together we make a “joyful noise to the Lord.”

The poem below that Betty C. brought in November tells the story:

MUSIC TO MY EARS
By JoAnn Miller

How I long to hear the old hymns
That I sang when just a youth
In the church that I grew up in –
Where I learned the Gospel’s truth.

Those hymns contained great messages
Of Jesus’ love for me
Told how He purchased my salvation
When he died “At Calvary.”

Today’s repetitive choruses speak
To our youth, some people say.
But I wonder how many have ever heard
Those old hymns of yesterday?

“I Can Hear My Savior Calling”
He calls me ‘Just As I Am”
And now “I Belong to Jesus.”
“I’ve Been Redeemed By the Blood of the Lamb.”

Since “I Serve A Risen Savior”
And He washed me white as snow
“Where He Leads Me I Will Follow”
He will “Abide With Me”, I know.

“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling”
“Blessed Assurance”; “Love Lifted Me”
“Halleluia, What A Savior”
Draw me “Nearer My God To Thee.”

“I Have A Song I Love To Sing”
With my voice raised high in praise,
I’ll “Take The Name Of Jesus With Me”
Throughout my earthly days.

He is the “Rock of Ages”
He’s been “My Help in Ages Past.”
So “Count Your Many Blessings”
Knowing His love for you will last.

“I Have A Song That Jesus Gave Me”
“Oh Happy Day”; “Amazing Grace”
”I Will Sing of My Redeemer”
Someday I’ll see Him “Face To Face.”

This is just a tiny sample
Of some hymns that touched my heart
And led me to the Saviour
“Precious Lord,” “How Great Thou Art.”

I pray the songs I’ve mentioned here
By title, line or phrase
Stirs your heart with “Precious Memories”
Prompting you my God to praise.

So “Sing Them Over Again To Me”
Those old hymns I love to hear.
“Sing The Wondrous Love of Jesus”
Ah, sweet music to my ear!

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