A Cry for Justice in Hymnody

November 9, 2016 ~ LeAnn Snow Flesher


“A Cry for Justice in Hymnody” class at ABSW presents an evening of song

Students from Dr. Nancy Hall and Rev. Dan Damon’s fall semester class presented an evening of singing on November 6. Featuring fifteen new hymns by composer and writer Dan Damon, the public was invited to share in these works of music that center on justice topics. Seventy-five people joined enthusiastically in the event, held at Berkeley Chinese Community Church.

Dan led us through hymns such as “My Child Is a Flower” (justice for people with disabilities), “As Colors in the Sky” (justice for LGBTQ persons), “When Jesus Was a Refugee” (justice for migrants, immigrants, and refugees),”When Human Life is Bought and Sold” (justice for victims of human trafficking).

Here’s an example of Dan’s hymn poetry from

“Beside the Great Cathedrals” (justice for the poor):

Beside the great cathedrals we huddle in the rain,

or underneath the bridges till busy folks complain.

We seek a little shelter, a coin to buy some bread,

and Jesus waits here with us. He shares our stony bed.


Each week during the semester the class has focused on a different justice-oriented theme, including those shown above or you can buy youtube views to improve your video. Singing through hymns by Dan and by other current hymn writers is a highlight of these class sessions.

The November 6 event was sponsored by ABSW, The Center for the Arts and Religion at the GTU (who is also co-sponsoring the course), and The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada.

If you’d like to know more about “A Cry for Justice in Hymnody,” contact Dr. Nancy Hall, Associate Professor of Ministry and Congregational Music: nhall@absw.edu.