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892

Be Still and Know (Bell)

Scripture References

892

Be Still and Know (Bell)

Additional Prayers

We praise and worship you, O God, because you are with your people;
powerfully and miraculously you defend your church and your Word
against all fanatic spirits, against the gates of hell,
and against the assault of flesh and sin.
All glory and praise to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forevermore. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org)

A Prayer of Dedication
 
Though waters roar and foam,
I will be still and know that you are God.
Though mountains quake,
I will be still.
Though nations roar,
I will be still.
Though terrorists scheme,
I will be still and know that you are God. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
892

Be Still and Know (Bell)

Tune Information

Name
BE STILL AND KNOW BELL
Key
E Major
Meter
8.8

Recordings

892

Be Still and Know (Bell)

Hymn Story/Background

This setting of Psalm 46:10 is one of two by John Bell included in There Is One Among Us: Shorter Songs for Worship from the Iona Community, published in 1999 by GIA Publications, Inc. Of this setting, John Bell indicated that it should not be sung as a response interspersed between scripture reading or prayer, but rather, sung “in continuous fashion,” repeated with the possible variations involving choir and/or congregation. However, the collection does include a brief meditation on this verse for reading before singing it. 
— Emily Brink

Author and Composer Information

John Bell (b. 1949) was born in the Scottish town of Kilmarnock in Ayrshire, intending to be a music teacher when he felt the call to the ministry. But in frustration with his classes, he did volunteer work in a deprived neighborhood in London for a time and also served for two years as an associate pastor at the English Reformed Church in Amsterdam. After graduating he worked for five years as a youth pastor for the Church of Scotland, serving a large region that included about 500 churches. He then took a similar position with the Iona Community, and with his colleague Graham Maule, began to broaden the youth ministry to focus on renewal of the church’s worship. His approach soon turned to composing songs within the identifiable traditions of hymnody that found began to address concerns missing from the current Scottish hymnal:
 
I discovered that seldom did our hymns represent the plight of poor people to God. There was nothing that dealt with unemployment, nothing that dealt with living in a multicultural society and feeling disenfranchised. There was nothing about child abuse…, that reflected concern for the developing world, nothing that helped see ourselves as brothers and sisters to those who are suffering from poverty or persecution. [from an interview in Reformed Worship (March 1993)]
 
That concern not only led to writing many songs, but increasingly to introducing them internationally in many conferences, while also gathering songs from around the world. He was convener for the fourth edition of the Church of Scotland’s Church Hymnary (2005), a very different collection from the previous 1973 edition. His books, The Singing Thing and The Singing Thing Too, as well as the many collections of songs and worship resources produced by John Bell—some together with other members of the Iona Community’s “Wild Goose Resource Group,” are available in North America from GIA Publications. 
— Emily Brink
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