Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Ocean is a Call to Worship and Other Sea Shanties

Ocean is a Call to Worship and Other Sea Shanties

Do you have a favorite ocean song?  Beyond the Sea.  La Mer.  Under the Sea.  Octopus’ Garden.  Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay. 

Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter, under the sea.

When youth and adults come to our Blue Theology Mission Station in Pacific Grove for a service trip or pilgrimage, we always sing Dan Damon’s great hymn, “Ocean is a Call to Worship.”

Ocean is a call to worship
every morning, evening;
in its rising, falling,
hear the Spirit breathing.

When your people scatter,
broken, bruised and battered,
whisper on the waves and call us home. (Refrain)

When our temples totter,
Christ of wind and water,
calm the earth and soothe our shattered nerves. (Refrain)

When I'm listening, walking,
praying needs no talking,
wonder at the depth and breadth of love. (Refrain)
Check out Dan’s webpage ( and look at this sweet You Tube video ( of folks from the church where he is pastor, First United Methodist in Point Richmond, CA, singing and dancing the movement of wave and wind and water.

The tune, aptly titled “Santa Cruz,” hauntingly evokes “its rising, falling.”  We’ve recently been adding body movements to the song as we sing it in the church sanctuary before we set out on our coastline walk to the Aquarium.  Then on the way home we sing it again, with motions, on the trail overlooking the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.  From sanctuary to sanctuary, a wet anthem and dance.

We have a new project – a Blue Theology Book of Worship with songs, prayers, liturgies. Many of our groups have written prayers of thanksgiving or lament for God’s blue wonder.  “Ocean is a Call to Worship” will lead it off, but we welcome suggestions and submissions. 

Ocean is a call to worship, every morning, evening.
In its rising, falling, hear the Spirit breathing.

Photo from fabulous hike this week at Wilder Ranch north of Santa Cruz.  I post these “Tide-ings” every Wednesday here and at  We are booking service trips and pilgrimages for Spring Break and Summer 2018.

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