They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.@Isaiah 40:31

John A. Dalles, 1984.

God, Bless Your Church with Strength was written in South Bend, for the 150th anniversary of the First Presbyterian Church of South Bend, Indiana, which I was serving as associate pastor at the time (1984). The congregation held a big anniversary dinner and worship at the South Bend Convention Center—the hymn was sung there and has been sung by that church often as their theme hymn. First PC South Bend is my wife Judy’s home congregation—she was baptized and confirmed there, and we met there on Sept. 13, 1982, at my first deacon’s meeting as the church’s associate pastor. We were married there in May of 1984. It was my 6th hymn.

Ich Halte Treuliche Still attributed to Johann S. Bach, 1736 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Johann S. Bach (1685-1750)

God, bless Your church with strength!
Wherever we may be,
Upbuild Your servants as we work
In common ministry.
Urge us from fledgling faith
To venture and to soar
Through open skies, to sing the praise
Of Christ whom we adore.

God, bless Your church with life!
May all our branches thrive,
Unblemished, wholesome, bearing fruit,
Abundantly alive.
From You, one holy vine,
In freedom may we grow;
Sustain us in our mission, Lord,
Your love and peace to show.

God, bless Your church with hope!
Despite chaotic days,
May we in chaos shine to light
A pathway through life’s maze.
May justice be our aim,
And kindness ours to share,
In humbleness O may we walk,
Assured our God is there!