PSR alum's music brings congregations together
Mark Clay Unbehagen, MA 2006, finds God not only in religious settings, but in nature as well. That inclusive access to the divine sparked his idea for “God of Inspiration,” one of four of his songs included in the recently published UCC Sing: Prayer and Praise Book.
“The god we worship inside church is the same god of the stars and sun. God is not just in a church box; he is not an ‘either/or,’ and you can’t find God only on Sundays,” the El Cerrito, CA resident says. “My creative process of writing music is that same inspiration, the sunrise and sunset and beauty of nature. If I don’t nourish my soul I can’t compose.”
Unbehagen’s years on Holy Hill similarly influenced his path as a musician and composer. He visited dozens of different services of all denominations represented around campus and participated in the worship services at PSR. “Each week the service was a collaborative process of worship, and it nurtured a sense of coming together as community,” he says. “Worship is not a solitary process but is communal, a coming together to offer gifts. My whole purpose is to bridge the rifts within congregations to allow people to sing together and pray together.”
Below are the lyrics to Unbehagen’s “God of Inspiration.” Lyrics and music to his other songs, as well as links to videos of their performances, can be found at his Web site, wepraiseyouoncemore.com.
“God of Inspiration”
Words and music by Mark Clay Unbehagen
To the One who paints the colors into the sunsets of the sky,
To the One who shapes the plants and creatures infinite of design,
For the ‘unsymmetric’ symmetry of the sparrow, the oak, the rose,
For the ever-changing tapestry that feeds the eye and soul:
We Praise You, O God of Inspiration.
We praise You, for breathing life through creation.
O we praise You, praise You,
We praise You God for the canvas of our lives.
To the One who stirs the rhythms into the universe of time,
To the One who calls forth songs of life joining heart and soul and mind.
For the perfect imperfection of creation resounding Your word,
For the never-ending symphony of Your love’s longing to be heard: (to refrain)
To the One who carves each one of us with a beauty all our own,
To the One who weaves the web of life, that we need not feel alone.
For creating re-creation: time to rest, to play, to be.
For surrounding us with wonder, that we through Your eyes might see: (to refrain)