Our God Goes
This hymn reflects the history the Centennial Japanese United Church (David Kai's home congregation) as well as its future hopes. The form of the hymn is similar to “Spirit of Gentleness” by Jim Manley, in which the work of the Spirit in the bible is depicted in chronological order. In this hymn the work of the Spirit is depicted during Japanese-Canadian history and the ongoing story that led the Toronto Japanese United Church Nisei to worship at, and eventually amalgamate with the Centennial United Church. The chorus is an affirmation that no matter where we go and whatever the future holds, we need not fear, for God goes with us. Just as God’s presence, symbolized by the Ark of the Covenant, traveled with the people of Israel through their years of wandering in the wilderness, so God moves with us. In all our journeys, God has always gone with us, for us and 'fore us.
NOTE: A new version of the words were written in 2021 that are suitable for the closing of a church building. The lyrics are available at this link, and the accompaniment version is available at this link. Words are also printed at the bottom of the page. Click here to watch the instrumental video of this new version. Click here to downlad a ChordPro version of the hymn.
To watch the video of the original version, click here or click here to see a version prepared for the Japanese American Memorial Pilgrimage
Click here to download the lyrics. An adapted version for more general use is also included.
Click here to download the lead sheet.
Click here to download the full accompaniment version.
A video called "A Ghost Town Tour" which gives some of the historic background behind this hymn is available at this link.
For more information, contact David Kai at email@example.com
Please report any congregational use to One License or CCLI.
This music is available for download through iTunes and can be streamed through Spotify (see below), Apple Music, Pandora and many others.
Click here to listen to the song on Apple Music.
Click here to listen to the song on Spotify.
OUR GOD GOES WITH US Words and music: David Kai Tune: Lemon Creeka hymn written for the Centennial-Japanese United Church
CHORUS:Our God goes with us wherever we may roam,Our God goes with us, makes each new place our home,As God goes with us we live by faith, not fear,Thanks be to God, ever ‘fore us, ever near.
The Spirit moved, blew boats across the sea, brooded in hearts that struggled to be free,New life, new faith, new challenges to dare, through blood, sweat, toil, bitter tears, our God was there. Chorus:
The Spirit wept as hatred’s flames were fanned, as trains of tears streamed from the promised land, In lonely mountain paths our God was found, Faith, hope and love making ghost towns holy ground. Chorus:
The Spirit urged, go forth and start anew, rebuild my church, a sanctuary true,Welcomed by friends, their paths entwined as one, stronger united with ev’ry rising sun. Chorus:
The Spirit leads; the future, still unknown, is not to fear, we trust in God alone, Be with us still as we move on again, strengthen, inspire us, our Saviour and our Friend. Chorus:
OUR GOD GOES WITH US (So Long Ago) Words: David Kai ©2021 (rev. 2022) Music: David Kai ©2005 Tune: Lemon Creek
a hymn for the closing of a church building
So long ago they gathered in this place,
Reached out in faith and built this holy space,
As years have passed you’ve stood here for the good,
Well done, you faithful servant of stone and wood.
Our God goes with us wherever we may roam,
Our God goes with us, makes each new place our home,
As God goes with us we live by faith, not fear,
Thanks be to God, ever ‘fore us, ever near.
Laughter and tears and prayers have graced these walls,
Steps of the faithful still echo in your halls,
In word and rite and sacrament they found,
That humble blocks would become your holy ground. Chorus:
The time has come: to God we do entrust
The future, past, and all you mean to us,
Our voices joined as one shall be a sign,
That memories here will surpass the test of time. Chorus: