WELS Hymnal Project

Support the Development of Hymnal Project Digital Resources

The WELS long range plan, adopted by the 2011 convention, included a goal to “establish a committee to publish a new hymnal by the 500th anniversary of the first Lutheran hymnal (1524).” NPH agreed to fund the position of a project director and the work of various committees to prepare the hymnal and accompanying print volumes: pew edition, accompaniment edition, altar book, occasional services volume, pastor’s companion. The work began with the installation of project director Michael Schultz in April, 2013 and the formation of project subcommittees – 60 people serving various aspects of the project.

Now, roughly three years into the project, it is apparent that additional worship resources beyond printed volumes will enable planners, leaders, and worshipers to make best use of a new hymnal’s potential. Three additional resources are under consideration, pending sufficient funding to make them a reality. Research into recent hymnals and supplemental products created by other church bodies has discovered similar resources and shows the value of our WELS project producing such tools.

  • A “service builder” computer program to expedite production of worship folders that take advantage of the hymnal’s flexible and vast resources, both print and electronic.
  • A “musicians’ resource” – a powerful tool that allows musicians to print scores for a wide variety of instruments to better enable them to contribute their talent in worship.
  • A personal digital edition of the hymnal – an app for tablet or smartphone. The goal for this resource is to make it easier for people to use hymnal contents as a personal devotional resource. Unlike a printed book, it could include audio files for personal or family devotions.

The “service builder” will greatly facilitate service planning and will vastly reduce the amount of time needed by the pastor and church office to create worship folders. It will assure that worship folder design is of the highest quality. In addition to presenting wonderful new hymns to our church body, this “service builder” is one of the most exciting goals of the hymnal project. (You can view a demo of a similar product created by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.)

Our synod's Christian Giving Counselors are assisting us in making this appeal for gifts that will provide the funding necessary for the development of these digital resources. “For a generation yet unborn” is the hymnal project motto. Your gift will help the project’s resources to be the best they can be as older generations pass to younger generations the awesome privileges of planning and leading…and worshiping. Development and production of all three resources is projected to cost several hundred thousand dollars.

To support the WELS Hymnal Project, click on the button below and select "CW: Hymnal Electronic Resources" as the designation for your gift.

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If you'd like to pass along this information to someone who may wish to support the work of the Hymnal Project, the brochure from the Congregation and Ministry Support Group in which it appears can be downloaded and printed below.

About Michael Schultz

Rev. Michael Schultz serves as the Project Director for the WELS Hymnal Project. Schultz has served congregations in Flagstaff, AZ and Lawrenceville, GA. Schultz is a church musician who served as the Hymns Committee chairman for Christian Worship Supplement and also compiled the Guitar Edition for Christian Worship Supplement. He and his wife Karen have three children: Caleb, Bethany, and Ethan.

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