On September 10 and 11, the hymnal project’s executive committee met at the synod’s Center for Mission and Ministry in Waukesha, Wisconsin. This was the executive committee’s third face-to-face meeting since first meeting in September of 2013.
Considerable time was spent discussing various issues that will eventually shape the hymnal’s table of contents. Most people would rightly expect a hymnal to include 600+ hymns. But how many orders of service will it include? How many psalms? With many more of today’s congregations printing out an order of service each week, those questions will inevitably be discussed differently than they were two decades ago. We will continue to strive to provide a resource that serves the public worship needs of the various churches of our synod.
The executive committee also spent time discussing issues that will help us shape the hymnal’s contents. For example, how will we make decisions about various language issues? By what criteria will hymns be evaluated? By what process will new submissions from the public be reviewed? Laying a good foundation in these matters will help us make wise decisions in the future.
Looking forward, the executive committee will continue to solicit input about how our current hymnal is being used and how the new hymnal can best serve our church body. The fourth and final major survey will be launched during October. This last survey is intended for any and all worshipers in our church body.
In a little more than a year’s time, the executive committee will be looking for feedback on potential new resources that are being considered for this next hymnal. Congregations will have an opportunity to field test various resources and offer us input about them.
Finally, the executive committee’s meeting served as an opportunity to celebrate twenty-five years in ministry for the project director, Pastor Michael Schultz. Prior to serving as the hymnal project’s director, Pastor Schultz served congregations in Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Flagstaff, Arizona. An afternoon service was held at the Center for Mission and Ministry’s chapel. Pictures from that service can be seen here.
Join us in thanking God for the blessings he has given to Pastor Schultz and to our church body through him. Join us in continuing to pray for God’s richest blessings on the ongoing work of all those involved in the hymnal project.