Imagine that it’s Advent, 2021. The new hymnal is here! But it’s not just a book. The suite of products related to the new hymnal numbers more than 20 items (preview these at christianworship.com).
Congregations, pastors, and musicians will discover a wealth of superb new content. Chief among these are some wonderful new hymns (along with old favorites), multiple musical settings for all 150 psalms, weekly lectionary readings selected for thematic unity, exceptional design quality of printed products, and—the focus of this letter—impressive digital resources that take advantage of technology that didn’t even exist when the previous hymnal was released.
These tools are not just shiny new things. They are all about proclaiming Jesus Christ.
Three digital resources will help us expand and expedite our proclamation. These resources support worship planning and provide hymnal content for personal and small group devotions.
Worship planning needs will be met by Christian Worship: Musician’s Resource. Members and guests appreciate and expect high quality in the music of worship. This resource provides digital scores for a wide variety of instruments to make it easy for musicians to accompany hymns and liturgy.
Both long-time members and guests appreciate and expect well-designed worship folders that deliver good variety in worship content. Easy-to-follow worship folders make worship more accessible. Christian Worship: Service Builder is an impressive software that quickly creates customized worship folders, saving the pastor and church office vast amounts of time and delivering excellent graphic design.
A third digital resource is a personal edition of the hymnal. This resource combines the power of the Word of God with the breadth of hymnal project resources in the simplicity of a mobile app. It will make it easy for anybody to use hymnal content, including audio files, for personal or small group devotions.
Will you help the Commission on Worship to close the funding gap for these new 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, leading, and worshiping. By God’s grace we’ve already received gifts of $219,000 toward the $500,000 development and production costs for all three resources. Additional gifts of $281,000 would enable the full and timely production of these digital products. Thank you for your consideration!
Let me emphasize something important in closing. The new hymnal is about ministry—proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ—as well as stewardship of our blessings toward that end. Visit christianworship.com to watch the videos Worship and Outreach and Worship and Congregational Health to see what I mean. There you can also learn more about the digital resources, including viewing short demos of Service Builder’s amazing capabilities. We pray these resources will be very beneficial to our worship.
Pastor Adam Mueller
Director, Hymnal Introduction Program