“I present to our church body Christian Worship: Hymnal for the glory of God and the edification of his people.”
Rev. Michael Schultz, director of the WELS Hymnal Project, said these words as he presented the first copy of the new hymnal to Pres. Mark Schroeder Wednesday morning.
It has been 28 years since a presentation like this happened and 10 years since the 2011 synod convention resolved to establish the WELS Hymnal Project committee. This fall, the new hymnal, psalter, and multiple supporting resources for pastors, musicians, and worship planners will be available to congregations and WELS members. In September, Northwestern Publishing House will send every congregation two copies of Christian Worship: Hymnal and one copy of Christian Worship: Psalter as a preview.
Schultz called for a celebration as he shared more about the 17 books, 3 digital products, and multiple accompaniment volumes that are part of the Christian Worship suite of resources—resources that the WELS Hymnal Project states are “for a generation yet unborn.”
“These are books that will put our worshiping church body in a good place for the next 20 to 30 years,” said Schultz.
He stressed that these resources are a careful collection of materials, not “everything under the sun.” Said Schultz, “We’re confident in commending these resources to the church body that they’re going to see these things and they’re going to hear about Jesus Christ, our Savior, and God’s love for the world in Christ.”
Schultz thanked the 90 to 100 volunteers who served on 12 committees for the last nine years as part of the WELS Hymnal Project. He also highlighted the work of Northwestern Publishing House in the production of the suite of resources and acknowledged the support and partnership of the Synodical Council and WELS Congregational Services throughout the process.
As part of his presentation, Schultz announced the first major release for the hymnal project: a limited release of the new lectionary through the Christian Worship: Service Builder electronic resource. Access the lectionary at builder.christianworship.com.
WELS President Rev. Mark Schroeder asked delegates to resolve to thank all who worked on the project to the glory of God and to formally accept and adopt Christian Worship: Hymnal as the official hymnal of WELS. He also encouraged all congregations to use this resource not just in their churches but also in their homes.
The presentation ended with delegates praising God through the singing of the Doxology.