Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Methodist Hymnal Project Delayed

I just heard the Hymnal Committee threw in the towel (due to UM Publishing House financial constraints) and will not work any more this quardennium. Maybe it's good I didn't make it past the "finals" to be on the committee ... they only had one meeting. Sad, but maybe the effort can start again in 4 or 8 years.

I have hopes for a "bridge hymnal" into a new kind of hybrid hymnal that goes beyond the page into cyber resources, but true to tradition as well. Something emergent that is an entry point into a larger body of resources for our diverse church. Something that is not static (i.e., these are our hymns and there are no others) but dynamic (i.e., we are a very diverse people experiencing vital worship and this is our launching pad). Something we can touch and feel but that is also a bridge into vast and diverse ways of resourcing worship for the future.
We'll see. Some observers of culture say there will never be another hymnal, others say this will be the last one. I personally think this is an incredible time to build a bridge while still being true to the power of our own tradition.