On Sunday April 30th at 5:00 p.m. we will assemble as a Congregational Council to vote on whether we should adopt the current hymnal of our denomination. We have been using the red, 1969 Hymnal of the Moravian Church almost since its publication. I love the liturgies of the 1969 hymnal. I know many of them by heart. However, as pastor, I am concerned that the archaic language no longer speaks to people that are actively seeking the God rules the world of today, and all who are in it. The blue 1995 Moravian Book of Worship drops the archaic language of the 19th century, and speaks in the language you and I use for everyday communication. If this is not the language we use for prayer, it should be, for God invites us to approach him as we are. So, too, the new hymnal uses language that is inclusive of the people of God, ordinarily using “children of God,” rather than “sons of God” (In Romans 8 St. Paul uses these terms interchangeably.). The 1995 Moravian Book of Worship continues to use Biblical language to describe God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as in the Lord’s prayer, when we pray, “Our Father, who art in heaven…” The Scripture references are taken from the New Revised Standard translation of the Bible, which is consistent with our new pew Bibles.
As a bonus, the new hymnal also includes a much larger selection of gospel hymns, including favorites that were omitted from the red hymnal, such as “How Great Thou Art.” The second service has been using content from the new hymnal since it inception. Our musicians want this hymnal as a resource for both services. I believe it is time that we adopt it. I leave it to the congregation as to whether we should adopt it 1) alongside, or 2) as a replacement for the old hymnal.
On March 2, 2017, the Joint Board voted to recommend to the Congregational Council to purchase the 1995 Moravian Book of Worship (blue hymnal) to use in addition to the 1969 Hymnal of the Moravian Church (red hymnal).
We will also elect 2018 Synod Delegates – information on each delegate was emailed to congregational members with email addresses and is available in the Commons Area at church.
Kay Harper Windsor
Myrldene (Dootsie) Jolley
David H. Stanfield