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Pastor Carolyn's Corner

Pastor's Corner

As I write this, the week of In the fall of 2006 the hymnal Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) was published to be used by congregations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. At the Worship and Music Committee meeting in October a request was presented that we purchase these “new” hymnals to be used here at St. Paul’s. That request was made at the Congregational Meeting held in November, where this was referred to the Council. At the December meeting, the Council authorized the Worship and Music Committee to pursue purchasing the hymnals needed. The Worship and Music Committee met later in December and the decision was made to proceed.

The goal is for us to start using the “new” hymnal either at the beginning of or during Lent, the exact timing will depend on when they arrive, and we are able to get the dedication stickers into them. In order to make this happen, we need your help! It is a long-held tradition that when hymnals are purchased in a congregation, people can dedicate them in honor of or in memory of their loved ones. Each hymnal is $25, and someone will be available on Sundays in January to collect money as well as the dedications to be placed inside the hymnals. Please prayerfully consider the number of hymnals you would like to dedicate to your family members!

Of course, there are always questions. Some that have already come up in conversations and can be addressed are:

Why? And why now? While this hymnal will be new to us here at St. Paul’s, it is now over 10 years old. There has not been rumor of another new hymnal, so this is the hymnal for our denomination for the foreseeable future. The Lutheran Book of Worship (the green books) were first published in the 1970s so are 40 years old. The ones that we have in our pews here at St. Paul’s are very worn. Over the last few years we have already been integrating pieces of liturgy and hymns from ELW into our worship services. When the suggestion was brought to the Worship and Music Committee, it seemed that now is the time to make this switch.

Will there be enough of them in the sanctuary? Yes! We will have hymnals in each of the pews and enough for the choir too!

Will we use them if we have them? Yes! As a committee we decided that to make this investment means we should put the hymnals to use! The current plan is for us to continue printing the liturgy portions of our worship services and use the hymnals for singing hymns. This is a method I have used in other congregations and so have others, and it works quite well!

What if we want to use hymns that are not in ELW from time to time? There are sure to be times when we will want to use a hymn that didn’t make it into the ELW. In that case, we will print that hymn in the bulletin as we have been doing with all our hymns!

What are we doing with the old hymnals? A final decision about what to do with the old hymnals has not been made. But so far, the conversation has been that we would make them available for people to take home. We will need to keep some here at church to be used by choirs!

Once these new hymnals are here, we will see that while this is something new, there is enough familiar material that we won’t be completely lost in a sea of newness! Thank you for your patience as we make this transition!


Pastor Carolyn

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