Within a church, hymns perform an important function. They are the element of the worship service that allows the congregation to have a voice. They also lead to a greater understanding of scripture and lift our spirits to a more profound experience of worship. Therefore, it is very important that the hymns that we sing are familiar to the congregation, singable, and have a meaningful resonance with their hearts and minds.
Having this goal in mind, I have undertaken, with the support of Stacy, as well as the Music Committee, a project of designing our own Hymnal. In order to make this as democratic a process as possible, I invite every member of the congregation to submit their favorite hymns or worship songs to be considered as part of this “UCW Hymnal.” As we may not be able to include every submission, I would ask for no more than five hymns per person. We are thinking of a collection of approximately 40 to 50 hymns or songs at the most. We may not be able to include every favorite hymn, but we will try to do our best to have a hymnal that will be representative of the Union Church congregation.
So that we can complete this project during the start of the church year, we would like your responses by Labor Day at the latest. I would ask that, in general, you not submit either Christmas or Easter hymns, as these are usually quite standard in the liturgical year.
I thank you all for your participation, and although we will still use our New Century and Pilgrim Hymnals, my hope is that this effort to create our own collection of beloved hymns will lead us to a deeper experience of worship.
-William Merrill, Music Director