At Session last night, among other decisions you’ll read about below, the Session members voted to move forward with the adoption of a full set of new hymnals. The giver has chosen to remain anonymous, but let’s give up a big prayer of gratitude for such a wonderful, generous gift!
I’m not sure how long it will take for us to get the order in and for them to ship them, so once again we will practice some patience as the process unfolds. But as we wait, let’s have some fun together. I’d like to challenge you all to a game of hymnal-exploration. Both now as we continue to use the blue hymnals, and later this summer when the purple hymnals arrive, let’s sing some of our favorite songs together. I will be making up a Song Request form, and you can consider this your way of playing the ecclesiastical jukebox… with a twist. The twist, of course, is that we want to know more than just the name and number of your request. We want to know why you love this song, or where you first heard it, or what your favorite lyrics are. Share something about yourself, perhaps something about your faith, or something about your life story. It doesn’t have to be a hymnal song, but one that is appropriate for Celebration. When you’ve made your choice and written a bit about it, put the form in the offering plate and it will go into the jukebox. Ben and I will choose them at random, but will have a bit of discretion in that we will try to coordinate the song choice with the theme in each Celebration service. I know some of you will try to play “stump the band,” and we will certainly take that challenge as well, but it might take us longer to work the challenges in.
The idea for this actually came out of a meeting with youth group members. We usually have 2 to 4 youth group members present in church on Sunday mornings, but they are different youth from week to week… so one came up with the idea of focusing our attention on one Sunday per month (the first Sunday – communion Sunday). Maybe the youth could have leadership roles, we said… ushering? Serving communion? Giving the Birthday announcement? And later we had another idea – what about helping to pick the hymns? THAT was a coveted role, snagged immediately by Claire Kelly who will give us the first song suggestions to go in the jukebox.
I realized it was such a good idea that the adults and children would want “in” on it too. So while we will have Youth Choice Hymns on the first Sunday of every month, adults and children of any age can put your requests in whenever you want to, and we will incorporate those in Celebration on other weeks. Look for the hot pink forms in the back of the Sanctuary any time. And let’s celebrate our favorite music together!