Darkness isn’t evil: editing hymn texts

Oct 28, 2019 by , and

The words we sing in worship carry tremendous power to form our theological imaginations. The poetry we sing can become ingrained in our memories in ways that sermons and readings cannot. Songs learned in...

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Behind the scenes of making a hymnal

Sep 18, 2018 by

What is your all-time favorite hymn or spiritual/religious piece of music? If you go to church and participate in regular worship services, you also likely enjoy the songs and hymns most churches count as a...

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Healthy worship diet

Nov 6, 2017 by

Are hymnals still relevant? It’s a question worth asking in light of the Menno­Media “Resonate” project, which will produce a new hymnal for Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada in 2020. It...

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Hymnals: old, new, sometimes gathering dust

Oct 23, 2017 by and

How often does a church need a new hymnal? Every 25 years? Every century? Once for all time? Or are hymnals obsolete? Among the diversity of Anabaptists in North America, there’s someone who would answer...

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Our ‘I come to the garden alone’ theology

Jun 15, 2017 by

The past century has seen a rise in popular gospel songs like “In the Garden,” sometimes known by its first line, “I Come to the Garden Alone.” Written in 1912 by C. Austin Miles, it...

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Bible: Songs of miraculous love

Mar 27, 2017 by

Of all the musical settings of Psalm 23 that I enjoy, the tune and text that resonate most deeply for me is “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need” (No. 589 in Hymnal: A Worship Book). The text, set to an early...

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Singing as if life depended on it

Dec 22, 2014 by

After noticing its persistent presence on my Facebook newsfeed for multiple days, I caved and watched the three minute video of Naomi Feil, a Jewish woman, singing Christian songs to Gladys, an elderly woman...

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Everything is awesome

Mar 26, 2014 by

We went to see The Lego Movie at the drive-in a few weeks ago. Popcorn, Reese’s Pieces, beanbags and blankets in the back of the car — it was a sublime evening. The whole way home, all four of us kept...

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