There are many marvels in the life of a church. Things are always in flux, but slowly: such that watching ministries take form is like watching clouds as they billow and blow in a blue sky. Just now, it seems to me that this church is billowing, just a tiny bit. We might not feel the wind from our vantage on the green grass, but if we pay close attention we can see its effects.
Have you noticed the announcements about the new Sunday morning Bible Study? There are people who are coming here to engage with God’s good words, and who are opening themselves to be reshaped by the Spirit within them. The Associate Pastor Nominating Committee is hard at their invisible work; with far-off strength, new shapes are beginning to form there, too.
In the next few months, you will see a significant change in our worshipping life, too: the gradual introduction of the new Presbyterian Hymnal, “Glory to God.” Over the course of the summer, we will be singing hymns from that new book. Most we will know, but a few will be new. We won’t have new hymnals in hand until later in the fall, but the first peeks will begin now.
Over the summer months, our Good News newsletters will include more information and share some of our excitement about this new hymnal. In the fall, we will invite members of the congregation to dedicate a hymnal as they wish—and separately we will welcome gifts to offset the cost of the hymnals, and offer congregants a chance to purchase copies for their own enjoyment.
As we start to sing some of these beautiful new tunes over the summer, perhaps you will share in an experience I have had. Every once in a while, a song is written that seems so incredibly perfect, so well-blended in word and note, so harmoniously partnered, that it seems as though it simply had to come to be. It is as though rather than being written, the song was uncovered by some lucky artist. It had perhaps always existed—like an idea, or a kernel of knowledge—but had been waiting there, patiently and for generations, to be found.
May we find such songs in this new book, as in the seasons of our lives. May we find new shapes in the skies, and wonder at their grandeur, and bask in the good blueness of the background of God’s eternal firmament of love. May we find ourselves light and hope-filled, like balloons in the hands of children at summer.
O sing a new song to the Lord!