A Repository of RCA Hymnody?

If you check out the account of my presentation to the CI gathering this past October, you will notice mention of my concern that the hymnody of the Reformed Church in America, including texts by the Livingstons, George Washington Bethune, Denis Wortman, and Daniel Meeter, may not survive into the next generation. There is very little of it in Lift Up Your Hearts, our new denominational hymnal, and even less in other books. While much is available in older sources and/or on-line, most worship planners do not tend to look beyond the hymnal in their pews. A generation from now, people may not know there ever was a “Searcher and Savior of my soul.” In two generations, “God of the prophets” (especially in its original form) may just be a memory.

If you cannot guess where I am going, read the title of this post. Would it be wise to create a repository of hymnody of the RCA, collecting it somewhere where people could see it and learn from it and maybe make use of bits from time to time (including many hymns that bring a perspective on unique RCA theological perspectives)? If so, what sort of media would we use?

I could see, wherever it would be, some short biographical sketches, along with a bit of analysis of the texts (I am starting to contemplate possible sabbatical projects).

Or would it be best to let theological evolution take its course, and to allow all of this to slip away for a millenia or three?


The Breakdown of the RCA Discernment Process

There are reasons to think that the discernmant process in which the RCA has been engaged for two years has stopped working. More here:

The Breakdown of the RCA Discernment Process and Suggested Alternatives

Continue reading “The Breakdown of the RCA Discernment Process”

Jim Reid on evaluating "Our Call"

Jim Reid has offered this draft evaluation of “Our Call,” the RCA’s soon-concluding 10 year mission and vision statement. His reasons for doing so, as he says, includes the lack of such an evaluation from staff or officers of the General Synod. I trust you’ll find his work insightful. Thank you, Jim.

You may find the document here.

What We Should Expect from "Conversations"

In two weeks, ministers and members of RCA congregations from all over will meet in Orlando for an event the organizers have called “Conversations.” The purpose of this gathering is to engage in the deep sharing and interaction that could lead to a new vision and mission statement for the denomination, one that would succeed “Our Call,” whose ten year run is soon coming to an end. Continue reading “What We Should Expect from "Conversations"”