Synod 2012 endorsed a new hymnal, Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, for use in Christian Reformed congregations.
Elder Terry Gray, Classis Rocky Mountain: Endorsement was appropriate.
Photo: Karen Huttenga
The hymnal is scheduled for release in June 2013.
Some delegates didn’t like the fact that they didn’t get to see the texts of all the songs.
“I find it problematic that synod is being asked to endorse this hymnbook,” said Rev. Tyler Wagenmaker, Classis Zeeland. “It says that the [synod advisory] committee did not have an opportunity to review the songs. [This] would be a hollow endorsement.”
In response, Rev. Joyce Borger, worship editor at Faith Alive, explained the thorough process of developing the hymnal.
“There are 13 people on our committee; at least seven have theological degrees, so [the texts] have been discussed a lot,” she said.
She also explained that the song texts have been reviewed by 80 outside advisors as well as by several Calvin Theological Seminary professors.
“All the CRCs received a [40-song] sampler,” said Borger. “There was very little response, but we took that as a good sign that you trust the diligent work that our committee has done.”
Synod decided to endorse the new hymnal, which is a joint effort by the CRC and Reformed Church in America (RCA) and will also be used in RCA congregations.
“We had enough confidence in Faith Alive and the hymnal review process that the word ‘endorse’ was appropriate,” said Terry Gray, an elder from Classis Rocky Mountain.