This article was originally published by The Mennonite

Readers respond: Should Mennonite Publishing Network plan now a new hymnal by 2016?

Responses from Facebook

Editor’s note: We asked this question in the September editorial, as a poll question on our website and on the Facebook page for The Mennonite. Here are some Facebook responses:

I consider the recent Mennonite hymnal to be very relevant and a new one is really not necessary.—David Araujo

It is a fairly large chunk of change for a church that could be used in other worthy projects. More churches are using projection for congregational singing.—Ed Taylor

Why a new hymnal? Just to add some pop songs? Or are the old ones out of print? Most churches already have contemporary songbooks or they project contemporary songs on a screen.—Judith Vargo

My experience over the years has been that of finding so many entries in the current hymnal to be unfamiliar. Yes, we should learn new songs, but if there is a new hymnal, it would be helpful to revise it with a return to more of the old tried-and-true hymns of the faith. I would be more inclined to order the spiral shorter hymn books that are used (e.g. Sing the Story).—Tim Schultz

I think congregations have more important things to do with their money—spread the good news of Jesus and respond to the many needs in our communities and the world. Updates should be similar to Sing the Journey and Sing the Story. We still have plenty of new discoveries in Hymnal: A Worship Book.—Suzann Bauman

Sounds like a lot of effort and money just to “update” something people already love—not to mention the environmental impact making everyone change hymnals.—Becca Stucky

No, especially not if the plan is to add more “contemporary” hymns. I cannot stand them. With lyrics suitable for preschool songs and a reading level comprehended by even my golden retriever, they in no way enhance a worship service. On the other hand, if the plan is to include more real hymns that enhance a worship experience and a relationship with God … —Gayle Ann Livecchia

The hymnal and supplements that we currently have are sufficient for us. We still do not know all these hymns, and there are Sunday school classes [in our church] that still pull out the red hymnal when they sing as a class. Resources would be better used to project the lyrics with the music and in offering new praise songs with stronger Anabaptist connections.—Dave Maurer

I don’t feel that a new hymnal is necessary, especially when many of the hymns from the red hymnal were “politically corrected” to be included in the blue hymnal. I know many churches where both are still used and in fact the red hymnal is the favored one. The money needed for this project would be better used in other areas of the church mission.—Yvonne Taylor

Website poll results (180 votes)
No: 57%
Yes: 22%
Not sure: 21%

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