GS 2010 art 122

GS 2010 Article 122 – SCBP: Revision of Current Hymns

1.          Material

  • 1.1        Letters from Guelph (8.3.J.4), Grand Valley (8.3.J.10), Chilliwack (8.3.J.15), Owen Sound (8.3.J.20), Willoughby Heights (8.3.J.24), Attercliffe (8.3.J.25), Burlington-Ebenezer (8.3.J.26), Taber (8.3.J.27), Winnipeg-Redeemer (8.3.J.41, Appendix 2).
  • 1.2        SCBP Report, Sections Three, and Six, 13.10 (8.2.j).
  • 1.3        L etter from SCBP dated 20 April 2010 re: wording Hymn 46 (new Hymn 57).

2.          Observations

  • 2.1         Most of the matters raised by the churches in these letters were in regard to the revisions proposed by the SCBP to hymns in the current hymn collection. As such, many deal with particular words or expressions.
  • 2.2        The SCBP observes that the proposed wording of the first line of Hymn 57 (formerly 46) is grammatically incorrect, and proposes the correct wording (“We thank You Father, You have planted …”).
  • 2.3        There will be time for the SCBP to consider the churches’ concerns and suggestions before the final edition of the Book of Praise is approved for publication, D.V., by Synod 2013.
  • 2.4        Some of the churches objected to the exclusion of two stanzas from current Hymn 27.
  • 2.5        The SCBP observes that “the question-answer format of Romans 8:31-36 makes it very difficult to sing it in such a way that the meaning remains intact. This applies especially to stanzas 2 and 3. For example, the first line of stanza 2 may lead us to (mis)understand that it is Christ Jesus who condemns us…”
  • 2.6        The churches at Chilliwack, Grand Valley, Guelph, Owen Sound, Willoughby Heights and Winnipeg-Redeemer observe the following: the question-answer format is in the scriptural text, and it is in fact retained in stanza 1; the question mark at the end of the third line does not belong; we lose a lot of content in this song if we … remove Romans 8:34-36; it is inappropriate to leave out a portion of the passage; ambiguity is given by SCBP as a ground to remove these stanzas, but ambiguity seems to be permissible in other hymns; the removal of these stanzas can lead to confusion.
  • 2.7        Some of the churches objected to the exclusion of a stanza from current Hymn 60.
  • 2.8        The SCBP observes that “this Hymn is full of awkward and archaic language” and proposes that “in order to strengthen this Hymn” besides altering the language, the 4th stanza be omitted.
  • 2.9        The churches at Chilliwack, Grand Valley, Willoughby Heights and Winnipeg-Redeemer observe that stanza 4 is beautiful and the archaic language could easily be adapted; stanza 4 speaks clearly of the truth of God as our Creator and the Sustainer of the creation. Two of the churches present adapted versions of stanza 4 for consideration.

3.          Considerations

  • 3.1         Because many of the suggestions and concerns raised by the  churches are of a technical nature, and because the SCBP will have time to consider these concerns and suggestions as they prepare a hymn section for final adoption, D.V., to Synod 2013, it would be appropriate to pass them on to the SCBP for consideration.
  • 3.2        Since the rewording of the first line of Hymn 57 (formerly 46) is grammatically correct, we should adopt it.
  • 3.3        When concerns are expressed regarding more substantial changes, it is appropriate for synod to give direction to the SCBP.
  • 3.4        The proposed changes to Hymns 27 and 60 are more substantial, and therefore, it would be appropriate for synod to consider what has been proposed, and the churches’ concerns about these changes, in order to provide the SCBP with clarity.

4.          Recommendation

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1        To pass on to the SCBP for their consideration, the technical suggestions and concerns of the churches regarding the proposed revision to the current hymn section of the Book of Praise.
  • 4.2         To adopt the proposed rewording of Hymn 57 (formerly Hymn 46).
  • 4.3        To instruct the SCBP to retain the deleted stanzas (2,3) of current Hymn 27, taking into consideration the suggestions of the churches.
  • 4.4        To instruct the SCBP to reconsider the deletion of stanza 4 of current Hymn 60, keeping in mind the suggestions of the churches.