GS 2010 art 143

GS 2010 Article 143 – Publication of the Book of Praise

1.          Material

  • 1.1       Letters from Guelph (8.3.J.4), Grand Valley (8.3.J.9), Coaldale (8.3.J.11), Winnipeg-Grace (8.3.J.12), Hamilton-Providence, (8.3.J.8), Chilliwack (8.3.J.16), Burlington-Fellowship (8.3.J.18), Edmonton-Immanuel (8.3.J.19), Neerlandia (8.3.J.23), Willoughby Heights (8.3.J.24), Taber (8.3.J.27), London (8.3.J.30), Langley (8.3.J.31), Glanbrook (8.3.J.32), Abbotsford (8.3.J.37), Cloverdale (8.3.J.39), Winnipeg-Redeemer (8.3.J.41), and Lynden (8.3.J.44).
  • 1.2       SCBP Report, Section 6, 12.2 (8.2.j).

2.          Observations

  • 2.1        Though quite a number of churches expressed the desire to see a finalized publication of the Book of Praise after Synod 2010, at least ten churches urge synod to give the churches more time to test the revised Psalter and hymns as well as the additional hymns being proposed from the Augment. A number of these churches suggested that a provisional edition of the Book of Praise be printed for the purpose of testing in the churches, and for final revision and for adoption by Synod 2013.
  • 2.2        One church addressed Synod concerning the possibility that the present version of the NIV many no longer be published after 2011. This could mean that the churches may again need to revise the wording of the Scripture references mentioned in the Book of Praise before a final version is printed.
  • 2.3        One church also proposed further testing of a revised Book of Praise in order to give the FRCA ample opportunity to comment on it.
  • 2.4        A church has also pointed out that the need for more deliberate and lengthy testing of the proposed revisions should outweigh the Standing Committee’s concern about “financial implications,” for if the churches rush to a final decision in 2010, the financial implications could be just as considerable if, over the next years, churches find weaknesses and shortcomings in the work which then have to be corrected in constantly updated and corrected versions.
  • 2.5        The church at Cloverdale requested General Synod to provide clarity with respect to the use or testing of the revised psalm versifications by the churches.
  • 2.6        The SCBP (Report Section 6, 12.2) requests General Synod to authorize the committee to publish a new edition of the Book of Praise containing the revised Anglo-Genevan Psalterand the hymns adopted by General Synod as outlined above.
  • 2.7        Some churches noted that General Synod Smithers 2007 (Article148) did not make a clear decision to provisionally approve the revised and updated Psalms for a period of testing and that this caused uncertainty among the churches, and that many churches request clarity about this matter.
  • 2.8        The SCBP also requests Synod adopt the committee’s proposal regarding the renumbering of the Hymns for publication in the next Book of Praise.

3.          Considerations

  • 3.1        Many churches have considered it unwise to introduce revised Psalms to the congregational worship which they felt had not formally been approved for use in this context.
  • 3.2        It is impossible for Synod Burlington-Ebenezer to give satisfactory consideration and do justice to all the details contained in the submissions regarding any part of the Book of Praise within the short time General Synod is convened.
  • 3.3        Synod takes note of the wish of the majority of the churches who have expressed the desire for a longer period of time to consider additional changes proposed by the SCBP. It would not be wise to proceed to a final edition at this time as proposed by the SCBP.
  • 3.4        Synod considers that publishing a provisional edition at this time, though more costly in the short run, will be more prudent in the long run, as the final edition will have been well-tested and corrected by the time of printing after 2013.
  • 3.5        A provisional edition would allow a further time of testing and refining and getting used to the revised Psalms and Hymns as well as the additional hymns.
  • 3.6         It needs to be made clear to the churches that this provisional edition of the Book of Praise is for use in the worship services in the churches.
  • 3.7        It would be beneficial for churches and members who will be testing the provisional Book of Praise to be able to access the revised Book of Praise electronically on the web.

4.         Recommendation That Synod decide:

  • 4.1        To pass on to the SCBP the letters of the churches with proposed changes to the Psalter and to the hymn section they have proposed, and to empower the SCBP to incorporate any changes they deem to be improvements to their proposed Book of Praise.
  • 4.2       To instruct the SCBP:
    • 4.2.1  To publish a provisional edition of the complete Book of Praise, including the changes adopted by this synod, with a renumbered hymn section, for use in the churches according to Article 55 CO. This provisional edition has been sufficiently prepared for the purpose of evaluation and will be amended by the SCBP and presented to Synod 2013 for final approval and printing.
    • 4.2.2  To communicate to the churches that they determine for themselves how to purchase and distribute the copies of this provisional Book of Praise, noting that if churches purchase copies of this edition for all the members of their congregations, a discount on the cost is available from the publisher.
    • 4.2.3 To make the provisional Book of Praise available also electronically.
    • 4.2.4  To communicate with the CanRC, as well as the deputies of the FRCA, and seek and consider further suggestions for improvements to the Book of Praise.
    • 4.2.5  To present a final version of the Book of Praise to Synod 2013 for approval and prepared for publication. The actual direction to publish will come from synod.