GS 2010 art 144

GS 2010 Article 144 – SCBP: Process of Choosing Hymns

1.         Material

Letter from Guelph (8.3.J.4).

2.         Observations

  • 2.1         The church of Guelph asserts that “throughout the report it is apparent that a judgment-call process was utilized by the committee as to what qualified as ‘classic hymns’ versus ‘changeable hymns’ (hymns that were not classic enough to merit preservation).” They consider that “it is unfortunate that the utilization of a judgment-call” process resulted in inconsistent criteria to change non-copyrighted hymns.” They want Synod to take note of the inconsistent criteria used.
  • 2.2        Guelph opines that the SCBP did not interact sufficiently with the recommendations of the Ad Hoc committee with this option in their report and wishes to bring to Synod 2010’s attention that the recommendations of an appointed sub-committee were not adhered to or sufficiently interacted with in the SCBP final report.
  • 2.3        Guelph also recommends that Synod 2010 address the difference of opinion that exists in our churches regarding the use of hymns so as to avoid division in our churches on such a matter.

3.          Considerations

  • 3.1        No convincing evidence is provided by Guelph to support their assertion that the SCBP used inconsistent criteria when it came to the choosing of non-copyrighted hymns. Guelph admits this is more a matter of perception when the letter speaks of “an appearance of imbalance in their (SCBP’s) considerations.”
  • 3.2        The SCBP has been working with the materials for a long time and was not bound to the recommendations of its own subcommittee. If the church of Guelph disagrees with proposed changes, they had and have opportunity to address those proposed changes before the final edition of the Book of Praise.
  • 3.3        There may be differences of opinion as to the use of hymns in the churches, but churches (and members) have all agreed to abide by Article 55 of the Church Order and are bound by that regulation with the proviso of Article 31. The actual selection of hymns to be sung in worship is left up to the local churches.

4.          Recommendation

That Synod decide:

  • 4.1        Guelph has not proven that the SCBP has used inconsistent criteria in its changing of non-copyrighted hymns.
  • 4.2        The Report shows that the SCBP certainly did interact with its subcommittee even if it did not agree with it in most cases.
  • 4.3        It is not in the province of a synod to address differences of opinion about matters which have been agreed to in the CO, and which the churches agree to uphold with the proviso of Article 31 CO.
  • 4.4        The selection of songs from the Book of Praise to be used in worship is a local consistory matter