Hymnal timeline stretches to 2024

Timing reset for the next official United Methodist collection of hymns, prayers, and liturgical resources.

Nashville, July 5—Discipleship Ministries and The United Methodist Publishing House, the supervising agencies of the new United Methodist hymnal who are working with the Hymnal Revision Committee, announced today a plan to revise the timeline for work on the hymnal. A progress report will be shared with the 2020 General Conference, and a final report will be submitted to the 2024 General Conference for review and approval.

“As The United Methodist Church grapples with critical questions before the 2019 special session of General Conference, and the subsequent agenda for the 2020 General Conference,” said the Reverend Junius B. Dotson, general secretary of Discipleship Ministries, “it is prudent to reset the timing for work in compiling the next official collection of hymns, prayers, and other liturgical resources.”

“The hymnal is a key resource in answering the historical questions: ‘What to teach?’ ‘How to teach?’ and ‘What to do?’” added the Reverend Brian K. Milford, president and publisher of The United Methodist Publishing House. “By allowing time for the resolution of conflicts and greater consensus to emerge about key issues in our social teachings, ordination standards, and rules affecting marriages celebrated in UM congregations—as well as providing ample time for an even more expansive search for additional tunes and texts selected from an array of new submissions that number as many as 5000—the adjusted schedule will help assure that the next United Methodist hymnal collection serves the church as it worships, grows, and serves in the next decade and beyond.”

The report to the 2020 General Conference is expected to include previews of possible new hymns, tunes, and liturgical resources and opportunities for delegates to see prototypes of some anticipated digital and print formats. It is also expected to recommend that the current Hymnal Revision Committee be retained to continue and complete its work over the extended period and incorporate continued research, development, and testing.

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