News and Notes

www.Hymnary.org

Do you search for hymns and worship music for worship services? Are you researching a particular hymn? Looking for an arrangement or media file? If so, the Hymnary is for you.

The Hymnary is an online hymn and worship music database for worship leaders and others. It’s a collaboration between the Christian Classics Ethereal Library and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. At the Hymnary you can search or browse hymns by title, tune, meter, key, Scripture reference, and more.

The Hymnary currently includes forty-one hymnals, index entries on 15,090 texts (6,177 with full text) and 11,947 tunes, biographical information from sources such as the Psalter Hymnal Handbook and Julian’s Dictionary of Hymnology, full scores of many public domain hymns, and 8,598 media files.

The Hymnary will soon allow uploads, Wikipedia-style user contributions, and discussion groups. Future plans include a hymnal concordance (think Google books), a “search my collection” feature, and support for publishers, authors, and interest groups who want to use the database. Check it out soon!

New Hymnbook for RCA and CRC

Many of you have already heard that plans are underway for a new hymnal that will serve two denominations: the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church. Specific information on the hymnal can be found at http://www.crcna.org/pages/hymnal.cfm —including answers to frequently asked questions, guidelines for submitting newly written texts and music, and information on the process and committee members.

Contemporary Songbook Released

Faith Alive Christian Resources is pleased to announce that the first of a four-book series of songbooks is now available. Contemporary Songs for Worship is a collection of 37 songs arranged for congregational singing. Editors of this collection paid particular attention to finding solid texts that cover the full range of worship elements. For more information on this songbook or to purchase it, visit www.faithaliveresources.org or call 1-800-333-8300.

Singing the New Testament

If you haven’t had a chance to examine this new song collection yet and are wondering how it has been used in worship, check out the story at www.calvin.edu/worship. Search for “Singing the New Testament.”

Prison Congregations

Efforts to develop worshiping communities in correctional institutions continue to move forward. The first prison congregation in the state of Michigan was organized in October 2008, and Celebration Fellowship Prison Congregation held its first worship service on November 3.

Besides providing holistic care for its members, this prison congregation will be in fellowship weekly with at least ten volunteers or partners from outside churches. These volunteers will engage in Bible study and worship activities with the prisoners.

The prison congregation will eventually match church members in mentoring relationships with inmates before they leave prison. The Michigan Prisoner Reentry Initiative program hopes that these mentoring relationships will continue to provide support when prisoners return to their families, churches, and communities.

Please contact Rev. Richard Rienstra at 616-464-6065 or at richrienstra@hotmail.com for further information about how your church can help. “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners” (Heb. 13:3).

New Executive Director for Christians in the Visual Arts

On February 15, 2009, Cameron Anderson will be installed as CIVA’s new executive director. For those who may not know Cam, he is a longtime CIVA board member and a gifted artist with an MFA in painting and drawing from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His primary vocation for the last thirty years has been with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, where he helped to launch its exemplary ministry to graduate students, among other accomplishments. Cam is a proven administrator, fundraiser, and leader. He also continues to pursue his art and writing. His warm personality and easy laugh contribute to his ability to build lasting and successful relationships. Cam’s full biography is available at www.civa.org.

Reformed Worship Online

All 91 issues of RW are available online to provide you with resources for all your worship services. Since we rely on our print subscriptions to fund the website, the two most recent issues are password protected. The password can be found at the bottom right hand column of the inside front cover. Please help us keep this ministry going by not passing on the password to non-subscribers.