Worship is at the heart of our life as the people of God. God’s wonderful gifts of Word and Sacrament are signs that we daily live in God’s amazing grace. At various points in our life together, we are encouraged to build a new treasury of prayer and song to help the church renew its worship life. This year we reach one of those moments in our congregation’s history: we will transition to use Evangelical Lutheran Worship as our primary worship resource on Easter Sunday, March 26, 2016.
First published in 2006, Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) was designed to replace the familiar green Lutheran Book of Worship, which came out in 1978, and the blue With One Voice, which was published in 2001. Most ELCA congregations now use ELW or the "cranberry hymnal" as it is sometimes called. These new resources reflect the riches of our past, the gifts of the present, and the hope that we have for the future of God’s church. They have already been nurturing a life of prayer and worship in our denomination for 10 years.
The ELW retains much of what was in the LBW and WOV, including all of our favorite hymns from our Hymn Madness competition. But while it doesn’t take much away, it offers abundant options for enlivening our worship. We’ve already been using some of the new liturgical settings and hymns in our worship, many of which you have appreciated deeply.
During the month of February, we will be taking designated donations to help us with the purchase of these new hymns. We encourage every worshipping participant to purchase one or two hymnals for the congregation at $25 a piece, an Easter gift to the church, and certainly one could do so in memory or honor of someone beloved as in the past, for which we would put a dedication in the front of the hymnal. We also encourage you to buy one for a visitor that you hope will sit near you!
On Palm/Passion Sunday, March 20th, we will have a special ceremony where we give thanks for the many years that the Lutheran Book of Worship and With One Voice nurtured our faith and then carry them out of our sanctuary. During the next week, members of the Worship and Music Team will look through each of the hymnals and find which ones were given by current members and invite you to take them home on Easter Sunday. On that festive day, we will dedicate our new hymnals as we look forward to many years of giving God praise using the ELW!
As you prepare to support our congregation’s worship life through the gift of new worship resources, we invite you to respond with a grateful heart.
If you wish to donate online, please consider donating in multiples of $26 here.