(Portland, OR) May 17, 2016 - The General Conference of The United Methodist Church voted to take decisive steps leading to the eventual approval of a new collection of hymns, tunes, and liturgical resources for worship. Approval was given to form two new groups that will review and recommend material to be included in a new United Methodist Hymnal.
The new hymnal will be offered in ways that allow local congregations to create unique versions by combining core (required) content augmented by selections chosen from a collection of approved additional options. The core content and approved optional selections will be recommended by the Hymnal Revision Committee and must be approved by the 2020 General Conference.
"Discipleship Ministries is grateful to the General Conference for adopting the legislation for the constitution of a hymnal revision committee that will lead us in bringing forward a proposed hymnal to the 2020 General Conference," said the Rev. MaryJane Pierce Norton, Interim General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries, which will have editorial supervision of the contents. "We anticipate the canon that is developed will be fully reflective of the diversity of our United Methodist Church with inclusion of hymns and songs, worship and ritual resources that reflect a variety of styles appropriate for churches of every size. We look forward to working with the committee in partnership with The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH)."
"The new United Methodist hymnal collection will serve our worship needs as we move into the future," said the Rev. Brian K. Milford, Chief Content Officer and Book Editor of The United Methodist Church and incoming President and Chief Executive Officer of The United Methodist Publishing House, publisher of the hymnal. "UMPH in partnership with Discipleship Ministries is eager to get started with this groundbreaking approach building on our Wesleyan tradition with treasured and new hymns and worship aids that will help us honor God as a singing people."
The legislation also calls for a Standing Hymnal Advisory Committee, which will bring new recommendations to each General Conference starting in 2024 to ensure the collection is expanded and refreshed every four years.
The new hymnal will be available to congregations in both digital and print editions. The current United Methodist Hymnal was published in 1989.
The United Methodist Publishing House is a publisher and distributor to Christian clergy and laity, with primary responsibilities for the publishing and distribution for The United Methodist Church. The Publishing House is a fully self-supporting agency and receives no general church funds.