Over the past few months I have been talking with you about the possibility of General Conference beginning the process of a new hymnal for The United Methodist Church. I gave you the opportunity a while back to be part of that process by participating in a survey. Nearly 20,000 responded to that survey and according to The United Methodist News Service the following was discovered:
The surveys revealed that the top three favorites in the UM Hymnal are “Amazing Grace,” “Here I Am, Lord” and “How Great Thou Art.” The top three favorite hymns from The Faith We Sing are “The Summons,” “I’ll Fly Away” and “As the Deer.” The top hymn (currently in the hymnal) requested to include in a new hymnal is “Eternal Father, Strong to Save.” Seventy-five percent of respondents would like to have healing services in the hymnal. Forty-three percent want more praise choruses in the hymnal; 34% do not. 28% prefer to sing lyrics on a screen; 70% prefer to use a hymnal or songbook. Seventy percent are comfortable using male-only language for God, while 25% are comfortable using female language for God and 42% are comfortable using male or female language for God.
General Conference is meeting for the next week and a half. I'll let you know if they decided to go ahead and start work on a new hymnal. If they do, do not expect to see it for another 5-10 years.