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A church in my community hosts the service, and clergy from other churches participate. The service is open to the whole community. As a pastor, I am very grateful for services like this which make space for people to hold their grief into the light. 

Prior to entering ministry in a rural setting, I would've agreed wholeheartedly that the time for a printed hymnal has come and gone. It isn't that I don't love hymns and desire to continue singing them, but my experience in a larger church with greater resources made me think hard copy music wasn't needed.

However, I am now in a hymn-singing church with one hymnal to sing from. It is tattered, worn, and decidedly not Reformed in any way. This is the experience of a majority of the churches in the Reformed Church in America (I think one of my professors shared the statistic that 80% of RCA churches are rural, and many of them are declining). For a new hymnal I say -YES! I just hope that it won't be filled with new songs. A few new songs would be good, and I would like to see some of those songs come over from the Sing a New Creation! book.

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