The denominational hymnals published during the past generation are now old enough to require major supplementation. Many new hymns, songs, and choruses have appeared. Experience has shown that some older treasures were missed when the current hymnals were compiled. Denominational hymnal supplements are being produced to include new music and old favorites.
The Faith We Sing has been compiled primarily as a supplement to The United Methodist Hymnal (1989). Nothing here duplicates what is already in that hymnal. But The Faith We Sing is an ecumenical rather than a denominational book. It can also serve as a supplement to other hymnals now in use.
This hymnal supplement is a joint project of The United Methodist Publishing House and The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. It has been compiled by a joint committee consisting of Publishing House staff Bill Gnegy and Gary Alan Smith, Board of Discipleship staff Dan Benedict and Anne Burnette Hook, and general editor Hoyt L. Hickman. They have been advised by an ecumenical panel of expert consultants, all of whom have worked on recent hymnals. The task force was further assisted by 180 reader consultants, primarily United Methodists, from all parts of the United States. The help of all these persons was crucial in determining the shape and contents of this book, and is gratefully acknowledged.
The music reflects a wide diversity of Christian worship styles: praise music, new hymns, gospel songs, world music, American ethnic music, Taiz� chants, and service music. The arrangement of contents, however, is topical rather than stylistic and is adapted from the arrangement of The United Methodist Hymnal.
The Pew Edition is designed for the congregation's use. Harmony is provided where music is designed to be sung by the congregation in parts. Only the melody line is provided where music is designed to be sung in unison. The Pew Edition (in standard and Enlarged printings) is part of a larger package of printed resources that includes (1) Singer's Edition for use by choirs, ensembles, or praise teams; (2) Accompaniment Edition for accompanists and instrumentalists; (3) Simplified Edition for home, small group, or church school use, or as an easy accompaniment edition; (4) Guitar Edition for lead and rhythm guitar players, pianists who play from "lead sheets," and worship leaders who lead from the guitar; and (5) Worship Planner Edition with helps for the planner or planning team.
Four additional electronic resources are also available. They are: (1) CD-ROM Worship Planner Edition for those who use their PC to plan worship; (2) MIDI Edition for those who use MIDI instruments in worship; (3) CD Audio Accompaniment Edition for those who want to play the MIDI recordings on their stereo equipment; and (4) Presentation Edition for those churches that project song lyrics during worship.
We live in a time when new music for worship is constantly appearing. Further resources for worship will continue to be developed. This book is a way station on the continuing journey of God's people.
Hoyt L. Hickman, General Editor