Purchasing New Hymnals
It may sound surprising that despite economically challenging times many churches from around the country are purchasing the new Celebrating Grace Hymnal. After speaking with several congregations to gain insight, we decided to share the secrets of their success.
One of the most interesting points uncovered is that purchasing new hymnals is often dependent on funding apart from the church budget. The other surprising aspect is that many churches find raising funds to pay for hymnal relatively easy.
There are three common threads among churches having the most success. First, they implement a Hymnal Contribution Fund Campaign for a set period of time and utilize contribution fund envelopes available through Celebrating Grace. Then they encourage their members to donate the cost of a hymnal in honor or memory of someone special. Finally, some churches are fortunate enough to find a donor(s) to underwrite a portion of the cost of placing the hymnals in the church.
Atlanta's Peachtree Baptist Church asked members to donate hymnals in honor or memory of a loved one. Associate Pastor for Music & Worship Alicia W. Walker explains. "We ask our members to beautify our sanctuary every Christmas and Easter with donations for flowers that are there for a season, but then are gone. We presented the new hymnal contribution fund as an excellent opportunity for members to commemorate a loved one in a lasting way. Contributions quickly came in when the members realized their gifts would enhance our worship for many years to come."
At First Baptist Church Waco, Minister of Music, David Bolin, shared that the idea of a new hymnal was greeted largely with enthusiasm, but there were members who questioned the timing of the purchase. "Our giving has been down," they said, or "we should wait for a new pastor to select a book." The worship committee was not dissuaded, believing that song brings vitality to congregational life. Through several informational meetings and Sunday School presentations, the membership joined the committee in its enthusiasm. Celebrating Grace came to represent a new era at First Baptist Waco.
"Through gifts in honor or memory of significant people in the members' lives, our history has united with our future bringing great meaning to our present," said Bolin. The giving goal has been exceeded and Bolin reports that donations are still coming in!
Celebrating Grace has created an easy and cost effective plan for congregations to personalize and produce dedication bookplates which are available in three choices: In Memory Of, In Honor Of, and Given By. These bookplates can be easily affixed inside the front cover of the hymnal for lasting recognition.