New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 14, 1996, New Braunfels, Texas
Churches embrace i
By DEBRA HALE
Associated Press Writer
CHICAGO (AP) — In “Silent Night,” the baby Jesus’ sex is not mentioned.
“Faith of Our Fathers” is now “Faith of the Martyrs.” “O Beautiful for Spacious Skies” is now “How Beautiful, Our Spacious Skies” and sings praises of all the Americas, not just one America.
Even the “right hand of God” is sometimes changed to the “mighty” or “strong” hand of God lest left-handed people be offended.
These lyrics, revised in the United Church of Christ’s New Century Hymnal issued last June, reflect a trend of religious denominations offering their congregations modernized, “politically correct” hymnals.
Hallelujah, say some religious leaders.
Political correctness run amok, say others.
Many hymns are being rewritten to be more gender-inclusive. In the United Church of Christ, language that might offend minorities and people with disabilities — “darkness” and “blind” to symbolize spiritual ignorance, for instance — has often been changed. Military language also is less common, and poetry by
“We are experiencing a reaction to the exclusMsm of political correctness, lf you don’t use politically correct language, you’re out.’
— Rev. Charles Ford pastor of UCC First Congregational Church in Boylston, Mass.
South Africans and American Indians is increasingly present.
In addition to the United Church of Christ, die Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Moravian Church in America have adopted new hymnals or supplements in the past year. Several other mainline churches already had revised their hymnals, but none went as far as the United Church of Christ Arthur Clyde, music editor for the Cleveland-based UCC, said many worshipers are “singing hymns that include them for the first time.”
The book’s 617 hymns include such old favorites as “Amazing Grace,” printed in English and Lakota, an American Indian language. And “Just As I Am,” minus a reference to “poor, wretched, blind.”
The UCC’s 6,200 congregations are not
required to use the new hymnal, which balances masculine and feminine images of God and sometimes refers to God as “her.” And some aren't — sometimes for financial reasons, sometimes for theological ones. Still, sales have reached 250,000, including editions sold to other denominations.
The Rev. Charles Ford, pastor of the UCC’s First Congregational Church in Boylston, Mass., said his congregation’s response has been mostly negative.
“They do not want to use that hymnal,” he said. “We are experiencing a reaction to the exclusivism of political correctness. If you don’t use politically correct language, you’re out.”
But Jeffrey Radford, who has some arrangements in the hymnal and who is minister of music at Chicago’s 7,000-member Trinity United Church of Christ, said Christians should be
sensitive to other people.
And Clyde said fewer male images in hymnals attains more balance. “Is the most important thing about Jesus that Jesus was a man?... Sometimes (as in Silent Night’) we call Jesus a child. It’s not a matter of disguising.”
Still, some UCC congregations are opting for the more moderate Chalice Hymnal released last June by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
The Chalice also tries to reflect ethnic diversity and seeks to balance gender language when referring to people. “Instead of’Good Christian men, rejoice,’ we say, ‘Good Christian friends, rejoice,’ ” said David Polk, Chalice co-editor.
But the Chalice, while using some female images for God, generally avoids female pronouns for God except for a few in newer hymns. “We didn’t want to just deliberately alienate people,” said Polk.
Martin Marty, who teaches history of American religion at the University of Chicago, said hymns should be revised when the language is so “egregious” it is distracting. “But overchanging them is not fair to the poetry and can be equally distracting,” he said.
For Marty, deleting male references to Jesus
is a problem because Jesus was a historical figure, “and you can’t term him androgynous.” “Suppose you take the great women of foe Bible and pretend that Mary Magdalene or Deborah are neuter?” he said.
Last fall, the Chicago-based Evangelical Lutheran Church in America released a 288-page hymnal supplement, “With One Voice.” “In a few places, we have used language that isn’t exclusively male, and that has raised a few eyebrows,” said the Rev. Paul Nelson, director for worship. But God is never referred to as “she,” although there are references such as “Mothering God, you gave me birth” The hymnal also changes “Merciful Father* to “Merciful God.”
In the Moravians’ new hymnal, many of the “thees” and “thous” go by the wayside, and gender references to humans are more inclusive. The hymnal did not change male references to God.
Some hymn revisions are, in feet, more accurate translations of the original songs. The Latin term “ex parentis,” for example, has been translated back to “Of the Parent’s” instead of “Of the Father’s” in the UCC hymnal’s “Of foe Parent’s Heart Begotten.”
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Church directory for New Braunfels, Comal County & area
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Borean Bible Church. 889 Landa St. Sunday services. IO a.m. and 7:30 pm, Wed. 7:30 p.m. Men's class at 8 am. Saturday. 620-5102.
Christ Presbyterian Church Christ centered Bible believing. Presbyterian Church in America, 1620 Common. Sunday school. 9:30; Worship service, 10:45; Wednesday eve., 7:15. Phone 629-0405
Church of Christ, 1665 Highway 81 W. Bible classes for all, 9 arn.; worship IO arn.; evening worship 6:00 pm.; Wed. 7:00p.m. classes for all ages. Nursery available.
Cross Lutheran Church, (Missouri Synod), South Hickory and Cross Streets. Sunday school 9:15 arn.; worship 8 and 10:30 am.
Dayspring Christian Fellowship,
1895 S. Walnut, Sunday School 9:30am, Sunday Worship 10:30am, Wednesday evening service 7:00pm Wesleyan denomination.
First Assembly of God. 1687 U.S. 81 West. Sunday school 9;45 arn.; worship 10:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. Wednesday service 7 pm.
First Baptist Church, 733 Cross St. Sunday school 9:30 am.; worship 10:45 a.m. and 7 p.m.; Wednesday dinner 5:00 p.m. Bible study and prayer service 6:00 pm.
First Church of Christ Scientist, 137
E. Mill St. Sunday service 10:30 am.; Sunday school 10:30 arn.; Wednesday service 7:30 p.m. Child care available.
First Church of the Nasarene, 1465 135 East. Sunday service 9:45 am.; worship 10:50 am. and 6 p.m.
First Protestant Church, (located on the comer of Seguin and Coll streets; one block from downtown plaza)
Sunday Worship 8:00 and 10:30 AM; Sunday School Classes 9:00 AM; Breakfast at The First 8:30-10:15; Youth Activities - call 609-7729 Ext. 36; Wednesday PRIME TIME Bible studies A seminars; For Your Intercession Prayer Groups - Wed. AM A Tues. PM; Adult activities; child care provided.
Greater Life Pentecostal Church
UPC, services held at 134 Enchantment Lane off FM 725-Sundays 10:00am and 6:00 pm, Wednesdays 7:30 pm. Pastor Jack Dool. For Information call 609-1325
First United Methodist Church, 572 W. San AntonioStreet Sunday Worship:
8:30am, 10:50am, 7:00pm Sunday School: 9:30am Youth Activities: 3:00pm
Harmony Baptist Church, 1472 Texas 46 S. Sunday school 9:45 am.; Sunday worship 11 am. and 7 p.m.; Church training 6 p.m.; Wednesday prayer meeting 7 pm.
Lakeside Baptist Church. FM 725. Sunday school 9:30 am.; worship 11 arn.; Wednesday Bible study and prayer meeting 7 p.m.; worship ministry and home groups.
Living Faith Church, Currently worshiping at Tree Tops Restaurant (444 E. San Antonio St.). Come at 9:00 AM Sunday for Coffee and more; Service starts at 9:30 AM. Pastor Don Hamilton 560-1785
New Braunfels Christian Church,
734 Loop 337, Sunday School for all ages • 9:30am. Worship Celebration and Junior Church • 10:30am. Nursery provided. Youth groups A adult bible study 6:00pm. A nondenominational fellowship. 629-2202. Pastor Rick Bartlett 608-0330.
New Braunfels Presbyterian
Church, 373 Howard. Worship 8:30 a.m.; Sunday school 9:30 a.m.; worship 11 am. nursery provided.
New Braunfels Seventh Day Adventist Church, 2990 W. San Antonio St. P.O. Box 311551. Sabbath school 10:40 a.m. Saturday; worship 9:30 am. Saturday. 629-5673.
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 138 W. Austin. Masses 5:30 p.m. Saturday; and, 8 and 11 a.m. Sunday; Monday through Friday Masses 6 p.m. Wed. 8 am.
Resurrection Baptist Church, 909 FM 1518.658-0459.
St John's Episcopal Church, 312 S. Guenther. Holy Eucharist Rite One 7:30 arn., Rite Two at 9 am. and 10:30 arn.; Christian education classes begin at 9 am. and 10:30 am.
St. Joseph’s Anglican Church, 446 N. Seguin. Sun. 8 a.m. Holy Communion; ll a.m.-1 st A 3rd Sundays Holy Communion; 2nd A 4th Sundays Morning Prayer, Church School 9:45 Sundays.
St Paul Lutheran Church, (ELCA), Cross and Santa Clara Streets. Sunday worship 8 a.m. (broadcast on KNBT radio FM 92), 10:30 am. Sunday school 9:15 am.
Tree of Life Fellowship, 652 N. Loop 337. Sunday services (including children's church) at 8:30 and 10:30 am. and 7 p.m.; ladies Bible study IO am. Wednesday; Pastor's Bible study and Youth Meeting 7 p.m. wednesday.
Church of Unity, New Braunfels, Sunday Service 10:30 am. at the Senior Citizen’s Center at 655 Landa St.
The Unitarian Universalists of Comal County will have Margaret (Maggie) Adams speak on the pain and pleasure of being Black her seventy-five years here in New Braunfels. She attended a one-room black school and experienced “Jim Crow” segregation at every turn. Her
story will give us insight into the changes that have occured and the problems that remain. We will meet on Wednesday, June 19 (Juneteenfo) at Faith United Church of Christ, 907 N. Loop 337. Public invited.
Bracken United Methodist Church,
20377 FM 2252. Sunday school 9:30 am.; Church services 8:15 and 10:40 am.; UMYF Sunday 5 pm.
Church of Christ. FM 3159 and 2673. Bible class IO arn.; Sunday worship ll a.m. and 6 p.m.; Wednesday service 7 p.m. 899-7077.
St Andrew Lutheran Church, 7420 FM 2673, I mi E. of Startzville. Sun. Church School. 9 arn., Worship 10:15, Holy Communion, 1st A 3rd Sundays, Nursery provided 9 am.
St Francis By the Lake, Episcopal Church, Hwy 306, Canyon Lake, Sunday Holy Eucharist 8am A IO am; Wednesday Holy Eucharist 10:00 am. followed by Bible study.
The Rev. Hubert Palmer, InterimVicar. 964-3820
Unity Center of Fraction Christianity in San Marcos, 11 am.
Sunday Service 16870 No. State Hwy. 123 (5.5 miles from IH-35/Exit 204, towards Seguin), San Marcos TX 78666 (512) 392-5199. Dial-A-Prayer: 512-396-LIFE (5433) Children's Class - 11:00 am. Y.O.U (Youth of Unity) meet the 1st and 3rd Sunday's of the month at 11:00 am Call for weeknight class schedule Nondenominational.