Thursday, August 13, 2009

The need for a hymnal

The Kenyan Lutheran Church has approximately 100,000 members and only 150 pastors. One pastor may serve four or five or even eight parishes, so parishes often wait several weeks for a service led by their pastor. Imagine what a difference a hymnal would make!

It is true that some parishes already have hymnals. The most common hymnal currently used is a Lutheran hymnal from Tanzania, and this is much appreciated, but it has drawbacks. For one thing, it is quite expensive, so even parishes that own it typically do not sufficient copies. For another, there is no music in this hymnal – only words. Unless someone in the congregation already knows some melodies, the hymns can’t be sung. This hymnal, while Lutheran, is not Kenyan. Having their own hymnal would help unite the church and give them a clearer self-identity.

The rural congregations often use whatever songbook is available, whether it be Anglican, Pentecostal, or another African denomination. As a result, they are catechized away from the Lutheran faith.

Lutheran hymns teach and preach Christ. They comfort and encourage. They strengthen and sustain faith. Helping the Kenyan Lutheran Church develop a hymnal is a profound act of mercy.

We need your help. Please pray that God guide the work being done to provide a hymnal for the Kenyan Lutheran Church.

This project needs financial support. So far, the hymnal project is being run entirely by donations. We’re doing our best to stretch every dollar, but the fact of the matter is that there are costs involved. Please consider a donation.

Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne is holding the money for the Kenyan Hymnal Project, so donations are to be sent to:

Kenyan Hymnal Project
Concordia Theological Seminary
6600 N Clinton Street
Fort Wayne IN 46825

Checks are to be made out to the seminary. Write “Kenyan Hymnal Project” in the memo line, and include a brief note stating again that your donation is for the Kenyan Hymnal Project.

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