Frank's Report 6th June 2011

We were delighted to welcome three visitors to our meeting, ,Glenys and Eric Massey, and Brian Oosthuysen, all belonging to the Rodborough URC church in Stroud where Eric is now minister. Conversation revealed several concerns we held in common. We look forward to being enriched by more sharing of our experiences, convictions and discoveries. We took up our suggested theme- hymns that we find hard to sing and hymns that express where we stand in our faith now...We began with the old ‘ranter’ “To God be the Glory....” - a great tune but concisely full of traditional evangelical doctrines in which we were reared but which some of us would question now- . “Yielded his life for atonement of sin?”, “Purchase of blood.? ” Is it wise to encourage the absorption of such understandings of the faith with a good tune.? Or while holding on to our private reservations can we continue to share in the cultural context of our present church ? Some Mission Praise songs came in for some stick, as being too repetitious, too saccharine, too ‘me-and-Jesus’ centrred and with over-emphasis on the Praise theme. There is some biblical evidence that Jesus was not enthusiastic about fuss and adulation, although his rebuke of the pharisees when they criticised the crowd cheering Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem is salutary. Does God want and call for our praise? Is it right to say the chief end of man is to praise God , and what does that mean anyway ? It is much more helpful to be creative and positive than to critical and negative so at our next meeting we shall be looking at those hymns which have come to express what is important to us in our faith now. Can anyone write an acceptable contemporary version of “To God be the glory ???? There will be no meeting in August and we begin the new session on September 2nd Our next meeting is on July 2nd. Look forward to seeing you all then. Frank G

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