Grand Rapids, Mich. - A new hymn, "God We Sing Your Glorious Praises," was picked as the winner out of almost 50 entries in the Christian Reformed Church's 150th anniversary song-writing contest.
The four-verse hymn, to the tune of "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing," fits both traditional and contemporary styles of worship, and is intended to help congregations celebrate the denomination's sesquicentennial in 2007.
"It was the text that stood out," said Joyce Borger, a member of the 150th anniversary sub-committee who led the three-judge panel through the selection process. "And the tune is familiar and crosses various musical styles."
The text will be included in the Sesquicentennial Worship Resource Book.
A copy of the book will be sent to every Christian Reformed church. The text of the song and the scored music will be available on the denomination's web site at www.crcna.org.
The hymn was written by Bert Polman, a long-time CRC member who is in his second year as music professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., after teaching for 20 years at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ont.
The committee members hope the song will be sung throughout the anniversary year and be so loved that it will stay with the church long after 2007. "There's something wonderful about a song that's sung across the denomination to help us celebrate this special event," Borger said.
Founded in 1857, the Christian Reformed Church in North America will celebrate its sesquicentennial in three parts-remembering, rejoicing, rededicating-under the theme "Grace Through Every Generation."
In addition to Polman's winning composition, the judges recognized four other songs as runners-up to reflect the diversity of styles of music.
Entries by Greg Scheer, of Grand Rapids, Susan Greydanus, of Ely, England (formerly of Listowel, Ont.,), Larry Visser, of Grand Rapids, and Amy Brown, of Newport, Me., received honorable mention. These compositions will also be available as downloadable files from the CRC web site.
Photo of Bert Polman available upon request.
Text of the hymn is available online at:
Director of Communication
The Christian Reformed Church
To learn more about the Christian Reformed Church visit www.crcna.org <http://www.crcna.org/pages/index.cfm