In the midst of this pandemic,
when worship is disrupted and even more vital than ever,
we want to mark a transition in our congregation.
Since 1992, we have been using the blue Hymnal: A Worship Book.
Now our church has bought our new denominational worship book–
it is called Voices Together.
Even though many of us haven’t yet held the book in our hands,
we will start to use it in our worship services.
Let’s take a moment to say a prayer about this transition.
If you have these books, I invite you to hold them while we say this prayer.
Thank you, God, for the gift of our old blue hymnal.
It’s accompanied us through decades of worship.
The bindings are loose; it’s been dropped by scores of toddlers.
The pages are wrinkled and dog-eared; touched by thousands of hands.
We know this book in intimate ways
because it has helped us express our petitions and praises–
there are songs and prayers we know by heart.
We’ve pulled it out Sunday after Sunday,
it’s been there for us at weddings and funerals.
It has been our constant companion for almost thirty years.
Some of us have never known another hymnal.
For this book, and the way you touched us through it, we are so thankful.
As we retire it from every Sunday use, we turn now to our new resource.
Thank you for all who helped to create this new purple Voices Together.
We launch it joyfully, confident that it will help our community find our voice.
Together we will explore the words and tunes and images,
hearing faithful voices from our own Anabaptist tradition,
and the worldwide Christian community.
As we worship, you will continue forming us into your people.
We dedicate these books to you,
and us to your service.
In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen