The Grace of Meters in Hymns

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 2:21 PM 0 comments




Well, I love hymns. I love these God-glorifying, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, Bible-saturated hymns. I love how they are packed with valuable doctrinal truths expressed in rhymes and poetry. I love how they are designed for congregational worship. I love how they transcend from generations to generations but remain fresh in their message.

And another admirable attribute of hymns is that they are written with a structured metric system. This means that a hymn can be sung even when the tune is unfamiliar as long as the hymn is of the same meter with a familiar tune.

When I was still unaware of this structure, I slightly deject when I browse a hymnal and glance at the great words of hymns like Richard Baxter's "Lord, It Belongs Not to My Care" or the Calvinist-appealing "I Sought the Lord" simply because I cannot sing them due to my ignorance of their tune. Such a grace from God that hymns have meters and that I was instructed of such metric system.

We can take as an example a grandly Theocentric hymn "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise." Although I do not really know its original tune, the hymnal says it is of meter 11 11.11 11 which is the same meter for the Christmas hymn "Away in a Manger." We can therefore take the words of the former hymn and sing it to the tune of the latter one. And here it goes...


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UMC Connectional Table: Out of Kilter

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 7:00 AM 0 comments




I am re-echoing this article (which is originally found here) by Dr. Bill Bouknight of The Confessing Movement Within the UMC because I believe it deserves uppermost consideration.

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CONNECTIONAL TABLE OUT OF KILTER
By Dr. Bill Bouknight
March 1, 2013 Confessing Movement E-Newsletter

The central coordinating body of the United Methodist Church is known as the Connectional Table (CT). It consists of about 59 United Methodist leaders excluding staff). There are 47 voting members. It is the only group meeting regularly between general conferences that includes representatives of the major official denominational power structures.  The problem is that the CT’s make-up is not representative of the global UMC membership. Consider the following:

THE WESTERN JURISDICTION HAS LESS THAN 3 PERCENT OF THE UMC MEMBERSHIP, YET IT HAS 17 PERCENT OF THE SEATS ON THE CT. 
BY WAY OF CONTRAST, AFRICA HAS 35 PERCENT OF THE UMC MEMBERSHIP, YET ONLY 6.4 PERCENT OF THE SEATS ON THE CT.

In modern times, the Western Jurisdiction has been notorious for its liberal theology; no doubt, some of it flows from United Methodism’s Claremont Seminary in California. And, the Western Jurisdiction has consistently lagged far behind the other U.S. jurisdictions in how much of its assigned share of apportionments it pays.

Of the five active Western Jurisdiction bishops three (60%) are presidents of a denominational agency’s board of directors. One of the remaining two has been elected to become the next president of the Council of Bishops in 2014. No other region in the UMC comes close to having as large a portion of its bishops in such prominent leadership positions. One way to address this inbalance would be to discontinue electing bishops as presidents of boards and agencies.

The Western Jurisdiction is over-represented in the leadership ranks of the UMC, at the expense of United Methodism in Africa. This matter should have top priority for correction.

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