Site updates

I'm going through and cleaning up parts of the site, adding text where text is missing, moving links from the old Boyinthebands.com site and the like. The categories list is now a dropdown menu, and there's a search bar in the site panel (desktop view).

The obvious change is the header image; it was time for something new. This is the Jersey Universalist Church, Jersey, Ohio, not so far from Columbus. I found the image at Wikimedia Commons, and although it was committed to the public domain, I want to thank user Nyttend for taking and sharing it.

Closeup of door and signI first learned of the Jersey church back in the 1990s but it wasn't a member of the UUA but the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. Here it is in the 1998 NACCC yearbook, under Pataskala, Ohio. Several Universalist churches became members of the NACCC instead of the UUA, but none with the word Universalist in their names remain today, Jersey included. But guessing by the sign there was some activity as late as 2010.  Perhaps only a burial, as there is a cemetery next door. I wonder if they're still going.

You can find it today on this Google map.

Congregationalist hymnal is here

After a recent blog post, I ordered the 2007 National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) hymnal Hymns for a Pilgrim People, published by (nominally?) the Congregational Press and GIA, better known for its Catholic hymn resources.

I'll review it in bits as I have the occasion.

First, it comes as a relief. We're in a trough, as hymnals tend to be published in generational cycles and the hymnals created in the last green spell (mid-80s to mid-90s), while being heavily supplemented are not quite ready to be replaced.

The "NA Congregationalists" missed the last cycle of hymnal publishing. As the title suggests, I'm guessing most of their churches use the old (1958) Pilgrim Hymnal and think that the UCC's New Century Hymnal (now itself 14 years old) is too precious and idiosyncratic.

Unitarian Universalist note: the NACCC has "fraternal relations" with the Council of Christian Churches within the Unitarian Universalist Association. So there's some reason to be interested in it.