It was music to Bert Polman’s ears when he heard his hymn had been selected as the official 150th anniversary song of the Christian Reformed Church.
“I was fabulously surprised,” said Polman. “I’ve written 40 to 50 hymns or stanzas for various projects, but to write one and have it be chosen to serve the church in this way is a wonderful honor.”
Polman’s text, “God, We Sing Your Glorious Praises,” will be included in a book of worship resources sent to all Christian Reformed congregations in 2007. The text and scored music—set to the tune of “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing”—will be available at www.crcna.org. An audio recording is posted at http://www.crcna.org/
“There’s something wonderful about a song that’s sung across the denomination to help us celebrate this special event,” said Rev. Joyce Borger, who led the selection panel as they evaluated 50 contest entries.
Each of the winning hymn’s four verses includes the phrase “grace through every generation”—the 150th anniversary theme.
The committee chose the tune for its simplicity—it can easily be sung by a praise band in a worship setting without a piano or organ.
A Dordt College graduate and longtime CRC member, Polman is in his second year with the Calvin College music department, which he chairs. He previously taught at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario, for 20 years.
The four runner-up songs in the song contest were written by Greg Scheer, Susan Greydanus, Larry Visser, and Amy Brown. Their compositions are also available online.
—Roxanne Van Farowe