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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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African American worship book out

Words and melodies sung by African American Christians now are bound together in a 520-page worship resource, This Far by Faith, published in April by Augsburg Fortress, Publishers.

The book includes spirituals and traditional gospel, contemporary choruses and gospel songs, and songs from Africa and Cuba. The hymnal also offers liturgical settings for communion and other worship services for special occasions such as a Martin Luther King Jr. observance and Kwanzaa.

Through the book, Lutherans will "witness a living chronicle of a faith journey begun on African soil," said Karen Ward, ELCA associate director for worship. "This is a pilgrimage of a people leaning on the Lord and trusting in God's holy word." The new worship supplement takes its title, in fact, from a hymn that begins: "We've come this far by faith, leaning on the Lord ...."

Theologians, musicians, liturgists and congregational leaders from the African American community of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church­ Missouri Synod worked for a decade on the resource that was funded, in part, by Lutheran Brotherhood, a fraternal benefit society.


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