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Hymn Histories

The call to worship began: "Sometimes we must worship even when we don't feel like it, even when we aren't very thankful.

"Martin Rinkard knew that 350 years ago. He was the only pastor in his hometown of Eilersberg, Germany. It was a walled city, and during the merciless Thirty Years' War, Eilersberg was jammed with hungry and homeless refugees. The war brought famine and disease. On some days Pastor Rinkard performed fifty funerals before sunset. Yet in this setting, he declared his praise to God by writing a hymn: 'Now Thank We All Our God.' Let's sing this hymn of worship . . ."

These days, not everyone knows or appreciates traditional hymns. With praise choruses and Scripture songs increasingly prevalent in church worship services, traditional hymns are becoming an endangered species.

But hymns are alive and well at Crossroads Covenant Church in Concord, California, despite the fact that 80 percent of the adult members are under 45 years old.

Says Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos, ...

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