THE GOSPEL STORY HYMNAL

Project Updates

We have decided to self-publish, and are now in the long-haul phase of finishing writing and illustrating the actual book.

Our goal is to have a Kickstarter campaign in March 2023 to fund printing, with a release date of September 2023.

 

About the gospel story hymnal

The Gospel Story Hymnal is designed to help pass on the stories and hymns of the faith in a beautiful way. Over 150 well-known hymns are woven into a thoughtful retelling of the story of scripture and accompanied by bright illustrations and child-friendly notes on scriptural themes, theological concepts, and ideas for living out the faith.

the Gospel Story

The Gospel Story Hymnal is organized and designed first as a beautifully illustrated story book.

This overarching narrative is based on the four movements of the gospel: Creation, The Fall/Rebellion, Redemption, and Restoration. We inserted a fifth movement in front of Restoration, ‘Already, But Not Yet,’ which encompasses the life of the church and Christians as we are today, redeemed but not fully restored, eagerly awaiting our Savior’s return.

Each gospel movement contains a number of subsections, each with a narrative introduction and a collection of hymns and illustrations that support and expound upon the story.

Several pages from the Gospel Story Hymnal are spread on a table, and the image is zoomed in on the titles and their narratives, illustrating the Gospel Story. Visible sections are Creation, Covenant, and Advent.
Several pages from the Gospel Story Hymnal are spread on a table. Image is zoomed in on the music for "I Sing the Mighty Power of God."

The Hymns

The Gospel Story Hymnal contains 156 hymns and songs. 91 are in the public domain, and 65 are copyrighted. Each hymn is written out with music in a lead sheet style, with the basic melody, lyrics, and chords.

The hymns were chosen to (1) support the gospel story, (2) include songs with a rich history and broad use in the church, and (3) provide resources for worshiping throughout the church year and in various contexts. While most of the hymns meet all three qualifications, we did add a number of newer or less known songs that we felt helped to fill in gaps in the narrative.

The ‘Blurbs’

One of our goals is that The Gospel Story Hymnal be a theological resource parents can use to guide their families through the gospel narrative and its application to their lives and worship.

Each hymn has additional commentary regarding its theological importance, word definitions, applicable context information, scripture references, and/or worship notes, all written at an elementary level. We affectionately call these ‘blurbs.’

Several pages from the Gospel Story Hymnal are spread out on the table. Image is zoomed in on the 'blurbs,' short notes about the hymns. Visible blurbs are titled "Why start here?," "All Creation Reveals and Glorifies God," "God of Power," and the definitions for "doxology" and "amen."
A page from the Gospel Story Hymnal is on the table along with watercolored pages, paints, and a paintbrush. The illustration shows a bird sitting on a tree branch.

The Illustrations

The illustrations in The Gospel Story Hymnal are done with a unique watercolor-papercut technique inspired by Eric Carle’s work. They are bright and beautiful, bringing to life the stories and concepts discussed in the book. All ages will enjoy paging through the hymnal, engaging with the story and songs visually.

The Family Worship Plan

At the end of the book is a Family Worship Plan, outlining a three-year schedule for family or personal worship. Each week’s plan includes a hymn, a scripture passage, and suggested themes and questions to ponder.

The plan goes through the entire gospel story each year and follows the church year calendar.

The three years’ themes are: (1) The Lamb of God: Our Gospel Story, (2) The Character of God, and (3) Victory in Christ.

A young boy is leaning over a page from the Gospel Story Hymnal, pointing at the illustration.

We need your help!

We’ve been working on this project since October 2018, and have had so much help along the way. To make this book fully possible, we need your help too! Please subscribe to our updates and/or social media feeds (below) and as we get closer to printing in 2023 we’ll let you know how you can help spread the word and contribute in concrete ways that will make this project a reality.

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