My dad visited my church on Feb. 10--I was singing. Afterward, he said, "It was like stepping back in time." And he was right.
Park Place's membership is largely retired pastors. The worship style is quite traditional with a little contemporary thrown in for good measure. I suppose that's why I like it. (Not every person in their 30s likes the loud, boysterous stuff commonly called "contemporary music" that is used to attract the 20s and 30s crowd. Dad pointed out that my own music is "contemporary." It is, though it's also "pensive." It works nicely in small, traditional churches; and I tend to gravitate toward those churches. At Park Place, I feel like I get a good dose of mentoring and opportunity to stretch myself. At this point in my life, that's what I need. And they sing! I could sit and listen to them sing all day long! I hope they never stop!
I understand why so many "old folks" are afraid of the new music. When I hear them sing those old hymns, I hear what is in their souls. It used to be that we could hear thousands of people singing these hymns at camp meeting every year... But even camp meeting is moving to "contemporary" music now. I think maybe we did two or three hymns last year, and they weren't our own heritage songs. People who wanted to sing hymns had to drag themselves to a sing-along at 9:15 P.M. on a Sunday night. We should certainly bring in the new, but what a sad thing to lose the old in the process!
Edit: I should say here that I don't dislike contemporary music at all. Unfortunately, I've been in a handful of churches where the music was so loud that I could not hear myself or the person next to me singing. That, to me, is distasteful. In a contemporary service, I hope for some kind of middle ground so there is still worship. My aim with this post was solely to say that I had come to an understanding of the seniors and their "hymns-only" stance. The move to contemporary often means a discarding of everything that is familiar to them, and I think that if new things are introduced the bending ought to happen on both sides.