Looking Back while Working Ahead on Then Let Us Sing!

When I served on the committee that prepared the Voices United worship resource in the 1990s, I was one of the youngest members. However, as I currently serve on the Then Let Us Sing! Development Committee, it appears that I am now one of the most senior!

It goes to show how long a time has elapsed between the two projects.

But what is most striking to me is the difference in technology used to prepare the two collections. In preparing Voices United, I can recall us hauling around cardboard boxes full of photocopied music and hymnals. None of us had laptop computers, email was in its infancy, and minutes and notes were taken by hand. Once in a while, we would get really high tech and use faxes with their smudgy images on greasy paper! In order to meet, members would fly, ride, or drive in from across the country.

In contrast, during the preparation for Then Let Us Sing! most of our meetings have been held online. Data files of all resources, including “sheet” music, hymnals, sound files, and videos have all been easily shared and accessed. Of course, all of these technological advances will be a part of Then Let Us Sing! since it will be very much an online resource, although a print version is also in the works.

I am very excited for the launch of Then Let Us Sing! Not only will it make almost all of our current music resources accessible online, but it will also make nearly 200 new and exciting songs and hymns available—with current understandings of inclusion, theology, and intercultural sharing. Having had an insider’s view of its contents, I am certain that Then Let Us Sing! will be a source of many new favourite hymns and songs in the years to come!

— David Kai grew up attending the Toronto Japanese United Church and is a graduate of the University of Toronto, the Humber College music program, and The Centre for Christian Studies. Commissioned as a diaconal minister in 1987, David served three charges in Manitoba and Ontario. Now retired with spouse Marly Bown, David continues to enjoy composing, arranging, and recording in his home studio.