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New fundraising idea – ban your least favorite hymn

New fundraising idea – ban your least favorite hymn

Just about everyone has one, a least favorite hymn. That hymn that sends you into paroxysms of disdain the moment you hear the first few bars of the music. What if you could arrange to not have to sing that hymn for a whole year? Would you be willing to pay money for the privilege? How much would you pay?

This past spring the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Austin TX had a fund-raising auction for the parish. It was one of those silent auctions where participants write their bid on a bidding sheet. Item 61 in the auction was the ability to ban the use of a hymn for one full year. The way it worked was you posted the name of the hymn and your bid to ban the hymn. That way, someone else could come along and make a higher bid to ban a different hymn.

At the 1st UU Church in Austin the winning bid was for $125 and the hymn that was banned for a whole year was Bring Many Names. The senior minister, the Revd Meg Barnhouse, intends to add ban-a-hymn to next year’s silent auction. Churches are always looking to raise funds for budgets and special projects, what are some of the creative ideas that folks in your parish have had to raise money? Was the idea successful in bringing in the cash?

The image is from
The story was first published at Church Times.


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Jay Croft

At least “How Great Thou Art” is a hymn of praise and not a cozy “Me and Jesus are great pals” song.

However, it probably works best as a male solo performance than as a congregational hymn.

Carolyn Peet

How Great Thou Art is probably my most favorite hymn of all time. I love the words. When it is well sung it gives me happy goose bumps.

JC Fisher

How Great Thou Art (I know it’s in LEV2, not Hymnal 82. Still too close for comfort!). Bombastic and schlocky. [You always get the feeling that those who belt it mean “How GREAT my voice!”, and they almost invariably aren’t]. “GREAT!” sounds like Tony the Tiger, not the still, small voice or Suffering Servant…

Bill Simpson

$100.00 to extirpate anything whatsoever from the St. Louis Jesuits, but please pluck that turkey “On Eagles’ Wings” first.

Wayne Rollins

Just taking a cue from one of the comments above:

Rock of ages, fell on me.
Broke my leg, and crushed my knee.

It’s open to elaboration from the duly inspired.

Wayne Rollins

And just for kicks, switch the last words of lines 5 & 6 of stanza 2 in “I sing a song of the saints of God.” See who notices.

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