Cartwright’s Journal Out: CGI, hymnals, and a departing editor


The latest issue (#154, print date August 31, 2013) of The Journal was sent out electronically a few hours ago.

Here is part of one of its front page articles:

TYLER, Texas—The Church of God International announced plans to drop its long-running Armor of God TV program from broadcast television in September 2013 in favor of expanding its Internet-based print and video efforts. CGI chief executive Charles Groce said, “Because of our limited exposure to major channels, we were left out of many thousands of homes.” So the church’s board of directors evaluated the church’s public-media effectiveness and “decided to take our evangelism in a different direction.”

While television does have limits (and can be quite costly), most COG groups that I recall that have claimed that they would mainly rely on the internet for public proclamation of the gospel have not done well in reality (COGWA, to cite one large example, comes to mind–but there are many other small groups that have also not done well over the internet–building an internet audience does not work the way that many think it does). We will see how CGI does.  Though currently, the smaller Continuing Church of God seems to reach a lot more on the internet than CGI does.

The Journal reports that a long-time editor there has left:

Darlene moves on

BIG SANDY, Texas—Darlene Warren, for 14 years editor of the CONNECTIONS section of THE JOURNAL, has resigned from the staff of this newspaper. Mrs.Warren, who had served since the March 31, 1999, issue as THE JOURNAL’s and CONNECTIONS’ ad saleslady and a columnist, will be missed. “It’s not quite the same around here without Darlene working with us,” publisher Dixon Cartwright said. “We wish her well and know she will succeed at anything she wants to do.” See Mrs.Warren’s last column on page 9 of this issue. It is a reprint of her first column in 1999. Bye and all the best, Darlene.

I believe I spoke with Darlene a few times over the years.  She was always pleasant for me to work with.

Another item in this issue of The Journal that caught my attention had to do with hymnals:

How about a list of unaltered hymns from the purple hymnal?

The writer is a second-generation nondenominational Judeo-Christian born and raised in the Worldwide Church of God. Her family fell away after the changes in 1996. Since June 2011 she has attended Sabbath services with Grace Communion International.

By Velvet Delorey CORNER BROOK, Nfld., Canada— For those who prefer to sing only scripturally accurate hymns, this article includes a list of the only hymns that were transferred from the Worldwide Church of God’s 1974 purple hymnal to the 1993 hymnal. The WCG was renamed Grace Communion International in 2009. A future article may include all the changes made that rendered Dwight Armstrong’s original hymns unbiblical , undoctrinal or both. It would also note which hymns were edited and which worldly denominations GCI’s denominational leadership cherrypicked from for the rest of the hymns in the newer hymnal. The unaltered hymns: __________ America the Beautiful Battle Hymn of the Republic Behold the Day Will Come Bless the Lord Eternal, O My Soul Blest and Happy Is the Man…

As it turns out, we in the Continuing Church of God already have such a hymnal, which contains the full list.  Information about this hymnal was also covered in this edition of The Journal:

It won’t be long now: New hymnal on its way

ARROYO GRANDE, Calif.— The founder of the Continuing Church of God (CCG), based here, announced that its new songbook, The Bible Hymnal, will soon be available. In a press release church founder and pastor Bob Thiel said his church’s book consists of all the hymns that appear in the 1974 edition of the hymnal of the old Worldwide Church of God (WCG). As well, the new book has an additional 10 hymns composed by music man Ross Jutsum of Sierra Madre, Calif. The late Herbert W. Armstrong had long ago approved the hymns by Mr. Jutsum for use in WCG church services, Dr. Thiel said. “Many will recall such titles . . . as ‘By This Shall All Men Know,’ ‘How Good and How Pleasant’ and ‘It Won’t Be Long Now.’ ” The new book of hymns is available from for $8.99. Since Amazon was recently selling used copies of the 1974 edition of the WCG’s hymnal for more than twice that amount, “some looking for a Church of God hymnal may find it a bargain,” Dr. Thiel said. He noted that hymns by Herbert Armstrong’s brother Dwight reside in the public domain, but Ross Jutsum’s hymns do not. But the CCG has a special arrangement with Mr. Jutsum to include his hymns in its new book.

The new hymnal is already available (it was “on its way” when Dixon Cartwright discussed it with my in June/July 2013).  Here is a link to it in Amazon: The Bible Hymnal.

The Journal also had a couple of book reviews, and the usual advertisements and letters to the editor.   There were also some items related to UCG and COGWA (mainly a brief mention).  The Journal, in my view, has long been too accommodating of promoting unitarian heresies, and it helped promote certain views of a leader with those views also something in this issue.

The Journal itself is available by paid subscription (though Dixon Cartwright says some subscriptions are free to those who cannot afford it) and often tends to take a non-Philadelphian era view of certain church matters.

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