May 16, 2023 | John W. Coleman

With all the music to be sung at the Eastern PA and Greater New  Jersey annual conferences, one composer whose music won’t be heard is David Haas. United Methodists are asked to not use any of his popular compositions because of sexual misconduct charges made against him by several women.

Those accusations span decades and include allegations that he used his music to lure potential victims. After initial denials, Haas issued a public apology for his harmful behavior. (Source: Wikipedia.)

“Blest Are They,” “You Are Mine” and “We Are Called” have been sung and enjoyed by many choirs and congregations; but no more for those who comply with the ban on Haas’ music. That ban was first requested by Catholic Church institutions when the charges were filed in 2020. The then-United Methodist Women—now United Women of Faith—echoed that request for a ban on Haas’ music at United Methodist events and worship services.

United Methodist Discipleship Ministries also makes the request in a statement on its website, while acknowledging that those three hymns appear in three of its published resources: The Faith We SingWorship & Song, and The Upper Room Worship Book.

We ask for prayers for all parties involved and that God may grant healing and justice,” writes the agency.

“It hurts my heart to lose these three songs from our worship music because they are all personal favorites,” said Barbara Miller, GNJ’s Skylands District Lay Leader. She discovered in recent conversations with several clergy that many are unaware of the requested ban. “But I believe that we must stand in solidarity with the women who have accused him of abuse.”

The United Methodist Church does not condone sexual abuse, misconduct and harassment.