The Association of American Baptist Churches of Rhode Island has seventy-seven member congregations, including the historic First Baptist Church in America founded by Roger Williams in 1638. The mission of the association is to “resource our people and engage in Christ-centered ministries by promoting and building healthy pastors and healthy churches to bring the whole gospel to the whole world.”
Our church can be described as a singing church. As part of our worship pattern, once a year we usually hold a hymn-sing, gathering to worship God specifically through song. This year our pastor preached a series of sermons based on various psalms, so instead of a hymn-sing we decided to hold a psalm-sing.
The Approach to God
Call to Worship
Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Opening Song of Praise
“Laudate Dominum/Sing, Praise and Bless the Lord” SNC 30, S&P 35, T 12
“In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful” SNC 220, S&P 47, T 10, WR 448
Declaring what we believe in the words of a creed is an important part of many worship services. It helps us express our theology and ties us to believers around the world and across the ages. When we recite something often enough, though, the words simply roll off our tongues and we don’t think about what we’re saying.
This kid-friendly litany is intended for use at the beginning of a new church school year. The two sections may stand alone or be used together as a prayer of illumination for learners and a commissioning for teachers and other leaders. The language is broad enough to include Sunday school, midweek programs, and small group ministries for children through adults.
In her book Stilling the Storm (2006, The Alban Institute. Available at www.FaithAliveResources.org), Kathleen Smith sings the praises of the “intentional interim pastor.” This person can greatly assist a church that is transitioning from a long pastorate that has ended well, recovering from a ministry that has ended poorly, or regrouping after the senior pastor of a multi-staff church leaves.
In his fine book The Return of the Prodigal Son, Henri Nouwen describes how and when he first saw Rembrandt’s painting by that title:
Although this service was used for the dedication of Sing! A New Creation, it could also be used as a pattern for the dedication of other songbooks, or simply as a stand-alone service on Psalm 98. A lay person read the Psalm passages and an elder read the prayers. —JH
Reading: Psalm 67:3
Sing to the Lord a New Song
Reading: Psalm 98:1
“Sing a New Song” SNC 1, WR 10
“We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise” CH 213, SNC 12, WR 651