As a teenager, Barry Liesch was fascinated by jazz, learned to improvise at the piano by imitating others, started transcribing music from recordings, and became a skilled piano accompanist, even going on tent crusades in his native British Columbia. His church gave him a music scholarship to a Bible college, something family circumstances would not have permitted. He continued his studies, earning a doctorate in music theory, and for the past twenty years has taught at Biola University in Loma Linda, California.
WE APPROACH GOD IN GRIEF AND SORROW
Prelude: "Duet No. 2 in F Major," Beethoven unaccompanied flute and bassoon
The Call to Worship
Hymn: "Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise" PsH 460, PH 263, RL 7, TH 38
Our Declaration of Trust and God's Greeting
Congregation of Jesus Christ, in whom are you trusting?
Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
The children's hymnal Songs for LiFE makes frequent reference to Orff instruments. It even includes an index devoted to "Orff and Rhythm Instruments." At first glance, one might assume that "Orff" is a special brand name or type of musical instrument. In reality, the name refers to Carl Orff (1895-1982), a German music educator who was devoted to helping children interact with music in active, meaningful ways.
"Why sing songs written by fallen mortals when Almighty God has inspired 150 of his own hymns?" That kind of thinking made choosing music for worship a moot point for many of our Reformed forebears. You sang the psalms. No wrestling over hymns versus praise choruses. How things have changed over the centuries!
Maybe you've heard the joke before. The pastor of a rather "cognitive" denomination was really struggling with bringing his preaching to life. Let's call him Pastor C. He read all the books he could, but that really didn't seem to help. His sermons stayed dry and unappealing. He took a continuing education course in homiletics, but that didn't really seem to change anything except the balance in his study leave account.
Have you ever filled put one, of those product cards in a card pack or magazine? I ordered a catalog from "Banner Media Services," hoping to get some new banner ideas for use in worship. But the word banner was used in quite a different way than I expected; the company was marketing audiovisual equipment. More catalogs followed from different companies that mysteriously got my address; they offered a dizzying array of sound boards, microphones, video systems, "cassette ministry" systems, and more.
For this issue the questions and answers for Q&A come from the report "Authentic Worship in a Changing Culture" by the worship committee of the Christian Reformed Church. Although the report, which is to , be presented at Synod 1997, is addressed in the first place to CRC congregations, churches from other denominations will have the same or similar questions. And, we trust, will benefit from the answers.
I have recently learned of the Christingle Service you published (RW 37, Dec. 95). The service has been discussed on the Ecunet on-line service and has received a great deal of interest from many people, including me. I am enclosing a check... to purchase a copy of RW 37.
Paul H. Bomely
LIKED RW 39
Editorial Committee: Robert Webber, Vicky Tusken, John Witvliet, Jack Schrader. Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL, 1995. Singer's Edition: Code No. 1997, paper, 352 pp., $8.95. Accompaniment Edition: Code No. 1998, spiral, 472 pp., $19.95.
The Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) now schedules three annual worship conferences. The 1997 conferences are
Montreat, NC, June 15-21 and 22-28 (two identical conferences)
"Practicing the Presence of God." Contact: Donald Armitage, 845 West Fifth St,Winston-Saiem, NC 27101: (901) 722-8144.
Westminster, PA, July 13-18
Contact: Rebecca Borthwick-Aiken, First Presbyterian Church, 890 Liberty St., Meadville, PA 16335.
Preparing for Worship
"The King Shall Come MORNING SONG
"Guide Me, O Thou RHONDDA
Call to Worship
Hymn: "For All the Saints" PsH 505, PH 526, RL 397, TH 358
stanzas 1, 2, 4, 5, 7: all
stanza 3: men and boys stanza 6: women and girls
stanza 6: women and girls
WEEK THREE: BE PERFECT
Text: Leviticus 24:17-20; Matthew 5:14-20, 38-48
Drama (to introduce Scripture themes)
"An Eye for an Eye"
Mr. Fang, a dentist who also plays Character A
Mr. Squint, an optician who also plays Character B
In September of 1996, Hessel Park Christian Reformed Church in Champaign, Illinois, had the pleasure of installing a new minister. As we prepared for the service of installation, the worship committee wanted to try something a little different. We used one of the shorter forms from our church hymnal (Psalter Hymnal, pp. 992-4), but we added a new twist to the section of the form called "Instruction."
My mother seldom let us off with easy answers. After the Bible reading that followed family meals, she would often wonder about the meaning of an obscure text by peppering our family with "why" questions:
Why does God act like a general in an army that is responsible for slaying thousands of Israel's enemies?
Why would God ask for the human sacrifice of Abraham's son, after the manner of pagan religions?
Why does Jesus curse a fruit tree for having no fruit in a season in which it was not meant to bear fruit?
In every issue for the past eleven years, Reformed Worship has included a set of "Songs for the Season," formerly called "Hymn of the Month." The criteria for selecting those songs include choosing something accessible to children, something old and something new, something based on a psalm, and something fitting for the particular season of the Christian year.
John D. Witvliet has been appointed assistant professor of worship and music at Calvin College and adjunct professor of worship at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Two future articles will explore the way in which lament can function in the ebb and flow of weekly worship, apart from times of crisis.
For hundreds of years, printed music has been prepared mostly by engraving metal: scratching or punching the notes and ledger lines and all the musical elements into the metal plate (and it was done backwards so that when the paper picked up the ink from the depressions, it would appear correctly). This was a very skilled trade.
Along came music typewriters with noteheads and stems and dynamics markings rather than the alphabet. Typing required less skill than metal engraving, but the pages looked clunky.
Fran needed the courage of a kindergartner to face this year's worship planning
How do we keep our young people in the church? What is it about our congregations and our worship services that make young people leave? How do we transform our worship to make teens and young adults feel they are part of the body?