Just yesterday I received issue 2 of Reformed Worship and again it was a treat, especially since that same night we had our worship committee meeting. Thanks for giving us some material to really think about as we planned. I especially appreciated the article on planning preaching for Lent.
I would like to pass on a suggestion or two. A good number of articles are written by pastors of rather large churches. Also, the articles reflect the practices of churches which appear to have very reliable individuals who have already developed some interest in liturgy and the planning of worship. Some of us, however, and I don't think we are few in number, are from churches of 60—100 families or possibly less. Our people, at least in rural or semi-rural churches, do not have the education or exposure to various practices in liturgy and worship planning. Is there any way that you can plan articles which will meet the needs of churches with limited resources? Then worship planning will not appear as overwhelming.
Despite the above, your efforts and guidelines are deeply appreciated.
Rev. Robert Jipping
Goshen Christian Reformed Church
518 Greene Road, Goshen, Indiana
A Valuable Tool
I've just received my first issue of Reformed Worship, and I consider it to be the most important worship journal I now subscribe to. The contents of Reformed Worship exhibit theological and literary integrity, plus a superb format/production.
One of my goals as a full-time minister of music and worship leader is to restore in our congregations an awareness of our Reformed heritage in worship. As a teacher of worship I try to proclaim the vitality of Reformed worship. Your outstanding journal will be a most valuable tool in my efforts.
William M. Schoenfeld
Director of Music Ministry
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Reformed Worship is largely addressed to churches in the U.S. and Canada. However, a brief glimpse at a Nigerian worship service, as reported by Bea Gray, will expand our horizons of Christian worship:
Esteemed Colleagues and Friends,
I walked along the Yola-Kat-sina Ala Road. In the distance, at first pin-points, then larger and larger, they came… They were orange-colored, five-ton lorries, trucks, carrying white-clad people, singing and making music. We had already heard them passing at dawn, singing and clanging. Irresistibly I was pulled out of the house to the road in my desire to see them, to wave at them, to take a picture now and then.
They kept coming, who knows how many, and I snapped them as they passed me at full speed. We waved, we shouted greetings above the roar of the motor, for these were the children of the kingdom who are learning the song of the ages, the song of love unknown. And we are learning along with them. It was begun by the Lord of hosts himself before the world began.
A week earlier we had visited Abeen Tiv church, a rural congregation. We had heard the Tiv Song Festival, and by then most of the singers had already arrived. They had come from all over, as far as Lagos and Mid-aguri, well over 20,000 of them. They constructed their own grass shelters and brought food with them. The local Christians had one cow killed daily. They also bought some 60,000 yams to feed the crowd. The songs were heard and judged by a special committee. Later we heard that some 23 new songs are now to be added to the existing hymnbook, which already boasts 859 numbers!!!
We remain very interested in the Tiv church. We all are children of the same kingdom.
Most cordially yours, Herman & Bea Gray
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