An Advent Canopy

Bob De Jonge, a member of Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, was intrigued by "On the Way to Bethlehem," a resource in last year's Advent issue (RW25) that adapted the Children and Worship approach to create a Christmas program. With Children and Worship leaders, he adapted that resource into a processional that opened worship each week of Advent.

A narrator began with the opening paragraph and question, "Who will show us the way?" (RW 25, p. 34). De Jonge designed a stunning canopy over the center aisle as an overhead "pathway" that stretched from the back all the way to a creche at the front of the sanctuary. The first Sunday of Advent, everyone knew as soon as they entered the sanctuary that the season of Advent was beginning! Costumed children and adults silently processed and formed tableaux at the front of the church as the narrator read. Each week the processional grew, until on Christmas morning the platform was full.

Reformed Worship Wins Three Awards

At the annual conference of the Associated Church Press (ACP), Reformed Worship received three awards. Two awards, the Award of Merit and Honorable Mention, are given annually in each of twenty-eight categories. The 1992 Award of Merit in the category of written humor (13 entries) was given to Jim Schaap's View from the Pew in RW 25, entitled "The Advent of Iron John." Congratulations, Jim!

We also received two 1992 Honorable Mentions, first for "General Excellence" (53 entries) and also for "In-Depth Coverage of a Current Issue" (46 entries), which referred to .RW 24, our theme issue on funerals. The "General Excellence" award is the most coveted award of the ACP convention.

Some 200 religious publications are affiliated with the ACP, a group that seeks to stimulate high standards of religious journalism in order to exert a positive and constructive Christian influence on society.


Festivals of Worship:

Evanston, IL, September 23-25,1993
Philadelphia, PA, October 4-6,1993 Denver, CO, October 28-30,1993
Charlotte, NC, November 8-10,1993
Portland, OR, January 13-15,1994
Dallas, TX, January 31-February 2,1994

This year the Theology and Worship Ministry Unit of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) is releasing the Book of Common Worship, a collection of liturgical resources in the Reformed tradition. (Look for a review in the next issue of Reformed Worship) The six regional conferences cited above, called "Festivals of Worship," will introduce the resources. The festivals will feature workshops and will include daily prayer and a celebration of the Lord's Supper in which participants will worship together using material from this new collection.

For more detailed information about The Book of Common Worship and any one of these Festivals of Worship, contact Denise Williams, Theology and Worship Ministry Unit, Room 3406A, 100 Witherspoon St., Louisville, KY 40202-1396; Phone (502) 569-5289; FAX (502) 569-5018.

Grand Rapids, MI, November, 1993
A worship conference sponsored by Christian Reformed Home Missions (no more information is available at present).

Fort Lauderdale, FL, January 4-9, 1994
Nineteenth Annual Church Music Explosion. Contact: Shirley Reymond/ Church Music Explosion, Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, 5555 N. Federal Hwy, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33308; (305) 771-8840, ext. 170.

Grand Rapids, MI, January 21-22, 1994
Seventh Annual Symposium on Worship and Church Music at Calvin College. Contact: Department of Music, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI 49506; (616) 957-6453.

Orange City and Sioux Center, IA, January 28-29, 1994
Worship Conference at Dordt and Northwestern Colleges, with a focus on Lent and Easter worship. Cosponsored by the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America. Contact: Dr. Karen De Mol, Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA 51250; (712) 722-3771.

Coventry, England, June 29-July 2, 1994
International Church Music Festival, with Sir David Willcocks. Contact: El-wyn Raymer, Box 41425, Nashville, TN 37204; (615) 780-5448.

Reformed Worship 29 © September 1993, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.