Have you heard the news? Reformed Worship is celebrating its 30th anniversary! This is a rather amazing feat, given the current status of print publications. And while we would like to think this is the result of a stellar staff and even better subscribers, we are quick to realize how the services and articles that were sent in for publication were shaped through prayer and the working of the Holy Spirit. The RW staff are always surprised by how the Spirit brings the right submissions together at the right time to formulate each issue of this journal. Reformed Worship is truly a testament to the working of the Holy Spirit as it leads us in worship.
An anniversary can hardly be marked without some reflection or without gifts. Over the next year you will see some familiar faces offering a variety of updates and reflections, beginning with Reformed Worship’s inaugural editor of 20 years, Dr. Emily Brink (p. 45). Those of you who have been long-time subscribers will also note the return for this anniversary year of Dean Heetderks’ column “Come and See” in its traditional place—the back cover—which used to be the only place RW had full color. As for gifts, what could be better than a streamlined ability to subscribe to or renew your subscription to Reformed Worship online, along with a complete e-version of the journal available to all subscribers. To learn more about these changes, see page 48.
Reformed Worship staff have also been busy doing their own reflecting on the journal, and you will see results of that in this issue. For example, we are introducing a new column entitled “Sing 10,” which showcases a service that is filled with 10 or more songs, offering new arrangements or lead sheets of a couple of them, as well as other insightful comments about the music, text, or performance suggestions. You may also notice some slight tweaks to our design, all made to keep this journal looking fresh.
This issue also marks the start of another liturgical year. RW staff continue to be committed to providing you with relevant worship resources and articles to help you with your worship planning and encourage reflection on the act of worship itself. Of course, we cannot do that without your submissions. Please continue to send in your service plans and worship reflections so that they can be a blessing to other churches. There is no church that is too small, too big, too urban, or too rural to be included in RW; all submissions are welcome.
As you peruse this issue and consider which resources might support your congregation’s worship, let me once again encourage you to use what you see in Reformed Worship as a template. Each series or service was planned in a particular context for a particular context. Very rarely are two churches so similar that you can use the whole service plan unedited. So please, do not feel disrespectful if you take one idea or the skeleton of a series and make it your own. I also want to encourage you to share RW articles with others in your congregation, worship team, or committee so that you can discuss them together. And please do send us feedback. We might be 30 years old, but we should never stop changing and growing.
So happy anniversary, RW, and soli Deo gloria—to God alone be the glory!