Harry Boonstra

Harry Boonstra (hboonstr@calvin.edu) is former theological editor of RW and emeritus theological librarian of Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan.


Articles by this author:

  • My First Ash Wednesday

    Grace Episcopal Church is very quiet when I enter at 9:20. In fact, even though the service is to start at 9:30, I am the only person in the sanctuary. A few minutes later several more people show, but it turns out the big service will be in the evening. (After the soup supper. Ah! even Episcopalians must be urged with food. But during Lent?)

  • A Dragon Intrusion

    The sermon about the dragon seemed an intrusion into our Advent and Christmas spirit.

    When entering church I was stili thinking about the VCR we had bought after long deliberation. And our children were coming home for Christmas; it had been six months since we had seen them last.

    The sanctaury, with its poin-settias and Advent wreath, looked beautiful and peaceful. And the choir anthem was marvelous. The spirit was one of peace, festivity, and joy.

  • Book: Epiphany

    (Proclamation 3. Aids for Interpreting the Lessons of the Church Year, Series A). Marianne H. Micks. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986,64 pp. $3.75.

  • Celebrate!

    Reformed Christians should celebrate the ascension with verve, with glory, and with full pews. The ascension, after all, is not marked by an isolated Thursday service in which the church tries to come to terms with a gravity-defying miracle. The ascension is rather linked to the sunburst expression of the victory and power of the risen Lord that we celebrate on Easter Sunday. So on Ascension Day we sing songs of victory.

  • James Ward on Music and Worship

    When interviewing James Ward, one is interrupted by children (his and neighbors') running through the room and by a ringing telephone. Thus our conversation about intercultural worship was punctuated with muffled giggles and with talk about concert bookings, mikes, synthesizers, and recording facilities.

  • Tenebrae

    For many congregations the Tenebrae service, usually held on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, is one of the most moving and meaningful worship services of the year. In a candle-lit sanctuary Christ's suffering is commemorated through Scripture and song. Candles are extinguished one by one as the congregation listens to the account of Christ's suffering and death.

  • Advent Service-planning Ideas

    The practice of preaching according to a lectionary is an old one, although Reformed and Presbyterian churches have not always used this method. The lectionary encourages both pastor and congregation to focus on the great salvation events recorded in Scripture. (See the article on page 14 for further background.)

  • More than Preaching: An interview with Calvin Bolt

    A few years ago Rev. Calvin Bolt underwent what he smilingly calls a "liturgical conversion." Since then, Bolt has taken a new approach to the planning and practice of the worship service, an approach he finds stimulating and beneficial for himself and his congregation.