Joyce Borger

Joyce Borger (jborger@crcna.org), an ordained minister in the Christian Reformed Church, is editor of Reformed Worship and Lift Up Your Hearts, and director of Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church.

Articles by this author:

  • The Spirit at Work

    Each issue of Reformed Worship has its beginning in a brainstorming meeting that takes place more than a year before readers hold the printed copy in their hands. Yet I am always amazed by two things: how certain topics pop up that were never part of our original plan, and how the individual articles, when placed side by side, tend to create an overarching theme for the whole issue.

  • Solid

    Solid. According to an online dictionary, solid means, among other things, “being of a substantial character; not superficial, trifling, or frivolous; real or genuine; sober-minded; fully reliable or sensible.” Solid—it’s a good word; a solid word.

  • A People of Advent, a People of Hope

    I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting. We do whatever we can to avoid it. We scrutinize each checkout line to predict which one will be the fastest. We speed up to make it through the yellow light so we don’t have to stop for the red. We use ATM machines, automated lanes, and Instant Messaging in hopes that we won’t need to wait. But try as we might, waiting is unavoidable. Christians are a people living in advent—an in-between time, a time of waiting.

  • Lessons from Raffi

    It occurred to me the other day that lining up my rather small CD collection in order of purchase date could provide an interesting study about my life.

  • What's Ethics Got to Do With It?

    Have you ever stumbled across a phrase in your reading that was so packed with truth you were compelled to stop and reflect? Like a delectable dessert that needs to be lingered over, or a favorite book or movie you return to again and again, you roll the phrase over and over in your mind.

  • A Liturgical Time Warp

    Publishing is a strange thing. As I write this editorial it is the end of August. I have survived the heat wave that made its way across the United States and parts of Canada and I am enjoying the cooler temperatures. But when this issue is released it will be November. I can’t help wondering what the world will be like in three months. Will the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah be over? What will be going on in Iraq? How much will gasoline cost?

  • Hospitality Is Messy

    Creating Space for the Stranger

    Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it (Heb. 13:2).

    These days hospitality may most often be associated with a Martha Stewart-esque home decor complete with fluffed pillows and fresh flowers placed just so. In Scripture, though, it means something quite different than creating the perfect environment. Instead, hospitality refers to creating a space in which relationships can develop.

  • Staying the Course and Moving Forward

    I despise change! That may be an odd statement coming from someone who has moved repeatedly, attended four post–high school institutions, and worked as a high school teacher, youth pastor, research assistant, and editor, not to mention the biggest change of all—adopting an infant. Regardless of all that change in my life, I am no fan. Change destabilizes, creates tension, and requires us to adapt. Frankly, it is often uncomfortable, at least for a while.

  • Sing With Me: Introducing a Children's Songbook

    How many of us remember the specific lessons we learned in Sunday school? Probably not very many. But how about the songs we sang in those same Sunday school classes? Do you remember the words to “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” “Away in a Manger,” or “O Be Careful, Little Eyes”?

  • Telling the Story

    In our postmodern society we hear a lot about the importance of narrative. There is nothing all that remarkable about that emphasis; telling stories to recount important events and pass on values and knowledge has been integral to all communities throughout history. The postmodern twist, however, is that each person is able to make up their own story and to interpret or reinterpret the grand narrative as they like. Though touted as being the key to true freedom, the end result is like trying to build a house on a sandpit—it doesn’t work.

Blogs by this author:

  • Worship practices during the COVID-19 pandemic have opened up opportunities for worship leaders to reflect the principles and the most important elements of corporate worship.

  • During this Advent season, are you the one knocking or the one invited to express God’s love and mercy and open the door?

  • The anti-idolatry response [to worship’s “de-Christianizing of God’s people] is to make sure that our worship leaders and planners from pastors to musicians, artists, tech, liturgists and elders, and yes also those gathered, understand that it is God who calls us to worship, it is the Holy Spirit who enables our worship, and it is Christ who perfects it. 

  • Is it ever OK to be intentionally exclusive in worship?

  • Even in the midst of falling steeples, in the face of the crucified Messiah, in our own baptismal drowning we are assured that the church won’t fall.

  • I am excited that Reformed Worship is beginning a weekly blog and absolutely thrilled at the group that we have gathered to write.  They are a diverse group of practitioners, academics, musicians, and theologians; what connects them all is their love for the church and worship that is thoughtful, relevant, rooted, innovative, global, contextual, creative, and disciplined. 

    -Rev. Joyce Borger, editor

    Kevin Adams​