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A Case for Collaboration: Practical Advice for Planning Worship Together

Norma de Waal Malefyt (norma.malefyt@calvin.edu) and Howard Vanderwell (howard.vanderwell@calvin.edu) are Resource Development Specialists at the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan. This article is adapted from their new book (see box) based on many years of fruitful collaboration as senior pastor and music director at Hillcrest Christian Reformed Church, Hudsonville, Michigan.

Traveling on Easter Sunday: What About Worship?

Easter sometimes falls during spring break, when many families travel. This piece is not so much for worship planners as for families in your congregations who may be away from their home church; you may wish to consider using it in your church newsletter.

Pastoral Undertaking: A Case for Prearranging Funerals

Earlier this year, an elderly member of our congregation died. She had been prepared for many years and had spoken frequently about her readiness for death. Her legal and medical documents were in perfect order. Her funeral was prepaid and prearranged with the local funeral director; she had chosen her casket, flowers, and, presumably, everything else related to the “final disposition” of her body. Her preparedness was well known to her family, her pastors, and her friends.

Articulating a Reformed Identity: What do you say when someone asks what it means to be Reformed?

Some models of campus ministry center around student worship. Many do not. Regardless, articulating a Reformed identity does give rise to some thoughts about what characterizes distinctively Reformed worship. Here are a few thoughts on Reformed worship from the “back door” of campus ministry.

Worship in Difficult Times: Thoughtful leadership during crisis, conflict, or transition

One church is dealing with a major conflict between the pastor and the elders. Another is struggling to keep together factions that have polarized over changes in worship. A third is reeling from the sudden suspension of its pastor. A fourth is grieving over the tragic death of a child. A fifth is facing the loss of a large portion of its membership; yet another is adjusting to the consolidation of a smaller congregation into its midst.