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What Gabriel's Profession of Faith Means to Him, His Family, and His Church

In early 2007, Gabriel Surjana, 16, began reaching for the communion cup and the tray of bread as it was passed in worship. Before that he had shown interest, but now he was indicating in his own way that he wanted to eat and drink the Lord’s Supper like his parents, Pearl Shangkuan and Okke Surjana. So they explored with his Sunday school teachers the possibility of Gabriel professing his faith in Christ at their church, Neland Avenue Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Ten Worship Planning Ideas from John Calvin

People often ask, “How can we improve or renew our worship?” My response is that we should restore the central things and practice them robustly, using contemporary forms rooted in the practices of John Calvin, a sixteenth-century pastor and liturgical reformer. Even though Calvin is most widely known as a systematizer (Institutes, 1536-1559) and exegete (Commentaries on almost all the books of the Bible), the twenty-first century church should not ignore his leadership in liturgical renewal.

Talking It Through

A Group Discernment Exercise on Faith Formation

We asked a variety of church leaders five questions about the formative practices in their churches; this article is a digest of their responses. After reading this issue of Reformed Worship, we encourage you to engage your church council, staff, or worship committee in a similar discussion, using these same questions to guide your reflections:

By Faith

A Reader's Theater from Hebrews 11

© 2008 Tom S. Long. Permission is granted for churches to use this script in nonprofit settings. For all other uses please contact Friends of the Groom,, 909 Center St., Milford, OH 45150; (513) 831-2859.

Shaping Souls

Starting a Conversation about Faith Formation in Worship

In her engaging introduction to Christian spirituality, Debra Rienstra describes her experience of church during her childhood years: