Every baptism should lead us to a new sense of gratitude
I don't remember the hymns we sang, nor the Scripture we read, nor the sermon. But I do remember the baptism.
This baptism banner was designed by Ardy Klassen of Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was constructed with the help of some of her fellow church members — Barb Veeneman, Connie Van Dyke, and Jane Buma Haverkamp.
Lent is a time of spiritual preparation, six weeks long, leading us on an intentional journey into the Easter rising of new life. Our challenge in the next few weeks is not just to experience the salvation journey of Christ, but to respond to it and live it.
Joseph Stallings. San Jose, CA: Resource Publications, 1988,352 pp.,$11.95
As a Jewish believer in the Messiah, I am always interested in reading about how the church can "rediscover" its Jewish roots. Thus it was with anticipation that I read this book, written by a Catholic parish theologian, on a Christian understanding of Passover.
What place does the baptismal font have in our churches?
Usually when we think about or discuss baptism, we focus on biblical exegesis, theology, or the implications of the sacrament for Christian living. But another important aspect of baptism lies in its symbolism—symbolism that is carried partly by the baptismal font.
Thank you for the many fine articles and helpful suggestions in RW 12. You may be interested to know how I put Richard Coleman's article, "Beyond Moralism," into practice at Faith CRC.
I was to do a children's message on a phrase from the Lord's Prayer: "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." One approach that came to mind was to get the children to talk about ways in which they can do God's will: obey their parents, be kind to others, etc.
The old Sunday school table our executive committee was meeting around was pencil-marked and showed signs of paste. As I looked up from its surface to those who had gathered, I thought we looked a bit worn and tired. The days ahead would be busy: Maundy Thursday services tonight, community-wide Good Friday services tomorrow, and then the finale—Easter Sunday sunrise and morning worship. We had talked about our busy schedules as we made sandwiches in the kitchen.
Index to Reformed Worship
As you continue to use RW for worship planning, you may find an index helpful. We have compiled an index by subject and author, and we plan to update this index after each issue so that a cumulative running index will always be available for a small fee. To receive your copy of the index, please send $3.00 US or $3.50 CDN to Reformed Worship Index, 2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, MI, 49560.
The drama that follows was prepared for the opening of Palm Sunday worship in the Hope Community Church of Flaggstaff, Arizona, a congregation of only fifteen families. Fred Walhof, pastor of the small congregation and one of those who produced this drama, told us something of the history of and preparation for this special worship service:
Tenebrae, which is a Latin word meaning "shadows," has been observed in the church of Jesus Christ since the fourth century. On this Good Friday we remember the death of Jesus and recall his seven last words on the cross. As we remember the last words, we will extinguish the candles on the communion table, one by one. The gradual extinguishing of the candles will be accompanied by prayers, hymns, choral anthems, and readings from Scripture.
This was the first year we tried a sunrise service, and at first we thought it might draw only 25 people .We decide to go ahead anyway, and as we planed, more and more people got interest.When Easter morning finally arrived, we must have had about 80 people there, including some community people who had been contacted through our Coffebreak and Men's Life programs.
See, Christ Was Wounded
The tune for this Lenten hymn was composed by Joyce Recker, a freelance artist now living in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Both tune and harmonization were created as a special project for a music-theory course taught by Joachim Segger at The King's College in Edmonton. It is fitting that Segger has now prepared two alternate musical settings to further reflect the text of this hymn.
You just see once if this don't beat all.
My Virg just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and got himself elected VP of the consistory, and ever since that day, the things that washed up our way—well, you just wouldn't believe.
Regaining the joy and gladness in our services
Each Sunday God's people gather to worship and praise God. We join our voices with myriads and myriads of angels singing praise to the risen and ascended Lord:
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth
and wisdom and might
and honor and glory and blessing!
Our worship echoes the praise of the heavenly chorus and celebrates Christ's completed and continuing work for us.
Signing worship for persons with hearing impairments
While the choir sings, a young woman stands to the side and gestures with her hands and arms to the congregation. During the sermon she does the same, keeping pace with the pastor's words.
Why the waving and gesturing? This young woman is helping others hear. She is interpreting the songs, the sermon, and the prayers, using American Sign Language.
Sacred choral music from the Afro-American tradition
In the past thirty years, particularly since Vatican II in the Roman Catholic Church, there has been a continuing growth of interest in non-Western sacred choral music. Every denomination has diligently sought to assimilate this music into their worship services. Many have been unsuccessful because of a lack of performance-practice knowledge of the material and the sheer frustration of acquiring the music in written form.
WE GATHER FOR WORSHIP
"We do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as servants for Jesus' sake.
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.