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December 1993

The joy of singing in canon: guidelines and resources for using canons in worship, page 2 of 2

FOREST GREEN (one measure)

[See accompaniment in All Praise to You Eternal God by Donald Busarow.]
"All Beautiful the March of Days"; "... the year in beauty flows ..." (v. 3)
[PH 292.RL 9]



"As Those of Old Their Firstfruits Brought"; "... but share your love with neighbors, too..."
[PH 414]


"Eternal God, Whose Power Upholds"; "... in speech that flows to melody..." (v. 4)
[PH 412]


I played my best for Him: A high purpose calls for high performance

It's time for church organists to stop apologizing for their "performance" in worship. For years people have been suspicious of the word "performance," usually reserved for more involved worship music played by well-trained organists. They Ve somehow had the idea that any music included in the service should be simple and ordinary, not complex and technically difficult.

Book: Leadership Handbooks of Practical Theology: Volume I, Word and Worship

James D. Berkley, ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1992,499 pages.

This book is intended to be the first of a three-volume set. If the other two measure up to the quality of this one, the set will be a valuable reference source for anyone involved in pastoral ministry. The list of contributors to this volume include several dozen of the best-known and most-trusted authors in die field. In addition, scores of other authors provide sidebars and short articles.

The joy of singing in canon: guidelines and resources for using canons in worship, page 1 of 2

One of the greatest musical joys of childhood is singing a round for the first time. What a discovery that "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" can be sung by different voices all beginning at different times!

News and Notes

In Memoriam: David Winecoff

Reformed Worship editorial council member David Winecoff died in a tragic accident while rock climbing in Colorado on August 18. David was 39, and he and his wife Jane have four children, ages 12, 8, 3, and 1. David was pastor of the Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in St. Louis, Missouri, and taught part-time at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Book: A Place for Baptism

Regina Kuehn. Chicago: Liturgy Training Publications, 1992.137 pages.

"All you've ever wanted to know about baptismal fonts." You will find that and more in Kuehn's book. The text is directed largely at a Roman Catholic audience, and most of the examples are from Catholic churches (except those fonts illustrating immersion, which are borrowed mostly from Baptist churches).

Notes

NEWS/NOTES
In Memoriam: David Winecoff

Reformed Worship editorial council member David Winecoff died in a tragic accident while rock climbing in Colorado on August 18. David was 39, and he and his wife Jane have four children, ages 12, 8, 3, and 1. David was pastor of the Providence Reformed Presbyterian Church (PCA) in St. Louis, Missouri, and taught part-time at Knox Theological Seminary in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Book: The Shaping of the Reformed Baptismal Rite in the 16th Century

Hughes Oliphant Old. Grand Rapids, Ml: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1992. 324 pages. $44.95.

No one knows more about the sources and traditions of Reformed worship than Hughes Old. An ordained Presbyterian minister, he has published several major studies of liturgy, including Tlie Patristic Roots of Reformed Worship (1975) and Worship That Is Reformed According to Scripture (1984).

The Friday Voice of Faith: A serious theology of the cross requires a serious practice of the lament psalms

In spite of their poignancy and availability, the lament psalms are not much used. If you look in the back of the hymnals of most major Protestant denominations, you will find perhaps Psalm 1, then skip to 8 and 19 and perhaps 22. Even when lament psalms are included, they are not sung much. In Roman Catholic and liberal Protestant usage, most of the lament psalms simply do not exist. (Anglicans use the lament psalms, but set them to such wonderful music that you don't notice what is being said!)

AHA! The children and worship program has changed the way children meet with God

On a cold December evening, sixteen neighborhood, children responded to an invitation to hear the Christmas story at our house. I didn't even know all of them by name, but I invited them because I wanted to test a new way of telling stories I had learned at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan. I had taken the four-day training session twice. But I was still somewhat skeptical of this children's worship program with its quiet, reverent environment. How could children sit as still as fifty-year-olds to hear God's Word?

Shareholders in God's company: an Easter series on the benefits of the resurrection, page 1 of 2

It's that time of year again. As always, Lent has flowed into Easter, and Ascension is still five weeks away. In our service planning, Easter Sunday so logically forms an integrated unit with Lent services, that we can easily be left wondering what to preach about on the Sunday mornings following Easter. To keep our thematic joints from showing through too much, we may need to apply some spring tonic to fortify the link between Easter and the five Sundays before Ascension Day.

Let the words sink in: advice for weary worship committees

"I don't know if we can keep it up I much longer."

We were having a discussion about worship; she was the chair of another church's worship committee. I'd always admired the energy she poured into each service, but it looked as if she was approaching "worship committee burnout."

"I wonder if we are reinventing the wheel every week," she said. "We find it harder and harder to make our services fresh and new."

Washing before eating: what footwashing taught our congregation about humility

Spending their day pinched into street shoes or treading dusty ground with only a flap of leather to protect them, feet fulfill an unflattering, though necessary, function. Feet are not glamorous; they are the workhorses of the human body. In fact, to some of us, they are an embarrassment when not housed in footwear. Ceremony that exposes our bony, chubby, knobby, ugly smelly, or crooked feet is to be avoided. It is a quaintism, we think, that we can do without.

Ashes? Yes! A service of penitence and renewal

Bulletin Note

Ash Wednesday is an ancient holy day in the Christian church calendar. It marks the beginning of the season of Lent—a time of penitence, discipline, and renewal. In the Ash Wednesday service we are reminded of our mortality, we confess our sins, and we experience forgiveness through Christ's death and resurrection. The "imposition of ashes" is a central part of the service. During this time you are invited to come forward to receive the ashes on your forehead.

Hymn of the month

MARCH

Christ, the Life of All the Living

He's a Marked Man: A teacher's confrontation with the meaning of Ash Wednesday

It was lucky Conroy was in his office. Otherwise Jamie Laarman might have spilled it all to the secretary. That's how badly he needed to unload his frustration.

"He's not coming back in," Laarman told his principal. "I've had it with the jerk. He's pushed me over the line, and he's gone."

Conroy swung his chair away from the computer screen and stood. "Shut the door," he said. 'And who's got your kids?"

Whom do you seek? A sunrise communion service for a small congregation

This Easter sunrise service is intended for a relatively small intimate group. It draws loosely from the Easter Vigil tradition, and through experience and participation tries to develop an awareness of and an appreciation for some historic Easter traditions. The music is simple, familial; and minimal, so neither an accompanist nor a hymnal is necessary. The sermon consists primarily of quotations from Scripture, minimizing the minister's work during an already very busy week. The italicized instructions are only for the information of the worship leader.

Doubting Thomas: A reader's theater dramatizing Thomas's confession

Staging Notes

Cast: Narrator, John, Thomas

Running Time: Approximately 6 minutes

This reader's theater piece is conceived for a variety of settings. It works equally well as a static piece (read at miavphones with limited gestures) or as a staged reading. In a staged reading, saipts are still carried in a bindei; but movement and gesture patterns are specifically determined. The following rendering of the script indicates only broad movement patterns.

 

Shareholders in God's company: an Easter series on the benefits of the resurrection, page 2 of 2

Week Four
Shares in a Linked Network
Scripture

Exodus 17:8-16; Romans 8:31-35

Message

Sometimes we run scared because our prayers to God seem to fall on deaf ears. Is there nobody out there? Is God unable to help us? Doesn't God care? Or have we been such a disappointment that God has just given up on us?