On Easter Sunday, our congregation worships in a festive way that has become a tradition. Our congregation has grown to love the “Flowering of the Cross,” an ancient Easter tradition that we have found very meaningful.
Articles in this issue:
Responses to RW 54 on the Seder
Editor’s note: We asked Arlo Duba, RW editorial council member, to write the following introduction to a lengthy and passionate letter, which is printed below. Duba is professor of worship (emeritus) and former dean of the theological faculty at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa.
How do we balance our joyful celebration of Christ’s resurrection with the enduring reality of our fallen world? That’s the question we will focus on in these services for Eastertide, the seven weeks from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday. The answer lies in the gospel we proclaim—a gospel of transformation. God takes what is and changes it to conform to his will. While this leads us to repent of former ways in the hope of future ones, it does not allow us to deny the former ways.
Authentic Worship in a Changing World
A one-day leadership training seminar led by Robert Webber in his continuing “Renew Your Worship!” series. Thousands of people have benefited from his teaching in many different cities throughout North America. Contact the Institute for Worship Studies, Box 894, Wheaton, IL 60189; 630-510-8905; fax 630-510-0601; website: http://members.aol.com/worshipweb.
All the songs presented here will be included in the forthcoming hymnal Sing! A New Creation. A committee of ten from the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church has selected about 270 songs for the hymnal. These were chosen from the best of contemporary hymn writers worldwide, including choruses from such diverse sources as Iona, Maranatha, Taizé, and Word. Spoken prayers, litanies, and responsorial psalms will also be included.
To invite the congregation on a thoughtful Lenten journey, Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church of Grand Rapids, Michigan, adopted a two-pronged program that sought to harmonize corporate and personal times of reflection and worship and to deepen the congregation’s understanding of the emotions of Passion Week. Our entire Lenten series prepared us for the drama “We Were There.”
It was hard to pick Marty Haugen out until he stepped up to the mike. Dressed simply and holding a guitar, he waited quietly for everyone in the chapel to settle down. Then, after first teaching us some of the responses we would be singing, he began the service of Evening Prayer. Haugen sang, “Jesus Christ, you are the light of the world” and, with a gesture, invited us to respond: “The light no darkness can overcome.” So began one of the services at the Calvin Symposium of Worship and the Arts this past January.
The questions and answers that follow were prepared by Howard D. Vander Well. For his ideas on how to use these Q & As in worship, see RW 58, pp. 36-37.
How familiar are you and other members of your congregation with the Belgic Confession? Although the Belgic is one of the doctrinal standards of churches in the Reformed tradition, its language and format have tended to relegate it to a back shelf when it comes to planning worship. Many Reformed churches have had a long-honored practice of regularly preaching through the Heidelberg Catechism, but few include words from the Belgic in their liturgies.
3/28 LOFT Planning Meeting
I knew it was coming. After a full season of services with a fairly pronounced sequence of confession and assurance (as is appropriate during Lent), the team articulated at today’s meeting their desire to “do something different” this week.