June 1996

RW 40
THEME: Anniversary Issue: How Worship has Changed
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Q. What is the origin of the Christian flag, and where should it stand in relation to the American flag?

    A. The idea for the Christian flag was conceived by a Mr. Charles E. Overton, apparently during an impromptu talk at Brighton Chapel in Staten Island, New York. It was first designed and constructed in 1907. The flag was initially popularized in the Methodist Church, and is used in several denominations. However, it has never received the status of being the "official" Christian flag.

  • Letters


    The latest issue of RW arrived in my mail yesterday. I always look forward to receiving it. It is an excellent publication and serves an important function in the Reformed church world.

    I notice a shift that seems to have taken place in the last few issues. The color code on the outside edge of the magazine has been missing. What happened to it? Did it get left off inadvertently or is this omission by design?

  • Notes


    The banner committee of our church created a banner to accompany a seven-week worship series on the Lord's Prayer. The colors and stained-glass window design were chosen because they echo the windows in our sanctuary. A bulletin insert gave an explanation of the seven symbols, one for each week of the series:

  • The Lord's Blessing

    Hymn: "O God, Our Help in Ages Past" (Psalm 90) PsH 170, PH 210, RL 1,TH 30



    This bulletin cover and the three following were inspired by Scripture, by Pastor Homer's themes, and by the poetry of George Herbert (1593-1633) and Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672).

    For this first cover, I used imagery from Herbert's poem "Love-joy":

  • Worship has played a big role in my life. For more than sixty years I have attended church services. Often, I confess, I was no more than a spectator— sometimes fascinated, sometimes bored. But I also remember services that moved me and even changed me. In those services I felt addressed by God, and I offered my worship with all my heart.

  • When RW interviewed John Bell in 1993, we described him as a "modern-day John the Baptist. From his piercing eyes down to his sandal-clad feet, he projected the intense charisma always associated with that desert prophet" (RW 27:23).

    He still does. Many of you were able to hear and meet Bell this past summer at COLAM 95, the Conference on Liturgy and Musk held at Calvin College (Grand Rapids, Michigan), where he was a keynote speaker.

  • Are you looking for ways to bring a spirit of renewal to your worship this fall? One way to do that is to breathe new life into your congregational hymn-singing through the addition of istruments, soloists, children, concertato arrangements, reharmonizations, and antiphony.

    The songs on these pages share three characteristics that might help you encourage revitalized hymn-singing in your worship this fall:


    At the beginning of time and space,
    God gave us a world.

    And God filled it with the useful—

    with granite, with gravity with grapes.

    And God gave us minds and hands
    to engineer the granite,
    to probe the forces of gravity,
    to squeeze the grapes.

    At the beginning of time and space,
    God gave us a world.

    And God filled it with the beautiful—

  • We are off on a journey—a four-week venture into familiar and unfamiliar territory. What follows are a series of suggestions for sermons, liturgies, and bulletin covers for the month of October, beginning with World Communion Sunday and ending with Reformation Sunday. The familiar part of our journey is our chosen theme, "A Better Righteousness," suggested by the lectionary lessons of the current year (cycle A).