Here are fourteen principles for becoming a better keyboard improviser in a worship setting. For more complete musical instruction with notated musical examples illustrating the points, visit www.worshipinfo.com.
Articles in this issue:
Toronto: United Church Publishing House, 2000. The United Church of Canada, 3250 Bloor Street West, Suite 300, Etobicoke, ON M8X 2Y4. 1-877-252-2552. Three-ring binder, 766 pp. $49.95 US. CD-ROM has downloadable text as well as biblical and topical indexes (i.e. no search capacity).
Gives Reformed Worship to Seminary Students
Thank for sending copies of Reformed Worship to give to my seminary students in “Dynamics of Christian Worship,” a course I teach at Bethel Seminary of the East. I wanted to supply the students with some practical resources as well as a solid biblical and theological foundation. I have enjoyed Reformed Worship for several years. Thank you for your fine publication and your commitment to ministry.
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Anyone who’s been reading Reformed Worship for the last three years could hardly miss the fact that a new contemporary hymnal is in the making. We solicited new worship songs in RW 48 (June 1998), and in every issue since, we’ve introduced new songs from the hymnal in the column “Songs for the Season.” Now Sing! A New Creation is almost ready, and we look forward to launching it at COLAM 2001, the worship conference to be held in Wheaton, Illinois, on July 7-10.
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“We are what we eat.” Anyone who’s suffering the cumulative effect of too many ice cream sundaes knows that’s true. But when it comes to matters of spirituality and faith, I’d like to suggest, we are what we sing.
Music has the uncanny ability to burrow its way into our spiritual bones. Even when we are tired or depressed, old songs well up from within us and dance on our plaintive whistling lips. When we are old and can remember little else, we are still likely to recall the songs we learned in our childhood.
You’ve done it, I know you have. At some point or another in your banner-making career, you’ve been asked to make a banner design to represent music. What’s the first thing that popped into your head and onto your fabric? A HUGE treble clef surrounded by dancing quarter- and half-notes. You shouldn’t feel bad about this, of course. Clichés are born out of good ideas. They become clichés when everyone acts on the same good idea.
Choosing a balanced diet of songs for a collection of worship songs is an exercise that will change anyone! Take a seat around the table of our hymnal committee for a while, and get a taste of what it was like to choose the songs that worship planners may eventually use for their planning. Committee members will testify that they’ll never look at a hymnal the same way again. Making choices wasn’t always easy!