The weekly head-scratching exercise (“Well, what do we do this Sunday?”) is well-known to preachers, liturgists, dramatists, and musicians. Visual artists, on the other hand, contribute to worship less regularly. That is to say, while congregations enjoy artwork week in and week out, the work of producing that art—a new banner for a new season, a new baptismal font, ceramic pieces thrown for a new communion set—happens, at least for the traditional visual artist, more periodically.
Articles in this issue:
When we build, let us think that we build forever.” Nineteenth-century critic James Ruskin’s comment certainly doesn’t qualify as the watchword for today’s church architecture. These days, it might be more appropriate to think in terms of a decade.
Office for Education and Faith Development, Reformed Church in America, 2001. Three-ring binder. $49.95.
Another September rolls around. If you’re a typical worship and liturgy planner, you’re probably thinking, “We really ought to highlight the beginning of another season of education.” On the heels of that thought comes another: “We need to commission our education leaders. Where do we find a liturgy for that?” You might rummage through your files, hoping to cobble something together. And that may be the end of it, at least until next September.
New Deadline for Next Worship Renewal Grants Applications
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship awarded sixty-one grants, ranging from $5,000 to $15,000, to a wide range of churches and other institutions this year. The Institute recently received additional funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. that will continue the Worship Renewal Grant Program until 2006.
This liturgy was formed around the words of Jeremiah 18. Because it depended upon the visual image of a potter throwing a pot during the service, which complemented the spoken Word of God, it was different from any liturgy we’d used before. We purposely limited congregational participation so that the people could more easily listen and watch.
After returning from church a couple of weeks ago, I announced to my wife, "We will never cut another piece of felt for a banner again!" No, it wasn't my final run-in with the flower committee. I had just seen a demonstration of our new three-times-as-bright-as-the-old-one video projector! My wife was not impressed. "People don't want to look at that, they want something real," she said, in the tone I've come to expect whenever I'm on a technology rant.
This service, with multiple options, is intended as a celebration of what God is doing in the educational and discipling ministry of the church. It can be used at any time during the church year, not just when kicking off your education program. It concentrates on the lives of young people and especially encourages their participation—for which advance preparation (especially musical) may be helpful. Consider using young people as leaders throughout the service in every appropriate way and at every appropriate place.
Commisioning Service for Week Two
“As We Gather” SNC 245
“The Steadfast Love” SNC 242
Call to Worship: Psalm 24
Response: “We Bow Down” SNC 42