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.
Articles in this issue:
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
Advent is a time of preparation, beginning with the Sunday nearest November 30. On the four Sundays of Advent, the church both looks forward to celebrating the birth of Christ and prepares for the return of Christ. The liturgical color is purple or dark blue.
Christmas is the festival of the birth of Christ, the incarnation. The twelve days of Christmas begin on Christmas Eve and end on the celebration of the Epiphany (January 6). The liturgical colors are white and gold.
When considering the visual arts theme of this issue, I contacted Carl Daw—hymn writer, executive director of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and a good friend—to seek recommendations for hymn texts that deal with the creative process. He responded with several helpful suggestions. Each of the four songs presented here is a fresh offering by living authors and composers. They bring both prayer and praise to God. The first two acknowledge God as the great Creator; the second two speak of the various artists in our midst.
This service was developed for All Saints’ Day (November 1) or the Sunday evening closest to it. Through the use of majestic music sung by congregation and choir, responsive readings based on Scripture passages and themes, and meditations on martyrs and saints who spread Christianity throughout the centuries, All Saints’ Day can be celebrated in a fresh, festive way.
Q. In our last worship committee, we had a long discussion about whether banners should or shouldn’t feature words. What are the issues here?