When words fail us, whether in times of joy or sorrow, it is often the words penned by another that help us give voice to our soul’s prayer. Maybe the written prayer expresses our thoughts so profoundly we use the same text, or maybe it helps free our own tongue to form a new prayer. But where do we find those prayers? There are many great prayer books, but another readily accessible source is the Internet. Many good sites provide prayers and other worship resources free for use in congregational worship.
Articles in this issue:
Sara Singleton. Carol Stream, Ill.: Oasis Audio, 2002. 14-page booklet and 4 CDs. $29.99.
Producer Sara Singleton has assembled an “audio sanctuary” that clearly reverences the Scriptures, warmly embraces the prayers and spiritual disciplines of past generations of believers, and, through vocal and instrumental selections, encourages the listener to savor the truth of the gospel and sweetness of close communion with the Savior.
On February 18, 2003, a Tuesday morning, Immanuel Christian Reformed Church of Brampton burned down almost completely. Many of us stood that morning watching the firefighters struggle to control the flames as we struggled to comprehend what was happening. The congregation experienced mixed emotions. Erick and I had been in Brampton for less than a year, so we hadn’t yet become attached to the building; others struggled, knowing that the building had been in need of expansion or revamping to become a more functional space.
Deborah Moore Clark. Macon: Smyth & Helwys, 2003. 252 pp. $18.00. ISBN 1-57312-364-1.
Author Deborah Moore Clark has written a focused and thorough book on the theology and practice of Christian worship. The book lends itself to group study by a worship committee or church staff in that each chapter ends with probing questions that get to the heart of worship priorities.
In a culture obsessed with health, it is perhaps too tempting to describe everything in terms of health. But health-related metaphors are easily understood and often are illuminating—the kind of metaphors that communicate well in church newsletters and choir bulletins.
Reconciliation is a process. It is a long and often difficult road through truth and justice aimed at the restoration of broken relationships, in order to establish a new reconciled reality. There are no quick-fix solutions, no shortcuts or easy roads. The process of reconciliation that is taking place in the church in South Africa illustrates the challenges and offers guidelines for rituals of reconciliation that can help the church worldwide address its ongoing need for reconciliation.
When hard times come, lines of familiar hymns often leap out at us, catch us unaware, and stick in our throats. At times we cannot sing, we cannot pray. It is then that we need the fellowship of believers more than ever. We need the comfort of knowing that others are singing and praying on our behalf, bringing before God the prayers and songs we cannot sing.
Worship and Disabilities
As I picked up my copy of RW my eye caught the paragraph where you mention that worshipers cannot meditate on the fast-moving images of PowerPoint (“Come and See,” RW 70). This struck me as a wonderful addition to my workshop on worship and disabilities. If regular worshipers can’t meditate on PowerPoint, how in the world do you think people with retardation, autism,or those who are sight impaired (as opposed to blind) will be able to think about the pictures?