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.
Articles in this issue:
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?
Wedding rituals I have witnessed firsthand include the lighting of a unity candle, the rose ceremony, communion, and foot washing. But ever since I saw the movie Fiddler on the Roof years ago, I have been particularly fascinated by the Jewish wedding practice of drinking wine and breaking the glass under the couple’s feet. Seven wedding blessings (Sheva Brachot; www.jewishaz.com/jewishnews/970131/tradsb.html) spoken over the cup of wine celebrate the themes of creation and joy.
RW Online Index to Replace Print Version
Ever since RW began, we’ve published a cumulative index updated each year. For the past two years, we’ve kept the print index going alongside the online index. But sales of the print index have declined, and we’ve decided to discontinue the print version. Explore the online index and find lots of help!
Worship planning during a crisis, transition, or conflict may be more stressful than usual, but thoughtfully planned services can relieve stress and help keep the church focused on its mission. In fact, worship during a difficult circumstance may itself provide an important opportunity for learning and healing in the congregation. Those who are involved in planning worship should ask some of the following questions as they plan during a difficult time.
James Abbington, known affectionately as “Jimmie” to his many friends, is a an amazingly versatile musician/scholar who is committed to the study and practice of worship music from the African American heritage. He is equally at home playing the piano, Hammond organ, or pipe organ; directing a choir; directing a conference; or composing, writing, and editing books and music on aspects of African American church music (see box).