For anyone interested in hymnody, the last half-dozen years have been an exciting time to be alive. Every few months, on the average, a major North American denomination has produced an important hymnal. As most RW readers are aware, the Reformed Church in American gave us Rejoice in the Lord (1985) and the Christian Reformed Church its Psalter Hymnal (1987). Both are very fine books. But many other hymnals have also emerged. The Episcopal Church, for example, has a new hymnal—as do the American Baptists.
Articles in this issue:
First Christian Reformed Church of Denver, Colorado, uses the Hymn of the Month information from Reformed Worship in a creative way. Every month the church newsletter, the Parish Pulse, includes the background information from RW on the song for that month, and a member of the church creates a Hymn of the Month poster to display in the church.
It's not easy to accept a new hymnal. We become attached to old favorites—to their rhythms, phrases, and tunes—and find it difficult to accept the new and unknown in our worship.
It happened in a Christian Reformed Church one Sunday night during the intermission of a Calvin Seminary Choir program. As director of the choir, I had asked two of the seminarians to say a few words about their background and plans for ministry. First came Bruce Gritter—a young Canadian student, full of enthusiam. Then Gabriella Farkas spoke.
Protect Me, God, I Trust in You
Is it possible to get people of the Reformed faith to set aside a day for prayer and fasting?
Our elders struggled with that question last fall. Prayer they were comfortable with—after all, it's always been part of our tradition. But fasting? That sounded a little "foreign."
The council, very much on edge as they talked about it, concluded that the turmoil began when Lizzy Sibbelink visited her sister Heather up north and worshiped at Heather's church on Cutler Avenue.
On the day of Pentecost and during the following weeks of Kingdomtide, what better theme to dwell on than that of the person and work of the Holy Spirit? And what better guide than Paul's epistle to the Ephesians? Because the subject of the Spirit runs like a ribbon through this book, a series of services and sermons will emerge quite naturally as we take up this epistle, passage by passage.