Some church services keep my attention; others tend to bore me. Some carry me along with building energy; others have built-in distractions. Some flow like a symphony from beginning to end; others seem like a series of disparate parts.
Articles in this issue:
(revised and expanded from an earlier edition by Judson Press). By Donald A. Spencer, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1993.315 pp.
"Well!" harrumphed the elder's wife, nodding toward the choir, "that's exactly the reason we left that other church!"
The anthem was simple and childlike—not great music by any means, hut all that the chil-drens choir could muster. They had worked hard to prepare for today's service.
Carol Doran and Thomas H. Troeger. Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1992.160 pages.
Miracles happen on Wednesday afternoons at Bethany Church of Muskegon, Michigan. All a visitor might see is a room full of children, faces of every color, voices raised in laughter and song. But God is there with them—of that the people of Bethany are sure.
Reformed Worship Hymn Search
A new hymn competition was announced on the inside back cover of the last two issues of Reformed Worship. The deadline for the text entries was January 1. We are glad to report that many of you submitted new texts on our theme, "Your Kingdom Come." Those texts are now being considered by the three text judges.
Some congregations are beginning to explore different options for their second service. One such option is a home worship service, in which small groups from B-iecongregationmeetfor-worship, a meal and fellowship. Small groups from Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids, Michigan, gather for home worship wlienever there's a fifth Sunday in the month—four times a year.
Liked Anniversary Resources
All of the songs in this issue of Reformed Worship—the three "Hymn of the Month" selections as well as the song on page 41—will be included in a new chUdrens hymnal scheduled for release by CRC Publications later this year. The new hymnal, Songs for LiFE, is designed for use with children in preschool through grade 6. It will be an excellent resource for church school, children's choirs, or Christian day schools. Some churches may even want to consider using it as a supplementary pew hymnal.
When I first arrived as the new associate pastor at a congregation I once served, I found the church trying to recover from a conflict involving my predecessor. He had been advocating more "praise-oriented" worship at the two Sunday morning traditional services. And he had lost the dispute. Upon his resignation, a significant number of the younger families left the congregation. Many of those remaining were still asking for an alternative to our traditional Lutheran service.