March 1997

RW 43
Ascension/Pentecost
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • This past June, my home congregation learned that we would be losing one of our two pastors, the adult choir director, and the organist. They all left for good and different reasons. But the joy of Pentecost Sunday was muted when I heard that day that all three would be leaving.

  • God Gathers Us for Worship

    Opening is structured as congregation is accustomed, with emphasis on praise for God's gracious-ness. Suggested hymns include "I Will Sing of My Redeemer" (PsH 479), "Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" (PsH 501, PH 466, RL 362, 363, TH 164).

    God Embraces Us in Grace

    Drama: The Wayward, Wanton, and Wasteful Daughter (see p. 24)

  • Hymnbook: Gather

    Second Edition. Chicago: G.I.A. Publications, 1994. Pew Edition, Choir Edition, Keyboard Accompaniment Edition, Guitar accompaniment Edition, Instrumental Edition.

  • God Gathers Us for Worship

    Opening is structured as congregation is accustomed.

    God Embraces Us in Grace

    Reading: From Madeleine L'Engle's And It Was Good:

    Reflections on Beginnings

  • We're not all alike.

    When you open a pea pod, the peas look alike. It's difficult to tell one pea from another. Not so with people. Although to some folks all Hispanics may "look alike," we are as different from each other as one Anglo is from another. Not only are Mexicans different from each other, but Mexicans are different from Cubans, who are different from Puerto Ricans, who are different from Guatemalans.

  • God Gathers Us for Worship

    Opening is structured as congregation is accustomed.

    God Embraces Us in Grace

    Drama: The Wayward, Wanton, and Wasteful
    Daughter
    (Modified—see box, pp. 24-25.)

    Hymn: Sung to the tune of MORNING SONG, PsH 615, PH 60O, RL 48O, TWL 277

    [Sing stanzas 1 and 2.]

  • God Gathers Us for Worship

    Opening is structured as congregation is accustomed. Songs should be celebrative. Include the song "And Jesus Said," by Gloria Grindall and Joy Paterson (see RW 41, p. 32). Include prayers of the people in this section.

    God Invites Us to a Party

    Prayer for Illumination

    Scripture: Luke 15:1-32

    Sermon: "It's Party Time!"

  • The pattern of fall thanksgiving services for the harvest is well established in most North American churches. Less often observed is an even older tradition of springtime prayer services around the time crops are planted. But interest is growing again for spring services of intercession, which provide a counterbalance to fall thanksgiving services.

  • Characters: Younger Daughter, Elder Daughter, Mother, Bartender/Diner, Neighbors, Interrupter

    Props: Textbooks, apron, bottles and glass, table settings, food scraps, bar stool, desk, knapsack, suitcase

    Note: In week one, use the script as printed below. In week three, add the two shaded portions of script included at the end of the drama and indicated in the script.

    [Mother and two daughters go to center platform, one on each side, mother's arms on their shoulders.]