March 2003

RW 67
Ascension/Pentecost
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Like many historical congregations, we faced a daunting challenge: encourage our congregation to consider new expressions and more variety in worship, Finding liturgical resources was not a prohlem. Our music coordinators were aware of the myriad of sources for contemporary expressions of faith: praise music, newly published hymnbooks, psalters, choir anthems, and so on.

  • Q. I have trouble with planning our prayers of confession. People are saying the words, but I wonder how many are actually personally confessing their sin. If we aren't actually confessing, why perform this rather onerous part of the service?
    —Ontario

  • 3/14/99 After LOFT

    As usual, after worship was finished and most folks had cleared out of the chapel, the band kept on play-ing. We spent nearly ninety minutes "jamming for Jesus." Matt and the Aarons really got us going on that Herbie Hancock number "Chameleon." It's amazing how much music you can make with just two simple chords. And how much variety!

  • If you were to read this issue cover to cover (which most of you probably seldom do!), you would find at least three sets of intersecting themes, along with our regular columns.

    Ascension and Pentecost

    This issue includes Ascension and Pentecost resources, but also some reflections on the implications of Pentecost for the mission of the church to the world. The first two articles (pp. 3 and 7) offer both perspective and resources on these two Christian festival days.

  • Are you planning a family reunion this summer? Don't forget about worship! If your reunion includes a Sunday, and especially if your group is very large, you may want to consider planning a worship service for your family.

  • Our Ascension and Pentecost worship can sometimes use a healthy dose of spring tonic. A robust swig of solid Reformed doctrine will help to kick us out of our lazy, monochromatic approaches to these traditional festivals. Granted, a spoonful or two of Heidelberg or Westminster may be hard to swallow. But they will revitalize our worship planning by steering us to some rich biblical perspectives that we so easily ignore.

  • We used this reading in place of the sermon for Pentecost Sunday at Beech-wood Presbyterian Church. It is written for three readers, but you could easily use more. We did feel that it was important for the same person (Reader 3) to read all the Scripture passages from the pulpit, thus setting God's Word apart from the rest of the narrative. We used the New Revised Standard Version of Scripture for the reading.