March 2009

RW 91
Ascension/Pentecost
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • We are excited to introduce Bob Langlois to you in this issue. Bob has extensive experience in the world of technology, particularly as it relates to churches. We hope you’ll be inspired to send in specific questions for Bob to answer—whether you’re considering investing in new equipment, trying to solve a thorny techno-problem, or just want to discover the best way to use what you have. —JB

  • Twice a year at Redeemer University College we gather together for a time of extended prayer. We are a young university (established 1982), but from our inception we’ve had a strong tradition of seeking to be grounded in prayer. Our small campus includes a lovely prayer room for small group prayer, with two adjoining prayer “cells” for personal prayer. Every fall the student body organizes a 24/7 prayer week during which many students, faculty, and staff sign up for an hour each of continuous prayer.

  • In our worship we enter into a dialogue between God and God’s people—a dialogue that neither begins with our entrance nor ends with our exit. More accurately we are joining in a conversation that started long before we ever showed up. Indeed, worship is a cosmic gathering in which we are privileged to participate.

  • It probably all started in Mr. Klyn’s class. As fifth graders, we weren’t too cool yet to sing together every morning, and Mr. Klyn decided that anyone in the class who could play piano well enough would accompany that singing. He chose a tune from the Folk Hymnal for each of us newly-anointed accompanists to play the following week. I went home and practiced “He took my feet from the miry clay; yes, he did! Yes, he did!” until my parents begged me to stop.

  • Note: Multiple song suggestions are provided; choose as many as fit your worship context.

    Gathering for Worship

    “Come, All You People” SNC 4, SWM 4
    “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise” CH 213, SNC 12, WR 651
    “Gift of Christ from God Our Father” SNC 167
    “Spirit, Working in Creation” PsH 415, WR 128

    Welcome
    [Include a brief explanation of Pentecost and its connection to global mission.]

  • Q  I always am anxious about Pentecost. I feel pressure to create a service in which people experience the Holy Spirit in an Acts 2 kind of way. Any advice?

    A  For starters, recall again the whole scope of the Bible’s teaching about the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works through both order and spontaneity, both dramatic intervention and long-term formation.

  • A Litany of Hope

    “Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off.’” (Ezek. 37:11, RSV)

    Let us pray:

    God of hope
    we bring before you
    those whose lives are dried up:

    Come from the four winds,
    O breath of God,
    and breathe upon these
    that they may live.

    We pray for those dried up
    by disappointment
    by bitterness
    by guilt . . .

    We pray for those
    whose spirit is drained
    by grief
    by hunger
    by despair . . .

  • Reviews

    Resources for Planning Worship

    When you plan worship services year after year, it’s easy to fall into a rut and start repeating the same phrases and images. Keeping up with new resources can help you resist this temptation. Of course, no resource is a perfect fit for every church, but you can use the following resources to spark new ideas and adapt them to your own situation.

  • Is it possible that my desire for the logical, the factual, and the easily comprehensible has kept me from seeing, experiencing, and maybe even believing that God is at work here and now? That’s the question that arose in my mind (or was it my soul?) as I read through the articles in this issue.

  • News and Notes

    www.Hymnary.org

    Do you search for hymns and worship music for worship services? Are you researching a particular hymn? Looking for an arrangement or media file? If so, the Hymnary is for you.

    The Hymnary is an online hymn and worship music database for worship leaders and others. It’s a collaboration between the Christian Classics Ethereal Library and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. At the Hymnary you can search or browse hymns by title, tune, meter, key, Scripture reference, and more.