September 1989

RW 13
Advent/Christmas
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Time for Renewing

    Planning a service to rekindle our vows and commitments

    Vows have lost their value for many people in our society. Marriages are discarded, church membership obligations ignored.

  • This service is intended for the first service of a new calendar year or as a Watch-Night Service. Churches might use such texts as 2 Chronicles 16:9 or Hebrews 6:13-20 to emphasize God's commitment to us during the new year. Psalms and hymns are selected from the 1987 Psalter Hymnal (PH) and Rejoice in the Lord (RL). Scripture verses are taken from the NIV.

    CALL TO WORSHIP

    Congregation, what is your source of comfort and encouragement?

  • Advice on the care and feeding of the church choir

    For many choir directors getting people to sign up isn't the problem. Getting them to stick with their commitment is. Choirs that are loosely organized, that don't have a clear mandate and purpose, that lack an enthusiastic and creative director, often fade away before Christmas.

  • A case for the missions emphasis of Epiphany

    Some churches have Mission Emphasis service(s) in early spring, others in the summer, and still others in the fall. Is one time more "correct" than another? Probably not. The church always needs to be attentive to its mission character.

  • Sermon and hymn suggestions for Epiphany

    In The Service of God: How Worship and Ethics Are Related (Abingdon, 1983), William H. Willimon says that before preachers can summon the congregation to action, "We move aside and point the people to see God who has summoned us, telling them what we see and hear… The first job of the preacher is to give them a vision so true, so concrete, so clear, so demanding, so gracious, so alluring that it evokes their most courageous response" (p. 156).

  • If you were to attend a Sunday service at the Korean Community Church of Lakewood, California, you would need to decide which one of their three congregations to join in worship.

    The first is the Korean-speaking congregation, composed primarily of about a hundred Korean- American adults, that worships in the sanctuary of Mayfair Reformed Church (from which the congregation currently leases space). Rev. John Y. Kim is the pastor and primary worship leader of this congregation.

  • Kids and Kooks

    Children's services can bring out the worst in people…and the best in God

    When the Rev. Allen Spender left church that night and took a country road out of town, he was thinking that while not every church had a steeple anymore, every congregation had a bozo.

  • Hymn of the Month

    December

    Psalter Hymnal 194
    Rejoice in the Lord 169
    Trinity Hymnal 148

    Isaiah 40 is often read and sung during the Advent season. It's a passage that speaks of the peace and comfort that the coming Messiah will bring. The prophet encourages the people of Israel to prepare a way for the Lord: to "make straight in the desert a highway for our God" (RSV). The first three movements of Handel's Messiah are taken from Isaiah 40:1-5.

  • Book: Daily Prayer

    Prepared by the Office of Worship for the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1987,455 pp., $10.95.

    Fifth in a series being prepared for trial use, Daily Prayer provides patterns and resources for a discipline of daily worship. The book includes services for Morning and Evening Prayer, and for Midday and Night Prayer. Also included are ample musical resources and a two-year daily lec-tionary to use with these services.