There is no better preparation for learning to improvise than to recapture a child's natural pleasure, curiosity, and interest in spontaneous music-making.
Articles in this issue:
NEW ADDRESS FOR NEEDLEWORK CHRISMONS
I was reading the paper the other day and ran across the line, "That was a real epiphany for me!" No, it wasn't in a church publication; it was the daily paper. And the context made it clear that the author meant something like, "It was a real eye-opener!" But it got me thinking: What is an epiphany anyway? How did a word with such a focused doctrinal Christian meaning come to be used this way in everyday speech?
ARE WE "DUMBING DOWN"?
I read Reformed Worship from cover to cover, make use of its material frequently, and truly appreciate the quality and breadth of topics. I sincerely hope we can use your "Isaiah" service soon [RW 39]. It is excellent. But I was sorry to see that the "Hymn of the Month" has been replaced by "Songs for the Season," which downplays the use of the hymnal.
That I wholeheartedly agree with Missy Simpson's lecture about over-sentimentalizing Christmas, that I laud her annual efforts on our church's nativity pageant, and that I know no one more determined to put Spring Arbor Church on the map—none of that alters the fact that Missy Simpson is not my favorite human being.
So I understand why my daughter was owly when I picked her up from church a few nights ago. She had to listen to the lecture. I heard it too, rehearsal having gone about ten minutes late.
ADVENT BANNER: "FOR TO US A CHILD IS GIVEN"
The banner's purpose is to enhance and complement the bulletin covers for this series and to create a festive atmosphere in the worship space. The covers and the banner visually hint at the content of the sermons: dreams that week after week unveil more of the baby, making the advent of Christ's birth clearer and clearer.
After last year's highly appreciated Advent series about angels (RW 37), we have become much more aware of God's messengers and our guardians both in Scripture and in our lives. But that series also started us wondering about what other means God uses to communicate his message to people.
And God turned to his angel. And God said, "Gabriel."
And the angel answered, "Yes, Lord?"
And the Lord God said, "Go down. All of the people must know what I am doing. Tired and lonely and scattered and scared, all of the people must hear it. Go, good Gabriel. Go down again. Go tell a few to tell the others, till every child has heard it. Go!"
A few weeks ago, Bruce Klanderman, organist at the Rochester (N.Y.) Christian Reformed Church, sent me a chart of the number of Psalter Hymnal songs that have moved in his congregation from "red" to "green."
Now for the translation: Two other organists in western Michigan prepared a color-coded chart of the entire 1987 Psalter Hymnal when it first came out.
They marked every song either
The Pilgrim Press, 1995. Editions for pew ($16.95), pulpit ($34.95), accompanist ($39.95), and large print ($24.95).