September 2002

RW 65
Advent/Christmas
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • Some time ago, while reading Richard Foster’s book Streams of Living Water (New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1998), it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to plan a series of worship services based on this book. I was also beginning to plan for the upcoming Advent and Christmas services. As I began to explore the possibilities of combining the two ideas, I was struck by how nicely the two fit together.    

    In his book, Foster contends that the Christian religion is comprised of six great traditions of faith:

  • John Bush explains, “This candlelight service has been used here at Northbrook Presbyterian for at least twenty-five years; it follows an elegant holiday feast held at the church. I integrated this ‘service of light’ into an Advent Service of Evening Prayer.”

    [The congregation are holding unlighted candles. Two readers, also holding candles, gather at the Advent wreath, facing the congregation. The appropriate Advent candles are already lighted.]

  • It happens every time we use a new visual in our worship. One gentleman in my church catches me after the service and asks me what each part of the new visual means. We look at the banner, and I describe how the final piece came to be: what we started with, what problems we encountered while constructing it, and what pleasant surprises happened along the way.

  • In the Fullness of Time” was the third annual Christmas drama we wrote and produced. This year we decided to present the drama on two consecutive nights: not only for space reasons, but also to give actors a chance to have the satisfaction of performing twice after all their hard work at rehearsals!

  • Letters

    Dear Dean,

    Have you ever compiled all your beautiful banner ideas into a book? You should! We think they are great and appreciate your sharing them with us!

    Mike Bryant
    Director of Fine Arts
    Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
    Atlanta, Georgia

    On the Balance of Word and Sacrament

  • What is the meaning of light in the Bible? This drama was prepared for the conclusion of a series of sermons our pastor preached between Epiphany and Lent that asked that question. Rather than using a narrative approach, I began with three scenes: creation, fall, and redemption. Using my concordance, I found relevant Scripture passages for each scene. (All Scripture is taken from the NRSV.) When I noticed that my original three-part structure didn’t satisfy, I added scenes 3 and 5.

  • Notes

    Corrections and Identification
    • In RW 64 (p. 12), the website address we provided for The Liturgical Press was incorrect. The correct address is www.litpress.org.
    • The liturgical calendar in RW 64 (p. 33) listed a couple of incorrect dates. In 2003 Maundy Thursday falls on April 17, Good Friday on April 18, and Trinity Sunday on June 15.
  • It isn’t often that listening to Scripture in a worship service is absolutely riveting. But listening to Dennis Dewey proclaim Scripture was one of the most powerful parts of COLAM 2001, a worship conference cosponsored by Reformed Worship and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Wheaton, Illinois. I spoke with him one afternoon during that conference.