September 2006

RW 81
Advent/Christmas
Reformed Worship issue cover

Articles in this issue:

  • All-Night Worship

    "I want more of that!” a toddler loudly asserted during the children’s worship time one Sunday morning. She had just eaten bread during “the feast,” and her appetite had been whetted. Those nearby smiled, the meaning not lost on them. Many in this congregation had a similar desire to experience more, in particular more of God’s nearness through extended times of worship. A typical Sunday service is just a snack. They wanted to feast.

  • Nestled in the heart of Central Valley California is a church that daily exemplifies community and growth. First CRC in Visalia, currently pastored by Rev. George Vink, is a vibrant and active congregation dedicated to serving the community around them while caring for the spiritual growth and well-being of their own members.

  • Hospitality Is Messy

    Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it (Heb. 13:2).

    These days hospitality may most often be associated with a Martha Stewart-esque home decor complete with fluffed pillows and fresh flowers placed just so. In Scripture, though, it means something quite different than creating the perfect environment. Instead, hospitality refers to creating a space in which relationships can develop.

  • I despise change! That may be an odd statement coming from someone who has moved repeatedly, attended four post–high school institutions, and worked as a high school teacher, youth pastor, research assistant, and editor, not to mention the biggest change of all—adopting an infant. Regardless of all that change in my life, I am no fan. Change destabilizes, creates tension, and requires us to adapt. Frankly, it is often uncomfortable, at least for a while.

  • Transitions

    We Gather

    A Prayer of Thanksgiving for Ministry
    [This prayer is included in the bulletin for people to pray during the preservice music. Worship begins when entering the worship space.]

  • Glimpses of Glory

    “Glimpses of Glory” marks the beginning of a new column, Reflections. It is our prayer that Reflections will be a source of spiritual encouragement as you are used by God in the leading of his people in worship. —JB

    What we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is” (1 John 3:2b).

  • In “Leading with Light: Practical Ideas for Using Video Projection in Worship” (RW 76, p. 39), Steve Koster outlines various ways to use projected images that enhance rather than detract from worship. In this article Koster asks further questions: What does worship media look like? What can it be compared to? What is its unique identity? Koster suggests that our answer to that question will further influence our use of projection media.

  • The Nativity

    Every Christmas at our church the Sunday school and catechism classes (preschool to grade 12) prepare a program for the evening service of the third Sunday of Advent. When some of the high school students objected to a proposed plan, they were challenged to come up with a better idea. Two of the girls wrote the pageant based on the Christmas story from the book of Luke presented here. Along with a narrator, they included songs and dramatic scenarios for the Sunday school classes.

  • As we plan weekly worship here at Fuller Seminary, the worship interns and I have been talking quite a bit lately about three persistent and related problems.