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Thanks, Corey, I'm not a theologian, but I love the CRC and it's rich history. I just pray that God will do something new this year (and I have no idea what that is) to bless us all as we keep working together for the kingdom. 

Posted in: Eloise's Story

Thank you, Angie, for sharing Eloise's life and story. She truly was created and dearly loved by God. While I can't pretend to know your grief and pain, your courage is clear. God will use her life and your story to save others.

Amen, Karen! And a big WOW! on those quilts, Kory! However we do it, I agree that this is a good opportunity to pray together for our kids (big and small) and our educators. The editors for Lift Up Your Hearts also thought of marking this moment in worship, and included #274 - a song that says "In all our learning, give us grace to bow ourselves before your face..." (verse 2), along with a spoken prayer for teachers and learners. I also love the simple chorus-like feel of #129 - a song that young and old could sing together with simple percussion, repeating the phrase "We will follow, we will follow Jesus....through the the the our our calling.

Incorporate the scripture with the flow of the singing. There are many ways to weave music and the Word, depending on the scripture passage, of course. But here are some possibilities:

1) have the congregation sing vs. 1 of Speak O Lord (755 in LUYH), have the children speak the scripture, and then have all sing vs. 2 & 3.

2) choose a children's song that is a favorite from Sunday School that can lead into or out of the scripture, and have them sing (cong joining is option)

3) have a 'theme song' for the kids & congregation that is done each time the children do their scripture in church, such as #761 in LUYH (I Will Hide Your Word Inside My Heart),  LUYH #762 - Ancient Words, or any song of your choice (Thy Word, by Amy Grant). Sometimes repetition is good not only for the kids but also for the congregation.

This was just posted this week - check out this new approach to dinner and church.

A few blessings and benedictions:

May God go before you to lead you;
May God go behind you to guard you;
May God go beneath you to support you;
May God go beside you to befriend you.
Do not be afraid. Let the blessing of God come upon you today.
Do note be afraid.

(this first one from Lift Up Your Hearts #946, more found #937, #936, #934, #935, #950, #954, )

The new one below from a service of prayer for the church in Syria (Dec. 2016, This Liturgy has been written by Adeeb Awad, Sabine Dressler, Hadi Ghantous, Najla Kassab, Hartmut Smoor

Sending and Blessings

Liturgist: See, how very good and pleasant it is when kindred stay together in unity.

Congregation: It is like the precious oil on the head that nurtures us and grands us high regard.         

Liturgist: How very good it is to care for each other now and in the time to come.

Congregation: By this we become a blessing to each other by this we become a blessing to the world.

Liturgist: Now leave, protected by God, and go where God will use as instruments of peace. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May God make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Congregation: Amen

You are right in what you've said, Betty. But I've come to really appreciate the folks who offer the copyright licensing opportunities for churches and worshiping communities (CCLI,, and LicenSing). While technology offers us the means to project and copy music, the law still has requirements and regulations attached to those acts. These copyright licensing organizations have bundled hundreds of thousands of hymns and songs and offered them under one license. If that was not available, we would have to go individually to each author, composer, or publisher for each song for permission every time we wanted to sing it. And there is no set fee that can be charged - it could be any amount, though the standard is probably between $15.00 - $40.00 for a single use.

So while it seems like a hassle and added expense, I've found that these people have a real heart for ministry, and are doing their best to assist the churches' worship in the 21st century.

Hi Doug - Here is a link to a sound technology training given by Greg Scheer last spring - it's a video (with accompanying handout) that you can share with your team or anyone who wants to watch it.

I'm interested to see what responses you get to this post - the question about training for sound technology gets asked a lot. I've just posted this video as a new Resource post as well. (if these links don't work, watch for the post).


Another good resource is The Worship Sourcebook - it has many prayers suggested for the different elements of the worship service - prayers can be read directly or used as a guideline to pray your own prayer. There is also Prayers of the People - a shorter book of model prayers to help someone pray in church. I would think these could be helpful training tools. is developing FlexScores and has many available. Go to this page to check it out:

They also have printable scores for many public domain tunes available in Sibelius, which allows you to change the key. See this example for When I Survey.

Not In It To Win It: Why Choosing Sides Sidelines the Church, by Andy Stanley

Help Is Here, by Max Lucado

Christians and Politics: Uneasy Partners, by Philip Yancey 

Surprised by Hope, By N.T. Wright (reading again)

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