3 rating

A Birthday Cake for Jesus

A few years back my Grandma brought a birthday cake to our annual Christmas Eve party. And then she invited us to sing. 

Activity or Game
1 share
0 rating

Praying in Color for Advent

Looking for a way to participate in Advent in a meaningful way? Maybe with your children? Maybe just yourself? These 2017 Advent Calendar Templates are unique and free —just print and use.

0 rating

Printable Church Year Calendar?

Does anyone have a printable church year calendar (Advent, Christmas, Lent, etc.) that they use? I'm a visual person and would love to print something like this out. 

0 rating

They Call This Friday Good

Jesus is no “rose, trampled on the ground.” This is no victim, “taking the fall” for other criminals. This is sovereign God, laying his life down on our behalf.

0 rating

Songs for Holy Week

The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship has compiled a list of songs to shape Holy Week. 

Discussion Topic
1 share
0 rating

Lent Series Preaching and Worship Ideas

It's too late to share ideas for Advent but as my Christmas gift to anyone who will take it (and in hopes of getting some fresh ideas back in the process) here are a few Lenten series I've done in the past. 

0 rating

Advent Worship - Prayer for Syria

Advent is a time of intense longing, waiting for peace. Our fellow Christians in Syria, Lebanon and Germany share this Advent Liturgy and urge us to join them in worship and prayer for peace for Syria.

0 rating

Lent in the Christian Reformed Tradition

Growing up in a Christian Reformed Church, I can’t say that I was very aware of the season of Lent. 

Faith NurtureWorship
0 rating

Thanksgiving Worship Ideas

Reformed Worship has many ideas to help you plan your Thanksgiving worship service. 

0 rating

Pentecost Worship Ideas

Looking for ideas as you plan for Pentecost? The Reformed Worship Journal has many, many free resources in the archives on their website. 

0 rating

Advent and Christmas Songs by Keith Getty

Here are four songs for the Christmas season composed by Keith Getty in collaboration with others. Like good worship planning, perhaps a team approach is the ideal for songwriters too!

0 rating

Eager for Easter

As we reflect on being but dust and ash and follow Christ’s journey to the cross, we’re reminded of how much we need the resurrection. 

Sunday SchoolWorship

Hi Kristina, thanks for your comment here. We do apologize for the big volume changes in this webinar on youth and worship with Dr. Eric Mathis. We aren't sure why this problem was so pronounced in this recording. The other webinars that we've done have some small variations in volume, but not like this one. Please accept our apology. We are continuing to strive to improve the volume and quality of the webinars. 

I am so grateful to listen and learn from these webinars. During the Q&A section, it can be very difficult to listen because the host’s voice is very loud and the featured speaker is much softer in comparison. Hoping this comment is helpful to improve the sound balance so it doesn’t hurt the listeners’ ears!


Thanks for all the work and prep that goes into these webinars!

I somehow don't see a way to post the photos here.  Anyway, we had people color pages during the sermon that we cut out and turned into ornaments and strung around the sanctuary.  It went over nicely, although sometimes, as a pastor, I wondered why no one was looking at me during the sermon!   

Gathering twice on Sunday with a preaching service in the morning and a teaching service (on the catechism) in the afternoon or evening was the practice in the Netherlands well before folks immigrated to the United States and Canada.  That practice of two services was maintained with the formation of the CRC in 1857. 

You might be interested in knowing that in 1920 three orders of worship were presented to Synod from a study committee to reflect the fact that many churches had 2 services in Dutch and 1 in English every Sunday. 1928 Synod adopted an order for the "first service of the Lord's Day" and though the same study committee was asked to prepare another order for the second service (and potentially other services as well) that was never accomplished and the committee was disbanded in 1932. 

In Bible days there was the morning and evening sacrifice.  This was daily.  The synagogue had a service at the beginning and end of the Sabbath (Friday night and then again on Saturday) which would have been Jesus' practice.   The Roman Catholic church also had daily vespers and in some areas of Holland that practice continued after the Reformation — the broader assemblies tried to stamp that practice out promoting instead 2 services on the "Lord's Day" only (at first the Dutch did not even want services on holidays like Christmas, Ascension, Good Friday).  Within a short while the Dutch church order prescribed that the Heidelberg Catechism be preached in the second service.  So a morning and evening service is as old as Christendom, definitely older than the CRC itself.  (Just as a note:  When the Dutch government made religious holidays "holidays" i.e. free days, the churches instituted services on those days, more out fear for what people might be doing in their free time than out of a concern to celebrate those feast days). 

Evening worship services are generally traced back to World War II when businesses shifted to seven-day, 24-hour work schedules in order to support the war effort. In an effort to make it possible for their brethren to worship, two assemblies were offered. 

In 1988, I responded to a similar request from a local newspaper to share memorable Christmas traditions or events.  This was my story and it refers to the former tradition of the Sunday School Christmas programs, in the CRC denomination as well as others, always being presented on Christmas Eve.


                                                   CHRISTMAS IN THE '50s

I remember Christmas in the '50s

     when the children's program took place on Christmas Eve,

     not on a Sunday or two before,

     when it was traditional to go home after the program and open presents.

Ah, those programs!

     girls in dainty dresses, boys in ties,

     adorable speeches, cherished carols.

But the highlight, yes, the highlight of the evening in our church was Rev. B.J. Haan.

     At the end of the program he'd walk proudly to the front of the church.

     He'd turn his head from side to side, beaming at everybody.

     He'd rub his hands together and say, "My, my, my.  That was the best program we ever had!"

     Then he'd go on to ask, "How many kids are going home to open presents?"

     After a nearly 100% show of hands, he'd ask, "Did you all buy presents for your parents?"

     Another good show of hands and then came his favorite question,

          "How many of you bought your dad a tie?"

One year the inevitable happened.

     A little Douma girl, on seeing her sister's hand raised,

          spoke up -- hurt and angry--

          "BETH -Y ! !  You TOLD! ! !"

     While she choked back the tears, the audience stifled chuckles.

Rev. Haan rushed into his closing prayer.

And it was over.  The elders and deacons handed out candy

     while Mrs. Gerritsma played the organ recessional.


I loved Christmas in the '50s.

I loved the sparkle of exuberance Rev. Haan displayed.

I wonder if he got a tie that night.

I wonder how many dad's will get ties this year? !





Thanks for that encouragement. In Poland they have competitions to see who makes the best. I’m a Nativity fan. I have one in every room of my house.

This is an interesting observation, Hetty. Maybe people can send in pictures of their manger scenes or creches in their church if they have them. I don't think there would be any reason for CRC churches not to have them. I know we've had them in the past. Last week my church, Friendship CRC, did a choir cantata and had a 'live' nativity - a young couple with a baby - on stage during the program. It was really beautiful.

I heard of a church a few years ago that invited members to bring their own creche and they were displayed throughout the church (window ledges, front, and anywhere they would fit). I was told that it was a beautiful display of a variety creches that people had collected from around the world.

I’m amazed by the lack of Jesus in the responses. Where is the nativity? I love visiting churches in Europe at this time of the year because their nativity scenes and crèches are stunning. Is there a reason  Christian Reformed Churches don’t do this?

Here are some pictures of our Advent art at Jubilee Fellowship CRC: 

Here's just a piece of what was created at Sherman Street CRC...

This reminds me of a Sunday School program our children were in --probably 20 years ago.  It included decorating a birthday cake for Jesus. Each item that went on the cake--frosting, candles, different colored candies, etc. had a spiritual meaning--with a Bible verse and song, but I can't quite remember them all.  I'm sure some creative person could easily put this together!  It was very meaningful for the children, and also the adults. At the end of the program we sang Happy Birthday and then all had cake together.  For many years after that, while the children were still in the nest, we made a birthday cake for Jesus every year at Christmas.

Love this, Staci! I remember getting together with cousins, uncles and aunts, grandpa and grandma, having a meal (potluck) , and then singing together - every Christmas carol we could think of and anything else that was requested. My uncle played the piano by ear, and he could play everything we threw at him - hymns included. My large (extended) family had a family favorite that was sung at every occasion called "Every Day With Jesus" - and we'd often end with that (or the Doxology).  Everyone stayed around the table and sang - young and old - melody and harmony - it was a sweet and special time. (seriously - it would go on for a long time - 45 minutes to an hour). I don't remember a single Christmas present I received from that party, but I remember the holy moments of making music together!

 In my family, mother and siblings and my sister's family, traditions have changed over time.  When we were kids, my maternal grandparents would come over on Christmas Eve, and after supper my grandmother would give us our baths while my parents hastily got the presents under the tree and pretended that Santa had dropped them off and was on his way to the next place on his list.  Back then, I was not a Christian, and neither of my siblings became believers then or since.

Later on, we did things differently.  But what changed our traditions drastically was my sister living with her partner 20-odd years ago.  From then on she went to celebrate Christmas with her in-laws on Christmas Eve, and with us on Christmas Day.  Fortunately, we all live in the same city, so it doesn't pose major logistical problems to see both sides of the family on following days.  We often also celebrate New Year's Eve together with my sister's in-laws.  My sister's relationship with her partner is stable, and although they are not officially married they consider themselves to be.  

My mom attends mass at her church on Christmas Day, and I attend the Christmas Day service at the Montreal CRC.  Then the two of us have lunch together at my mom's place, and in the afternoon we usually prepare whatever food we have committed ourselves to bring to my sister's place get all the stuff together and take it to her house for supper.  Since my mom and I are the only ones who are practicing Christians, the events from then on are non-religious.

 A little late in the day for our Worship Committee.  We've already done our Holiday planning.  We would need this in mid-November already.  But I'll forward this to the other committee members anyway. 

I looked up the position of the RCA and found the following in their Directory for Worship: "Heidelberg Catechism 
The Book of Church Order of the Reformed Church in America requires that all the points of doctrine of the Heidelberg Catechism be preached every four years. Although the ecumenical lectionaries cover the points of doctrine, those who wish to follow the sequence of the Catechism may refer to the Liturgy and Psalms,1968, which has a lectionary for such catechetical preaching. Its advantage is that it offers the congregation a structure of theology and a familiarity with one of the finest of our confessions of faith."  You can find the full Directory for Worship here: 



Thanks for your question.  I am unclear if you are a member of the CRC or RCA.  The two denominations have slightly different relationships with the Heidelberg Catechism and requirements regarding its preaching.  I can only speak to the CRC's position. 


In the CRC every officebearer (pastor, elder, deacon) is required to sign a covenant which states: "We also affirm three confessions—the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Canons of Dort—as historic Reformed expressions of the Christian faith, whose doctrines fully agree with the Word of God. These confessions continue to define the way we understand Scripture, direct the way we live in response to the gospel, and locate us within the larger body of Christ."  The full Covenant for Officebearers is found here:


As for whether or not the Heidelberg Catechism should be included in our preaching.  According to Article 54 of the Church Order: "At one of the services each Lord’s Day, the minister shall ordinarily preach the Word as summarized in the creeds and confessions of the church, especially the Heidelberg Catechism". The full church order can be found at: 

Of course this assumes that there are 2 services every Sunday.  If your congregation meets only once then I think your pastor is correct in interpreting the spirit of this church order by preaching through the catechism once every three years. 

So it seems that your pastor is acting appropriately from a CRC perspective. 

There are guidelines available for pastors, councils, congregations, and individuals to challenge any doctrinal or church order stance.  I suggest you begin by discussing your concerns with your own elder. 

love, love, love the sound of this!  If I can find a teen or two to go with me,  I will apply for Animate.  Sounds like just what is needed!  Thanks


Diane, this sounds like a deeply meaningful worship service. Thank you for sharing it here. 

Here is a service we have done in the past. We have used this basic form for the past several years, with some minor changes. One of the things we often do is to give nametags to the people who attend, and have them write the name of the person (including themselves) or situation they are thinking of or mourning during this season.  Something about naming it and writing it down helps begin, or open them up to,the healing.

Solo/Duet: Breath of Heaven



This evening we gather during this Christmas season in a spirit of somber

remembrance. While the rest of the world seems to celebrating the joyous

occasion, we come to manger realizing that the world is cold as stone, feelings of

loneliness and loss overwhelm, and our heart cries out help me be strong, help

me . I invite each of you this evening not to hide or suppress those feelings, but

embrace them, realizing that they bring you much closer to the real Christmas



For this evening we remember the true story helpless babe born into a world that

was struggling, a world that was questioning where was God, and world crying

out why? The helpless babe born in cold stone room without the joyous welcome

we often picture. The helpless babe born in a family that was poor, tired, and

frightened. The helpless babe who would change all this for the world.


We Gather in God's Presence

Lono, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May

my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry. I am overwhelmed

with troubles, and my life draws near to death. I am counted among those

who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. (Psalm 88:1-4)

Light Christ Candle


The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the

land of deep darkness a light has dawned ... For to us a child is born, to us a son

is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the

greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. (lsaiah 9:2 & 6-7)


Song:  O Little Town of Bethlehem


God's Greeting/Mutual Greetings


We Remember and Seek Comfort


Advent Candle Lighting: A Litany of Remembrance


First Candle; Persons who have been loved and lost


We light the first Advent candle and remember those persons who have been

loved and lost. We pause to remember their names, their faces, their voices.

We give thanks for the memory that binds them to us in this season.

Lord, surround us all with your eternal love.


AII sing: O come, O Come, lmmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,

That mourns in lonely exile here until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! lmmanuel shall come to you, O lsrael.




Word of comfort: Psalm 103:13-17

As a father has compassion on his children,

so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;

for he knows how we are formed,

he remembers that we are dust.

The life of mortals is like grass,

they flourish like a flower of the field;

the wind blows over it and it is gone,

and  its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting

the Lord's love is with those who fear him,

and his righteousness with their children's children


Second Candle: Pain of Loss


We light a second candle mindful of the pain of loss: the loss of relationships,

the loss of jobs, or the loss of health. As we gather up the pain of the past,

we offer it to you, O God, asking that into our open hands you will place the

gift of peace.

Hold, help, heal us, O God.


All sing: O come, O Bright and Morning Star, and bring us comfort from afar!

Dispel the shadows of the night. And tum our darkness into light.

Rejoice! Rejoice! lmmanuel shall come to you, O lsrael.




Word of Comfort: Psalm 139:11-12 (NLT)

I could ask the darkness to hide me

and the light around me to become night but

even in darkness I cannot hide from you.

To you the night shines as bright as day.

Darkness and light are the same to you.


Third Candle: Pain of Our Loss


We light a third candle to remember ourselves and the pain of our loss in this

Christmas season. We pause and remember the past weeks, months and,

for some of us, years of difficult times. We remember the poignancy of

memories, the grief, the sadness, the hurts, the fears.

We remember that the dawn overcomes the darkness.

AII sing: O come, O Key of David, come and open wide our heavenly home

Make safe for us the heavenward road and bar the way to death's abode.

Rejoice! Rejoice! lmmanuel shall come to you, O Israel.




Word of Comfort: Psalm 34.19 (NLT)

The righteous person faces many troubles,

but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.


Fourth Candle: Remember others suffering with us


We light a fourth candle to remember all who have shared in our sorrow. We

thank you for their compassion, for their presence with us in times when our

hurt went deeper than words could express. We remember that you, Lord,

came to sympathize with our weakness and to carry our sorrows.

We thank you for those who held us and pointed to your light.


All sing: O come, O King of Nations, bind in one the hearts of all mankind.

Bid all our sad divisions cease and be yourself our King of Peace.

Rejoicel Rejoice! lmmanuel shall come to you, O lsrael.




Word of Comfort: Matthew 5:4 and 7

Blessed are those who mourn, for the will be comforted.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.


Prayer of Comfort


We Hear God's Word

Scripture: John 1:1-5

Message: Christmas in the Darkness and Storm


We Respond in Hope


Prayer of Hope


God of compassion, we come again to you as Christmas nears. We grieve over

what might have been. A death or loss or struggle tarnishes our experience of

this season. We feel cut off from joy, lost from what we once felt, wondering if

the light will indeed come. We find ourselves adrift, alone, lost. Lord, help us

find our way.

Loving God, hear our prayer,

and in your merciful love, answer.

The Advent season reminds us of what used to be but is no more. Memories of

what was, and the fear of what may be, keep us from the joy of today. All around

are the sounds of celebration, but joy eludes us. Be near us this night.

Loving God, hear our prayer,

and in your merciful love, answer.

In this season of Advent waiting, we bring you those sorrows and longings too

deep for words. Hear the groans of our heart and tend us with your comfort and


Loving God, hear our prayer,

and in your merciful love, answer.

In the silence, we bring you our own words of need, our own words of hope.




ln this dark night, let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives

rest in you. ln the quietness of this night, may your peace enfold us and all dear

to us, and all who have no peace. Keep us in the truth that the night is nearly

over; the day is almost here. We look expectantly to a new day, to new joys.

Loving God, hear our prayer,

and in your merciful love, answer.


Word of Hope: Psalm 33:22,lsaiah 40:31and Romans 15:13

May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Lighting of Candles and Song of Peace: Silent Night

While we sing Silent Night,

ail who wish are invited forward to prayerfully light a candle -

in memory, in honor, in gratitude, in hope, in love-

inviting the love of Christ to dispel our darkness.


Passing of the Peace

Benediction: 1 Peter 5:10-11

And the God of atl grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after

you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you

strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

Joyce, thanks for sharing additional resources. 

Diane, what a loving service your congregation does for hurting people in your congregation and community. Because you do this every year, you may have developed some resources as a congregation. If you have, would you like to share them so that others can benefit from your work?

Thank you for posting this! We do a Blue Christmas service annually, and those who attend are always so appreciative.  These resources are helpful to give us some new ideas.  Thanks!

Also consider these resources from Reformed Worship

A Time to Weep--During Advent

Real Joy, Genuine Faith: Biblical Lament during Advent

Light for Our Wilderness: A Candlelight Service

From Lament to Praise: A New Year Eve's Journey Through the Psalms

RW subscribers can also access "Longest Night: A Service of Christmas Mourning" in the latest issue (RW 125). 

Also see: Lift Up Your Hearts #62 "An Advent Lament". 

Thank you!

Yes - here's the link to the next two and the sign up links. Please join us!  (if that link doesn't work - go to our website -  Visual Arts is on November 8 at 3pm EST, and then we have one on worship leading as pastoral ministry on Nov. 13 at 3pm EST.


Is there a visual arts webinar this coming Wednesday Nov. 8?  I saw it somewhere, but now can't find it ...  thanks for your help


Beautiful prayer. Thanks for sharing. 

Designing Worship Together by Howard Vanderwell, has some different forms that you can tweek, etc. to fit your context.  

CICW also has some articles on evaluating worship for different reasons:


A bit off topic but I just came across a Think Christian post (Martin Luther at the Movies) that lists four movies on Martin Luther that are available for home viewing. Could be interesting for individuals, small groups, etc. 

Yes we are! We're celebrating all month using the 5 Solas series by Carol Hochhalter in the June 2017 Reformed Worship. We are using the Reformation Hymn by Chris Anderson and Bob Kauflin as our theme song, and we also have visual arts of the 5 Solas.  It has been wonderful to delve deeper into these basic foundational truths this month! To God be the glory!

I have done this by simply asking the non-professing parent if they support this decision.  I also explain that as parents both of them have a role in raising this child.  Obviously, this is something that needs to be discussed ahead of time with both parents.  If either one has an issue with it then you should talk about it before the baptism.  So far every time I have done this it has worked well.  I don't have specific wording for this question because I have never written it down but I think that you have the words in your request.

I also like the "Salt of the Earth" calendar that Joyce refers to ( It is not something you can download and print, but you can order it and it is a beautiful calendar with art and with information on the litugical seasons and holidays. I think you would like it a lot.

This one isn't printable but I've used it in the past and appreciated it:

Historically the funeral has not been a "church/ecclesiastical" event.  The Church Order was changed in 2010 to soften that approach but as a result to my knowledge the CRC has never had an official liturgy for funerals which is why you don't find any on the Liturgical Forms page.  Of course, synod could change that by requesting that some be provided.  Currently one of the best resources out there is the book "In Life and in Death" which is available through Faith Alive
Don't forget to check out the "Death and Dying" section of Lift Up Your Hearts, which includes "A Litany for the Sick and Dying" #461

For some additional reflections and a sample liturgy see:



posted in: Funeral Liturgy?

The CRCNA holds funerals as such: Funerals and memorial services within the body of Christ should reflect the confidence of our faith and should be conducted accordingly. Such times provide opportunities to minister love, provide comfort, give instruction, and offer hope to the bereaved. (art. 70 of the Church Order)

But the Worship institute has a few examples/ideas of what a funeral/memorial service might look like:

Here is the search for funerals:

posted in: Funeral Liturgy?

Great Stuff!


I posted your question on the CRC Worship Ministries facebook page and this is the advice given there. Big thanks to all those who responded.  

Carmen Huttenga We used to use EasyWorship and switched to MediaShout. If you have a PC MediaShout is what a recommend if you have a Mac I recommend ProPresenter. 

My experience with MediaShout is that it has so many more multi media options. We can integrate videos much more smoothly. I can incorporate songs from Digital Songs and Hymns one time into the database and use them over and over. The multiple Bibles are a great tool, I could go on. 

Alicia Boekee We use EasyWorship and it works very well for us! Easy to input songs or search for them on the fly. I updated a few of the options to personalize it a bit (live view, etc). It works very well for our volunteers as well.

Sarah 'Sikma' Cupery We use Easy Worship and like it. Even my 9 and 7 year old sons can do it!

Elly Boersma We are currently looking into other options besides Easy Worship - mostly because of issues we've had with the program freezing or crashing, and most recently in upgrading to Windows 10, Easy Worship had some major glitches that made for a VERY stressful Sunday morning that is still etched in my memory. (They may have fixed those bugs, but I still haven't done the most recent upgrade since I don't trust it to be right yet.) It also struggles when switching from song slides to powerpoint slides, which is what we use for litanies and sermons - I'd love something with smoother transition. That said, it is very user-friendly and easy to run - One of my projection guys always says "a monkey could do this."

Carmen Huttenga There is a compatibility issue with PowerPoint and MediaShout. It is best to save files as jpeg interchange files and import them into MediaShout that way. That is what has worked best for us. Microsoft did an update that wasn't compatible with MediaShout. Last I knew MediaShout was working on a patch. I don't know the status of that. I do know the jpeg works great for us.

Richard Bodini As well, if you run a PPT file outside of EasyWorship while the program is still running, when you return to EW, it has a tendency to crash. So you have to restart the program. That was happening every week after my sermon PPT. So I had them put it into the program... and they now switch the slides when I Q them instead of my doing it throuhg my phone. Problem has been solved.... for now.

Carmen Huttenga EasyWorship was constantly crashing for us which led to our change.

John Medendorp We use ProPresenter...but you really need a mac to use it...and you really need a pro to run it...building slides for Sunday worship is a 2-5 hour job per week on its own.



Update: I just read an article on an app that CRCNA is putting  out, and I'm trying it now on my phone. I am going to ask our secretary about using that app rather than Planning Center for our directory. I need to find out more about how it might work with tracking our offerings. Link:

We switched from Easy Worship to Proclaim.   We liked how we could all build the service throughout the week from our home computers.   We felt that Proclaim helped out small church feel like a big church.  I believe we pay in theneighborhood of $200 a year. 

For our replacement of Power Point, our church tried Easy Worship and Pro Presenter by having our "Power Point team" try using them for a couple weeks. We ended up not going with either but instead are using Proclaim. That has turned out to be the easiest to train people on (our team is several people who take turns doing the slides at a service, so no one on that team becomes a "master user"), and the people who create the slides like it, too. 

For planning our services, we use Church Planning Center ( It's working great for the worship leader and pastor and secretary who update it throughout the week. Our volunteers are doing well on it, too. We started small with just the true worship planning team on it, but now we have accounts for all volunteers - sound, power point, praise band members, accompanists, nursery, hospitality elder, deacon who intros and prays about the offering, everything. The secretary offers personal assistance for those who need it. There are a couple people who don't have email, but not too many.

I'm encouraging our secretary to move toward using Church Planning Center for our membership and offering tracking, too. I think it'll be good to have all that in one system.

We use EasyWorship (EW). It is simple to use, especially if you stay within the program. We often use powerpoint slides with it, because we find it easier to put litanies or responses in powerpoint, and we have had problems in the past with EW and Powerpoint working well together. But we have kept EW updated, and now everything seems to be working well.  It is very simple to add songs and scripture readings in EW.

Our church had used easy worship, but is now using pro presenter. I think there was some talk of going back to easy worship, but I think that had more to do with some of the litanies already being in easy worship. I think Pro Presenter may also play better with a Macintosh computer (not sure though). 

Beer and Hymns is brilliant! I can't believe I did not catch on to this event sooner. As for my favorite part....well, it is a combination. I guess my first favorite part is simply the opportunity to sing hymns! We just don't sing enough hymns anymore these days. And I do love a variety of music styles. But singing hymns at a casual gathering like this just brings joy to my heart and a big smile to my face. I see the very same in others around me as well. As far as a favorite hymn...that is hard, too. I have dozens of favorites. Just to name a few: Blessed Assurance, Great is Thy Faithfulness, How Great Thou Art, By the Sea of Crystal. I also enjoy ending the night with the good old "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms".  The Spirit of God is so powerful in this monthly gathering. I love seeing folks of all ages, singing their hearts out together and enjoying food, drinks, and community. Just for the record, I am not even a beer drinker. But "Coke and Hymns" or "Tacos and Hymns" doesn't have quite the same ring to it. ;-) Lucky for me, drinking beer is not a requirement. This is just a great community gathering in praise to God. I love to invite friends and family to come and check out Beer and Hymns. And whenever I do, they too fall in love and want to keep coming back, month after month.  Many thanks to the inventors of this wonderful event! I hope it continues for years to come.

I always love requesting and singing Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing. My younger self probably would request The Trees of the Field.

Email me: and we can "talk".  My wife has fibromyalgia so I understand the "fibro-fog" thing.


Thank you for responding. I have taken piano lessons sporadically since I was a child. As an adult I took lessons from our church piano/organist with the focus being the organ. She also taught me about chording to add more interest on the piano. She passed away quite some time ago. I have played the organ for our church in the past regularly. I have been taken away from that role for different reasons. I do well with hymns and "churchy" stuff.

My issue now is that we sing mostly praise and worship music. I know my role should be easy as we have a wonderful praise band. I may be making things more difficult than I should. However, I wonder if I can add to this type of worship with different techniques; I certainly need to understand the sounds and combinations the organ can create.

I am completely overwhelmed! It doesn't help that I have fibromyalgia which causes difficulty with concentration.

I would appreciate any and all suggestions. And lots of prayer!


Steve - yes! We will be recording the webinar and will post it on our Worship Ministries website several days after the webinar takes place. That way many more can take advantage of the learning.



this section to get email notifications of new posts
Tim Vande Griend
Marc Hoogstad
Adom Postma
Stephanie VanRooyen
Christy Olsen
Ruth Ann Schuringa
Jolanda Howe