Resource, Webinar Recording

Watch and learn from two artists and ministry leaders, Nicole Ensing and Sydney Yapoujian. This webinar includes visuals, ideas, and instructions for making your worship space beautiful. 

November 10, 2017 0 0 comments
Blog

Even though more than half of us are visual learners, much of our worship is still word-based. What will it take for you and your visual arts team to change that? Money? Time? Someone's approval? A little encouragement? We've got a webinar and book that will help you with at least one of these...

February 25, 2013 0 0 comments
Resource, Article

Preach the gospel at all times and, if necessary, use words. This ancient maxim, attributed to Saint Francis, may be more relevant today than ever before. 

January 5, 2010 0 0 comments
RSS

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

 

Welcome

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

story.

 

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.

 

(silence)

 

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.

 

(silence)

 

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.

 

(silence)

 

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.

 

(silence)

 

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

grace.

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.

 

(silence)

 

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 - crcna.org/worship.)  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: https://worship.calvin.edu/search/?q=evaluation

 

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 (http://christiancalendar.squarespace.com/). 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: http://christiancalendar.squarespace.com/

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 https://www.faithaliveresources.org/Products/400150/in-life-and-in-death...
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: 

https://www.reformedworship.org/article/june-1992/rethinking-reformed-re...

 

 

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: https://worship.calvin.edu/resources/resource-library/in-times-of-death-...

Here is the search for funerals: https://worship.calvin.edu/search/?q=funeral

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:  https://www.crcna.org/news-and-views/crcna-offers-social-media-tool-brid...

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 (https://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: kevin@beckwithhillscrc.org 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!

Diane

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.

Hi Steve, I know Worship Ministries is planning to post this webinar recording on The Network. Stay tuned later this week! 

Will this webinar be available for listening to at a later time?

Thank you for your response. It is more helpful than you know. I have a feeling I am making this harder than I should. I will definitely do as you suggested.

Thanks again

Diane

When you play with a group, you could consider starting by playing only the melody line, and then gradually work from there. The organ is able to provide a sustained note better than any other instrument and can also be used to solo out the melody this way. For the rest, one would need to know what kind of playing you do. Did you take piano lessons? Do you mostly chord, or can you play in a more traditional way? In many communities you could probably find people who will help you get started. What kind of organ does you church have? I am a retired pastor, and very much an amateur musician. I would say that above all you should keep it simple. Simple music can be very beautiful!

Message me or skype me.  kevin@beckwithhillcrc.org  I use the organ all the time with a worship band.  It's more than a paragraph to post.

Hi Diane, 

I'm not an organ player so I don't know for sure, but I would think you might be able to glean some information from some of the instructional videos on YouTube for playing keyboard in worship (it will seem overly simplistic, but when you're playing with a number of other musicians your role in the music decreases, not necessarily in importance, but in the amount of "notes played" as instead of filling the whole spectrum of sound you'll have a particular role). 

If you have specific questions you could ask and I could try to answer out of my limited knowledge. 

Thank you! This was very helpful!

A Note Regarding Copyright/Permissions References on the Songs and Liturgies chart: 

P.D. =public domain (no permission necessary to use these songs)

CCLI#: you can insert your CCLI # to the end of this copyright line and place is on the music/slide to use this song legally. If you don't have a CCLI license you will need to contact the copyright holder directly. 

OneLicense: If you have a OneLicense number you can add it and use this song legally.  If you don't have this license you will need to contact the copyright holder directly. 

Great post, Syd.  As to your question, "how to encourage" such a perspective/attitude, a think a key is to persuade that having a contrary perspective or appreciation is absolutely, unqualifiedly OK, even good.  That's only a key of course, but without it, folks tend to see themselves as compelled to act as if they think/feel the same (that they like rap when they don't, or that they believe food stamps shouldn't be increased when they don't think that), or choose the route of being divisive.  

If we lie about our honest differences to keep community, we ultimately will not keep community.  Nor will we learn, as Mr. Wellstone has, how to "deal with" those differences and how to discern priorities of importance.

I love the special care you've given to the details, like carnations for every woman and fair trade chocolate. Thanks for sharing, Lynnsey!

Our church has given out carnations (to every woman, not just mothers).  We have the children hand them out at the door as people leave.  For the past couple of years we have handed out Fair Trade mini chocolates to everyone as they leave.  We acknowledge mothers in the congregational prayer being mindful of all kinds of mothers.  For Father's Day we have done chocolate, baking, etc.

Thanks for sharing your experience Ruth Ann.  With the number of churches searching for part time worship leadership this may be something for them to consider working with another local congregation on.  Some churches have shared pastors, some share youth leaders, it would take some imagination and coordination but your experience suggests it might also be possible to have shared worship leaders. 

Thanks Jan!  That is lovely that you shared music together with the choirs, great idea!   And good to know that others have done the two-church thing with success.  Blessings!

Love this, Michele! 

In our congregation ALL the ladies get a flower on Mother's Day, usually a carnation, whether they actually had kids or not.  The leadership figures that women who didn't marry and have kids shouldn't be penalized.  I don't remember what we decided to do for Fathers's Day.

Ruth Ann, it's a comfort to read your article. I did the two-church thing as choir director/worship designer for ten years and resonate with all the challenges and delights you listed. Since one of my charges was CRC and the other RCA, there were interesting differences there, but the most helpful thing we did was combining the two choirs semi-regularly and singing in each other's worship services. Many were the times choir members expressed the wish to put aside all the denominational challenges that separated the two groups years ago and "do church" together all the time. I was personally blessed by having two pastors and two worshipping communities. I look back on those years with pleasure. 

Thanks, Reg. I think there is potential for churches to find meaningful ways to honor these relationships, but perhaps it is not necessary on these days. It's been shown that church attendance is up on mother's day and father's day, so there is an opportunity to show hospitality. 

We also celebrate all women on Mother's Day and pray intentionally about difficulties women may struggle with. We always include prayers for those who have never been mothers, those who are unable to conceive, and those who are mother figures.  We don't do flowers--too many of our people have allergies to fresh flowers. We have given a token gift to all women such as a pen or bookmark--something anyone might be able to use.

Neither of these holidays have anything to do with Christianity. They were created by secular society to increase material consumption. The church is supposed to change society, not the other way around. So why celebrate it?

 

Pages

Members

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