December 2017
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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.
Isaiah 9:6

The staff of Reformed Worship wish you God's blessings this season and in the new year.

In this issue you will find:

•  new blogs on worship
•  articles and ideas from the archives
•  notice board

Reformed Worship is an award winning quarterly print 
and online worship journal.

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Worship: Norms and Exceptions

By Ron Rienstra

A healthy normal provides repetition and predictability—allowing the meaning-making character of ritual to do its work. The exceptional service, . . . stretching us, reminding us of God’s ability to work in surprising as well as regular ways.  
Read more


Story Journey: A Review and Meditation

By Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence

By cultivating a culture that learns and tells biblical stories, we are writing them on our hearts, allowing the Spirit to use these stories in our and others’ lives.  
Read More

Credit: Flickr Photo by Carson Coots, Creative Commons 2.0

Lament for a Broken Community

By Jill Friend

I was struck again with the importance of the Psalms, for every stage of grief can find expressions in this book. . . . I know that at some point in the future the Psalms will also give voice to our acceptance and hope. As a community, that day seems a long way off, but the Psalms are here for us now as we journey through our grief.  
Read more

Jesus Is . . . A Service of Lessons and Carols

By Joy-Elizabeth Lawrence

This service of lessons and carols was written to name ways to read the Jesus story through the Old Testament narrative. It centered on the theme of the identities of Christ—Jesus is the New Noah and Jesus is the Good Shepherd.  
Read more

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Lift Your Light High: A Reading for an Advent Candlelight Service

By John C. Bush

This simple candlelight service can be integrated into an Advent evening prayer service or follows a holiday feast held at church.  Read more

The Whole Story of Christmas: A Christmas Eve Service

By Betsy Arkema

This Christmas Eve service tells the story of God’s salvation plan from the Garden of Eden to Jesus’ resurrection. It shows how all of Scripture is one big story of God calling his people back to him. The service is appropriate for people of all ages and all stages of the faith journey, and can be used in a wide variety of settings.  Read more

Imitating God: Doing Justice as a Condition of Authentic Worship

By Nicholas Paul Wolterstorff

Our worship, if it is well-pleasing to God, will be a sign, a sample, of justice. Our worship, if it is worship of the biblical God, will speak of God’s love for justice and will guide and energize us for our own pursuit of justice. And our worship, if it is authentic, will be the place where we lay before God all our hesitations and frustrations in the pursuit of justice, asking God to take what we have done and use it for the coming of Christ’s kingdom of justice and peace; we pray, “Thy kingdom come.”  Read more


For more resources go to and search for a term or scripture reference or click the Christian Year tab.



Calendar and Events

  • Save the date: A day of learning and renewal with Steve Bell, Ken Medema, and others. April 28, 2018, Toronto, Ontario. Sponsored by Reformed Worship, the Presbyterian Church in Canada, and Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church.
  • National Conference for Sacred Music is designed to provide the practicing church musician with fresh ideas for fostering a vital music ministry. January 3-5, 2018, Charlotte, North Carolina.
  • Liturgical Art: A Webinar — explores liturgical art with discussion and applications. Presented by the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. January 18, 2018.
  • 2018 Calvin Symposium on Worship is scheduled on January 25-27, 2018, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Registration is now open.
  • NPM Colloquium, The Director of Music Ministries Division (DMMD) Winter Colloquium will be held January 29-31, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Centered in Song — Chicago introduces participants to the new Center for Congregational Song (a part of the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada) has to offer. February 3, 2018, in Park Ridge, Illinois.
  • Animate is a five-day summer program in worship leadership for teenagers and their adult mentors sponsored by the Center for Worship and the Arts on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. June 25-29, 2018. Registration is now open.

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