Worship

The Psalms in Christian worship: singing, praying and preaching from the Psalter

Author
Lyle Edward Harper
Abstract
This project addresses several questions. Can the Psalter continue to be our "School of Prayer" and teach pastor and congregation how to pray? Can the Psalms be listened to as the Word of God? Can the constant and strong appearance of praise and joy in the Psalms transform congregational worship and bring greater awareness of God's presence and person? The long and significant faith tradition shows that the Psalms do indeed speak for us to God and to us from God. The liturgical venture challenges the congregation and pastor to experience the Psalms as our song and prayer book and as the Word of God.

I sing a song of the saints of God: the celebration of saints in a United Methodist church

Author
Susan Schweitzer Garrett
Abstract
American Protestant churches suffer from what historian Sidney Mead calls "a kind of historylessness". There is a window into this neglected past through the saints of the Church. During a six week "Festival of Saints", a local United Methodist Church studied five saints: John of Damascus, Francis of Assisi, Martin Luther, Mary McLeod Bethune and C. S. Lewis. Each week the Sunday worship centered around the saint and the appropriate part of the tradition. The same model could work for almost any combination of Christian heroes and heroines which emphasizes the depth and breadth of the "Communion of Saints".

The corporate prayers of worship

Author
Stanley D Self
Abstract
The author traces the roots of corporate prayer in the scriptures, the intertestamental period and the apostolic period up to the Reformation, particularly in the thought of Calvin. Although there are no clearly recognizable liturgical prayers in the Bible, there is much evidence in the lives (and times) of such notable persons as Abraham, Moses, David, Jesus, Paul, James, John, Peter and the writer of Hebrews to indicate that set prayers were a part of corporate worship. The author recognizes certain types of liturgical prayer, such as invocation, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, and intercession, and then encourages diligent preparation in mind and heart and-or in the writing of these prayers by the worship leader.

Three black Methodist churches in the consultation on church union: problems and prospects for union

Author
John E Brandon
Abstract
This project examines the relationships of three predominantly black Methodist Churches (AME, AMEZ, CME) in the Consultation on Church Union. It explores their responses to union with white churches and the problems and prospect for such union. The project uses experiments in worship and mission called "Generating Communities" and "Interim Eucharistic Fellowships" and the Institutional Racism Commission to gather learnings about the participation of black churches in the union process. The degree of involvement of blacks in COCU is tempered by the black church historical experience, black theology and the black church's approach to the unity of the Church.

Small groups in the service of the community as a model for congregational participation in worship

Author
David Erwin Avery
Abstract
This project attempted to bring the praxis and the stated centrality of worship closer together within a small church setting. Two small groups decided upon issues, gathered resources and presented two worship services each. Chaburah, the house church and basic Christian communities were used as models. The project used a questionnaire, evaluation forms and informal conversations to evaluate its effectiveness. Reality was confronted, barriers were overcome, community was fostered, mutual understanding was enhanced and the biblical heritage was taken seriously. However, the project showed that there is a continuing need to bring together praxis and theology.

Children and inclusive worship

Author
Thomas J Blaney
Abstract
This project looks at inclusive worship which takes its lead from children, learns from children, but which is holistic and includes everyone and their individual pilgrimages. It surveys literature covering an historical range from early to very recent studies on the theology and history of worship and sacramental practice. The project studies three Pentecost services and their levels of worship experimentation by using an evaluative questionnaire. These demonstrate that while people want traditional worship events, they experience worship within non-traditional worship approaches. This study develops a theory for expanding worship from traditional to non-traditional approaches.

A worship paradigm for incorporating new members

Author
David Roy Bushnell
Abstract
The author, a former denominational staff person with evangelism-church growth responsibility, has developed a community-building retreat for a local congregation using the worship service of the United Church of Christ. The pauline concept of the body of Christ is examined as it relates to the various facets of worship. The weekend retreat, built upon the worship paradigm, is offered to new members and members of longer standing. Questionnaires adminstered before and after participation in a retreat provide the evaluative tools to determine the impact of the retreat on a person's involvement in the life of the congregation.

Children's sermons: communicating with the congregation

Author
Gildon D Stillings
Abstract
Some pastors question the value of children's sermons. Other pastors are not opposed to children's sermons but have not yet delivered one themselves. Still other pastors preach a children's sermon on a regular basis, but do not feel confident that they are doing it properly. This project is intended to speak to these pastors, by offering help and guidance by: 1) responding to the concerns of the critics of the children's sermon; 2) sharing what lay persons (including children) and pastors have found to be helpful, or problematic, about the children's sermon; 3) offering criteria which should be considered by the preacher to children; 4) providing examples of children's sermons; and 5) dealing with some of the developmental and liturgical issues related to the children's sermon.

Enriched worship

Author
Raymond Lytle
Abstract
Much church worship is dull or has little effect on a person's life during the rest of the week. Consequently, we should develop ways of worshipping that will meet the needs of those who attend yet stimulate the uninvolved and turned-off persons of the community. The literature of worship, past and present, was studied, along with the worship of various congregations. At the same time, members of our worship commissions were encouraged to read books on worship and to ask questions where they were unclear about why we worship as we do. Worship can be enriched, but this involves change which may be resisted. Our approach has been for the pastor and worship commissions to work together as they looked at our worship and decided upon ways it might be enriched and improved. If general agreement was not reached, changes were not made. After a good many changes had been made, we prepared a questionnaire to obtain congregational reaction to them and to help us plan future actions. This type of an approach should make it easier for newly-appointed pastors to effect change, as well as those who have been serving a church for several years.

Spiritual gifts as a portion or "the gather the family" approach to incorporation ministries

Author
Robert Darrell Noble
Abstract
This project is an inner disciplinary description of the process and resources which have been required to assist liturgical churches recover their powerful dynamic as contemporary expressions of the body of Christ. The use of spiritual gifts within the context of denominations which are solidly hierarchical in leadership style has taken nine years of work with hundreds of clergy and thousands of laity to find a balance to prevent anarchy at one extreme and stifling limitations on the other. This workshop process is receiving increasing recognition as its influence spreads.
Subscribe to Worship