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Reflections from a Charlottesville Church . . .
Isaac Wardell, Director of Worship Arts at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, shares reflections from his experience shepherding their Charlottesville congregation in Sunday worship through the trauma of hatred, bigotry, and violence that took place in their small town less than one day before they gathered for worship.
Reflection | August 28, 2017
Worship Songs about Care for Creation
Caring about God’s good creation includes lamenting whatever harms it and joining God’s mission to make all things new. Songs from around the world explore these ideas.
Article | June 15, 2017
Worship Resources for Creation Care
We confess that God created heaven and earth and everything in it. We sing that this is our Father’s world. Yet, billions of people suffer in places where so much is no longer bright and beautiful. This worship resource guide will help your community plan services that honor our Creator, who invites us to join in caring for the whole creation.
Resource Guide | June 14, 2017
Worship Resources for the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation
Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses on the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church on October 31, 1517. This worship resource guide will help your community plan services of grace and truth as you commemorate the five hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation or plan worship for a Reformation Sunday.
Resource Guide | March 31, 2017
Prophetic Lament in Worship: Gabriel Salguero
Gabriel Salguero argues that the act of worship on Sunday must be tied to and result in the act of justice outside of Sunday.
Video | March 23, 2017
The Need for Lament: Soong-Chan Rah
Soong-Chan Rah argues that the deeply rooted triumphalism and exceptionalism in the American society are causing the absence of lament in the American churches.
Video | March 22, 2017
Approaching Civic Holidays as Occasions of Both Thanksgiving and Lament
The Psalms form us as people of faith to express both thanks and lament to God. This offers us a perspective that is especially needed when we worship together on or near civil holidays, and face the temptation to promote a civic religion substitute for robust Christian vision.
Audio | February 23, 2017
When Soong-Chan Rah planted an urban church near Boston, he began with a series of sermons on the Book of Lamentations, a radical counter-cultural approach to ministry that later became the basis for his book Prophetic Lament.
Video | February 22, 2017
Worship that Calls Us to Reflect God’s Heart for Justice
Bethany Hanke Hoang and Kristen Deede Johnson co-wrote The Justice Calling: Where Passion Meets Perseverance. They explain how weekly worship helps congregations keep working with, and waiting on, God to make all things new.
Feature Story | July 12, 2016
Songs of Praise, Lament, and Hope
The Psalms—the Holy Spirit’s inspired songbook right in the middle of the Bible—are a rich source of insight and inspiration for songwriters, singers, and worshipers of all kinds.
Video | May 02, 2016
Rejoicing in Lament
Four pastors and scholars discuss wrestling with incurable cancer, cancerous racism and life in Christ. They offer insights into how congregations can follow the lead of the Psalms in practicing candid lament as an essential part of deeply joyful worship.
Conversation | April 22, 2016
Rediscovering Biblical Lament and Christian Hope in a Congregational Context
How can congregations reclaim the biblical practice of bringing both grief and anger before the Lord in prayer and worship? How can these practices ultimately be an expression of Christian hope in God’s promises?
Audio | April 21, 2016
My Soul Finds Rest in God
Join with singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken for contemplative songs and liturgical prayers, while making space within this worship service for both lament and joy.
Worship Service | Video | March 31, 2016
Worship Resources for Radical Hospitality
Scripture models well for us how to speak about immigration in worship. Together, with Abraham, Jesus, and the early church, we can model radical hospitality, we can lament the pain of leaving and the pain of the journey, we can witness God's faithfulness to the refugees and migrants in the past, and together, united as the body of Christ, we can seek responses that reflect God's heart. Ultimately, we can look forward with hope, knowing that our "citizenship is in heaven."
Resource Guide | March 14, 2016
Worship that Blesses the Whole Community with the Whole Gospel
Most Christians know that Jesus calls us to love God with all we have and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Canaan Community Church changed its worship to truly follow the Great Commandment.
Feature Story | August 06, 2015
A Prayer of Lament
This prayer of lament was prayed at Calvin Theological Seminary on May 1, 2015 in response to the earthquake in Nepal and the unrest in Baltimore.
Worship Service | May 05, 2015
Peggy Goetz on Planning Worship with Stroke Survivors
Peggy Goetz is a communication arts and sciences professor at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Observing her speech pathology students in Calvin’s stroke clinic sparked her to research the experience of stroke survivors in their church communities.
Conversation | September 12, 2014
Psalms Encourage Family Faith Formation
It’s easy to see why parents would want their kids to know Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd,” and Psalm 103, “Praise the Lord, my soul.” But do children also need to hear Psalm 13, “How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?” or Psalm 22, “I cry out by day, but you do not answer”? Robert J. “Bob” and Laura Keeley say yes.
Feature Story | December 12, 2013
Shaped by the Psalms
The Psalms offer us language to express gratitude, lament, confession, and praise in worship. Worship Renewal Grant recipients will describe how they studied and prayed the Psalms to help children and adults understand how the psalms help shape the ways we speak to God and to one another through words, music and the arts.
Audio | January 26, 2012
Bob and Laura Keeley on Lament Psalms and Children
Robert “Bob” Keeley teaches education at Calvin College. He and his wife, Laura Keeley, direct children’s ministries at Fourteenth Street Christian Reformed Church in Holland, Michigan. They write books, curriculum, and plays. Here they talk about making lament psalms accessible to children.
Conversation | September 20, 2011