Fellowship of American Baptist Musicians

Index of ABCMusic Matters
formerly ABCMUSIC train


Issue 30

John 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Context - the circumstances that form the setting for an event.

  What is the context in which you plan and lead worship? Large group? Small group? Piano? Organ? Both? None? Choir? Soloist? The possibilities are endless and only limited by the context in which we function.

  It is easy to get caught up in all the media hype about what we "should" be doing in worship. I am of the opinion that we should ignore all of it and look at our own context. Our worship needs to be designed and planned for our congregation - not that imaginary one in the magazine articles. With all of the noise about songs vs. hymns, piano vs. organ, choirs vs. praise groups, what should we do? It is really quite simple.

  First, look at your congregation and evaluate your resources. Then think creatively about how these resources can be used in your church. Don't have a choir? Fine - use a soloist. Don't have a soloist? Fine - have the congregation sing a verse of a hymn. Don't think the congregation knows the song? Fine - have someone read the text as a poem.

  In John 4:24, we are told to worship in spirit and in truth - with heart and mind. So be truthful about your context and resources and then allow the Holy Spirit to work through you to use those resources. Your worship will be spirit-filled and truthful and will speak to those who gather in your worship space.



   Choir - "Almighty, Unchangeable God" by Cindy Berry. 2 part. GlorySound EA5193. A celebration of God's rule over all of creation, this 2-part (sometimes 3-part) piece has a flowing melody and accessible accompaniment. Dynamic changes provide interest in this piece that celebrates God's power and majesty.
   Hand Bells - "Twelve Bells for Praise & Worship" by Patricia Sanders Cota. Agape No. 1976. This collection is part of a series that provides music for 6 or less people. The songs are written on one staff and each collection contains 6 songs. The songs include "As the Deer," "Give Thanks," and "Majesty." Very useful for those churches with a full 3-octave set of bells but 6 or less ringers.
   Organ - "Easy Hymn Preludes for Organ," Vol. 5 by Benjamin Culli. Concordia 97-7193. This collection contains 25 settings of familiar hymn tunes. One of my favorites, "God of Grace and Go of Glory" is set in 7/8 time and uses no pedal. Other hymbs are "Praise to the Lord the Almighty," O Worship the King," and "When Morning Gilds the Sky." Very useful for preludes, postludes and hymn introductions.
   Piano- "Expressively Yours" by Melody Bober is a collection of advanced piano settings of failiar hymns. The opening piece, "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" is a fresh setting. Other hymns include "Be Thou My Vision" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness."
   Book- Praying and Believing in the Early Church by Maxwell E. Johnson. ISBN 978-81146-8259-3. Johnson explores how liturgy helped shape what early Christians believed about grace, the Trinity and prayer. Johnson states "There has always been a creative interplay between praying and believing, between worship and doctrine." This is NOT a quick read, but one of those books that cause you to stop and think while you read.


As always, if you have any questions or comments, send them to hymnsinger1@gmail.com




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Last Updated on 07/06/2015
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