In Touch May 22, 2009
Posted on May 22, 2009 by under Touché,
” Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs”
In our series on relationships, “The Good Triangle” ,we have focused our attention on the third chapter of Paul’s letter to the Colossians.  He is speaking about how this new community of Christ, the Church, is to function.  He encourages each of us to:

 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:16-18)

Paul’s words are especially poignant for us as we are taking a look at worship at Hopewell.  There was a time in the Reformed Church when only Psalms could be sung.  It was actually illegal in worship to sing anything but Psalms.  Then came hymns.  To many Isaac Watts brought controversy to worship as he wrote hymns for the church.  Watts is the composer of some of our best loved hymns: (When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, I Sing the Mighty Power of God, Jesus Shall Reign).  There were worship battles in the eighteenth century as worship changed to include new styles.   In the late twentieth century a modern style of music and singing was introduced to the church that we might classify as “spiritual songs.”  It was a time when worship bands and electric instruments were brought into the church; again a shift that caused some to cry foul.  Yet it was David the Psalmist who encouraged people to worship God on every known instrument that was available to them.  It was David who danced before the Lord in such a way that Michal, his wife, said he was making a fool out of himself. 

In worship at HRC we have said that we are seeking “to become all things to all people in order that we might win some”.  (The words are the Apostle Paul’s, not ours).  And so we are in a season of seeking how God is inviting us to worship and praise.  Last week our elders and members of our worship vision team went out with clip boards and a survey to ask how best we might reach new people in our worship.  We had an amazing response.  I think Sherri Hondorp said we received about 120 responses to the survey.  We would like everybody to be surveyed.   If you would like to talk to somebody as you fill out the survey, look for a clipboard person this week. 

You can complete the survey below by copying it into this email, answering the questions and clicking send.

May we do everything in worship in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

In Christ,


Worship Focus Group Questions

 1. Which service do you attend on a regular basis? –

Gatherings (8:45)  ____ Foundations (10:30) ____

2. Why do you attend that service? 

____Time,  ____ Worship Style ,_____  Both

3 .Is modern worship the path to growth  at HRC?

_____Yes  ____No

4. Regarding Gatherings with Terry Dunham: Did it help to have a consistent

person leading the music each week?

______Yes_____No ____N/A

5. What time do you feel a modern style service would be given the best opportunity to grow?

_____ 1st service slot_____2nd service slot ___ evening

6. On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the greatest, how important is music to your worship experience? 

1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10

7. What would be your ideal worship style

 _____traditional _____ modern ; 

and time___________________