Volume 44 2008-9

'Liturgy - Giving the Customers What They Want?': Presidential Address

David Mill

This is an age when a greater message of customer satisfaction has entered people's assessment of worship. The writer finds in The Wind in the Willows a statement of religious experience which helps understand our own desires. He refers to W D Maxwell's Concerning Worship and to John Killinger's Leave it to the Spirit in support of his thesis that even those who advocate the cultivation of the innovative do not start from the 'customer' likes and dislikes but the desire for a genuine encounter between God and his people. He also refers to the third and fourth editions of the Church Hymnary and the 1979 Book of Common Order.

A Place for Poetry in the Fostering of Spirituality

William R T Anderson

Canon Anderson reports on his practice of leading his students into the depth of their subjects through drawing their attention to specific works of poetry, not least when the subject is the preparation of the sermon. In the course of this he quotes generously from the poets and shows something of his own appreciation and alliance of poets from earlier centuries to the present day.

The Preaching Task: Picking a Fight with the Text

Lance Stone

The writer explores a narrative shape for preaching with its drive towards resolution. He proposes another approach, that of picking a fight with the text, where again the drive is towards resolution. Several examples are given. A related strategy is to pick a fight with common misunderstandings of a passage and again examples are given. In all these cases, a tension is created with demands resolution. Thus a sermon has a 'plot with unpredicable moves which may 'hold the listener's attention and help disclose the surprising, renewing world of God's Kingdom'.

Tunes of Glory

Douglas Galbraith

Prepared in association with a conference to mark 150 years of the Baird Lectures, this paper outlines the three sets of lectures that took as their subject worship and/or music. First is W D Maxwell's A History of Worship in the Church of Scotland (1952) which put to rest many erroneous assumptions about Reformed practice. An account of G Wauchope Stewart's Music in Church Worship is prefaced by an account of the discussion conducted at the time (the period leading up to 1926), based on papers given to early Scottish Church Society conferences and other publications of the time including the first Archbishops' Commission of 1922. The lectures, which called for certain reforms, prefaced the publication of the Revised Church Hymnary (1927) and the Scottish Psalter of 1929. They also had value in respect of the contemporary scene. Ian Mackenzie's Music Magic Lost is placed in the context of the modern ferment in church music, to which the author had contributed, and offer a radical and idiosyncratic critique of church music practice today. That said, the distance between the two sets does not feel great some of the practical solutions are similar.

Book Reviews

Various contributors

Henry Sefton reviews: Shaping Up: Re-Forming Reformed Worship; Scottish Piety: A Miscellany from Five Centures; and Protestant Piety in Early-Modern Scotland: Letters, Lives and Covenants

Crissie White reviews The Regional Furniture Society Journal Vol. XII, 2007: Furniture in Churches