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Welcome to the May 2001 Family Worship newsletter

Previous newsletters are available on the website archives at


FW Site stats
FW4 update
Recent site additions
The future of worship
Scripture spot
Songwriters' encouragement
Check out...
Newsletter information

With relentless "Humour spots" in-between every item...

FW Site Stats

We reached a milestone in May when we welcomed the 2,000th newsletter
subscriber - a special welcome to new subscribers.

FW4 update

We're delighted to announce that "FW4, Rising Generation" has been
released, and is available now to order. You can order
securely online at and from our
distributors in the UK and Europe, ICC Records, at  In the US, visit

If you are based in the UK and have a local Christian bookshop, then you
can also buy from them; stocks should be hitting

the shelves around now, so if you don't see it then do ask (if nothing
else, it will convince the shop managers that

we're popular...!)

If you'd like to "try before you buy" then a number of the tracks are
now available online at

Tracks recently added include:

- "Fly Free" - a song of intercession, written originally for the nation
of Wales.

- "Give and it shall be given" - an up-tempo song on the theme of giving
(how many songs can you think of that cover this 


- "Your name is wonderful" - a rocky praise song, with an incredibly
hooky chorus

- "Christ before me" - a Celtic-style ballad, based on the prayer of the
breastplate of St Patrick

Recent site additions - Free Sheet Music

An exciting new development in online sheet music is a site called
sibeliusmusic, which lists thousands of scores,
including hundreds of Christian songs and compositions. By downloading a
simple, free plugin that works with Internet
Explorer and Netscape, you can view scores, play them, print them, and
even transpose them automatically into any key.

This technology is catching on in a big way (for example, use the Scorch plugin for their online sheet music)
and is an excellent way of getting hold of the music for worship songs.

For example, you could now hear a Family Worship song free on,
decide you like it and want to use it - visit, print the sheet music to take to your worship band
practice that night, and use the song on Sunday.
(Well, we're nothing if not eternally optimistic!)

Check it out:

Humour spot

A Post Office worker at the main sorting office found an unstamped,
poorly hand-written envelope, addressed to God.

He opened it and discovered it was from an elderly lady, distressed
because all her savings, 200, had been stolen. She
would be cold & hungry without divine intervention.

He organised the postal workers, who dug deep and came up with 180 to
donate. They got it to her by special courier the same morning.

A week later, the same postal worker noticed the same handwriting on
another envelope. He opened it: "Dear God, Thank you
for the 180 - life would have been so bleak otherwise.

P.S. It was 20 short but that was probably those thieving workers at
the Post Office."

Humour spot

Little Jimmy stunned his parents when he began to empty his pockets of
nickels, dimes and quarters. Finally his mother

asked, "Where did you get all that money?"

"At Sunday school," Little Jimmy said. "It's no big deal, they have
bowls of it there!"

The future of worship

My home church, Ichthus Christian Fellowship, recently held a worship
conference in London, and gave it the title "The
future of worship". It was a refreshing and challenging weekend, hosted
by Graham Kendrick, and with contributors
including Andy Piercy, members of Delirious, Matt Redman, Raul
D'Olivera, and Steve & Vel Thomson.

The title of the conference was not meant as a bold claim to have some
kind of insight into the future, but was intended
to provoke thought and analysis of where worship is at in our churches
right now, and whether that will be the pattern
going forward.

There is a sense that many churches have become stuck in a rut with
worship - what was considered to be fresh and radical
10, 15 or 20 years ago has become staid and traditional. As with any
form of worship service - whether formally
liturgical or not - when there is the danger of simply going through the
motions, then it is possible that we can fail to
really engage in vibrant and wholehearted worship.

It would be hard to sum up in a short space all of the themes and
emphases that came out at the conference, and the good
news is that over the coming weeks, many of the sessions, including
visual presentations and RealAudio files, will be
posted on the new Ichthus worship website
( For me personally, the key aspects
that I took away were reminders that worship is all about Jesus - it is
focussed on him; he is the means, model and matter of
our worship - and that a Biblical foundation for all that we do, say and
sing is crucial.

As to the future of worship, it has been a real thrill to work with a
developing band of 12 & 13 year olds, all of whom
are girls (unusually, certainly in the UK - not many girls take up
drums, bass or electric guitar). They are very
talented, and more importantly, they practice regularly - on their own,
and together. Leading a session with them at the
conference, it struck me that we need hundreds and thousands more young
people like them - developing musical ability,
and developing a heart and passion for Jesus. In one sense, the future
of worship depends on this rising generation, so
let's do everything we can to encourage, nurture and release them to be
effective, now and in the future.

Humour spot

There were two men shipwrecked on this island. The minute they got to
the island, one of them started screaming and
yelling. "We're going to die! We're going to die! There's no food! No
water! We're going to die!"

The second man was propped up against a palm tree and acting so calmly
it drove the first man crazy.

"Don't you understand?!" We're going to die!!" the first man said.

"It's OK - I make 100,000 a week," said the second man.

The first man looked at him quite dumbfounded and asked, "What
difference does it make? We're on an island with no food
and no water! We're going to die!"

The second man answered, "You don't get it. I make 100,000 a week - and
I tithe. My pastor will find me"

Scripture spot

This month, Malachi 3:10

Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my
house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty,
"and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out
so much blessing that you will not have room
enough for it."  (NIV version; copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by
International Bible Society)

It has been suggested that all of the financial needs of all of the
churches and Christian charities in the UK would be
resolved overnight if all of the church practised tithing. I'm sure this
would also be true in most nations, even the US,
where the church has often set a great example of sacrificial giving.

Different churches have many different ways of handling the offering
(and different names, too - "offering", "offertory",
"collection", "presentation", and so on). Some churches place great
emphasis on it, and it can be a focal point of a
worship service, with special songs, teaching, and prayer. Other
churches hurriedly pass a plate round during a song and
quickly move on. These days, many people give directly to their church
by bank transfer or cheque, and so have no need to

put anything in the plate (or bowl, or box, or bag) as it goes round,
and sometimes, not wanting to appear money-grabbing
to visitors is a good reason for quietly understating the offering.
However, I can't help feeling that sometimes we are missing the link
between our financial giving and worship. Giving is
an integral part of a lifestyle of worship. David said "I will not
sacrifice that which cost me nothing" (1 Chronicles

21:24) and when we give, it demonstrates the attitude of our heart -
where our treasure is, there our hearts will be
also. If your church is one which tends to understate the offering, then
why not give some though to fresh creative ways
to incorporate the offering as an important part of the worship service?

Humour spot

A boy and his father from a remote country village were visiting the
city for the very first time and were in a
department store. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but
especially by two shiny, silver walls that they saw
move apart and back together again, with people getting in and out.

The boy asked his father, "What is this, Father?"

The father responded, "Son, I have never seen anything like this in my
life, I don't know what it is!"

While the boy and his father watched, an elderly lady shuffled up to the
moving walls and pressed a button. The walls
opened and the lady stepped between them into a small room. The walls
closed and the boy and his father watched small
circles of lights with numbers above the walls light up. They continued
to watch the circles light up in the reverse
direction. The walls opened up again and a 24-year old woman stepped

The father turned to his son and said, "Son, go get your mother."

Songwriters' encouragement

A question was posed on a secular songwriting website recently: What is
the difference between a poem and a song? To my
mind, the obvious answer is the right one: a song has music, and a poem

It set me thinking, though, about the power that music has to take words
and somehow communicate them at a deeper level

than speech alone. With scripture, there is a quality and depth to the
words which can be felt whether they are read or
sung. Think of Psalm 23 - beautiful poetry, and also a beautiful song.
One of the great benefits of setting scripture to
music, however, is that the words are more easily remembered.

So, even if you don't consider yourself to be a songwriter, then why not
have a go at setting some scriptures to music?

Even if just for your personal use, perhaps during your quiet time, try
singing a couple of verses to help you remember
them. If it works well, then dare to try it out on a few people, and you
never know, it may lead to the start of a whole

new ministry...

Humour spot

Worried that they hadn't heard anything for days from the widow in the
apartment next door, the mother said to her son,

"Johnny, would you go next door and see how old Mrs. Jones is?"

A few minutes later, Johnny returned.

"Well, is she all right?" asked the mother.

"She's fine, but she's rather annoyed with you"

"At me?" the mother exclaimed. "Whatever for?"

"She said it's none of your business how old she is!"

Check out...

Judy Bailey, regular FW writer, now based in Germany, where she tours
regularly with her band, will be visiting the US
West coast in November. If that's where you're from, then do check out or drop her an email at - there may be some available dates, and if you had
the opportunity to book her for a concert or
event, then I couldn't recommend her highly enough.

Delirious are supporting Bon Jovi this June on their UK tour. Tickets
may be to come by, but if you're interested in a

package for the Milton Keynes date on 16 June then check out

Having highlighted a UK christian web-hosting company which provides
excellent value ( last
month, we are asked to point out that there are other companies that
offer good value hosting for churches and

organisations, and one such company that we are pleased to recommend is
Pathway Communications -

If you have a website that you would like us to cover in future
newsletters, please email

River of Life Discount Christian Bookstore, US distributors for the
Family Worship resources are online with a great site

featuring an ever-increasing range of worship recordings, songbooks,
etc. Check it out at

Don't forget that Family Worship, as well as many other "grass roots
level" ministries are featured in the Christian

sections of

Check out the new, free FW Webmail - -

Newsletter information

This newsletter is written by Mike Burn and is published by Family
Worship Resources, part of Ichthus Christian

Fellowship, London, UK. Copyright 2001, Mike Burn.

Inclusion of links and quotations does not imply full endorsement of the
contents. The newsletter may be forwarded or
reproduced in full or in part providing that the source is acknowledged.

To unsubscribe, send a blank email to

Send comments or queries, or suggested articles or links for inclusion
in future newsletters to

Thanks for reading, and if you've made it this far, or even if you just
skipped to the end before hitting delete,

blessings to you in Jesus' name


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