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Welcome to the 11th Family Worship Newsletter, 30 November,
Previous newsletters are available on the website archives at
With relentless "Humour spots" in-between every item...
FW Site stats
Recent site additions
Story behind the song
Family Worship is like a good meal
FW Site Stats
Visitors picked up further in November to an average of 200 per day.
Newsletter subscriptions are up to around 900 people - welcome to new subscribers.
Recent site additions
New FTP facility. If you play mp3 files and are familiar with FTP (File Transfer Protocol), then do check out the new Family Worship FTP site, which contains a huge number of songs in mp3 format for free download. ftp://familyworship.org.uk - also available for download is a single text file containing lyrics to all the songs.
Brown Bear Music, contributors to the FW series, and one of the UK's hardest-working contemporary christian bands, are now featured at mp3.com - check out http://www.mp3.com/brownbearmusic - if you like Matt Redman, Delirious and the World Wide Message tribe, then you'll like BBM!
Thanks for the feedback on the trial video clip - we will be making some slight changes to the format and loading several clips during December, so check back in the new Millennium for a wide range of dances and actions to a number of the songs!
The second kids only newsletter was published recently (featuring another great competition - these children have all the fun...) and subscriptions are approaching the 100 mark. This is a great way for children to network around the world, so if you would like to subscribe on behalf of a child, email email@example.com with "subscribe" in the content, or use the form at http://www.familyworship.org.uk/kidszone.htm
A Sunday school teacher was observing her classroom of children while they drew. She would occasionally walk around to see each child's artwork. As she got to one little girl who was working diligently, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, "I'm drawing God."
The teacher paused and said, "But no one knows what God looks like."
Without looking up from her drawing the girl replied, "Don't worry, they will in a minute."
As a development in one of our key objectives to support and encourage songwriting at a grass-roots level in the church, we're excited to launch a new section on the FW website called "Songwriters Showcase" - as the name implies, this will be an opportunity to present songs from a wide range of christian writers. For further details, see the Songwriters' Encouragement section below, or check out http://www.familyworship.org.uk/showcase.htm
Did you know that "Year Two Thousand" is an anagram of "A year to shut down"?!
Story behind the song...
This month, the Lord's Prayer, from "Teach us to pray", (which has been at number 1 in the mp3.com "Children's Spiritual" category throughout November)
There have been countless settings of the Lord's Prayer throughout the ages, and our version is simply another attempt to fix the words in the minds, and hearts, particularly of children. I was startled to discover that in the UK now, well below half of the children know the words to this prayer. Turn back the clock only a few decades and you would have probably been hard-pushed to find a child who didn't.
The key to the prayer, of course, is that it is a pattern for the kind of things we should be praying for every day, and it is not enough in itself to simply repeat the words as some kind of formula or mantra. We need to discover the power of prayer for ourselves, and teach it to children as a lifestyle.
On a practical note, at least this song has a clear answer to the chicken and egg question often asked of writers - which came first: the music or the lyrics!
You can request this song by email from
listen to it at
and a full-CD quality MP3 file is now available at
Talking of the Lord's Prayer, those reading this newsletter outside the UK may not be aware that the current number 1 song in the UK national pop charts is a setting of the Lord's Prayer to the tune of (wait for it...) Auld Lang Syne! Sung by Cliff Richard, the song reached the top spot against all the odds, because most of the major radio stations refused to give it airplay. Despite that (and it's another demonstration of how secular our society can be), the song has flourished, and I thank God that it will be an opportunity for the powerful words that Jesus taught to be heard at the turning point of this millennium.
"And what will you do when you grow up to be as big as me?" asked the father of his small boy
Family Worship should be like a good family meal
*** This article is written by Graeme Young, author of the popular FW songs "Crossing Over" and "God, you can use me". Graeme lives in Scotland, and has a wonderful ministry to children and children's leaders. Check out his own website at http://www.youngresources.purplenet.co.uk ***
Family Worship is meant to be different from other times of worship. just as Family Meals are not the same as Children's parties or Adult Dinner Parties.
Children's parties are geared completely for children, and the adults involved adjust their behaviour accordingly to fit in with the party. Adult Dinner Parties are geared for Adults who have been invited. Children are not normally included, but if they are present they are expected to fit in with the needs of the occasion.
Family Meals, however, are for everyone - from the youngest to the oldest -and should be relaxed. enjoyable and satisfying for them all.
When arranging a Family Worship time or a Family Service. we are aiming for the "Family Meal" type of experience. (There are other times of worship when the "Children's Part" or "Adult Dinner Party" are the appropriate style to follow).
Here are some of the features for Family Meals which apply equally well to times of Family Worship:
- Family Meals are arranged at times when everyone can be present
- The organiser of the meal knows the various needs of the different members of the family
- The aim is for a meal that the whole family an enjoy
- A number of people can be involved in planning the menu
- Children as well as adults could help to prepare some parts of the meal
- Somebody makes sure that all the necessary ingredients are there in time
- At the meal table there is an equal place for everyone
The best seating arrangement is considered (eg. very young children are best placed next to a parent)
- An attempt is made to keep the time clear of other business which could be dealt with at another time
- The main course is something which nearly everyone will like, with a variety of other dishes that will appeal specifically to different members of the family
- Special provision is made for babies, and anyone else for whom the main course is not suitable
- A surprise or two is especially appreciated, particularly by the children
- The emphasis is on interaction between the ages - no one group should dominate the time
- Family Meals are good times to "catch up" with one another and build relationships
- The range of conversation can be very wide - from laughing and joking, to serious issues that need to be discussed
- Discipline needs to be enough to keep order. bur not place unnecessary burdens on people
- Openness - the contribution of each member should be valued. honoured and listened to
- Flexibility - anything can happen when a family gets together, so there should be room for a great variety of things, including the unplanned, to happen
A Family Meal that has gone well and has been appreciated by everyone present is a great joy to Mum & Dad. In the same way, applying these guidelines to our times of Family Worship should result in a family who are blessed, and a Father who is delighted with his children.
A man walked into a hardware store and asked for a chain saw that would cut 6 trees in one hour. The salesman recommended the top of the line model. The man was impressed, and bought it.
The next day he brought it back and says, "This chainsaw is defective. It would only cut down 1 tree and it took ALL DAY!"
The salesman took the chain saw, started it up to see what was wrong, and the man said, "Hey, what's that noise?"
This section of the newsletter has often generated the most feedback, and we've been delighted to make contact with a number of songwriters, and to receive demos of songs. A new section will be starting up soon on the FW website called "Songwriters Showcase", which will exist to provide a place where writers can make demos of their songs available, and provide some background about themselves and the songs. This will be provided free, and the aim is simply to provide an outlet for songs from a grassroots level in the church to be heard more widely.
If you have songs that you would like us to consider for inclusion in this section, then please visit http://www.familyworship.org.uk/showcase.htm for details on how to submit songs, or simply send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org
An efficiency expert was giving a lecture on how to save time, and he concluded his lecture with a note of caution. "You don't want to try these techniques at home."
"Why not?" asked somebody from the audience.
"I watched my wife's routine at breakfast for years," the expert explained. "She made lots of trips between the refrigerator, stove, table and cabinets, often carrying a single item at a time. One day I told her, 'Darling, why don't you try carrying several things at once?'"
"Did it save time?" the person in the audience asked.
"Actually, yes," replied the expert. "It used to take her 20 minutes to make breakfast. Now I do it in seven."
Graham Kendrick will be releasing a major new album in the new year called the Millennium Chorus, and there is a great new congregational version of one of the songs, "This is the year", on his site, where you can also register for details of the Millennium Chorus initiative, which includes a 24 hour global TV satellite broadcast of all the songs on 31 Dec/1 Jan. http://www.grahamkendrick.co.uk
There is a new church drama site just started up at http://www.dramaletters.com - do check it out. If you know of other drama sites, the please drop me a line.
Check out an interesting UK ministry at http://www.shekinah.org.uk, and another at http://www.homemadejam.co.uk, and a good new church site at http://www.homestead.com/newhaven_elim/homepage.html
Don't forget to check out "Whitewings", based in the Isle of Man, who will be making a tour of Russia in January 2000, and will be singing a couple of songs from the latest Family Worship album, "Teach us to pray", at an international festival there. Their website is at
They are looking to complete the fundraising necessary for this trip, so if you have a moment to pray, or a heart to give, then go ahead!
River of Life Discount Christian Bookstore, US distributors for the Family Worship resources are now online with a site featuring a great range of worship recordings, songbooks, etc. Check it out at
Don't forget that Family Worship, as well as loads of other "grass roots level" ministries are featured in the christian sections of mp3.com - http://www.mp3.com/familyworship and new this month, http://www.mp3.com/brownbearmusic
If you have a website that you would like us to cover in future newsletters, please email email@example.com
Humour spot (last one...)
The preacher's young daughter asked her mother; "Why does Daddy always pray before he preaches?"
"Well," said her mother, "he's asking God to help him"
"Oh - well why doesn't he, then?"
This newsletter is written by Mike Burn and is published by Family Worship Resources, part of Ichthus Christian Fellowship, London, UK Copyright 1999, 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.
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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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