Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Church is a
Christ-centered, discerning, inter-generational community of Friends,
committed to discipleship and outreach to impact society locally and globally.


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    Chuck Orwiler

    The written Word stands on its own. It is well worth the time in a worship service to involve the congregation in the Bible. Honestly, can we name anything more worshipful than that?

    In addition to carefully prepared reading from the Scripture, our congregation enjoys reading the Bible aloud in unision or by spontaneous volunteers. We also find it helpful to pray the Scriptures. Sometimes we are able to read, pray and sing a passage. Having the verses projected seems to facilitate congregational involvement.

    We have God-breathed words. What an incredible gift. May we learn to let them shape our worship.



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    Howard Macy

    Thanks to both Arthur and Chuck. I’m glad for Chuck’s examples of some of the ways a congregation can use Scripture together in worship. Below is the response I made to Arthur’s fine “Reflections” on the NWYM minister’s list:

    Great thanks to Arthur for writing so clearly about the ministry of the public reading of Scripture. Because I care about this a lot, I’ll add just a few notes.

    First, I think that Scripture is likely to be the most important thing said in a worship gathering, so it ought to be read clearly and well.

    Second, the reading should be done well enough that worshipers can get its meaning by hearing alone. This requires thoughtful reading and attention to pace, diction, and voice. Hurried, stumbling, and mumbling won’t do.

    Third, practice out loud. Reading aloud is an interpretation. After the careful work Arthur suggests to understand the text, it is important to know that our reading conveys the meaning clearly. Hearing it and practicing to read the portion consistently are helpful tools.

    Fourth, translation choice is a tricky issue in some ways. Some translations are done with sensitivity to oral reading. So claims the New Living Translation, and you, as I, may have excellent translations that seem to read better aloud than others. My sense is that sometimes is serves people well to hear a passage read well from a translation that is less familiar to them. Of course, hearing a passage read effectively from a version they know well may still seem to be the first time they’ve really heard and understood it.

    Thanks again, Arthur, for reminding us of the importance of public Scripture reading and of practical approaches to it.

    Blessings, all!
    Howard Macy


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