Letters to the Editor

John H. Piersma’s timely and relevant article on “Youth and Worship” appearing in the July issue of TORCH AND TRUMPET prompts me to dispatch this letter. The purpose of my letter is not at this time to enter into the discussion of the important matters dealt with in Piersma’s article. Rather, my purpose is simply to report a worship service held under the direction of one of the authors whose views Piersma discusses so that the views discussed may be seen very concretely as they come to actual expression.

I report a communion service held last March at the Campus Chapel at Ann Arbor, Michigan, a student worship center maintained by the Christian Reformed Church and under the direction of Classis Lake Erie. The information here given comes from a mature adult who participated in the service as a visiting communicant. I have every confidence in the accuracy of the report.

The service was held on Sunday afternoon at 5:00 o’clock and was conducted by the pastor serving at the Chapel, the Rev. Donald H. Postema. The Lord’s Supper followed a fellowship supper and there was no preaching of the Word. The observer recognized no similarity between the service he witnessed and any other communion service he had ever witnessed and participated in within the Christian Reformed Church. No “form” familiar to the Christian Reformed observer was used. The minister spoke and sang as he led in the service.

The participants were gathered around tables with one goblet of wine at each table. Wine and biscuits were used in the celebration. The spirit was very informal. One participant at the reporter’s table took a second drink of the wine. As background for the celebration a tape was played over the public address system. The tape contained music and newscasts reflecting events and social phenomena of the times. One newscast featured the death of Martin Luther King. One of the songs sung in this background music and commentary was a popular hit tune entitled “What The World Needs Now Is Love.” The words of this song are as follows:

What the world needs now is love, sweet love, It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of. What the world needs now is love, sweet love, No, not just for some, but for everyone, Lord, we don’t need another mountain, There are mountains and hillsides enough to climb; There are oceans and rivers enough to cross, Enough to last till the end of time. What the world needs now is love, sweet love… Lord, we don’t need anothe1meadow, There are cornfields and wheatfields enough to grow; There are sunbeams and moonbeams enough to shine, Oh, listen, Lord, if you want to know. What the world needs now is love, sweet love…

One of the songs sung by the ‘Participants was from what looked like a booklet of folksongs to the observer. The song that caught his attention linked together Calvary and Dallas and Selma. (Apparently Memphis had not yet occurred when the song was written.) The audience also participated by way of testimonies, which were read from slips of paper. These testimonies given in connection with the commemoration of our Savior’s death for our sins stressed ways in which Christ is our friend—at times of personal loneliness or times of being burdened by a heavy study load.

The observer was informed that the service had been prepared by one of the students attending the chapel. This is quite in line with Rev. Postema’s views as outlined in the article reflected on by Rev. Piersma.

Again let it be said that I am not now entering into evaluation. I am simply presenting the facts of a worship service in the context of Rev. Piersma’s excellent discussion. There is no intention on my part to suggest that every detail mentioned above is necessarily to be faulted. But in the context of the discussion the facts in the main speak for themselves.

Sincerely in Christ,


Bradenton, Florida