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Shaped by the Psalms

The Psalms offer us language to express gratitude, lament, confession, and praise in worship. Worship Renewal Grant recipients will describe how they studied and prayed the Psalms to help children and adults understand how the psalms help shape the ways we speak to God and to one another through words, music and the arts.

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Presented at the 2012 Calvin Symposium on Worship.


Betty Grit, Worship Renewal Grants Manager, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Introduction: “What are Vertical Habits?” Download slides.

Deborah Lemmen, New City Church, Jersey City, New Jersey. To explore the Psalms with children, youth and families through art, music and memorizing Scripture to shape a posture of hope and give words to express doubts, questions and fears. Download slides.

Young Kim, Cornerstone CRC, Ann Arbor, Michigan. To help participants learn about Vertical Habits in Sunday worship and carry them into daily life through an eight-part sermon series and multi-sensory worship which included congregational art and multimedia components, a series of articles by church leaders, and the development of an online web log of daily devotions which includes artwork of children.

Jessica Garcia, Grace Brethren Church, Long Beach, California. To express the broad range of worship expressions that appear in the Bible through workshops to create liturgies, prayers, responsive readings, music, poems and art with a focus on the Psalms and Revelation.

Betty Grit. Questions and discussion.

Mike Cosper, Sojourn Community Church, Louisville, Kentucky. To encounter and practice Vertical Habits as a significant part of spiritual formation through an interactive art exhibit, a month-long devotional written by church leaders and a lecture series taught by pastors from the church or local community. Download slides.

Laura Keeley, 14th St CRC, Holland, Michigan. To engage the congregation in a study of the Psalms and Vertical Habits as a framework for worship throughout the liturgical year and to create visual arts and language that reminded the congregation that worship is a dialogue with God that can be carried into their daily lives. Download slides.

Henry Belin, First AME Bethel Church, New York, New York. To encourage personal and public prayer practices in worshipers of all ages by creating a language for prayer through Lectio divina, praying the Psalms, and media that included Twitter and Facebook.

"Lament Quilt" | Created by clients at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Presented by Kris Moore.
"Lament Quilt" and a patch from the quilt| Created by clients at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. Presented by Kris Moore.

Kris Moore, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio. To create a common language for worship among staff and clients through lament, Psalms and the Vertical Habits at an adolescent residential psychiatric treatment facility that led to corporate and personal worship that promotes spiritual healing. Download slides.

Betty Grit. Final questions and discussion. Conclusion.

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