Symposium on Worship • January 25–27, 2018 • Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Each day of the conference opens and concludes with a worship service.
View the program book (pdf). A print copy is provided for each registered participant.
Seminar 1: Bringing the Lessons of Charlottesville Home to Your Church: Worship in the Context of Racial Strife
Kathy Smith, moderator, with David M. Bailey, Dawn Baldwin Gibson, Charles Penny, LaTonya McIver Penny, Isaac Wardell, and Urban Doxology
In this session, we will hear poignant testimonies from worship leaders involved in leading a spiritual retreat in the middle of the August 2017 racially-motivated demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia. We will reflect with other pastoral and worship leaders from congregations who struggle in various ways against the principalities and powers of implicit and explicit racism. Then, with each leader representing a past Calvin Institute of Christian Worship Vital Worship grant, we will reflect together on how congregations can bring these lessons home—not in a one-time observance or prayer vigil, but in a year-long intentional program designed to promote a life-long vision for mutuality, inclusion, and anti-racism inspired by the promises of Revelation 21, where every nation and tribe bring their treasures into the kingdom of God.
Seminar 2: Contemporary Worship Music—Debriefing December
Noel Snyder, moderator, with Latifah Alattas, Troy Hatfield, Sandra McCracken, and Jeremy Perigo
December is a busy time for many pastors, worship planners, and church musicians. The Advent and Christmas seasons carry a strong sense of communal meaning, and because of this, many leaders feel an added responsibility to make things “special.” In worship contexts of a decidedly contemporary bent, questions and conflicts often arise around the issue of music. Should we sing standard Christmas carols, even if we typically avoid traditional hymns the rest of the year? Do we distinguish between Advent and Christmas music, and if so, how? Do we include other special elements in our worship services? What contemporary worship music best captures both the theology and the spirit of Advent and Christmas? What kinds of songs for Advent and Christmas are we missing in the world of contemporary worship? Pastors, musicians, and others are invited to join us as we “debrief December” and plant the seeds for an especially fruitful season of worship next year. Increase your learning by bringing last December’s worship service plans along with you!
Seminar 3: Models of Mentorship: Training the Next Generation of Worship Leaders
Joanna Wigboldy, moderator, with Emmett G. Price III, Erin Rose, Paul Ryan, Elizabeth Tamez Méndez, and Geoff Vandermolen
One of the most heartening developments in worship throughout North America is the emergence of many different programs designed to train and form the next generation of worship leaders. At the heart of nearly all of them are intentional efforts to engage mentees in dynamic relationships with trusted mentors who speak from their unique experiences and strengths. In this session, a panel of experienced mentors will share the models of mentoring used in their contexts, explore the implicit and explicit goals of each model, and explain how each model trains and equips mentors. Throughout the discussion, we also want to more precisely name the unique challenges of mentoring worship leaders—challenges that may be different from other areas of Christian ministry. The aim of this session is to inspire and encourage every congregation and ministry to grow in its capacity for encouraging and mentoring emerging leaders.
Seminar 4: Singing Spirituals, Singing Gospel
Come ready to sing spirituals, traditional and contemporary gospel songs, praise and worship songs, inspirational songs and children's music. Participants will explore a range of choral works, including many compositions by Raymond Wise. This is an ideal seminar for choir directors and choir members and will provide ideas for smaller choirs with a can-do spirit.
Seminar 5: Bezalel, Beauty, and the Contemporary Church
Cameron Anderson, moderator, with Linda Witte Henke and Michael Winters
In recent years, a growing number of churches have expressed a desire to have the visual arts become more central to their community life and worship. The book of Exodus supplies a rich account of Bezalel whom God called to design and build the tabernacle. Later, in I Kings and I Chronicles, we meet Hiram who received a similar calling to build the temple. This seminar revisits God’s call to these artist-artisans, considers the place of beauty in encountering God’s glory in the tabernacle and the temple and, finally, evaluates how these Old Testament accounts may or may not be relevant to contemporary church practices. Aiding us in this exploration are three visual artists with many years of practical, hands on experience in service to local church communities.
Seminar 6: Full, Conscious, Active Participation: Worship and Theology in Harmony
John D. Witvliet, moderator, with Kathleen A. Cahalan, Todd E. Johnson, Michael Joncas, Jennifer Powell McNutt, La Verne Tolbert, and Leanne Van Dyk
For twenty years, CICW has been devoted to strengthening and deepening the theological vision that grounds and shapes our worship. Twenty years into our work, this remains perhaps the largest challenge we see in all the congregations we work with: how to invite people into the stunning beauty of a Christian vision of God, redemption, and hope, as well as a deeply Christian vision for music, preaching, baptism, the Lord's Supper, and other central worship practices. Christians in many traditions have embraced Vatican II’s call for “full, conscious, active participation” in worship. But what exactly does this mean? Is our vision of participation in worship sufficiently inspired by a vision of both divine and human agency? Is our worship inclusive of all people, across the full spectrum of abilities and disabilities? What about aspects of participation that we can’t see or hear directly?
Seminar 7: Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion, and Truth in Christian Worship and Life
Kristen Verhulst, moderator, with Cheryl Bear, Amgad Beblawi, Jaewoo Kim, Gerardo Marti, and Jenny Yang
All over the world, Christian churches are struggling to obey the Bible’s clear commands to welcome the stranger, to displace the fear that leads to exclusion, and to both extend and receive mutual hospitality as gifts of God’s Spirit. This session will explore these themes in light of recent books on Christian responses to the immigration debate (co-authored by Jenny Yang), the dynamic range of the Latino Protestant experience in the United States (Gerardo Marti), the continuing witness of Christian congregations in the Middle East (Amgad Beblawi), Indigenous communities in Canada (Cheryl Bear), and refugee communities in the US (Jaewoo Kim). These topics are central to the witness of every congregation, and the session will explore how ordinary congregations that may feel quite distant from some of these concerns are crucial places for responding to them in public prayer, thoughtful preaching, and active engagement.
Seminar 8: The Gospel of John in the Pulpit
Gary Burge and Scott Hoezee, with responses by Paul C.H. Lim
The Gospel of John offers many stories that have become the favorites of the church throughout the centuries. This workshop will explore the basic framework of the gospel and suggest how it can be organized for use in teaching and preaching. Above all, it will offer cultural clues that help the gospel’s stories spring to life in new and unexpected ways.
Seminar 9: Singing the Story: Bilingual Songs from Palm Sunday to Pentecost
Maria Cornou and Rebecca Snippe, moderators, Carlos Colon, Maria Monteiro, Martin Tel, and Kathleen S. Turner
The song of the church is rich in diversity, made up of songs from all times and all places. In North America, we have a splendid opportunity in the years and decades ahead to learn to sing bilingually, in both Spanish and English, transcending a language divide in ways that help us all learn and grow together as we discover Scripturally-inspired songs from a variety of contexts and cultures. Come to explore a sampling of old and new music that can be used in congregations, campus ministries, seminaries or divinity schools, summer camps, nursing homes, parachurch organizations, denominational meetings, or local ecumenical or cross-denominational contexts—music that is being gathered for a forthcoming bilingual resource book developed by CICW and GIA Publications.
Seminar 10: Scripture Tableau
Jeff Barker and students from Northwestern College
Our primary book is—well, it’s not just a book! The Bible is meant to get off the page in sound, image, and emotion. We’ll work on simple techniques for all age groups to use their bodies along with simple props to help see the Bible as well as hear it. This seminar will be full of activities and performances surrounding group biblical storytelling.
Seminar 11: Brush Calligraphy: The Expressive Potential of Brush and Ink Calligraphy
Brush and ink is a uniquely individual and expressive form of calligraphy. This seminar will provide an introduction to contemporary brush calligraphy, discussion of some basic letterforms, and hands-on instruction for using easy-to-use brush pens (self-feeding, no dipping into ink or dripping). Brush pens, paper, and practice sheets will be provided. No experience necessary. Class limit 12. This seminar is also offered in the afternoon.
Seminar 12: Mental Health and the Practice of Christian Public Worship: An Exploratory Conversation
Charlotte vanOyen-Witvliet, moderator, with Cindy Holtrop, Warren Kinghorn and John Swinton
Sessions related to mental health are not (yet) a common feature of many conferences on worship. Yet mental-health-related concerns affect as many as one in five people overall, with one of every twenty-five people living with serious mental health challenges. What we say or fail to say about these challenges in worship settings can be profoundly formative for how Christian communities respond to these challenges. Further, decisions we make about how to shape and lead worship can do a lot to either welcome or inhibit the participation of those among us who struggle with mental health issues. This session is an agenda-setting conversation that will seek to identify key priorities for congregations in the years ahead as well as for organizations such as the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship who seek to serve and strengthen congregational life. We will focus especially on these central questions:
• What are the most pastorally constructive ways to speak about mental health in public prayer and preaching? What are problematic tendencies to avoid?
• How can we shape public worship services in ways that deepen the participation of those who struggle with mental health issues, even when mental health concerns are not explicitly named?
• How might the Holy Spirit use the public worship life of Christian congregations to minister to those with mental health concerns as well as to those who care for them?
• How might our answers to these questions vary if we focused on particular mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, substance addiction, or dementia?
• What resources have already been developed to strengthen Christian worship practices to respond to these challenges? What resources are most needed?
• What additional questions should we be asking? Who are key resources to help us address them?
Seminar 13: Wisdom for Preaching, Praying and Singing about Suffering
Mary Hulst, moderator, with Kevin Adams, Mika Edmondson, Danjuma Gibson, Cornelius Plantinga, Jr., and Lisa M. Weaver
In addition to his nonviolent political advocacy, Martin Luther King Jr.’s preaching ministry regularly focused on the profound experience and trauma of unearned suffering. In a recent book on King’s preaching ministry, Mika Edmonson explores King’s insights and instinctive approaches to this tragic dimension of human experience. Responding to suffering, especially unearned suffering, is one of the most pastorally demanding tasks of all—a task that requires theological insight, spiritual poise, and the nurturing ministry of the very Comforter that Jesus promised to send us. This session will explore Christian wisdom for preaching, praying, and singing about human suffering, drawing wisdom from not only King, but from a wide range of biblical, literary, and cultural resources.
Seminar 14: Creative Leadership of Congregational Song: Tips for Organists
The ever-expanding areas of expertise needed from organists to help congregations form into singing communities provide rich opportunity for new and creative approaches. Jan Kraybill will bring tips and techniques for organists in a variety of worship contexts. We'll explore ways in which our instrument—a community of individual voices—can best invite and enhance vibrant congregational singing of hymns and songs across cultures and generations.
Retreat 15: While We Are Waiting, Yielded and Still
This retreat (from 10 am – 3 pm) will be limited to 15 people who will spend time together in a home setting, also enjoying fellowship over the noon meal. In this day of quiet together, we will ponder afresh “how deep the Father’s love for us;” enjoy “sweet communion” with Jesus; and pledge anew, God’s Spirit helping us, “with one holy passion,” to return our Lover’s love.
Seminar 16: Income Inequality, Congregational Life, and the Practices of Christian Worship
David M. Bailey, moderator, with Christina Edmondson, Michael Hoogeboom, Ray Rivera, and Urban Doxology
Some of the most direct commands in the New Testament about the practices of worship focus on ensuring that the rich and the poor can worship side by side as brothers and sisters in Jesus (I Cor. 11, James). What challenging commands these are for people on every continent in light of the pervasive and growing income inequality worldwide! In nearly every Christian ministry, income equality ends up being a significant dynamic in shaping communal life even though it is very hard to discuss. In this session, we will harvest insights from two Calvin Institute of Christian Worship consultations in 2017 on this topic, exploring exemplary ways that churches—and individuals within churches—respond to income inequality, as well as considering key questions to address together in the years ahead.
Seminar 17: Vital Spirituality: Harvesting Wisdom from History, Theology, and Ecumenical Encounter
Noel Snyder, moderator, with Mika Edmondson, Mary Hulst, Jennifer Powell McNutt, Tom Schwanda, and Leanne Van Dyk
For more than 20 years, the Reformed Spirituality Network gathered a variety of Christians in learning about vital spiritual practices from the Reformed tradition, all aimed at deepening our engagement with Scripture, our participation in worship and sacraments, and our prayer-shaped walk with God. This session honors the legacy of the network's contribution by focusing on the beauty of several fundamental spiritual practices and disciplines and how they can promote deeper ecumenical relations with other Christians:
• contemplative Bible reading in worship and daily life;
• discernment of our personal and corporate union with Christ;
• deeper engagement with baptism and the Lord’s Supper as means of grace;
• the Christian year as a window into the entire scope of Jesus’s life and ministry; and
• Lord's Day observance as a witness to the coming kingdom.
Each presenter will reflect on historic spiritual practices and explore how contemporary spirituality can be deeply enriched both by digging deeply into the wisdom of the past within a given tradition (in this case, Reformed) and by learning from Christians in other traditions and contexts. The aim of this session is to harvest insights from history, theology, and ecumenical encounters to promote a vital Christian piety that deepens our love for God, for each other, and for the entire world God made and loves.
Seminar 18: Worship that Affirms and Equips for Vocation
Joanna Wigboldy, moderator, with Kathleen A. Cahalan, TaRita Johnson, Isaac Wardell, and Cory Willson
In worship, we expect God to renew our hearts and minds, but do we also expect God to renew our work? Each worshiper has a vocation—often multiple vocations—that are an integral part of the kingdom of God. In this seminar, we will explore tools and practices for worshiping communities that affirm worshipers’ varied vocations, equipping them to live their vocations as an outflowing of their faith and to participate with one another in discerning their varied callings. Panelists will speak to the experience of vocation and calling at various life stages as well as the ways in which liturgy, song, and preaching can connect worship with vocation.
Seminar 19: Bringing Global Concerns into Preaching, Public Prayer, and Worship: Human Trafficking, Immigration and Refugees, Muslims and Christian Engagement, Poverty, and the Middle East Conflict
Maria Cornou, moderator, with Amgad Beblawi, Jaewoo Kim, Paul C.H. Lim, Gerardo Marti, Reggie Smith, and Jenny Yang
Every week, the news brings us a litany of human tragedy. All over the world, believers respond to these tragedies through ministries of prayer, activism, and healing. Yet so many churches shut out these concerns in weekly worship, especially with the apparent decline of public intercessory prayer in many contexts. How can churches recover from this pattern of feel-good, selfish indifference? Our panelists bring to this discussion significant expertise in some of the world’s most vexing problems, and they will share their own insights about what local churches all over the world can do to engage these concerns more faithfully—through learning, prayer, preaching, singing, and baptism and Lord’s Supper practices that embody the “long obedience in the same direction” of gospel-shaped engagement.
Seminar 20: Worship and Culture: Intense Global Learning for Essential Questions We All Engage
John D. Witvliet, moderator, with Cheryl Bear, Renee Begay, Mark Charles, Jonghun Joo, Jean Kidula, Emmett G. Price III, and Elizabeth Tamez Méndez
Every Christian community is engaged in a dynamic, interactive engagement with its local cultural context. “Contextual,” “relevant,” and “authentic” are among the most common words in how-to books about worship, leading us all to wrestle with how worship can be both relevant and prophetic, both contextual and counter-cultural. Ultimately, this is an extremely dynamic, even messy business, involving not only music styles, but time perception, the nature of authority and leadership, dress codes, and much, much more. This session will explore dynamic conversations about enculturation, foregrounding learning that is emerging in Kenya and in indigenous First Nations communities in North America, with responses from leaders in African American, Latino, and Anglo-American contexts.
Seminar 21: Teaching and Learning in Christian Congregations and Ministries
Kathy Smith, moderator, with Cameron Anderson, La Verne Tolbert, and Kathleen S. Turner
What a joy it is to “grow in grace and the knowledge of Jesus Christ”—and what a challenge it is to help promote that growth in Christian communities in winsome, thoughtful, and fruitful ways! This entire conference is an exploration in the joy of learning—learning more about Christ and about the body of Christ. But what about learning back home in our churches and other ministry contexts where not everyone is equally interested in being stretched? This session will feature insights from a variety of people who love to teach in ways that help people in ordinary congregations learn about worship, the arts, inclusion, and, ultimately, Jesus himself.
Seminar 22: A Thankful Heart: Contours of Gratitude for Preaching
Scott Hoezee and Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
In Colossians 3, after encouraging believers to keep on dying and rising with Christ, the Apostle Paul turns to gratitude: Be thankful. Sing with gratitude in your hearts. Give thanks to God the Father through the Lord Jesus. But what is gratitude? What are some basic contours of gratitude? How is gratitude an engine of joy? Of good works? How can we preach gratitude without moralism? This seminar will address an array of gratitude-related topics to help preachers and worship leaders allow sermons and worship services to be steeped in gratitude.
Seminar 23: Means of Grace: Forming New and Sustaining “Renewing” Congregations and Church Plants
Kevin Adams, moderator, with Eric Dirksen, Chris Flesoras, Agustin Hubert, and Amy Schenkel
Many Christian traditions refer at least to preaching, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist as “means of grace.” Abundant grace is exactly what passionate ministries of church planting and renewing, missional congregations are called to embody in the neighborhoods and contexts in which they grow. In this seminar, veteran practitioners discuss how mission-shaped preaching and sacramental life function as means of grace in their communities. What is the role of preaching and sacraments in forming missional congregations? How can Lectionary-based preaching be missional? How does need-based topical preaching both help and hinder forming a mission-shaped community? How does a missional leader imaginatively apply and adjust the preaching and worship DNA of their congregation or tradition? Come to engage a discussion that sees evangelism and robust worship as beautifully integrated elements of every congregation’s ministry.
Seminar 24: Worship 101: Singing, Praying, and Reading the Psalms in Corporate Worship
Paul Ryan and Calvin College Worship Apprentices
As a resource for planning and leading worship, the Psalms are a fountain of wisdom and passion. The Psalms capture the breath of human experience, they guide us in our language for prayer, and they embody the heart’s most honest song before God. In this seminar—ideal for emerging worship leaders—we will explore basic principles, practices, and resources for planning and leading worship which place the Psalms at the center.
Seminar 25: The Story of Joseph (Gen. 34–50)
Jeff Barker and students from Northwestern College
One of our primary tasks in worship is to remember God’s work in biblical history. Last year, Northwestern College performed a new translation of the ancient dramatic epic Joseph and His Brothers. The production’s artists will perform segments of their work (through video and live performance) and discuss the implications for worship.
Seminar 26: Creating Paper Lace Cut Banners
This seminar will be a hands-on opportunity for participants to learn the technique of designing and cutting a paper lace cut banner. Along with technical instruction, there will also be conversation about elements of design in creating the banners, how to determine the scale and placement of banners in sacred space, and philosophical and logistical topics. The class promises to be creative, informative, and fun. Class limit 20. This seminar is also offered in the morning.
Seminar 27: Designing Your Congregation’s Faith Formation and Worship Framework
Syd Hielema, moderator, with Ronald Chu, Sam Gutierrez, Laura Keeley, Aaron Mamuyac, Kristen Rietkerk, and Lesli VanMilligen
What framework does your congregation use in planning and implementing its worship and faith formation strategies? “Ah,” you think to yourself, “we don’t have one and we don’t need one.” But you do have one; it probably has never been articulated. This seminar will identify the primary parts of such a framework and suggest practical methods for both identifying your current framework and designing a refreshed framework custom-built to bless your specific congregation.
Seminar 28: Universal Design: “further up, come further in!”
Barbara J. Newman, moderator, with Erik W. Carter, Warren Kinghorn, Anne Masters, Charles Penny, LaTonya McIver Penny, and John Swinton
Over the past three years, each Worship Symposium has featured new learning about how churches can expand hospitality and engagement for all people across the range of ability and disability. It’s not just buildings that need universal design; it’s also what happens inside those buildings, including our worship services. When we engage this good work initially, the focus is rightly on small, tangible changes that embody welcome and embrace: using gluten free bread, printing materials and projecting with large print, installing hearing loops. What a gift these changes have been to hundreds of worshipers! When we continue to explore this generative conversation, we move—to use a famous phrase of C.S. Lewis—further up and further into this vision of mutual inclusion, challenging us to see how this discussion deepens our appreciation for the very nature of baptism, the Lord’s Supper, preaching, and public prayer.
Seminar 29: Singing Psalms Together
Martin Tel, moderator, with Carlos Colon, Michael Joncas, Jan Kraybill, Sandra McCracken, Ed Willmington, and Raymond Wise
In the past ten years, arguably more musical settings of the psalms for congregational use have been written in more musical styles than at any other time in the history of the church (though perhaps the Internet just makes us vividly aware of all this good work!). When we sing psalms, we are letting the word of God dwell in our hearts in a remarkable way, uniting us with believers from every century and continent. In this session, we will hear the story of one of the most-sung psalm settings: “On Eagle’s Wings.” We will sing black gospel and bilingual Spanish-English psalm settings. We will explore new and emerging psalm settings in folk, pop-rock, and classical styles. And we will savor the good ways that the “hymnal of the Old Testament” is resonating in a variety of Christian communities today.
The Coming of Esau: An Advent Story
Through biblical performance and testimony, we open ourselves anew to the arrival of God through the story of Esau, as found in Genesis 25-35. Jeff Barker and students from Northwestern College will lead this service.
Quédate con nosotros/Abide with Us
Join Carlos Colón, Maria Monteiro, María Cornou, and Mariachi Ágape, as they lead us in evening prayer, centered around the story of the Emmaus Road, where we pray, “quédate con nosotros” or “abide with us.”
The Work of the People in Racial Tension
We cannot escape the grasp of sin and death. In this service, Urban Doxology responds to events of hate and racism, death and tragedy through song, with words of both lament and hope.
Worshiping in Spirit and in Truth
Marianne Meye Thompson
Workshops are offered Friday and repeated on Saturday.
AL: Lunch break
You are invited to break for lunch during Session A or B.
A1: Songwriting Feedback
Latifah Alattas, Bob Batastini, and Greg Scheer
This session is designed for congregational songwriters and editors. Participants will share their songs with the class and receive feedback from experienced songwriters. Learn how to strengthen your texts and tunes, and leave inspired to write more songs more skillfully. Attendees of all levels and musical styles will benefit from this workshop.
A2: Schmemann in Sacramento: Sacramental Living in Secular Culture
Kevin Adams and Christopher Flesoras
This conversation between a Protestant pastor and a Greek Orthodox priest will explore the liturgical experience and expressions of the church, secularism, and Christian culture. What might it mean to approach the world and our entire lives in a spirit of sacramental worship? How does sacramental vision and practice help us become more fully come alive? How do we know God better through sacramental living?
A3: Bezalel, Beauty, and the Contemporary Church
Cameron Anderson, Linda Witte Henke, and Michael Winters
In recent years a growing number of churches have expressed a desire to have the visual arts become more central to their community life and worship. The book of Exodus supplies a rich account of Bezalel, whom God called to design and build the tabernacle. Later, in 1 Kings and 1 Chronicles, we meet Hiram, who received a similar calling to build the temple. This condensed version of the Thursday seminar revisits God’s call to these artist-artisans, considers the place of beauty in encountering God’s glory in the tabernacle and in the temple, and evaluates how these Old Testament accounts may or may not be relevant to contemporary church practices. Aiding us in this exploration are three visual artists with many years of practical, hands-on experience in service to local church communities.
A4: Income Inequality, Congregational Life, and the Practices of Christian Worship
David M. Bailey and Ray Rivera
Some of the most direct commands in the New Testament about the practices of worship focus on ensuring that the rich and the poor can worship side by side as brothers and sisters in Jesus (1 Cor. 11; James). What challenging commands these are for people on every continent in light of the pervasive and growing income inequality worldwide! In nearly every Christian ministry, income equality ends up being a significant dynamic in shaping communal life even though it is very hard to discuss. In this one-hour version of the Thursday seminar, we will focus on stories and learning from two communities—San Antonio and New York City—and highlight exemplary ways that churches and individuals can respond to income inequality and think well about it in the years ahead.
A6: Planning with Reformed Worship
Whether you are a long-time subscriber to the print journal Reformed Worship, an avid user of ReformedWorship.org, or looking for more worship planning resources, come learn more from the editorial staff of Reformed Worship about how to make use of its growing number of resources in your own worship planning. We also will touch on how you might share your own resources through Reformed Worship, allow for time for your questions, and hear from you about what resources you are looking for.
A7: Psalms of Ascent in Times of Violence
Communities of sojourners continue to suffer around the world. Social unrest, conflict, and war have caused an unprecedented global crisis of migrants and refugees. The plight of Syrian, Iraqi, and other Middle Eastern refugees continues to shock the whole world. Also, thousands of people from Mexico and Central America continue to seek protection in the United States to escape violence and poverty. Carlos Colón will share some of his experiences as a refugee of the civil war in his native El Salvador as well as stories from others who minister to immigrants. In this session, we will strive for a Christocentric reading of the Psalms of Ascent, journeying with our eyes set on Jesus and keeping in sight our call to love, show compassion and hospitality, and offer good news to those different from us as we follow a Savior who is full of grace and truth.
A8: A Random, Crazy List or Really Cogent Lections: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary
Eric Dirksen and Lisa M. Weaver, moderated by Noel Snyder
Some people contend that the lectionary is a constraint that impedes the inspiration of the Holy Spirit when it comes to preaching. Those who engage the lectionary readings, however, will attest to how inspired, complementary, and timely the weekly readings are, both personally and with respect to world events. In this session, the panelists will discuss the structure of the lectionary system and the advantages and challenges of its use. No experience is necessary; everyone from the curious to the experienced is welcome to join the discussion.
A9: Projection Practices: How-Tos from One Designer
Betsy Steele Halstead
This session will guide you in practical how-tos for projection design and discuss thoughtful and effective practices that reflect the characteristics of worship, enabling the full, conscious, and active participation of the people.
A10: Beyond Stigma to Hospitality: Creating a Gracious Space for People with Mental Illness
Worship and fellowship are sometimes difficult for people with mental illness because few people understand their experience and their needs in worship. The church’s silence can reinforce the stigma of mental illness. How can we deepen our worship practices and our language so that anyone who struggles with mental health finds space for their lament and for their longing for hope and relationships?
A11: Worship Renewal Since Vatican II: Catholic and Protestant Trajectories
Todd Johnson and Michael Joncas
Learn from a leading Catholic teacher-scholar about the remarkable and complex story of liturgical renewal in Catholic contexts since Vatican II, including periods of retrenchment and openness—a story that continues to unfold with the new openness of Pope Francis. Then reflect with a leading Protestant teacher-scholar on how this helps us better understand the ebbs and flows of Protestant worship renewal, where the influence may be mutual and where the trajectories are similar or dissimilar. Come away with new appreciation for the breadth, grandeur, fragility, and fickleness of life in the church and with new perspectives on where to focus our best energies and efforts in contributing to Spirit-led renewal.
A12: Pastoral Liturgy in Challenging Times: A Lesson from Matthew Henry’s Biblical Worship
Today’s church is vexed with questions about worship: what it is, how you do it, and what it accomplishes, to name a few. And there is no shortage of resources offering answers to these questions. So where should we turn for insight on how to apply biblical principles to the local church’s worship? This workshop offers a model of how both a solid biblical understanding and the effective practice of worship can be realized in local churches today by exploring the theology and practice of Matthew Henry’s (1662–1714) worship. Henry did not attempt to adopt one pattern of worship from previous ministers. Instead, he practiced worship in his liturgical context by creatively applying biblical principles with his own pastoral and ministerial discretion, an encouragement and model for contemporary leaders to study.
A13: Engaging Children in Worship
Laura Keeley and Robert Keeley
Sunday mornings for children can be a mixture of distractions, boredom, high energy, and words they often don’t understand. By intentionally encouraging and equipping parents and other adults to be “church whisperers,” congregations can nurture the faith of children and help them engage more fully in what often are adult-oriented liturgies. We will look at ways to include children in worship and at other practices for worshiping with children in church and at home.
A14: Jubilation, Awe, Penitence, and Petition in Corporate Worship in Kenya
Jean Ngoya Kidula
In this session Prof. Kidula will share contemporary congregational music in Kenya by using examples birthed out of diverse situations and locations on the continent and in the country. The music is mediated in studios, shared through various media, and reintegrated into church and personal life. The music subsequently articulates and shapes local theologies, their interpretation, and their manifestation in people’s lives.
A15: Singing Poetry
Hymn and song authors across generations and cultures have given us rich expressions with which to shape faith, heal brokenness, transform lives, and renew peace. In this workshop we'll look at and sing some great examples, and we'll discuss how best to help our worshiping communities sing poetry with appreciation, enthusiasm, and artistry.
A16: Youth Heading toward Your Church: Preparing the Path from Parachurch to Church
Jay Lindell, Lyn Ten Brink, and Chris Theule Van Dam, moderated by John D. Witvliet
Explore with Young Life and Worship Institute staff how churches can be ready to both disciple and learn from people who come to faith in parachurch ministries, as well as what parachurch ministries are learning about forming program participants for vital participation in worship and congregational life.
A17: Three Theological Themes for Worship: Revisiting Jean-Jacques von Allmen's Liturgical Wisdom for Today's Church.
Jean-Jacques von Allmen, a Swiss Reformed pastor and teacher, is among the most admired liturgical theologians of the 20th century. Yet his work is largely—and lamentably—unknown to most worship leaders. In this session we will explore von Allmen’s most generative insights, and consider how they might shape the worship we prepare and lead today.
A18: In-Between Words
Scripture readings, sermons, and songs take up most of the time in a worship service. But what happens in between them is also important in the formation of healthy worshiping communities. Those little words and phrases that welcome guests, introduce songs, and prepare us to pray make a difference in encouraging full participation in worship.
A19: Growing in Intimacy with God
Healthy worship is transformative. This workshop first will explore how worship leaders, musicians, and pastors can personally grow in Christ, and then it will suggest ways that public worship can encourage similar maturity for all people.
A20: Conversation on Disability, Timefullness, and Gentle Discipleship
John Swinton, hosted by Barbara J. Newman
An opportunity for conference attendees to ask questions related to the plenary address.
A22: Models of Mentorship: Training the Next Generation of Worship Leaders
Joanna Wigboldy, with Emmett G. Price III and Geoff Vandermolen (Friday) and Emmett G. Price III and Elizabeth Tamez Méndez (Saturday)
One of the most heartening developments in worship throughout North America is the emergence of many different programs designed to train and form the next generation of worship leaders. At the heart of nearly all of them are intentional efforts to engage mentees in dynamic relationships with trusted mentors who speak from their unique experiences and strengths. In this shortened version of the Thursday seminar, a panel of experienced mentors will share the models of mentoring used in their contexts, explore the implicit and explicit goals of each model, and explain how each model trains and equips mentors. The aim of this session is to inspire and encourage every congregation and ministry to grow in its capacity for encouraging and mentoring emerging leaders.
A23: Six Qualifications of a Twenty-First-Century Worship Leader
In practice, the role of the worship leader is often equated with the role of lead musician—and only the musician. While musical leadership is important, that pattern seems to be lacking in some areas. What are the characteristics of a more complete worship leader? We will discuss six qualities of a more adequately prepared and skilled worship leader for the twenty-first century and will provide brief directional thoughts for implementing each practice.
A24: Gospel Choir Rehearsal (Friday)
Come ready to sing spirituals, traditional and contemporary gospel songs in preparation for the Friday evening service held at 7 pm. There will also be a required rehearsal Wednesday evening as well. An email message will be sent to all who register.
A24: Singing Spirituals, Singing Gospel (Saturday)
Come ready to sing spirituals, traditional and contemporary gospel songs, praise and worship songs, inspirational songs, and children's music. This is an ideal seminar for both choir directors and choir members, and it will provide ideas for smaller choirs with a can-do spirit. The set of choral music will be different from what was explored in the Thursday seminar, but will still include many compositions by Raymond Wise.
A25: Ministrando a la Nueva Generación de Jóvenes Latinos (Friday only)
Elizabeth Tamez Méndez
Deseamos ver a nuestra juventud crecer en su vida espiritual, sin embargo, ¿conocemos a quiénes estamos ministrando? Juntos exploraremos aspectos teológicos, sociológicos, culturales y de desarrollo humano, que nos ayudarán a interiorizarnos en la vida y necesidades de nuestra juventud Hispana en E.E.U.U. Al acercarnos a su forma de concebir la vida, encontraremos formas prácticas de ministrarles y ayudarles a conectar su fe con su diario vivir.
Workshops are offered Friday and repeated on Saturday.
BL: Lunch break
B1: Choral Reading Session
This reading session features pieces for all seasons of the liturgical year in a variety of voicings and musical styles.
Friday: Choral repertoire from the Augsburg Fortress and MorningStar Music catalogs.
Saturday: Choral repertoire from GIA Publishing, including the CICW Choral Series with GIA.
B2: The Future of Latino Protestants in America
Gerardo Marti, Mark Mulder, and Aida Ramos
Latino Protestantism is growing in the United States due to a combination of immigration, birth rates, and conversion. This expanding stream of American Christianity will foster shifts in the liturgy and worship of churches in unexpected ways. Congregations from all denominational backgrounds will see new contributions and leadership within their churches from Latino Protestants. Even more, the diversity of Latino Protestant congregations—their varying histories and theologies—will become more visible as they grow. How will churches learn to notice Latino Protestants in our churches? How will churches encourage the exercise of their unique gifts and skills? How will churches identify and support Latino Protestant leaders from various backgrounds? And how can churches and denominations strategically support independent, Latino-led congregations who exercise their own oversight of ministry?
B3: After the Benediction: Putting Faith to Work the Other Six Days
Erik W. Carter
In many churches, efforts to support people with disabilities and their families focus narrowly on what happens in their buildings for a few hours Sunday morning. Although these investments are essential, most of our lives are lived beyond the church walls. This presentation will focus on the multiple avenues through which the supports and relationships available within congregation can meet real needs in the lives of people with disabilities and their families throughout the week. We will share practical and powerful ways churches can support the flourishing of members with disabilities.
B4: You Expect Me to Do What With These?! An Introduction to the Art of Handbell Ringing
Norma de Waal Malefyt
This workshop will serve as an introduction to the technics of handbell ringing and its potential for use as a small group ministry of a church or school. Those registering for this hands-on workshop should be able to read musical notation. Registration numbers will be limited.
B5: The Power of Unearned Suffering: How MLK's Theology of Suffering Guides Social Christian Social Witness
This workshop explores the roots and relevance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s approach to black suffering. King’s conviction that “unearned suffering is redemptive” reflects a nearly 250-year-old tradition in the black church going back to the earliest Negro spirituals. From the bellies of slave ships, the foot of the lynching tree, and the back of segregated buses, black Christians have always maintained the hope that God could “make a way out of no way” and somehow bring good from the evils inflicted on them. As a product of the black church tradition, King inherited this widespread belief, developed it using Protestant liberal concepts, and deployed it throughout the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and ‘60s as a central pillar of the nonviolent movement. This workshop will examine how this powerful concept can continue to guide Christian social witness in the face of ongoing racial and economic injustices today.
B6: The Church as Intergenerational Community
Lynn Barger Elliott with a panel of Calvin students
There is much talk about the importance of “Christian community.” What is meant by that? Is it the same as “the church”? Is it possible to have one without the other? How do different generations relate to each other within this community? A panel of Calvin College students will address what Christian community means to them, how it relates to the church, why it matters in the world, and how they may think differently about this topic than previous generations. They will also reflect on the significance of worship in terms of establishing and maintaining intergenerational Christian community both within and beyond the church’s walls.
B7: Transforming Faith through Visual Arts in a Smaller Church
Cheryl Gamber and Lori Weismantel
Artists and church members Cheryl and Lori will share how visual arts are used in their congregation in collaborative projects as well as within worship services to create a visual liturgy. They will discuss how their church has used visual elements to expand the worship services, tying their traditional and nontraditional services together, and describe the surprising ways art has expanded the congregation’s relationships within the worldwide church. They will share practical guidelines for creating projects that are meaningful, inclusive, and theologically grounded.
B8: Designing Your Congregation’s Faith Formation and Worship Framework
Sam Gutierrez, Syd Hielema, Kristen Rietkerk, Lesli VanMilligen (Friday); Ronald Chu, Sam Gutierrez, Kristen Rietkerk, Lesli VanMilligen (Saturday)
What framework does your congregation use for planning and implementing its worship and faith formation strategies? “Ah,” you think to yourself, “we don’t have one, and we don’t need one.” But you do have one; it probably just has never been articulated. This workshop will condense key themes from the Thursday seminar and suggest practical methods for both identifying your current framework and designing a refreshed framework custom built to bless your specific congregation.
B9: The Technicolor Jesus: Preaching the Drama of Mark’s Gospel
Most preachers know all about Mark’s fast-paced, dramatic writing style. As part of the Common Lectionary Year B focus on Mark, this workshop will explore the contours of Mark’s gospel to see afresh the rich preaching opportunities of this book.
B10: “When You Gather…”: Must Christians Gather Together to Worship God? (Friday only)
Todd E. Johnson
The apostle Paul gives direction to the church at Corinth about many items and issues. But one seems to dominate his attention in his first epistle to the church at Corinth: its assemblies or gatherings. Paul never uses the term “worship,” but uses the term ekklesia, or “gathering,” from which we get the term “church.” What Paul says about gathering says a great deal about what it means to be a church, what the hope of a Christian church is, and how this gathering should worship when it is together. This workshop will be a study in 1 Corinthians as well as an exploration of the applications of Paul’s teachings to the Corinthians for our churches today.
B11: Mutuality in Worship: Sharing Our Stories and Gifts
Jaewoo Kim and Proskuneo team members
How can we make room in our worshipping community for people from different generations and cultural backgrounds to move beyond being passive recipients and become active participants? This workshop will focus on practical ways to involve people's stories, songs, and gifts in our corporate worship times—all with the goal of unity in diversity. Learn from Proskuneo Ministries, a community of worship leaders and creatives from around the world, who work and worship together in the most diverse square mile in the United States.
B12: Universal Design for Worship: VERY Practical Ideas for This Coming Sunday
Barbara J. Newman and Tom VanWingerden
Are you ready to worship with persons with varied abilities in adult, children, or intergenerational settings? In sixty minutes discover thirty ideas to bring back to your congregation so you’re ready to welcome each individual into your worshiping community.
B13: Creative, Collaborative Worship
Every Sunday during worship, creative people do excellent work. Pastors preach the text and lead the liturgy, musicians provide instrumental and choral music, educators shepherd children, and artists work on visual arts and other creative experiences that heighten everyone's sense of worship. However, without careful attention, the worship event can become a collection of pieces rather than a glorious whole. Churches of every size can invite clergy and laity to join together and create a service that inspires with its unity, harmony, and variety. This will be a time to explore collaborative methods as well as to share ideas for the art of worship.
B14: Serious Play: Insights from Augustine and Other Friends from the Early Church on Leading Worship and Administering Sacraments (Saturday only)
Have you ever participated in worship or received the sacraments in a way that they didn't really seem to mean anything? Or (perhaps worse) have you been afraid that dullness describes your own leadership in worship and sacraments? This workshop will explore insights from Augustine and others in the early church that can break open playful, Scriptural imagination for leading in worship.
B15: The Worship Team’s “Other” Instruments
The guitar, piano, bass, drums, and voice form the backbone of the modern worship team, but what do we do with other instruments that may be available in our churches? This session will help worship team leaders incorporate brass, woodwinds, strings, mandolins, or even accordions into their team’s sound.
B16: Learn about Vital Worship: A Grants Program for Worshiping Communities
Kathy Smith with Dawn Baldwin Gibson and Maria Monteiro (Friday) and with Charles Penny and La Tonya McIver Penny (Saturday)
Would your church or organization benefit from a whole year of learning related to worship? Come and learn about the Vital Worship Grants Program, which seeks to foster vital worship in congregations, parishes, and other worshiping communities in North America through projects on a wide variety of worship-related topics. Meet some former grant recipients and learn how you might develop your own grant proposal!
B17: Gained in Translation
More and more of the psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs of the church are crossing language and cultural barriers. At times these translations have resulted in awkward lyrics. This may contribute to many communities’ aversion to global hymns. Indeed, often the essence of a song can be “lost in translation. But this need not be the case. In fact, there are many examples where much has been gained in translation, inviting us into deeper and richer expressions of faith and prayer. Together we will consider the process of translation and its promise for yielding beautiful new texts that produce fresh insights for our increasingly global church.
B18: Teaching Like Jesus
La Verne Tolbert
Creative teaching doesn’t happen by accident! Jesus, the master teacher, is the greatest model we have for teaching that’s dynamic, engaging, and life-changing. We’ll study ten principles that shaped Jesus’s teaching and discover how following the Master affects every area of our teaching—Christian character, learning channels, lesson planning, curriculum development, and more—so that we can teach children, youth, and adults effectively.
B19: Praise God with the Dance!: A Vision for the Deep Connections between Worship and Dance
Kathleen S. Turner
What is the relationship between liturgy and liturgical dance, and how does such a relationship enhance church worship? This workshop will explore the ways in which Scripture, liturgy, and sacred song create avenues for expression and interpretation by and through liturgical dance. These avenues of movement, expression, and interpretation help to bring clarity and comprehension to both liturgy and one’s knowledge of the triune God. It will pay particular attention to the use of the body as an expressive instrument that embodies and displays reflective thought and honest emotion expressed in and through church liturgy.
B20: Vocation and Worship: A Practical Guide with Resources
In this workshop we will discuss what it looks like to bring our vocations fully into Sunday worship in the context of a local worshiping community, and to take our worship out into the work before us on Monday mornings. The workshop will include sample orders of worship, new and old songs that emphasize vocation, and reflections on the various kinds of vocations represented in our worship services each week, from full-time caregivers to retirees, from customer service professionals to individuals experiencing joblessness. Join us for this vital conversation on the relationship of worship and vocation.
Workshops are offered Friday and repeated on Saturday.
C2: Means of Grace: Forming and Sustaining Congregations and Church Plants
Kevin Adams with Agustin Hubert and Amy Schenkel (Friday), and Eric Dirksen and Chris Flesoras (Saturday)
Many Christian traditions refer at least to preaching, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper/Eucharist as “means of grace.” Abundant grace is exactly what passionate ministries of church planting and renewing and of missional congregations are called to embody in the neighborhoods and contexts in which they grow. In this session, veteran practitioners discuss how mission-shaped preaching and sacramental life function as means of grace in their communities. What is the role of preaching and sacraments in forming missional congregations? How can lectionary-based preaching be missional?
C3: Unpacking Praise y Adoración Bilingual Hymnal
Come and meet Benjamin Alicea-Lugo, editor of a new bilingual (Spanish/English) hymnal. He will share the story of how the hymnal came to be and how you can use this resource to introduce and encourage bilingual congregational singing in your worshiping community.
C4: The Beautiful: Brightness, Splendor, and Luminosity for Our Day
Join Christians in the Visual Arts (CIVA) director Cameron Anderson on this gallery walk of more than 30 contemporary works of art executed in a variety of media and genres that bear witness to beauty as it appears to us in the complex landscape of contemporary culture. The Beautiful will open at the Symposium on Worship and on March 1, 2018, will be available to travel.
C5: Vertical Habits: Helping Congregations Rediscover the Striking Beauty of Conversation with God
Good relationships are built on healthy practices; the same is true for our relationship with God. This workshop will examine some of the healthy practices or “vertical habits” that form the basis of our corporate worship. Workshop participants will leave with a deeper understanding of corporate worship and a simple framework to use when teaching about worship in their own contexts.
C6: The Grammar of Vocation: Changing the Ways We Talk about Our Callings (Friday only)
Kathleen A. Cahalan
We often talk about vocation as if it is a noun—something we possess rather than something we do. If we shift the grammar of vocation to prepositions, our callings can be framed in a more dynamic and relational way. In this session, Cahalan explores a contemporary theology of calling through eight prepositions: by, to, as, from, for, through, in, and within.
C7: From Barriers to Belonging: The Church and People with Disabilities
Erik W. Carter
What does it really mean for people with disabilities and their families (or anyone at all) to truly belong within their faith community? This session focuses on ten dimensions of belonging and their salience to the inclusion of people with intellectual disability, autism, and other developmental disabilities in the full life of the church. The presentation will spur deeper reflection about the ways in which churches might welcome and weave people with disabilities more fully into worship, learning, service, and relationships that lead to a life of flourishing.
C8: From Generation to Generation: Piano Resources for Congregational Song Accompaniment
Norma de Waal Malefyt
How can we mentor our youth and inexperienced pianists into accompanist roles? This workshop will introduce both music and methods for including “growing” pianists in your congregational or school song accompaniments. Each hymn presented will include different options based on difficulty level, all of which would be hymnal compatible. These resources are currently under development and feedback will be welcomed!
C9: Word in Season
Linda Witte Henke
Join liturgical artist Linda Witte Henke in exploring how digital technologies and hands-on creativity can work together to prompt reflection on weekly lectionary texts and seasonal liturgical themes. Using a Power Point presentation rich with relevant imagery, Henke will illustrate how she uses digital design techniques to create weekly visuals for websites, social media, worship folders, and projection in worship, and how she works with liturgical arts teams to visually engage congregations in reflection on the Word in Season.
C10: Forum for Christian High School Chapel Programs (Friday only)
Hosted by Mary Hulst and the Calvin College Chaplains
All Christian high school students and their leaders are invited to this informal time of mutual sharing and learning about the deep meaning and purpose of worship within the context of Christian high school worshiping communities.
C11: Being Present: Toward a Faithful Understanding of Mental Illness and Mental Health Care
Warren Kinghorn and John Swinton
The idea of “being present” pops up repeatedly in the pastoral literature, but what does it mean? It is surely more than “being there;” in order to be present to someone you need to know who they are, to look at them properly, and to pay attention to the right things. In this session, a psychiatrist and a pastoral theologian will explore ways to be present to persons with serious mental illness, starting not with psychiatry and its diagnostic assumptions but with a set of narratives drawn from the Christian tradition that point toward a richly theological understanding of humanness.
C12: When Helping Heals: Affirming Global Service
Tracy Kuperus with responses by Jenny Yang
Is it possible to work in international development without hurting those we are helping? In response to a growing skepticism regarding global service, this session will challenge the perspective that suggests “helping always hurts” with insights that promote realistic, transformational development. Political scientist Tracy Kuperus will share lessons she has learned about how to be a healing presence in our efforts to promote the development of communities and persons around the world. At the end of the presentation there will be additional reflection by Jenny Yang, vice president of advocacy and policy for World Relief.
C13: Dance as Worship (and in Worship)
Jennifer Powell McNutt
This workshop will explore biblically and theologically sound approaches to incorporating dance into worship as a form of worship in conjunction with scripture, the proclamation of the word, and worship music. The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt is a classically trained ballet dancer and former company dancer in Lubbock Ballet Theater, based in Texas. She danced for Westmont College’s dance ministry (Westmont Windancers) while an undergraduate, and today she serves as faculty advisor for Wheaton College’s dance ministry (Zoe’s Feet) since 2009. She and members of Zoe’s Feet will discuss their successful approaches to incorporating dance into campus ministry and worship as well as worship beyond the college campus.
C14: What Makes Christian Worship Trinitarian?
Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
The doctrine of the Trinity is old, deep, and mysterious. How should Christian trinitarianism manifest itself in worship—that is, beyond simple repetition of the trinitarian formula? How might deep trinitarian worship bless God and ourselves? How might it even affect the way we look at each other after worship is over?
C15: The Creative Process: Practical Ways to Harness Creative Thinking for Any Project
Creativity in art, music, writing, worship planning, or any other endeavor is rarely something that “just happens.” Instead it comes as a result of active and exploratory strategies that lead to creative insight. Matt Plescher will draw on twenty years of painting, illustration, and calligraphy to show how anyone can harness creativity for any project. Real-world examples will include the process of creating a studio landscape painting and the challenges of a recent year-long liturgical calligraphy project. Topics discussed will include work habits, finding intersections of ideas, incubation, overcoming creative blocks, and common misconceptions about creativity. Special attention will also be given to how, in communities of faith, creativity needs to be woven into the needs of the body of believers and not be an end in itself. The concepts and strategies discussed can be applied to any endeavor or project.
C16: Beyond “Contemporary” and “Traditional”: Clues to Finding a Third Way
The gulf between “contemporary” and “traditional” worship is sometimes bridged through the pursuit of what some might call the “awkwardly blended” service. Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every congregation, this session will explore some musical and liturgical clues pointing toward a more indigenous and integrative “third way”—a way that takes seriously music's liturgical function within a worship service, and the complexity of how music both expresses and resists culture.
C17: Hidden Secrets from the History of Contemporary Worship (Saturday only)
It’s easy for us to fall into quick characterizations about contemporary worship, what it has meant, and where it came from. But is this fall too easy to make? This workshop will investigate little-known but significant details about the rise and development of this style of worship. Come ready to be surprised about contemporary worship’s complex history.
C18: The Contemplative Worship Leader
Parker Palmer writes, “At root, contemplation and action are the same.” For worship leaders, a deep well of spiritual practice is vital amid the activity and demands of worship leadership. But as the anxious and hurried, our spirituality is often found wanting. New and ancient patterns in Christ’s Spirit, however, are available to worship leaders, and in this workshop we will together explore how to find life and vitality in our diverse contexts and through our varied personalities.
C19: A Better Web Search: A Tour of PreachingandWorship.org
Rebecca Snippe, Noel Snyder, and Joanna Wigboldy
On a quest for preachable insights? Every week, the preacher begins the preaching task anew. Every week, the worship planner seeks to craft another fresh and meaningful worship service. PreachingandWorship.org seeks both to streamline that process and to infuse creative energy into it by providing easy access to excellent online resources for preparing sermons and worship services for a wide range of denominations and traditions. Think of it as a Google, Bing, or Yahoo search specifically designed for preachers and worship planners. This workshop will offer a tour of this new website and guide you through best practices for seamlessly using PreachingandWorship.org as a part of your sermon or worship preparation.
C20: Let the Times Declare!: Socio-demographic Shifts and the Future of Young People in the North American Church
Elizabeth Tamez Méndez
What are the times proclaiming? What are the demographic shifts clamoring for our ministries? By 2018, half the children under age eighteen will be “minorities” in the United States; with twenty-six percent being Hispanic. Youth are at the forefront of U.S. demographic changes, and churches need to consider this reality as a moment for us to seize! We have a unique opportunity to contribute to the healthy development and thriving of youth while walking alongside them toward an encounter with Christ—all amid a culturally and ethnically diverse society. In this interactive session filled with practical insights for ministry, we will explore together the new set of opportunities and needs that diverse young people bring to our congregations.
C21: “We Have Seen the Lord!”: Preaching the Johannine Narratives of Jesus’s Resurrection Appearances
Marianne Meye Thompson
In this workshop we’ll look at John’s distinctive resurrection narratives, which emphasize both the restoration of Jesus’s relationship with his disciples broken by his death and the continuity of Jesus’s relationship with and care for all his disciples across time and place amidst the obvious differences brought about by his resurrection and return to the Father.
C22: Worship and Culture: Intense Global Learning for Essential Questions We All Engage
John D. Witvliet with Cheryl Bear, Mark Charles, and Jonghun Joo (Friday), and Renee Begay, Jean Kidula, and Emmett G. Price III (Saturday)
Every Christian community is engaged in a dynamic, interactive relationship with its local cultural context. “Contextual,” “relevant,” and “authentic” are among the most common words in how-to books about worship, leading us all to wrestle with how worship can be both relevant and prophetic, both contextual and countercultural. Ultimately, this is an extremely dynamic, even messy business, involving not only music styles, but time perception, the nature of authority and leadership, dress codes, and much, much more. This session will explore enculturation, foregrounding learning that is emerging in Kenya and in indigenous First Nations communities in North America, with responses from leaders in African American, Latino, and Anglo-American contexts.
C23: Los Salmos de Ascensión en tiempos de violencia (Friday only)
Las comunidades de peregrinos siguen sufriendo en todo el mundo. Disturbios sociales, conflictos y guerras han causado una crisis mundial de migrantes y refugiados sin precedentes. La difícil situación de los refugiados sirios, iraquíes y de otros países del Oriente Medio sigue sacudiendo al mundo entero. Además, miles de personas de México y América Central siguen buscando refugio en los Estados Unidos para escapar de la violencia y la pobreza. Carlos Colón compartirá parte de su historia como refugiado de la guerra civil en su nativa tierra de El Salvador, y también historias de otras personas que ministran a la comunidad inmigrante. En esta sesión, se procurará realizar una lectura cristocéntrica de los Salmos de Ascensión, transitando la jornada con los ojos puestos en Jesús, y sin perder la vista de nuestro llamado al amor, a mostrar compasión y hospitalidad a las personas diferentes a nosotros y a nosotras, y a compartirles las buenas noticias, mientras seguimos a un Salvador que está lleno de gracia y verdad.
C24: Becoming a Reconciling Community
Elena Aronson and David M. Bailey
Churches and Christian leaders are often overwhelmed because they feel ill-equipped to engage effectively in the ministry of reconciliation in a diverse and divided society. In this workshop, we will focus on what it looks like for a church to be committed to racial reconciliation for the long haul. We will offer five foundational practices for becoming a reconciling community. These practices, born out of the diverse and gentrifying neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, where Elena and David minister, shape the way a community pursues diversity and reconciliation. They will also paint a vision for collaborative ministry work that is only possible with sustained cross-cultural engagement.
The Coming of Esau: An Advent Story
Through biblical performance and testimony, we open ourselves anew to the arrival of God through the story of Esau, as found in Genesis 25-35. Jeff Barker and students from Northwestern College will lead this vesper service.
Songs of the Refugees
Psalm 137 says, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” Led by Proskuneo, this service will lead worship, “on earth as it is in heaven,” centered on the unity that we find in diversity when we bring all nations to worship one God together.
A Worship Celebration of Song and Scripture
Come be inspired as we celebrate the final journey and mission of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through spirituals and gospel music choral selections, congregational singing, scripture readings, narrations and words of faith. Join Raymond Wise, the Calvin Gospel Choir, Worship Symposium attendees and other musical guests they lead the community in an interactive worship experience.
Songs of the Refugees
Psalm 137 says, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” Led by Proskuneo, this service will lead worship, “on earth as it is in heaven,” centered on the unity that we find in diversity when we bring all nations to worship one God together.