From the Editor
By Kent Walters, D.W.S.
“Christian community is not an ideal we have to realize, but rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, Augsburg, 2004, 38).
One of my greatest blessings in life has been participating in the IWS community. The January and June sessions are “homecoming” events I anticipate and then savor. What a wonderful rhythm–two weeks of “worship camp” (thanks, Reggie) every year! Each session is unique; the Lord never fails to show up in surprising, delightful ways. Thanks be to God.
Anamnesis: The Newsletter is an extension of and link to the IWS community. It helps us stay connected and hopefully a little inspired while apart. Be sure to follow the links to read all the articles excerpted below.
A newsletter simply cannot replace the face to face interaction of life in community. I encourage our alumni to make plans to “come home” to IWS this June for an extended weekend of IWS community goodness. A worship seminar taught by Leonard Sweet will highlight our reunion on June 17-18. We’re all looking forward to seeing you again!
The Lord be with you!
By James Hart, D.W.S.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; for there the Lord commanded the blessing—life forevermore (Psalm 133 NKJV).
When Bob Webber died in 2007, many in the IWS community privately expressed concern about the viability of IWS without its founder leading the way. Chaplain Darrell Harris seemed to have the word of the Lord for us in this matter at that time. Darrell stated that, while we recognize the vacuum that our great leader had left, Bob was intentional about communicating and encouraging a strong sense of communal empowerment to carry on the mission. [Read more . . . ]
Founding Faculty Member Resigns
Dr. Carla Waterman, a founding member of the IWS faculty, has resigned from her post as a faculty person in DWS 704, effective April 15. The entire IWS community has deeply appreciated her many contributions to the making of what IWS has become, especially in her teaching and modeling of worship as spiritual formation. Her collaboration with Dr. Reggie Kidd in DWS 704 has been an exemplary model of what our team-teaching approach is intended to look like and accomplish. She has served IWS and our students with distinction in a variety of capacities over these past dozen years. On behalf of the trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and students of IWS we extend our hearty thanks and deep appreciation for a job well done! Carla will be missed, and we pray God’s blessing upon her as she continues her journey into the next season of life and ministry.
Please be in prayer for Reggie Kidd and the IWS administration as we seek to identify candidates for the open faculty position in DWS 704.
The Lord be with you,
James R. Hart, President, and Andrew E. Hill, Academic Dean
Faculty Column: Adventures in Live Online Teaching
By Carla Waterman, Ph.D.
I recently spent three weeks visiting friends in the United Kingdom. While I spent time with men and women I hadn’t seen for years, the majority of my days were filled with conversations that had only to be picked up from a couple of weeks past. I greeted these friends in Newcastle, York, and London with the kind of ease present when good friends reassemble to pick up on an expansive conversation.
I only made one actual journey over the pond this fall. Rather, from the comfort of my Florida sitting room, I have been virtually present by teaching a live online class on Christian Wisdom. [Read more . . . ]
Alumni Focus: Worship Renewal Grant for Promoting the Church Year
By Herbert Tsang, D.W.S., Sigma 2011
Editor’s note: Herbert Tsang is the president of the Church Music Ministry of Canada, an organization for equipping ministry leaders in worship renewal through church music, and the co-director of the Centre for Worship Studies at Carey Institute in Vancouver, BC. For information on the Worship Renewal Grants Program of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and how to apply for a grant, click here.
Recently I was at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI to report for the Worship Renewal Grant Program of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW). As the co-director for the Centre for Worship Studies (CWS) at Carey Theological College, Vancouver, BC, Canada, I was part of the team that put together the original proposal to apply for a worship grant. We were awarded a grant for 2011-2012. Our project, titled “Journey with Jesus through the Church Year,” was a teaching series for equipping and empowering worship leaders and pastors to recover the meaning and observance of the church year. On three separate weekends, we held two-day seminars and workshops in which we presented a variety of tools and resources on important themes in the church year.
Keynote speakers were invited to participate. IWS alumna Edna Grenz spoke on planning worship for Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. Joyce Chan, Associate Professor at Carey Theology College, introduced the Easter season. Noted theologian Marva J. Dawn concluded our series by examining the extraordinary aspect of ordinary time.
All in all, the series was a success. We were able to bring together over 90 participants representing 30 churches from different denominational and ethnic backgrounds for a fresh look at the Christian year. Many commented that they have incorporated themes and elements of the seasons in their planning of worship services and others are planning to do so in the near future. For a summary of our grant project and things we learned, follow this link: http://worship.calvin.edu/grants/images/poster/2011/2011-08.jpg. It is such a blessing to have such a wide impact on the Christian community through the work of CWS.
Recent news from IWS alumni serving around the world.
Philip Chan, D.W.S., Delta 2005
Philip, who is Minister of Music and Worship at Hong Kong Baptist Church, edited a new book that was recently published in Hong Kong titled In Spirit and In Truth: A Practical Guide for Worship Planning, Philip H. Chan, ed. Hong Kong: Hong Kong Baptist Press, 2012. [ISBN 9789629338794]. Six chapters were authored by IWS alumni:
Yat Hin Leung
Ouida Harding, D.W.S., Omicron 2012
Congratulations to Ouida who was recently ordained as a Minister of Music at the Greater Harvest Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD. An interview with Ouida appears in the December 2012 edition of Grace and Glory Magazine.
Bob Myers, D.W.S., Theta 2006
2012 was a year of surprising ministry and transition for me. After reading my January blog posting on revival and renewal, Bishop Chris Lusweti from Eldoret, Kenya invited me to teach at their pastor’s training conference in the fall. My trip lasted two weeks. I taught at the pastor’s conference where over 300 attended, preached in worship services, led worship at the Lord’s Table, visited orphanages, taught in a pastor’s Bible school, and dedicated six children. I loved dancing with the Africans and blogged a few of my impressions of their worship. In August, I began a new role as lead pastor of the First Baptist Church of Aberdeen, SD. This was no small deal as I’ve never held that position, and I am much closer to sixty than fifty. I’m settling very well in my new position and would be happy to share my experiences with any IWS alumni who might be contemplating a similar transition. I’m grateful for the rigor and depth of the IWS program which has provided a solid foundation for my new responsibilities as lead pastor.
Claire Partlow, D.W.S., Sigma 2011
After completing my D.W.S. (June, 2011), I finished my work leading the team that brought the 2nd annual NJ JAM Contemporary Worship Conference to the Atlantic and New Jersey districts of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in November. By late fall, I knew we’d be moving to Williamsburg, VA and wondered what lay ahead. God prepared the way, and I am now leading the Program Planning team to bring a Worship Arts Leadership Institute (WALi) worship conference to the east coast. WALi’s mission is “to connect leaders of worship with one another for empowered learning, common support, and professional inspiration.” In addition, I’ve been asked to join the Adult Education Ministry team at our home congregation, King of Glory Lutheran. The DWS program helped prepare me for these two tasks by helping me sharpen both my thinking and my writing skills. Peace and joy to you and to those you serve today!
David Pedde, M.W.S., Beth 2006
David is the Founder and President of Sanctus School for Worshippers, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Visit his personal website and blog. He writes: I first met Bob Webber at a Break Forth conference in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in January, 2003. I attended the conference to take in his seminars and to meet him over lunch that we had arranged over the phone. It was a dream of mine to figure out a way to study with him, so when I learned about IWS I was in. To say that my studies and time on campus were life changing would be an understatement. My “small box” theological world and thinking were radically re-ordered, and I can honestly say that I have never looked back. I thoroughly enjoyed my interactions with each of my faculty members and classmates from around the world and still keep in touch with several of them. After I graduated, many people from the IWS community reached out to us and prayed for us during extremely difficult days of health concerns in our family. I consider it divine providence that I could know Bob Webber and be a part of the IWS community. I hope to return for the DWS program someday. Several colleagues and former students of mine have also found their way to IWS and I hope to send many more.
Herbert Tsang, D.W.S., Sigma 2011
GIA Publications recently released the book, Tanglewood II: Summoning the Future of Music Education (Chicago: GIA, 2012, 405 pages), Anthony J. Palmer and André de Quadros, Editors. The book addresses eight major areas of music learning and teaching and is applicable to all levels of education—preK-12, undergraduate and graduate college and university courses. Areas covered are the value of music in education and society, music learning in a democratic context, global effects on music learning, psychology of music learning, student-centered music learning, technology, the music teaching profession, and transcending boundaries. Herbert contributed the chapter, “Is Technology a Panacea?”
Worship Resources by IWS Alumni
IWS grads continue to produce useful resources for worship renewal. Check out these websites. Let me know about your publications.
Chris Alford, D.W.S., Alpha 2002: Ancient Future Faith Network
Jim Altizer, D.W.S., Mu 2008: Roadmaps for Worship; teaching videos on You Tube
Alan Brisco, D.W.S., Xi 2010: The Cornerstone Community (featuring Provoked to Newness podcasts)
Steven Brooks, D.W.S., Upsilon 2012: Worship Quest Ministries
Justin Clemente, M.W.S., Gimel 2010: Doxology
Ryan Forbes, D.W.S., Alpha 2002: Church Year Worship Media
Rob Still, M.W.S., Beth 2007: RobStill.com
For websites of IWS faculty and additional worship resources, click here. Page down to the Blogroll in the left margin.
IWS Community News
Constance Cherry, D.Min. (Professor, DWS 702)
February 7-8 Constance is speaking at the Carson-Newman Ball Institute for Church Music conference: Texts and Tunes for Today’s Church. On February 18 she teaches a worship course for the Doctor of Ministry program at Ashland Theological Seminary (Ohio). Constance’s newest book, The Special Service Worship Architect: Blueprints for Weddings, Funerals, Baptisms, Holy Communion, and Other Occasions, will be published by Baker Academic in July 2013. Click the title for details. Visit her website, The Worship Architect.
James Hart, D.W.S., Alpha 2002
President Hart announced a worship education award by Worship Leader magazine in October 2012. IWS was named for the second consecutive year as one of the top educational programs that influenced Christian worship in the past calendar year. In this annual citation Worship Leader awarded IWS the additional distinction of “Best of the Best Tried and True,” indicating consistent quality as an “essential resource.” [Read more . . . ]
Lester Ruth, Ph.D., (Professor, DWS 701)
Lester gave the John P. Woods Distinguished Lectureship in Religion and Culture at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary last spring on “Perhaps Contemporary Music is Not That Contemporary: Reflections on Popular Worship Music in the Last 200 Years.” Last summer he finished revising Bob Webber’s Evangelicals on the Canterbury Trail: Why Evangelicals Are Attracted to the Liturgical Church. The revised edition is now available. In July he presented two workshops at the National Worship Leaders Conference in Kansas City on what we might learn about the transcendent in worship from Constantinople in the 6th century and on making worship sets more Trinitarian. Lester is currently on sabbatical. I asked him to summarize what he has planned.
“I am working on multiple things, all related to a larger project of writing over the next several years a book-length treatment of the history of contemporary worship. First, I’m wrapping up the manuscript for the study of John Wimber’s Anaheim Vineyard congregation in the late 1970s and early 1980s, co-authored with Vineyard musicians Andy Park and Cindy Rethmeier. It will become part of the Church at Worship case studies series from Eerdmans. After that, I will finalize in written form my comparison of the Trinitarian dimensions in the most-republished evangelical hymnody of 200 years ago and the most-used contemporary worship songs of today. I will look at how both bodies of song speak about divine and human activity. I also plan on reviewing the literature on the history of contemporary worship. What’s the state of the question on the “historiography” of contemporary worship? That should become an article, too. Finally, I plan on writing an article on the origins and development of the use of a typology based on the OT temple or tabernacle for structuring worship sets. I see references to this typology everywhere and I know it has been influential, but where did it come from and why?”
For updates on Lester’s writing projects you may follow him on Twitter [@jl_ruth]. In addition, a number of his lectures (PDF and video formats) including his early work on song comparisons may be accessed on his webpage. Click on Public Presentations.
Mark Torgerson, Ph.D., (IWS Bibliographer)
Recently updated, the January 2013 edition of the IWS Bibliography on Worship Studies lists the new additions at the beginning of the list as well as in the appropriate categories. This valuable resource organizes the annotated entries in over 30 worship-related categories.
Worship Seminar with Dr. Gordon Smith
The January 2013 seminar, Worship and Sacramental Spirituality, taught by Gordon T. Smith was rich in content and at the same time inspirational. Here are reflections from attendees.
In returning to IWS as an alum this January, I was reminded of my membership in this special family. It’s difficult to fully describe the atmosphere of IWS; one has to experience it. When on campus, one is immersed in a deep sense of the presence of the Lord, a strong ecumenical fellowship borne of that presence, and a firm dedication to scholarship in the discipline of worship. What a blessing to sit at the feet of Dr. Gordon Smith for two days and soak in his teaching on the Lord’s Supper. How thrilling to see a vibrant and growing student body and their enthusiasm for learning. How enriching to join in chapel worship and the student-led Service of Healing and Eucharist, and to visit with the wonderful faculty members. I treasure my experience at IWS and am blessed to be a part of this family. I look forward to many more “family reunions” in the future. [Bill Davis, D.W.S., Lambda 2007, Chair, Music and Worship Division, The Baptist College of Florida, Graceville, FL]
Returning to IWS, for any reason, is always a homecoming. When I turn the corner onto Kingsley Avenue and see the bright “Welcome IWS students” sign, I feel like I am back at my home away from home. I always feel welcome, full of hope and excitement. The semiannual alumni seminar always offers me a meaningful opportunity to pull away from my work and ministry schedule to worship, learn, and cultivate relationships old and new. This January I brought along a fellow faculty member [Robert Gorini pictured on the left with Chris Brewer] who had never visited IWS. I can’t begin to relate how exciting it was to share the IWS experience with a close friend and co-worker through this powerful seminar with Dr. Gordon Smith! [Chris Brewer, D.W.S., Nu 2008, Vice President, Brewer Christian College, Jacksonville, FL]
Audio files of the seminar sessions are being edited and will soon be available to download or listen online. Outlines and notes will be posted as well.
Click on the pictures below to see the larger version. For more pictures from the seminar see the January 2013 Worship Seminar Gallery.
Future post-graduate seminars
- June 17-18, 2013 with Leonard Sweet
- January 13-14, 2014 with John Witvliet
January Session Resources
- January Session 2013 Photo Gallery
- January Session 2013 Worship Bulletins
- January 2013 Chapel Series: “It’s Alive” (audio files available soon)
- Additional resources, music, and handouts from the January Session are posted in the Site News column on the IWS Moodle homepage.
© 2013 The Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies