Our January Worship Seminar, featuring Dr. John Witvliet, will be held January 13-14, 2014 during the winter on-campus intensive. This event is open to the public, but requires registration.
John D. Witvliet is director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and professor of worship, theology, & congregational and ministry studies at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary. His areas of interest include the history of Christian worship, worship practices in various denominations, biblical and systematic theology of worship, the role of music and the arts in worship, choral music and consulting with churches on worship renewal. A graduate of Calvin College, Dr. Witvliet holds graduate degrees in theology from Calvin Theological Seminary, in music from the University of Illinois, and the Ph.D. in liturgical studies and theology from the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of numerous publications including The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: A Brief Introduction and Guide to Resources (2007) and Worship Seeking Understanding: Windows into Christian Practice (2003), and co-editor of several publications including The Worship Sourcebook (2004), Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Christian Worship (2012), and Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs (2013).
Ever and Always a Teacher:
Worship Ministry, Christian Formation, and Everyday Discipleship
Fruitful worship ministry invites our attention not merely on what happens in our preaching, praying, singing, baptizing, and communing—but also (perhaps most especially!) on how we prepare people to participate in these actions. Equipping people of all kinds—seekers and lifelong believers, children and older adults—to participate in worship is one of the great joys and challenges of worship ministry. While some of this happens in formal settings (like IWS), or in corporate worship itself, much of this equipping, discipling, and teaching happens in a thousand informal settings all week long. This seminar will focus on this crucial pedagogical work, in both formal and informal settings, reflecting on the deep connections between our worship education and our lifelong calling to serve as teachers of all of God’s children.
|Monday, January 13||Tuesday, January 14|
|7:30 am||Breakfast||7:30 am||Breakfast|
|8:30 am||Chapel||8:30 am||Chapel|
|9:15 am||Seminar Session 1
Teaching to Deepen Practices: Formal and Informal Approaches
|9:15 am||Seminar Session 5
Formal and Informal Teaching of Key Worship Planning Skills
|10:30 am||Break||10:30 am||Break|
|10:45 am||Seminar Session 2
Formal and Informal Teaching of the Christian Year
|10:45 am||Seminar Session 6
Formal and Informal Teaching about Cultural Discernment
|12:00 pm||Lunch (provided)||12:00 pm||Lunch (provided)|
|1:15 pm||Seminar Session 3
Formal and Informal Teaching of the Psalms in Worship
|1:15 pm||Seminar Session 7
Formal and Informal Teaching about the Arts in Worship
|2:15 pm||Break||2:15 pm||Break|
|2:30 pm||Seminar Session 4
Formal and Informal Teaching of a Basic Theology of Worship
|2:30 pm||Seminar Session 8
Formal and Informal Teaching about the Lord’s Supper
|3:45 pm||Free||3:45 pm||Free|
|5:30 pm||Dinner||5:30 pm||Dinner|
|6:30 pm||Practicum Presentations||6:30 pm||Healing/Communion Service|
This session will offer reflections on the dozens of places that effective teaching happens—in sermons and class sessions, in setting committee agendas and planning rehearsals, in informal comments that help worshipers pay deep attention to what happens in worship, and why.
How can our discussions of the Christian year focus not primarily on its mechanics, but rather on its deep meaning? How can we call people to reorient their own internal clocks with Jesus at the center?
How can we do justice to both the comfortable and difficult Psalms? What teaching strategies are effective not just for explaining the Psalms, but evoking their metaphoric power and aligning our experience as worshipers with these ancient texts?
It is one thing to assert that worship should be theologically grounded; it is another more challenging aspiration to invite people into a fundamental “worldview conversion” which helps them to enter into worship in a new way.
Collaborative planning of worship is a beautiful ideal, but it requires a diverse team of people who share a common vision for worship. How can continuous learning about worship be built right into a team’s planning process?
Every community faces challenges in discerning which cultural forms of expression, which artworks, and which musical examples to include in worship. How can an effective worship ministry embed learning about the church’s approach to culture into its DNA?
The arts are good! Creativity is good! Improvisation is good! But what kind of learning is best suited to evoke the kind of creativity and improvisation that can inspire fruitful liturgical artwork.
How can our teaching about the Lord’s Supper, both to brand new and lifelong Christians, embrace the full range of biblical teaching on the subject? How can we teach not just about the doctrines associated with the Lord’s Supper, but also the practices associated with it?
Make it a Spiritual Retreat
You are welcome to craft your own schedule to incorporate additional time on campus to take in chapel sessions, visit classes, read and research in the library, or spend time alone with God. You may plan to come early and stay through Wednesday if you’d like. Let us know how we can help.
Cost: $175 ($25 early registration discount applied before December 1)
Includes lunch on Monday and Tuesday
After you have registered, hotel and additional seminar information will be sent to your email address. Questions? Call the IWS office at 800. 282. 2977.