Listen to or view individual sessions of the seminar, “You Are What You Sing: Faith Formation Through Congregational Song” by C. Michael Hawn, held June 16-17, 2014 at IWS.
Use the embedded player to listen on this page, or click the session title to open it on a separate page. Then, if you prefer, you may right-click on the track to download and save it for later.
Overview: Seven streams of song shape the North American church. These streams not only reflect different musical styles, but also distinct theological themes. In addition, the seven streams may actually provide an overview of the landscape of Christian piety in North America.
Overview: Since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965), Roman Catholics have been finding their voice. This voice is diverse ranging from folk and classical song to African-American gospel and various Latino styles. Part 2 of this talk expands to application and practical discussion.
Overview: These hymns follow in the tradition of Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. Themes range from creation, ecology, mission of the church, social issues, to worship and the arts. Some of the most important names include Fred Pratt Green, Timothy Dudley Smith, Brian Wren, Carl Daw, Jr., Tom Troeger, Ruth Duck, Shirley Erena Murray, Mary Louise Bringle, and many more.
Overview: Stream 3 represents major African-American voices including Andraé Crouch, Doris Akers, Margaret Douroux, Edwin Hawkins, James Cleveland, Kirk Franklin, and more.
Overview: Gospel Song writers are represented by the Gaithers, John W. Peterson, and extensions of this song in the UK, Graham Kendrick, Stuart Townend, and Keith Getty.
Overview: Examination of the coming together of performance and congregational song as evidenced in the music of the Gaither Homecomings and Billy Graham Crusades. This music is born “extra-liturgically” for Christian gatherings, which is distinctly different from Sunday morning worship that is committed to nurturing the ongoing faith of a Christian community in a certain location. The purpose of the former is to generate mountaintop experiences.
Stream 5–Folk Hymnody (29:09)
Overview: This session explores the successors of Sydney Carter’s “Lord of the Dance” (1963). These songs use an acoustic musical idiom grounded in the folk and protest movements of the 1960s. The theological focus of these songs is on direct language, unvarnished frankness, a social consciousness, and a simple singability that allows everyone to participate.
Overview: The roots of CCM/CWM may be found in the Pentecostal movement that began with the Azusa Street Revival (1906) on the West Coast. This session will explore the transformation of this song throughout the decades, the major theological themes, and the use of this song in worship. In Part 2 of this session numerous examples are presented and discussed.
Stream 7: Ecumenical Global Song (40:21)
Stream 7: Ecumenical Global Song (9:16) video excerpt
Overview: The twenty-first century church is the recipient of songs from the world church—signs that the overseas mission efforts of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries have borne much fruit. The former mission fields are sending their songs back to the church in the West. More than two-thirds of Christians now live outside North America and Europe. They have been singing our songs for nearly two centuries and now we have the opportunity to reciprocate by singing the songs of the world church.
Session 8: Creation and Song (68:40)
Overview: This session explores the theme of Creation throughout 800 years of congregational song. While God may not change, our understanding of God changes according to our understanding of how God works in our lives. Using the theology of Creation as an example, this session traces the evolution of this important theme from St. Francis of Assisi and Isaac Watts through Chris Tomlin and Shirley Murray, and demonstrates how to use the breadth of the streams to broaden the sung faith of the church.
Michael Hawn reflects on the June 2014 worship seminar experience:
The seminar I led in June 2014 on congregational song at IWS was a pure delight. One rarely encounters a group that is so open to learn and thirsty for any information that one can offer. The discourse of the seminar discussion was on a high level offering the opportunity to learn from each other as well as from the professor–just as it should be. I am rarely given this much time to share these ideas and process them in such depth. Thanks for this opportunity IWS alums and friends.