Jan 2015 Worship Seminar–Lament and Longing: Songs of Hope in Personal and Corporate Prayer

The January Worship Seminar, featuring Dr. Carla Waterman, will be held January 12-13, 2015 during the winter on-campus intensive of IWS. This event is open to the public, but requires registration.

Carla_WatermanDr. Waterman (Ph.D. Cornell, 1993) is either a spiritual theologian with an artist processor, or an artist who loves to teach spiritual theology in the context of real life. She has taught Christian Spiritual Formation for the past two decades, first at Wheaton College, then at Northern Seminary, and was a founding faculty member of the Institute for Worship Studies where she taught from 2000-2012. Carla is a Companion in the Northumbria Community, and seeks to practice the Community rule of “vulnerability and availability” in her vocational life at home and abroad. She is the author of the book Songs of Assent (2009), and is presently collaborating on a book project based on the Psalms of Sons of Korah. Carla regularly leads reflective spiritual retreats in the United States and the United Kingdom.  When at home in Orlando, she partners with the Canterbury Retreat and Conference Center in Oviedo, FL.

Bookstore Spotlight
Preview Dr. Waterman’s book, Songs of Assent in the IWS Bookstore.

Register now online or by mail.

Seminar Description

Lament and Longing:
Songs of Hope in Personal and Corporate Prayer

The Sons of Korah are poets painting hope in messy and honest words; their psalms seek to engage God when life is being scribbled outside predictable lines. The Korah Psalms offer a unique viewpoint on contemporary concerns: social chaos and natural calamities, condemning voices and difficult questions – questions that can only be asked with abandoned dependence upon the God who reigns among the nations and will be exalted in the earth.

Join us for these two days as we take firm steps toward Zion through the Psalms of the Sons of Korah. We will move reflectively, allowing their poetic vision to shape our own expressions of lament and longing for God. Along the way, we will pause to consider practical ideas and accessible resources we might use to invite our families, friends, students, and congregations to encounter anew God’s outpouring of Christian hope through the medium of these well-loved Psalms.

Seminar Objectives

  • To examine the gift and virtue of Christian hope in the midst of cultural despair and personal disillusionment.
  • To discern the significance of lament and longing in our ongoing need for renewal in hope.
  • To experience the familiar Psalms of the Sons of Korah as instruments leading us “from strength to strength” as we press into life’s journey.
  • To broaden and deepen our awareness of spiritual invitations and worship possibilities available through these psalms.

Seminar Schedule

Monday, January 12
Tuesday, January 13
7:30 am Breakfast 7:30 am Breakfast
8:30 am Chapel 8:30 am Chapel
9:15 am Seminar Session 1
Hope in God; for I Shall Again Praise Him
9:15 am Seminar Session 5
Do Not Reject Us Forever! (Psalm 44)
10:30 am Break 10:30 am Break
10:45 am Seminar Session 2
When Kingdoms Totter and Earth Melts (Psalm 46)
10:45 am Seminar Session 6
Let Me Hear What God the Lord Will Speak (Psalm 85)
12:00 pm Lunch (provided) 12:00 pm Lunch (provided)
1:00 pm Seminar Session 3
Where is your God?
(Psalm 42/43)
1:00 pm Seminar Session 7
My Soul Longs
(Psalm 84)
2:15 pm Break 2:15 pm Break
2:30 pm Seminar Session 4
At Night His Song
is With Me
(Psalm 42/43)
2:30 pm Seminar Session 8
From Strength to Strength (The Psalms of the Sons of Korah)
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

Session Descriptions

DAY ONE: Hope’s Lament

Session 1—
Hope in God; for I Shall Again Praise Him

We begin by exploring the unique voices of lament and longing as cries of hope, discovering their distinctive tones in the midst of human disillusionment and despair. As we enter into the poetry of the Psalms we discover a hope that transcends optimism through laments that give mute longing an articulate voice.

Session 2—
When Kingdoms Totter and Earth Melts (Psalm 46)

The Sons of Korah found hope rising from the ashes of family catastrophe. Our journey into their psalms begins with their proclamation of God as refuge and strength: an historical mystery that proclaims the heart of hope no matter what the circumstances.

Session 3—
Where is your God? (Psalm 42/43)

Together these well-loved psalms introduce us to the soul’s fundamental movements as lament prepares the way for renewed hope. Clear memory, vivid images and raw experience mark the struggle as the soul’s enemies hit their intended target.

Session 4—
At Night His Song is With Me (Psalm 42/43)

Hope’s epiphanies do not reveal themselves in newly discovered internal resources or positive changes in external conditions. Rather, hope comes in the form of unexpected gifts that enable us to hear the Lord with new ears and see our God’s presence with new eyes.

DAY TWO: Hope’s Longing

Session 5—
Do Not Reject Us Forever! (Psalm 44)

The psalms of lament get into God’s face, begging him to be to us the God we have known, the God he has revealed himself to be. This session explores our reticence and need to engage the God in whom we boast when we cannot find His face.

Session 6—
Let Me Hear What God the Lord Will Speak (Psalm 85)

We are restored, but we are not revived. We are present, but we are not prospering. How do we engage God when we live at dusk instead of day? In this psalm “we” must become “me” and “I” must listen to what God is saying to “us.”

Session 7—
My Soul Longs (Psalm 84)

Even joy can ache with longing. With the Sons of Korah, we long for a place we cannot yet reach, and glimpse the face of the God whom we do not yet fully see. And in the very act of aching we are blessed.

Session 8—
From Strength to Strength (The Psalms of the Sons of Korah)

The Psalms of the Sons of Korah blast new highways to Zion in our hearts. What did these psalmists see as they pressed toward the city of God? How might these poetic glimpses of Zion sustain us and our congregations “on the way” in our life-long journey of hope?

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

Register now online or by mail.

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.

About the author

Alumni Director, Practicum Professor, and DWS graduate.