From the Editor: Hope Makes All the Difference

By Kent Walters, D.W.S.

Kent WaltersI wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope (Ps 130:5).

Life is full of waiting—for answers, relief, rescue, fulfillment. But waiting for the Lord in our circumstances makes all the difference. First, waiting for the Lord indicates that we have probably come to the end of our ability to effect change. (A good place to be!) Second, waiting for the Lord means hoping in his word—claiming and living in his promise (note the parallelism in the verse above). Waiting in HOPE is not only bearable, it’s spiritual. It is characterized by quiet confidence and perseverance as opposed to worry and doubt. Listen to the Lord and look for his promise to you in his word. Memorize it; contemplate it; hope in it.

O Israel, hope in the LORD!
    For with the LORD there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption (Ps 130:7).

This edition of Anamnesis includes inspiration and news from members of the IWS community who are hoping in the Lord. Bob Webber modeled it, and we seek to walk faithfully in that pattern. Be sure to follow the links throughout this newsletter to the numerous resources (photos, videos, audio files, bulletins, articles, etc.).

Sam Horowitz, D.W.S. (Epsilon 2, 2016), IWS Director of Technical Services, continues to record and produce compelling video testimonies in the From the Heart of IWS video series. Click here to see the YouTube index to these videos. See the video below by Leon Lim, M.W.S. (Samekh 2014), D.W.S. candidate and Pastor of Kota Kemuning Assembly of God Church in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

Here are useful links from the June 2017 session. And don’t miss the media links from Commencement and the Lester Ruth seminar. See the articles below.

June 2017 Media (session sermons, readings, music)

June 2017 Chapel: The Life Eucharistic

June 2017 Session Worship Bulletins

IWS YouTube Playlists. Access playlists from various sessions and themed categories.

Jim Hart’s Summer Update (including board, faculty and staff news)

The Lord be with you!

President’s Column: How Worship Communicates and is Formed by the Biblical Narrative and the Great Tradition

By James R. Hart, D.W.S.

Dr. James HartRobert Webber wrote, “Worship does God’s story.” What does that mean, and why does it matter? If it does matter, how has God’s story formed the worship of God’s people over the past two thousand years? More to it, how has that worship formed God’s people into Christ-followers being “poured out for the life of the world?” . . . . Here is a true, biblical and spiritual principle. Spiritual formation takes place only in the womb of the Church. And, worship is famously the source and summit of the spiritual life of the Church. Therefore, God’s people are formed most profoundly in worship emanating from the community of Mother Church.

Third century bishop and martyr St. Cyprian of Carthage wrote, “He cannot have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother.” [Continue reading. . .]

Faculty Column: It’s Sunday, What Do You Do? Worshiping Through Lament

By Dinelle Frankland, D.W.S., Academic Dean and Professor

On Saturday evening during the June 2016 IWS session, Dr. Cherry told what had happened in class that day, as students around the table described real-life, tragic events that had impacted their ministries. Each description ended with “It’s Sunday, what do you do?” Just a few hours later, forty-nine people were murdered at a nightclub in Orlando and church leaders were confronted with that same question on Sunday morning.  Ignoring such realities in our liturgies dismisses the deep seated, very human emotion of hurt and confusion, yet it seems that often we are ill equipped to respond.  [Continue reading . . . ]

In Memoriam: David Pannabecker, D.W.S. (Theta 2007)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God,
what is good and acceptable and perfect
(Ro 12:1-2).

David went to be with the Lord on May 28, 2017, following a valiant battle with pancreatic cancer. His funeral service was at Kalihi Union Church, Honolulu, Hawaii, where David had served as Pastor of Worship since 2014. Jim Smith, D.W.S. (Epsilon 2007) preached for a subsequent memorial service at Trinity Church in South Bend, Indiana, where David had served as Minister of Music from 2001-2014. (Links: Obituary. The funeral service video begins with a photo life journey.)

In addition to church ministry, David taught courses at Bethel College and Huntington University, both in Indiana, and at Barclay College in Haviland, Kansas. David’s creativity was expressed in his unusual gifting for puppet design and performance. As owner of Puppetoire, Inc. and later ArmsLength Productions, Inc., David became an industry leader in designing and manufacturing commercial puppets for film, television, church and education markets.  He taught puppet construction and performance in the U.S., Russia, Canada, Portugal, Spain, Romania, and the Philippines.

In 2013, David and Lois, his wife of 43 years, became Worship Consultants for Every Community for Christ, a division of One Mission Society based in Greenwood, Indiana.  They traveled to the Philippines and South Korea where they led worship seminars for missionaries and nationals.

Lois reflected on David’s life: “Challenges that could have made him bitter instead transformed him into a kind, wise, gentle, thoughtfully caring man who deeply loved his family and treasured his friendships. His sharp mind never stopped grappling with the truths of God’s Word and his love for his Savior deepened. I often marveled at this ability and his tenacity.”

A co-worker with One Mission Society said, “We have lost a great man of God. David was a worshiper who knew how to lead others into the presence of God. He was creative, and grounded in all he did. I feel cheated that he became ill just when he began to do worship training to help our workers and leaders in the Philippines. He loved people deeply and knew how to help others use their imaginations well, helping them to create ways to communicate the Gospel and the truths of Scripture, to get past people’s objections, defenses, and disbelief. It seemed like David had much, much more to give in the Kingdom’s work.”

David’s body was laid to rest in the Valley of the Temples Memorial Park, Kaneohe, Hawaii. (Pictured at the right.)

Memorial contributions may be made in David’s memory to IWS through the Dr. David and Mrs. Lois Pannabecker Scholarship Fund, providing financial aid for deserving students from outside the US and Canada. Gifts may be made either by mail or online.  Read the death announcement by Pres. Jim Hart.

IWS Alumni News and Updates

Keeping us connected. This is a popular column!

You will be blessed, inspired and informed by these updates from 26 alumni. In addition, what a thrill to see the significant ways alumni continue to grow and make an impact for the Kingdom! The Lord is using the work of IWS and blessing the vision of Bob Webber. Thanks be to God! [Click to read on . . .]

Faculty Focus: Constance Cherry

Rev. Dr. Constance Cherry is Professor of Worship and Pastoral Ministry at Indiana Wesleyan University where she directs three distinct worship programs: Christian Worship, Worship Arts, and Worship Ministry. She is a founding faculty member of IWS, teaching DWS 702 since its inception in 2000. This summer has been especially eventful.

Speaking in Hong Kong
Constance was the keynote speaker for Worship Seminar 2017 in Hong Kong. The conference was sponsored by Alpha & Omega, a church music organization, and held at North Point Alliance Church, the third largest church in Hong Kong. IWS was one of several co-sponsors for the event. More than 500 attended the sessions of the three-day conference and included registrants from Mainland China and Singapore. All of Constance’s sessions were recorded by a Hong Kong Christian television station and are scheduled for broadcast soon. Constance connected with many of our IWS alumni and current students who worked together on many aspects of the conference, including the planning and leading of the closing worship service that beautifully reflected their IWS training.

The Worship Architect Released in Chinese
The Chinese translation of The Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services was released by Chinese Baptist Press during the conference. Philip Chan, D.W.S. (Delta 2005) presented Constance with her first copy of the book (pictured at right above). The special event celebrating the release and book signing was a highlight of the trip.

Books Translated in Multiple Languages
The “Worship Architect” trilogy by Baker Academic continues to gain contracts for translations in Korean, Chinese, and Spanish. In addition, Selecting Worship Songs (Triangle Publishing), co-authored by Constance, has also been accepted for publication in Chinese by Chinese Christian Literature Council, Ltd. Constance’s books are currently being used by 150 institutions of higher education as required texts (seminary and undergrad).

Lester Ruth Seminar Reflections

Dr. Lester Ruth“It was a privilege to be able to share two days with those who have lived and helped make the history of contemporary worship” (Lester Ruth, June 2017).

Dr. Lester Ruth is Research Professor of Christian Worship at Duke University and a former IWS faculty member. His two-day June 2017 seminar,  When the Music Fades (or Not): Exploring the Historical Origins and Development of Contemporary Worship, was based on his newest books, Worshiping with the Anaheim Vineyard: The Emergence of Contemporary Worship and Lovin’ On Jesus: A Concise History of Contemporary Worship.

The seminar was enthusiastically received by the fifty attendees. Here are a few of their comments.

  • Dr. Ruth is an amazing presenter. His style is accessible and enjoyable. The content was especially valuable because of its relevance to higher Christian education.
  • Lester was knowledgeable and engaging. It is nice to receive cutting-edge research in the field of worship studies.
  • Excellent! Lester’s encyclopedic knowledge, ground breaking research, and engaging style of presentation have made for an awesome seminar.
  • Lester’s experience and study provided a mirror for reflection and deep exploration of the historical journey of so-called contemporary worship music and practice.

Lester Ruth wrote this response to his time back on the IWS campus for this seminar:

There is an indelible quality to the character of IWS. As it was in the beginning so has it remained: a remarkable combination of God-honoring worship, spirit-enriching fellowship, and mind-expanding learning. I treasure the opportunity to have taught there for 14 ½ years and I valued the chance to return for a recent worship seminar. It was a privilege to be able to share two days with those who have lived and helped make the history of contemporary worship, some in national roles and some in faithful service in churches little known outside of God’s awareness of the same.

Here is a video clip [3:37] from one of the sessions in which Dr. Ruth concludes that Charismatics and Pentecostals naturally merged theology and methodology impacting contemporary worship in every denomination.

You may access addition media (audio and video files, links to materials) here: Lester Ruth Seminar Media.

View additional photos from the seminar event: Lester Ruth Seminar Photo Gallery.

Congratulations 2017 Graduates!

IWS celebrated its largest graduating class—49 (21 DWS, 21 MWS and 7 AGCWS)—at our 16th Commencement Service on Sunday, June 18, 2017, at Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida. IWS has conferred 542 degrees to 521 students. 21 persons have received both MWS and DWS degrees.

The Commencement sermon was delivered by the Rev. Dr. Lester Ruth, and Leslie Barnes (D.W.S., 2017) presented the OT reading (Is 6:1-8) accompanied by the IWS Festival Choir. Melody Kuphal (D.W.S., 2017) and Daniel Backens (D.W.S., 2017) presented the NT reading (Heb 2:10-18). See the Commencement bulletin. A DVD of the entire Commencement service is also available.

Click on the photos below to see the full-size version. For additional photos of Commencement and the graduates, follow this link: 2017 Graduates Photo Gallery. See additional June 2017 Session photos.

January 2018 Seminar on Global Worship

Our January 8-9, 2018 Worship Seminar will be taught by Dr. William Dyrness, Professor of Theology and Culture and a founding member of the Brehm Center for Worship Theology and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. The compelling and timely theme for this seminar is Worship in a Global World: Transformations, Substitutions, and Liturgies of Resistance.

Here’s a brief overview:

God is doing surprising things around the world as evidenced in the emergence of diverse forms of worship. William Dyrness’ recent works document this phenomenon: Theology Without Borders: An Introduction to Global Conversations (2015, co-authored with Oscar Garcia-Johnson) and Insider Jesus: Theological Reflection on New Christian Movements (2016). How can we properly understand the role of culture in defining and shaping Christian worship practices, and articulate the precise ways in which that worship should transcend specific cultures? Using the classic “Nairobi Statement on Worship and Culture” and contemporary case studies from around the world, this interactive seminar will consider how all religious traditions and Christianity in particular, though rooted in culture, aspire to transcend that context. The key questions are how the uniqueness of Christ’s work can be understood and embodied in our pluralistic and globalized world, and how we can appropriately evaluate, and learn from, the diversity that has resulted.

Registration opens in October. Take advantage of the early registration discount and register before December 1.

A Quiet Revolution

The following is an excerpt from the Preface and Conclusion of William Dyrness’ Insider Jesus: Theological Reflections on New Christian Movements (IVP Academic, 2016).

For some time now there has been a quiet revolution going on in Christian Missions. In mainline and Roman Catholic missions one might point to the 1960s as the critical turning point; for Evangelicals one might call attention to the Lausanne Conference or the Willowbank Consultation in the 70s. At that point the changes were represented by terms like inculturation, or, for evangelicals, contextualization. This called attention to the increasing diversity of places where missionaries worked—socio-economic, cultural, even political, and the necessity of adjusting their methods to this pluralism. But there were more surprises to come. Sometime around the turn of the century western Christians awakened to the fact that, contrary to what they had assumed, Christianity was no longer simply a western religion, indeed, the western part of it was a distinct (and often diminishing) minority; its “heartlands” were more likely to be Dalit communities in India, or the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro, than the suburbs of Midwestern America. And since 9/11 a whole new dimension of this diversity has come dramatically to our attention: the newly awakened religious identities in which Global Christianity now has to find its way.

Insider Jesus makes no attempt to describe or analyze this revolution, but it does attend to one critical dimension of this, specifically the many insider and emergent movements that have appeared in the last generation. These call attention to a single inescapable aspect of the new situation: Not only are there a wide diversity of people who name the name of Christ, but many of these have become agents of Christian mission in their own right. Though often invisible to western Christians, and independent of external support, they have set off with Christ on a journey of discovery. Their witness and their vernacular theologies, much to the dismay of western observers, necessarily reflect their various—and widely different—indigenous religious traditions and political situations. To further complicate matters, though these groups were earlier objects of western missions, for various reasons—cultural, religious or political, they are frequently resisting the forms of Christianity they have inherited. They are emphatically post-colonial and post-Christendom—even if these may be foreign terms to them.

Study of these groups leads me to resonate with the important discussion of the church in Bosch Transforming Mission. He argued that “the church is always and only a preliminary community, en route to its self-surrender unto the kingdom of God.”[1] It is always tied to the person of Christ and oriented toward the future culmination of all things in God. Here the comments of Tomas Halik are especially apt for our argument: “The church should constantly come out from its Christian past and have the capacity to leave much of its ‘heritage’ boldly behind it. This was and still is its task.” We are always, Halik notes, “people on the way.”[2]

These groups recall Paul’s reminder in Ephesians 4:11-16: the multiple gifts are for the sake of building up the members into the likeness of Christ, “until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Eph. 4: 13). If we take this perspective as our starting point we can shift our attention away from the social structure and its traditional forms, to the Spirit-led purposes for which these exist—that is bringing people to maturity in Christ. We might further suggest that wherever this purpose is being realized, however imperfectly, this place and its worship practices constitute an incipient ecclesial form.

[1] Bosch, Transforming Mission, p. 169. This is in the context of his discussion of Pauline ecclesiology.
[2] Halik, Patience with  God: The Story of Zacchaeus continuing in us, Trans. Gerald Turner (New York: Doubleday, 2009), loc. 812.

 

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