Anamnesis: The IWS Community Newsletter

From the Editor

By Kent Walters, D.W.S., Director of Alumni Activities and Editor of Anamnesis

Practice Your Casting

When is the last time you unloaded? Your cares, that is.

Too often we carry our concerns, our worries, like a burdensome backpack wherever we go. Two verses express the importance of casting our cares and the blessings that follow.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken (Ps 55:22).

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you (1 Pet 5:7).

Let’s do some unloading this season of Lent!

This edition of Anamnesis

As always, it is my desire that you are inspired, informed and even equipped as you read the IWS newsletter. Be sure to click on the links in the articles below to get all the material.

Here are a few “starters” to begin this edition.


January 2019 Healing Eucharist Sermon

D.W.S. student Meghan Benson delivered the sermon “On the Mat,” the story of the paralytic healed by Jesus after being lowered by his friends through the roof (Luke 5:18-25) at the January 2019 DWS 704 Practicum Service of Healing and Eucharist.


Register now!

June 17-18, 2019 Seminar
with Dr. Gordon T. Smith

Liturgy and Worship for a Secular Age

Alumni Dinner Reception, Sunday, June 16
following Commencement


Update your photo in Populi

Would you like to update your photo in Populi, the IWS database and directory? It’s very easy. Simply log into Populi, click on the Search field in the upper righthand corner and type in your name. Click on your photo and follow the prompts. You’ll be current!


A Heart of IWS Testimonial


President’s Column

Worship as Play and Participation: Voicing the Praise of Creation

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

You are about to embark on the most useless discussion there is—Dr. James Hartthe discussion of Christian worship.

Aristotle claimed that the supremely important activities are the most useless, because they exist precisely for their own sake and not for a greater external end. The worship of God is the most useless and supremely important thing we can do. And, therefore, studying Christian worship is a most critical educational endeavor.

[READ MORE . . . ]

Remembering Paul Clark, D.W.S. (Xi 2009)

To make a donation to the Dr. Paul B. Clark Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund, click here. Alumni, your donations to this fund will be credited to your class in this year’s Alumni Scholarship Class Challenge.

Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace

In Memoriam: Dr. Paul B. Clark, Jr. (1952-2018)

After 26 years as a music minister in 7 different churches and 15 years as the Worship and Music Specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, Paul suffered a debilitating stroke that ultimately led to his death this past Christmas Eve. Read his obituary here.

Paul touched countless lives, and leaves a legacy of commitment to Christ and worship renewal. He is deeply missed in the IWS community. Rest in peace, dear brother.

Remembering My Friend, Dr. Paul Clark
By David Manner, D.W.S. (2009 Xi)

A tuning fork emits a pure tone as a standard for tuning a variety of instruments. A standard is an example or model to which something else should be compared. My friend, Dr. Paul B. Clark, Jr. wrote, “Tuning our hearts to sing God’s grace is a lifelong engagement totally dependent upon the sovereign and powerful God whose name it claims and proposes to exalt.”[1] That name is the standard to which Paul tuned his earthly life and ministry until his untimely death on December 24, 2018.

David Manner & Paul Clark 2009
D. Manner & P. Clark

My friendship with Paul began in 1987 while we served in the same association of churches in Wichita, Kansas. We had parallel ministries for a couple of decades in local churches before we both transitioned to become worship and music consultants for Baptist State Conventions. We both applied to IWS in 2005. Neither of us knew the other had applied for the same doctoral program until we saw the class roster. Amusingly, we didn’t tell each other just in case it proved we didn’t have the academic acuity to succeed. Those IWS years with Paul were rich as we roomed together, learned together, ate together, prayed for our families and ministries together, laughed together, cried together and occasionally talked each other off the thesis ledge.

Paul was a crusader for the renewal of congregational singing. He talked about it, wrote about it, taught it and coached it. Tuning his heart to sing the grace of God was not just a hymn text or the title of his book, it was the life he continually modeled for his children, grandchildren, the inter-generational worship leaders he mentored, and, thank God, also for me. He was convinced our collective song could only be tuned by the One who gives us the voice to sing. I certainly miss my friend, but I am reminded by the song that exemplified his life that his heart was sealed for the courts above and by God’s good pleasure Paul has safely arrived at home.[2]

[1] Paul B. Clark, Jr., Tune My Heart to Sing Thy Grace: Worship Renewal Through Congregational Singing (Bloomington, IN: CrossBooks, 2010), 2.

[2] Robert Robinson, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Public Domain.

David Manner serves as the Associate Executive Director for Worship, Administration, Leadership Development with the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists.


Alumni News and Updates

Many strands combine in the IWS community to reveal a story of fruitful diversity. Here’s a glimpse. Read updates from 34 IWS alums in this report.

[READ MORE . . . ]

Focus on International Students

Bob Webber’s vision for IWS included an international impact: the spread of worship renewal and training around the world through IWS graduates. Currently, our students come from 18 different countries; 34% hold a non-U.S. passport.

The Ruby Cherry Scholarship Fund was established to give financial aid to international students who would not otherwise be able to attend IWS. This article focuses on three scholarship recipients who express how their training at IWS is impacting their lives and ministries.

Jill Ford (DWS candidate, Nu 2 cohort)

I am from the United Kingdom, where I am a tutor (teacher) at All Nations Christian College in Ware, Hertfordshire.

All Nations Christian College is an international, interdenominational evangelical mission training college whose purpose is: To train and equip men and women for effective participation in God’s mission to his multicultural world.

IWS has significantly helped broaden and strengthen my understanding of worship, particularly from a biblical, cultural, and liturgical perspective. I have really appreciated and enjoyed learning how to create and structure new liturgies that have been informed by strong biblical and historical principles. IWS practicums have helped me to see afresh new possibilities, and I have gained many insights in how to convey meaningful patterns for worship that enable a deeper encounter with God. So far, I have been able to design and implement a multicultural liturgy using the four-fold worship order as the framework for culturally relevant worship. I have also designed a “Celtic style” liturgy for Trinity Sunday to help the All Nations community understand the Trinitarian nature of God, the ancient practices of the Christian faith expressed in the Celtic style, and how we can celebrate Trinity Sunday through Celtic liturgical and artistic forms, which can renew and enrich our worship today. Both projects have been highly stimulating for me and have expanded my liturgical horizons. I am deeply grateful for the learning I have received from the IWS community.

Erika Grace Mine (M.W.S. candidate, Gimel 2 cohort)

I am from the Saitama Prefecture just north of Tokyo, Japan, where I am involved in planning and leading worship at the interdenominational worship services at my home church, the Christian Life Center. I am also associate staff for a Japanese Christian returnee’s ministry (Japanese Christian Fellowship Network), and a part of a Christian artist group called LIMS that writes and records new songs.

IWS has impacted me in so many ways. Most significantly, I have become intentional about the how, why, and when of all the aspects of worship. Secondly, I have learned the power of creative Scripture reading.

Jesse Mwai (MWS candidate, Aleph 2 cohort)

I am married to Njoki Mwai and we are blessed with a ten-year-old daughter, Gakenia Mwai. I am from the beautiful nation of Kenya in East Africa. I am an ordained pastor with a ministry called Christ is the Answer Ministries (CITAM) in Nairobi, Kenya. CITAM is a large ministry that has various churches within Kenya and internationally. Our ministry also runs schools, a radio and TV station, a retreat center and a university. I am currently serving as a senior pastor in one of our churches in Nairobi, the capital city of Kenya and the largest city in the country. My ministry context is urban as our church is located in the heart of the city in a very populous area. The church currently has a regular attendance of 4500 people. We are a family church so our members range from new born babies to senior citizens.

I am so glad the Lord led me to IWS to study worship. I was the first student from my country to enroll at IWS. Before enrolling, I had never heard of worship studies. My reason for enrolling for a Masters in Worship Studies is my love for worship. Before I became a pastor, I was a worship leader. My ministry has been greatly impacted as a result of my studies. I am better informed and more intentional in how I plan our worship services. I have also had many opportunities to teach and train on worship within our church and in other churches. My desire is to proceed into the doctoral program so that I can pioneer worship studies in our country.


IWS at the Calvin Worship Symposium

A “bunch of IWSers” attended and participated in the annual worship symposium at Calvin College in January. The symposium is always a rich experience for inspiration, resources and networking. But you can’t beat the added blessing of reconnecting with IWS alumni, faculty, students and friends from around the world who attend.

IWS professor Dr. Constance Cherry presented two workshops: Developing a Canon of Song for Your Church, and Evaluating the Time Given to Elements of Worship. She also participated on two panels: The Bible in Worship: Deep Engagement with Scripture in a Culture of Low Biblical Literacy, and Songwriters and Scholars in Partnership: Deepening Worship Music through Historical, Theological, and Scriptural Study.

IWS Board of Trustees members Dr. Kai Ton Chau and Dr. Emmett Price also presented workshops.

About 30 IWS alumni, faculty/staff (C. Cherry, D. Curry, A. Hill, N. Nethercott, C. Park), students and friends attended the IWS Dinner Reception at the symposium hosted by Jim Hart and Kent Walters. See photos below.


Glenn Packiam Seminar Reflections

My experience teaching a seminar at IWS introduced me to a caliber of student that knows how to blend inter-disciplinary learning with ministry praxis (Glenn Packiam, January 2019).

Glenn Packiam teaching at the January 2019 seminarDr. Glenn Packiam demonstrated his warm personality, humor and academic depth in the very well-attended January 2019 seminar, Worship and Eschatology: A Study of Hope in Contemporary Worship Songs and Services. Those who came to the event responded with gratitude and enthusiasm. Here are a few of their comments.

  • Glenn Packiam is a challenging, energetic, dynamic and well-informed speaker. The seminar content had deep meaning because of Glenn’s investment in the topic as a pastor and musician. It exceeded my expectations.
  • The subject matter and content was water to my soul. I’m just so full!
  • I loved learning about worship, emotions, and theology. Now I am  questioning how this renewal may be done in my church. This is sparking me to consider continuing graduate studies.
Audio files from each of the sessions are available.

Follow this link: Glenn Packiam Seminar Media.

Glenn Packiam had this to say following his time on campus in January:

IWS swims in the convergence of several important streams in the Body of Christ. Holding together the Scripture, Sacrament, and Spirit, the courses and seminars offered train pastors and worship leaders to be rooted and reflective leaders. My experience teaching a seminar here introduced me to a caliber of student that knows how to blend inter-disciplinary learning with ministry praxis. Moreover, the leadership of this institution have shepherd’s hearts, caring for students and preparing them well for leadership in the local church.

View additional photos from the seminar event: Glenn Packiam Seminar Photo Gallery


June 2019 Seminar:
Liturgy and Worship for a Secular Age
with Dr. Gordon T. Smith

Dr. Gordon T. Smith will return for his second IWS seminar on June 17-18, 2019, Liturgy and Worship for a Secular Age. His 2013 seminar, Worship and Sacramental Spirituality, was very well-received and his scholarship and influence continue to expand.  Gordon is the president of Ambrose University and Seminary in Calgary, Alberta, where he also serves as Professor of Systematic and Spiritual Theology. He is also a Teaching Fellow at Regent College, Vancouver, BC, and the author of a number of publications, including Evangelical, Sacramental, and Pentecostal: Why the Church Should Be All Three (IVP Academic, 2017).

Here’s a brief seminar overview:

Working from the premise that our social, cultural and political context is increasing secular, we need to consider the implications for what it means to be the church “for such a time as this” and, in particular, what it means to be a worshiping community.  We need to ask:  What does Christian worship look and feel like when the church no longer has a privileged voice within a society and where those who are coming to faith have no religious background?

Alumni will not want to miss the Alumni Dinner Reception on Sunday night, June 16 following Commencement in the IWS Dining Hall. Karen Lewis, professional caterer (Karen’s Catering, LLC) and IWS Food Services Director since the first session of IWS in June 1999, will prepare a full-course meal sure to delight! Register for this memorable event on the seminar registration page. As always, alumni are invited to wear their regalia (or not) and process with the faculty as guests of honor in our 5:00 p.m. Commencement service.

Come back to IWS for some personal renewal and for the sake of your church and/or ministry! June 17-18, 2019. The early registration discount is available through April 15. Register now!


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