Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Vell, I and 14 other worship leadery type students are trickling down to GR for the Calvin Worship Symposium. I'm driving a van full of students leaving tomorrow afternoon. Now I have heard some people not be too excited about this event, because they say that after you go to it for a few years there is nothing new for you to learn, etc, etc. These people are all musicians, and maybe its true if you only go to sessions on how to make your praise band better and how to write praise music. But I am SO diggity dang excited to be going. This is my second time going and seriously I feel like each time is a weekend of professional development for me.

Since I'm sure my parents are curious, I thought I'd copy in the descriptions of all the sessions I'm registered for -

Worship Through Visual and Interactive Arts: How to Develop, How to Begin—Steven Caton
Most, if not all, eagerly support the idea of worship through art and the senses. But it still seems to be an elusive worship component in many churches. How is art created for worship? How do you generate ideas for art? How do you get people involved? How do you ensure art supports the greater scope of the sermon or ministry? How do you plan for such items? How do you end up not doing it all yourself and burning out?! Our congregational team has been on a long journey of finding answers to these questions; getting worshipers involved through participation and the senses. Come hear the philosophy behind such a ministry and get some practical ideas and resources for follow-through back home.

Redeeming Ritual: Lessons from Iona—Doug Gay
Doug Gay, an Associate Member of the Iona Community, will reflect on the ambivalence towards ritual in Reformed/low church traditions and how we might move beyond this. He takes two key rituals from the weekly worship cycle of Iona Abbey in Scotland: the Act of Healing and the Act of Commitment, reflecting on how they work and arguing that many churches—traditional and emerging—could benefit from incorporating them as regular elements in their worshiping life.

Lament in the Context of Corporate Worship—Michael Card and Calvin Seerveld
In this session, you will have an opportunity to witness the remarkable relationship between Michael Card and Calvin Seerveld as together they provide some concrete and creative examples—spoken and musical—of incorporating lament into worship.

An Introduction to the Principles and Practice of Liturgical Dance—Shelley Marinus
In this session, we will learn the purpose of liturgical dance and some basic elements of choreography for worship. We will also be exploring the Psalms through movement.

The Holy Spirit and Worship—Mariano Avila
We will explore the biblical teaching on the central role that the Holy Spirit plays in worship. Dependence and freedom, order and spontaneity, reverent silence and joyful noise will be some of the paradoxes we will explore in the framework of Scripture. Our purpose is to inform some of our present-day worship practices and enrich, challenge, and transform them for the glory of the Lord we worship.

Panel Discussion on Church Galleries, moderated by Betsy Steele Halstead with Makoto Fujimura, Bern Lewis, Kelly Sisson, Vange Van Huesen, and Michael Winters
There continues to be a growing interest in church visual art galleries, exhibitions, and educational opportunities related to art within our churches. In this session we will be joined by church leaders who have well-established programs and those who have just begun organizing a visual arts ministry. Hear how these ministries have come to be a catalyst for outreach, a way of enriching the congregation’s preparation for worship, a building block of their educational ministries, and a unique way of encouraging intergenerational fellowship.

Highly Favored: The Virgin Mary in Visual Art—Bert Polman
This session will focus on the depiction of Mary, the mother of Christ, in historical and contemporary works of art. It will be held in conjunction with the Calvin College art gallery exhibit “Highly Favored: Contemporary Images of the Virgin Mary,” which is a CIVA-produced show of recent Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic Marian art.

Offering Our Neighbors’ Pain to Jesus Who Wept—Calvin Seerveld
Why did Jesus weep in John 11? Is it possible for us to sing comfort to those in pain, or not? We will examine a range of attempts from Psalms, Gregorian chant, Genevan tunes, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, African-American Blues, to current pop song.

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