For over 35 years, the Calvin Symposium on Worship has annually gathered together worshipers from many Christian traditions across Canada, the US, and beyond, bringing together people from a variety of roles in worship and leadership, including pastors, worship planners and leaders, musicians, scholars, students, worship bands and teams, organists, visual artists, preachers, chaplains, missionaries, liturgists, council and session leaders, and more. Cosponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin University and Calvin Theological Seminary, the Symposium aims to encourage leaders in churches and worshiping communities of all sizes and settings. In 2019, Services of the Word focused on the theme of “The Gospel in the Prophets.”

Schedule

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10 Ways to Appropriately Respond to Racially-Fueled Events

Nikki Lerner

Where is the manual for this? How does your ministry respond appropriately when events happen? Move from fear to freedom as you are empowered with creative ideas, inspiration, and safe conversation that will help you know how to lead effectively during divisive times.

Amos 8:1-7: The Savior of Justice for the Needy

Timothy Blackmon
The Psalm Project

Baptism and Christian Identity: Shaping Liturgical Practice from the Perspective of Disability

Sarah Jean Barton

Over the last decade, churches across the ecumenical spectrum have shown increasing interest in welcoming the gifts of people with disabilities. However, congregations often face practical, pastoral, and theological challenges to receive those gifts, particularly from people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In this workshop we will consider the stories of people with intellectual disabilities in relationship to their experiences of baptism, baptismal vocation, and Christian identity. We will unpack key insights from this population and explore liturgical practices (including catechesis and baptismal reaffirmation) as ways to affirm baptismal identity and vocation regardless of disability. We will also discuss baptismally-rooted practices that provide increased opportunities for liturgical participation among people living with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Beyond Labels: Encouraging Spiritual Formation in Millennials and Gen Z

Rod Reed

Headlines about millennials and Gen Z are everywhere, and many written about them (not by them) are critical, fearful, or frustrated about these generations. Is it possible to get beyond typecasting and stereotypes to discover unique opportunities and challenges for encouraging them to be formed into the image of Christ? In this workshop we will go beyond superficial tips about technology and work/life balance to explore the ways in which churches and Christian schools can create worshiping communities that engage these generations and the culture in which they live.

Beyond Teamwork: Cultivating Spiritual Community Among Your Worship Leaders

Ruth Haley Barton, Transforming Center

Children's Books about Worship

Kristen Verhulst, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Maria Eugenia Cornou PhD, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Joel Schoon-Tanis

There are a number of wonderful children’s books that help church school leaders, educators, parents, and grandparents teach children about worship. These books focus on the sacraments, the Christian year, the psalms, and prayer. Children’s books provide another means to welcome and engage children (and adults!) in worship as full members of the body of Christ. At the beginning of this session hear from the coauthor and illustrator of the new children’s book En la escuela de los Salmos/At Psalms School.

Come, All Who Thirst: A Service of Song

Liz Vice

Desde la salida del sol / From the Rising of the Sun: A Bilingual Service

Tony Alonso, Emory University

Developing a Canon of Song for Your Church

Constance Cherry, Indiana Wesleyan University

How much intentionality comes to bear on the collection of congregational songs your church sings over time? As worship leaders, we are responsible not only for choosing excellent songs, but also for providing for the overall balance and appropriateness of the church’s body of song.

Evening Prayer: Let My Prayer Rise Up

Tony Alonso, Emory University
Robert J. Batastini
National Association of Pastoral Musicians

Evening Prayer: Lord, for Thy Tender Mercies Sake

John Ferguson, St. Olaf College
The Choral Scholars

Grounded in God: A Faith-Filled Testimony of the African American Church in Song

James Abbington, Candler School of Theology
One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

Habakkuk 3:17-19: The God of Joy in the Midst of Our Troubles

Cornelius Plantinga Jr., Calvin Theological Seminary
Western Theological Seminary

Led by Western Theological Seminary; Cornelius Plantinga Jr., preaching

Hidden Prophets of the Bible: Finding the Gospel in Hosea through Malachi

Amanda Benckhuysen, Calvin Theological Seminary
Scott Hoezee, Calvin Theological Seminary
Michael J. Williams

Who are the minor prophets? What do they have to say? Why should any of us care? This delegation of twelve strange men has arrived at our church from their obscure biblical backwaters. Should we let them in? This seminar will explore the contours of these biblical books with an eye toward teaching and preaching them vibrantly

Hosea: 11:1-11: The Heart of the Divine Parent

Ahmi Lee
Nikki Lerner
Proskuneo

How Music Deepens Participation in the Lord's Supper and Baptism: Insights from Global Cultures

Maria Eugenia Cornou PhD, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Birgitta Johnson, University of South Carolina
Jean Ngoya Kidula, University of Georgia-Athens
Yvette Lau, Anabas Ministry
Arbin Pokharel, Reformed and Presbyterian Seminary
Eric Sarwar, Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship
Marcell Silva Steuernagel PhD, Southern Methodist University

All around the world, Christians sing together before, during, and/or after celebrating the Lord’s Supper and baptism. Learn from the richly varied practices of communities all over the world. Explore memorable, deeply loved heartsongs for these occasions in a variety of cultural contexts. Reflect on your own context and the heartsongs you already know, love, and use regularly. Discern how your own congregation’s diet of heartsongs might grow over the next few years as a way of entering even more deeply into the beauty of these celebrations.

How to Play (and use) Psalms

Psalm Project

Learn with the members of The Psalm Project how to play and sing Psalms. Old hymns, Genevan tunes and other psalm arrangements (Taizé) in contemporary settings. Explore how can you use psalms in your service to let people participate, educate, contemplate and sing praise!

How to Preach from a Parable

Gary Burge, Calvin Theological Seminary

Speaking in parables was Jesus’ preferred form of teaching. Both his world and ours are drawn to these concise, poignant stories. This seminar will analyze the parable in its ancient cultural context, illustrate how parables can be interpreted, outline a few pitfalls, and provide a case study using one of Jesus’ most difficult stories, The Parable of the Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:1–13).

Jonah 4:1-11: The Love of God for All People and Creatures

Meg Janista Kuykendall, The Twelve
Calvin College Worship Apprentices

Led by Calvin College Worship Apprentices; Meg Jenista Kuykendall, preaching

Leading Congregational Song from the Organ Bench

John Ferguson, St. Olaf College

John Ferguson will explore concepts from registrations to basic improvisational techniques to help organists nurture congregational song during worship and encourage singing with greater understanding and spirit. Organists interested in being coached during the seminar are encouraged to prepare a hymn from Lift Up Your Hearts, including an introduction, as if it were for a worship service.

Leading Effective Praise Team Rehearsals

Paul Ryan, Calvin University

Our best praise team rehearsals prepare our hearts, hands, and voices to lead the community in song. In this workshop, we’ll explore the goals and techniques of effective and life-giving rehearsals by considering personal preparation, repertoire, team dynamics, and the pastoral needs of our teams.

Making Worship a Verb for All Ages: Cultivating Worship Awareness and Inviting Response

Terri Gaeddert
Rosi Penner Kaufman

WorshipArts at Rainbow Mennonite Church in Kansas City is a program for K-5th grade congregants. Influenced by the Reggio Emilia teaching and learning approach, this program offers children the opportunity to respond to worship, ask questions, and become more aware of the language, ritual, movement, sound, and art incorporated in worship. A Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Worship Institute in 2014–15 provided the resources to expand awareness and integration of the program more fully into the worship life of the Rainbow congregation.

Mentoring Young Worship Leaders in the Church

Lynn Barger Elliott, Calvin University
M. Sydney Park, Beeson Divinity School
Nicole Saint-Victor, Trinity Christian College
Dale Sieverding SLD, St. Monica Catholic Community
Joanna Wigboldy, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

What role do young people have in leading worship in your congregation? In this session, participants will learn from the experience of ministry leaders from multiple church contexts. This session will provide a framework and practical tips for adults interested in starting or honing their practices of mentoring middle and high school worship leaders in their congregation.

Moving Worship: Encouragement to Engage Our Bodies in Worship

Julia Start Fletcher, Millbrook Christian Reformed Church

This session is designed for anyone curious about dance as well as those with dance experience. Participants will engage in conversation around the questions “What IS liturgical dance?” and “How can I equip my congregation with the tools to feel comfortable moving?” Learn how to encourage movement with choreography to the Lord’s Prayer that’s accessible to those of all abilities, and understand how to cultivate an atmosphere of trust.

Multilingual Singing for English-Speaking Congregations

Robert J. Batastini
Kai Ton Chau, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Nina Ciesilski
Maria Eugenia Cornou PhD, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Jaewoo Kim, Korean Glocal Worship Network
Ron Rienstra, Western Theological Seminary
Rebecca Snippe, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Marcell Silva Steuernagel PhD, Southern Methodist University

One of the greatest gifts we have is the ability to worship our Lord together as the body of Christ. But with the global church at our doorstep, many worship planners and leaders in English-speaking congregations face questions of how to embrace a global liturgy. How can we sing songs from the global church well, especially when we don’t know the language or the correct rhythms? How do we find resources for leading worship that is both local and global? This seminar will include worship leaders, choir directors, and resource publishers from a variety of worshiping communities, denominations, and cultural backgrounds addressing the different ways global singing is done in their communities, why their communities sing in multiple languages, and practical tips for gradually introducing the songs of the global church into worshiping communities.

New Song. A Skillful Song.

Tony Alonso
Emily R. Brink, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Greg Scheer, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Liz Vice

Those of us who feel Psalm 33’s call to write new songs must remember that the psalm also tells us to play skillfully. In this seminar we will focus on the skills of songwriting for congregations, digging into what it means to balance inspiration and perspiration. Join these singer-songwriters as they speak about their approaches to creating new texts, new tunes, and the combining of texts and tunes. The afternoon will be spent discussing participants’ song submissions. Attendees of all levels and musical styles will benefit from this seminar.

Prayers of a Person, Prayers of the People

Jane Zwart

What does it mean for any of us as one person—a person with particular quirks and gifts and blind spots—to offer the prayers of the people? How do we voice prayers that move toward generosity without sliding into the generic? How do we craft prayers that offer up our firstfruits as writers or orators without letting them become showy? How do we pray without furthering or ignoring the divisions that run through our congregations? This workshop will weigh these questions as well as explore some provisions for the person called upon to pray on behalf of all God’s people.

Psalms of Lament and Hope from the North Indian Sub-Continent

Eric Sarwar, Tehillim School of Church Music and Worship

Salvation Belongs to the Lord: The Story of Jonah

Western Theological Seminary

Led by Western Theological Seminary

Sing to the Lord: A Service of Song

The Psalm Project

Singing Our Savior's Story: Songs for Congregations, Choirs and Worship Teams

James Abbington, Candler School of Theology
Alison Adam
Emily R. Brink, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship
Alfredo Colman, Baylor University
Joel Navarro, Singapore Bible College's School of Church Music
Emmet G. Price III, Institute for the Study of the Black Christian Experience at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Kathleen S. Turner, St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church

Explore a rich variety of music that reflects deeply on the life of Jesus, and is appropriate for any service based on one of the four New Testament gospels, including some songs that focus on “telling the story,” others that are adept at “unpacking the meaning of the story,” and still others that “help us see ourselves taken up into the story.” Examples will include historic texts by Watts and Wesley, music from African-American, Asian, Latino, and Anglo contexts appropriate for use in both contemporary and traditional contexts. Come ready to transcend stylistic divides as we focus our attention on the life-giving ministry of Jesus.

Singing Poetry

Jan Kraybill

Hymn and song authors across generations and cultures have given us rich expressions with which to shape faith, heal brokenness, transform lives, and renew peace. In this workshop we’ll look at and sing some great examples, and we’ll discuss how best to help our worshiping communities sing poetry with appreciation, enthusiasm, and artistry.

Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership

Ruth Haley Barton, Transforming Center

Do you ever feel as if your leadership is something you “put on” for particular occasions rather than a dynamic that emerges from deep within you? Is the pressure to perform compromising your own experience of worship? Do you find yourself manufacturing emotion as you lead others because your own intimacy with God has grown cold? In this workshop we will share honestly about the challenges of spiritual leadership in a high-performance culture. Ruth Haley Barton will help you assess the state of your soul and then explore crucial disciplines for strengthening the soul of your leadership.

The Bible in Worship: Deep Engagement with Scripture in a Culture of Low Biblical Literacy

Kevin J. Adams, Granite Springs Church
Gary Burge, Calvin Theological Seminary
Constance Cherry, Indiana Wesleyan University
Meg Janista Kuykendall, The Twelve
Noel Snyder, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Almost every church affirms engagement with Scripture as a vital—even central—element of their worship services. Yet preachers and worship leaders are increasingly aware of the need for “remedial” work to be done for worshipers to engage well with Scripture. In a post-Christendom context, no assumptions can be made about basic biblical knowledge and understanding. This seminar will explore strategies for engaging Scripture in worship in a culture marked by low biblical literacy.

The Many Streams of African American Congregational Song

James Abbington, Candler School of Theology
Robert J. Batastini
G. Ingrid Faniel
Jason Ferdinand DMA, Oakwood University
Birgitta Johnson, University of South Carolina
Bryan Johnson
Carl MaultsBy
Judith McAllister
Anthony B. Vinson Sr.
Lisa M. Weaver, Columbia Theological Seminary

The Multiple Streams of African-American Worship Practices: Insights for the Global Church

James Abbington, Candler School of Theology
G. Ingrid Faniel
Jason Ferdinand DMA, Oakwood University
Michael Jordan
Carl Maultsby
Anthony B. Vinson Sr.
Maurice Wright II
Birgitta Johnson, University of South Carolina
Bryan Johnson
Judith McAllister
Lisa M. Weaver, Columbia Theological Seminary
John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

The gifts and treasures that have emerged from African American churches in North America are a blessing to so many churches all over the world. These gifts come from many different traditions within African-American Christianity. This session will explore the similarities and differences in these different traditions, some of the current needs and opportunities within these traditions, and reflect on how Christians from all over the world can learn from the treasures and gifts of these traditions.

Trinitarian Sacramental Theology

Kimberly Hope Belcher, University of Notre Dame
Todd Billings, Western Theological Seminary
Glenn Packiam, New Life Church
M. Sydney Park, Beeson Divinity School
Laura A. Smit, Calvin College
John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

It is a remarkable Christian claim that God is active not only in receiving our worship, but also in inspiring, prompting, and perfecting it—drawing us into communion with God and each other. It is also remarkable that God would do this through embodied, material human actions of washing, eating, and drinking. Yet often this central Christian vision is forgotten, ignored, or distorted, and all sorts of believers are never given the opportunity to taste and see God’s beauty in this vivid and nourishing way. This session will be a doxological session, full of praise to God for this gift. It will also be instructive, pointing to key resources in the Christian tradition for further exploring this vision. And it will be practical, suggesting ideas for teaching, preaching, and public worship that live into this rich vision.

Vital Worship in Congregations, Schools, and other Worshiping Communities

Terri Gaeddert
Rosi Penner Kaufman
Anthony Ruff, Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary
Anthony L. Bennett, Mount Aery Baptist Church
Nancy Kingwood, Mount Aery Baptist Church
Dale Sieverding SLD, St. Monica Catholic Community
Kathy Smith, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Would your church, school, or organization benefit from a year of learning how to revitalize your worship? Come and learn about the Vital Worship Grants Program, which seeks to foster vital worship in congregations, parishes, and other worshiping communities in North America through projects on a variety of worship-related topics. Meet some former grant recipients, hear about their experiences, and learn how you might develop your own grant proposal.

Worship 101: Giving Witness to the Unseen

Eric L. Mathis, Samford University
Paul Ryan, Calvin College

A fundamental task of worship leadership is giving witness to God. Although we do not see God, we do see evidence of God’s work in the world. We bear witness to God’s work in worship through songs, stories, prayers, and words, and we prompt the congregation to do the same as they embody each action of worship. In this seminar, we will explore the ways worshiping communities name, or give witness to, those things that are seen and unseen. Then, we will imagine how communities similar to or different from our own might teach us about our own faithful witness.

Worship 101: Skills & Drills for the Emerging Worship Leader

Calvin College Worship Apprentices
Paul Ryan, Calvin University

What skills are needed for faithful worship leadership? How does an aspiring worship leader develop these skills? In this seminar we will introduce two essential practices: leading in prayer and leading in song. For each practice, we will explore multiple drills that emerging worship leaders can repeat in order to grow in confidence and ability. This seminar is designed especially for emerging worship leaders and those who mentor them.

Worship and Culture

John A. Azumah, University of Ghana
Monique M. Ingalls, Baylor University
Terry LeBlanc, NAIITS
Robert Chao Romero, UCLA
Leopoldo Sánchez, Concordia Seminary
John D. Witvliet, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

All pastoral leaders, including worship leaders, are called to make decisions with discernment about culture. We are called to “not conform to this world” (Rom. 12) and yet to “be all things to all people” for the sake of the gospel (1 Cor. 9:22). At its best, Christian worship is richly contextual. It is also countercultural. To make discerned choices about how worship relates to culture, we need the wisdom of believers from many different cultural contexts to teach and guide us, to keep us from rejecting what should not be rejected and embracing what should not be embraced. We must learn from the church’s tragic mistakes over the centuries as well as from its examples of faithful witness and contextual adaptation. Panelists will offer reflections on massive historical problems such as colonialism, but they also will highlight cultural discernment decisions that present opportunities for faithfulness in individual churches. Our aim is for a global conversation that also feels very local.

Worship and Faith Formation through the Life Cycle

Lynn Barger Elliott, Calvin University
Laura Kelly Fanucci, Collegeville Institute
Syd Hielema, Redeemer University
Barbara J. Newman, All Belong Center for Inclusive Education
Kathy Smith, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

How do children worship best? How can worship help young people through the teen and young adult years? What practices of worship resonate most with adults and elderly people? And how can we include people of all abilities in worship? This seminar will look at the human life cycle and the developmental stages that all people grow through in their faith formation, and we’ll consider what this means for how people of all ages and abilities can participate fully in worship.

Worship in Christian Educational Institutions

Susan Burner, Calvin University
Bo H. Lim, Seattle Pacific University
Emmett G. Price III, Northeastern University
Rod Reed, Indiana Wesleyan University
Anthony Ruff, Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary
Joanna Wigboldy, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Many Christian educational institutions aim to provide an integrated educational experience in which students grow spiritually. In an institution that exists primarily to educate, what is the role of public worship in the formation of students? Rod Reed will explore five questions that identify and address the unique challenges and goals of public worship on the Christian campus. Panelists from a variety of higher education contexts will then share the ways in which Reed’s questions speak to the way they approach worship on their own campuses. These questions are sure to prompt deep discussion around your institution’s worship. Come with your team!

Worship in Times of Crisis and Trauma

Anthony L. Bennett, Mount Aery Baptist Church
Nancy Kingwood, Mount Aery Baptist Church
Nikki Lerner
Bo H. Lim, Seattle Pacific University
Kathy Smith, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

How can we plan and lead worship in the midst of a crisis or in the aftermath of a traumatic situation? Whether we’ve faced a school shooting or a racially fueled event or simply recognized the many traumatic experiences in the lives of the people in our congregations, we need to understand the issues involved and be able to process them well in the context of worshiping God. We need to lead the people in expressing their laments to God as well as assure them of God’s healing presence. This seminar will share the wisdom of leaders who’ve been “through the fire” and are eager to help others learn how to prepare for the crises and traumas ahead—because they will come!

2019
Tuesday, January 1st
12:00 AM

Program Book - Calvin Symposium on Worship

Calvin Symposium on Worship

12:00 AM