Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Calvin Symposium on Worship

Later this week I'll be heavily involved in the Calvin Symposium on Worship, an annual event organized by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. It regularly brings 1400 people, from across the continent and around the world, to west Michigan on the last weekend of January (!). This year the Congregational Resource Guide will be onsite and regularly sharing news and resources from the symposium.

I'll be doing two plenaries and several workshops, but there are a ton of great things happening--more sessions than I can even possibly attend (check out the program). Here's just a snippet of some of the offerings that piqued my interest:

One of the other plenary sessions: Just Worship—Ruth Padilla deBorst (Central America), Mary Mikhael (Middle East), and Jerry Pillay (South Africa), moderated by Scott Hoezee
We will listen to the cry of the prophet Isaiah, voicing God’s call to God’s people regarding the true nature of worship and the inextricable bond between our relationship with God and our relationship with one another, and particularly with the most downtrodden among us.

Christian Worship in 4th Century Jerusalem: Premodern Wisdom for Postmodern Times—Lester Ruth and Carrie Steenwyk
What might an ancient church have to say for renewing our worship today? We’ll look at how Jerusalem in the 4th century worshiped, including descriptions and resources from that time, to think about new possibilities today.

Parachurch vs. Church: A False Dichotomy?—Todd Cioffi, moderator, with Eric Kuiper and Andy McCoy
How should we think about the relationship between the local church and parachurch ministries, especially in regard to worship practices? What should the relationship be between worship “outside” the church and worship “inside” the church? What are the strengths and weaknesses of parachurch ministries? What can the church learn from parachurch ministry and worship? These and other questions will be considered by a panel of scholars and parachurch leaders.

“Blessed is the Congregation That….” Wisdom for Worship Planners Worldwide—Jerry Pillay and Anne Zaki
The sharing of proverbs and wise sayings is a common practice in many cultures, both in oral and written forms. Join this conversation about the gifts, challenges, strengths and weaknesses of local worship practices, guided by the new working statement on worship adopted by the World Communion of Reformed Churches. Learn how your congregation can both learn from and contribute to the international conversation.

Creative Ideas for Using the Psalms with People with Intellectual Disabilities—Joyce Borger and Nella Uitvlugt
The psalms are the prayer book for all Christians and have as much to say to the person with the Ph.D. as the person with intellectual disabilities. The psalms give voice to both the praise and lament of all God’s children. In this session we will look at ways to assist people with intellectual disabilities to enter into the psalms and make them their own, using a multisensory method of music, drama, and visual ideas. This study of Psalms has a broad use within the Christian community.

Faith: Make it Stick—Lynn Barger Elliott
Recent studies conducted by Christian Smith and interpreted by Kenda Creasy Dean tell us an “alternate form” of Christianity has taken up residency in our youth ministries and churches. This corrupted form has cultivated a faith that is “nice,” “convenient” and “undemanding.” The results are a weakened church and an absent generation of young adults. We will explore Dean’s analysis of the current state of youth ministry and her recommendations for youth ministry.

If you're not able to join us, start planning for next year and follow along this year through the Congregational Resource Guide.