For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. ROMANS 1: 16

jeudi 5 janvier 2012

CALVIN INSTITUTE OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP / Calvin Symposium on Worship - January 26-28, 2012

January 26-28, 2012

The annual Calvin Symposium on Worship is a three-day conference sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Center for Excellence in Preaching. This ecumenical conference brings together a wide audience of pastors, worship leaders and planners, artists, musicians, scholars, students, and other interested worshipers. People come from around the world to gather for a time of fellowship, worship, and learning, seeking to deepen and integrate all aspects of worship, develop their gifts, encourage each other, and renew their commitment to the full ministry of the church.
This year the symposium will explore praying and worshiping through the psalms.

Each day begins and ends with worship. Thursday is devoted to in-depth study on a particular topic. Friday and Saturday include plenary talks and workshops offered first on Friday and repeated in the same time slots on Saturday (with a few one-day only exceptions). See schedule for exact times and pre & post-Symposium events, worship services for more on the worship theme: the Psalms; and view the welcome video.
Look for these symbols which indicate live Video Stream Iconvideo-streaming (at, Video Recording Iconvideo-recorded, and Audio Recording Iconaudio-recorded. After the conference visit the Resource Library to find these resources.


Morning worship services (repeated Thursday evening)

  • Video Stream IconPsalm 1, College Chapel, Mary Hulst, preaching
  • Psalm 8, Covenant Fine Arts Center, Mark Labberton, preaching

Seminars: Choose one seminar to attend.
Video Recording IconSeminar 1: Dying and Rising with Christ: Sacraments, Church Unity, and Faith Formation, with N.T. Wright, Paul Galbreath, Martha Moore-Keish, Sue Rozeboom, and Dennis Tamburello; moderated by John D. Witvliet
Baptism and the Lord's Supper are two indispensable practices of Christian worship. Drawing on three streams of recent work—the writings of N. T. Wright, the Faith Formation Committee of the Christian Reformed Church, and recent work in Reformed-Roman Catholic dialogue—this seminar will focus on three key themes: How can we most faithfully and fruitfully "picture" what the sacraments are about? How can we more faithfully understand the role (and potential role) of the sacraments in faith formation for people of all ages? How should we respond to the way that the sacraments have caused not union, but division in the body of Christ? Participants in this seminar are encouraged to print out and review the following material prior to coming:
We anticipate leaving this seminar with gratitude for faithful and fruitful work being done by contemporary theologians, new insights to deepen our own participation in the sacraments, and several practical suggestions for enriching the practices of local congregations.
Audio Recording IconSeminar 2: The Joys and Challenges of Preaching the Psalms, Walter Brueggemann, with Kevin Adams, Mary Hulst, Mark Labberton, Marc Nelesen, Frank Thomas, and Anne Zaki, hosted by Scott Hoezee
Preachers know two truths when it comes to the Hebrew Psalms: These ancient poems are among the most familiar parts of the Bible for the people to whom they preach AND those same poems present a peculiar set of challenges for the contemporary preacher. How can the preacher stay true to the original language and setting of these psalms while also making them feel fresh in the twenty-first century? In this seminar Walter Brueggemann will set the tone in helping preachers ponder the nature of the psalms and in understanding the ways in which these psalms are the vocabulary of human need, articulating the full range of human experience before God as we live in this world. The seminar will feature extended conversations conducted by Marc Nelesen and Kevin Adams as they dialogue with renowned biblical scholar Walter Brueggemann. Also featured will be comments from several of the 2012 Symposium preachers and ample opportunity for seminar participants to ask questions and enter into the conversation as well.
Audio Recording IconSeminar 3: Tune My Heart to Sing Your Praise: The Re-tuned hymn (and psalm!) movement in the context of the broader culture, with Bruce Benedict, Sandra McCracken, Kevin Twit, Eelco Vos, and Isaac Wardell, hosted by Greg Scheer and James K.A. Smith
When Kevin Twit and RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) began setting historic hymn texts to new tunes, who knew it would grow into a movement with contributions from Indelible Grace, Sojourn Music, BiFrost and others? And who knew that in Europe a similar approach would rejuvenate singing the Psalms? Several leaders in this movement will discuss the cultural background, perform examples of their own songs, and discuss the future of this movement. We'll give special attention to ways of using this repertoire in the local church.
Audio Recording IconSeminar 4: The Pastoral Resources of the Psalms, with John Bell, hosted by Emily Brink
For many traditions, the Psalms are primarily one of the sine qua nons of Sunday worship, whether sung metrically like hymns in the Reformed tradition, or slotted between the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament reading as in Roman Catholic and Episcopal traditions. But to harness their use solely or primarily for liturgical purposes is almost to deny their origin as songs which spoke to God from particular experiences of delight, triumph, loss, depression or a hundred other emotions.  Drawing on the breadth of expression in the Psalms, we will identify how in private pastoral encounters as in public worship arenas the psalms—spoken or sung—can minister to our deepest needs and potentials.
Audio Recording IconSeminar 5: Shaped by the Psalms, with Betty Grit and Worship Renewal Grant recipients
The Psalms offer us language to express gratitude, lament, confession, and praise in worship. Worship Renewal Grant recipients will describe how they studied and prayed the Psalms to help children and adults understand how the psalms help shape the ways we speak to God and to one another through words, music and the arts.
Seminar 6: Calligraphy: Developing Word Pictures from the Psalms, with Timothy Botts, hosted by Betsy Steele Halstead
We will begin by learning the ancient style of lettering called “uncial” as a basis for your expression of a psalm. The creative process will be explored through analysis of the grammatical structure along with miming and paraphrasing the text. Design principles such as size, contrast, use of color, repetition, letterpath and letterspacing will all be explored to give you the tools for making your own word picture in the form of a small scroll. Tim will also show some of his own work in the psalms to illustrate some of these principles. All supplies for the class will be provided.
Seminar 7: Beyond Bathrobes: Theater and Storytelling in the Church, Friends of the Groom members (Susan Jung, Tom Long, and Jocelyn Sluka)
Discover new ways to use theater in worship and in Christian education. With demonstration, practical advice, and participation, we’ll explore 1) ten different ways to proclaim stories from scripture in worship; 2) drama in Bible study; and 3) planning imaginative worship.
Seminar 8: Lift Up Your Hearts: A Hymnal Preview, with Joyce Borger and some editorial committee members and musicians
Join the editor and some team members of Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs on a journey through this hymnal to be published in 2013 by Faith Alive Christian Resources. Learn about its structure, what songs are included, the challenges facing the editorial committee and the decisions made. Come prepared to sing both the new and the well-loved.
Video Recording IconSeminar 9: Los Principios Bíblico-Teológicos de la Adoración Cristiana/Biblical and Theological Principles of Christian Worship, with Edgar Cajas, Carlos Colon, and Ivette Herryman
Nuestro primer taller bilingüe en inglés y español será presentado por tres líderes latinoamericanos procedentes de Cuba, El Salvador, y Guatemala. El taller empezará con un tiempo de adoración por medio  de lecturas bíblicas, oraciones, y cantos cristianos de Centroamérica  y Sudamérica, con el tema "Cómo Orar Salmos de Paz en Tiempos de Violencia." La parte principal del taller cubrirá principios bíblicos y teológicos de adoración cristiana y su aplicación en la adoración en grupo e individual. La parte de adoración de la clausura incluirá mayormente himnos y cánticos espirituales de Cuba. Este taller se llevará  a cabo en inglés y español, así que nos dará mucho gusto que participe en el taller ya sea que hable uno o los dos idiomas.
This first-ever bi-lingual Spanish/ English seminar at Symposium will feature three Latin American leaders from Cuba, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The seminar will begin with worship featuring Scripture, prayer, and song from Central and South America, with the theme “Praying Psalms of Peace in Times of Violence.” The main part of the seminar will cover biblical-theological principles of Christian worship and its application to corporate and individual worship. The closing worship time will feature mostly new hymns and spiritual songs from Cuba. Note that this seminar will be in in Spanish and English, so speakers of either or both languages are welcome!
Audio Recording IconSeminar 10: Planning and Leading Worship in Christian High School Chapels, with the Calvin College Worship Apprentice team and their mentor Paul Ryan, Robert Keeley, Eric Kuiper, panelists from several Christian high schools, and hosted by Kathy Smith and Kristen VerhulstThis seminar is for students, staff, teachers, and any others interested in deepening and renewing worship in Christian High school chapel services through thoughtful worship planning and leading.
Seminar 11: The Basics of Christian Living: Using Our Bodies and Our Bibles to Mature in Christ, with Christopher Hall  and N.T. Wright, hosted by Aminah Al-Attas Bradford  
This seminar is an “invitation-only” retreat for Calvin College students who serve in leadership positions.
These services are offered Thursday and repeated at the same time on Friday.
  • The Lord Is My Shepherd: A celebration of Psalm 23, led by John Bell
  • Taizé Vespers Service, led by Philip Chan and Yvette Lau
  • Video Stream IconJazz Vespers: Playing in Tongues, led by Gillian Grannum
  • Melodious Prayers, led by Alice Parker
  • Vespers led by Friends of the Groom
Evening worship services
  • Psalm 1, College Chapel, Mary Hulst, preaching
  • Video Stream IconPsalm 8, Covenant Fine Arts Center, Mark Labberton, preaching


Morning worship services (repeated Saturday morning)

  • Psalm 113, College Chapel, Anne Zaki, preaching
  • Video Stream IconPsalm 13, Covenant Fine Arts Center,  Frank Thomas, preaching
Plenary sessions (repeated Saturday)
  • Performing a Counter World: the Alternative Reality Offered by the Psalms for the Worlds We Inhabit
    Walter Brueggemann, College Chapel
  • Video Stream IconPraying the Psalms: Personal, Pastoral, Theological and Liturgical Reflections
    N.T. Wright, Covenant Fine Arts Center
Workshops: Workshops are one hour long, offered on Friday and then repeated at the same time on Saturday.
Session A
A1: Lunch break. Bring your own lunch or hot lunch available at the Commons Dining Hall, pre-paid or cash-at-door.
A2: Every Tribe and Tongue: A Biblical Vision for Language in Society, Nathan Bierma and Michael Pasquale           
The call to love our neighbors and to gather people of every nation together in the worship of God is at the very core of the gospel message. This session has two main arguments: first, that a deeply rooted love of the diversity of human languages is one of God’s gracious gifts to human beings. Second, that the church is called to take seriously its charge not only to love the “stranger and alien” but also to live as “strangers as aliens” within the nations to which it has been called to witness to Jesus Christ.
A3: History of Worship, Worship from History, James Bratt
Religion is one of the most popular fields of research interest among American historians these days, just as ritual is a central topic for both the academic and churchly study of religion. Is there a way these two interests can be brought together to enrich each other—and the liturgical life of the church?  This session will explore the findings of a newly released book in CICW’s series, By the Vision of Another World: Worship in America, as a way of answering Yes to that question, with a look at seven case studies that make up the book—a cross-section of times, places, and denominational traditions across American history.
A4: Conversation with Walter Brueggemann, hosted by Andy McCoy
This conversation will continue themes explored in the morning’s plenary address.
A5: The Power of a Story, Mark Charles
Jesus was a master at using simple stories to articulate some complicated and hard-to-swallow truths. This workshop will provide a Navajo perspective on how we can also use stories to draw congregations into considering applications of the gospel that may be stretching, even radical, but have great potential to help them to more deeply understand and follow Jesus.
A6: Creating Visual Liturgy, Woong-Sik Timothy Chon
An art form that is worshipfully relevant and beautiful can provide spiritual expressions which connect us intimately with the divine. We will examine collaborative visual art projects from both secular and faith based communities.
Audio Recording IconA7: Emerging Adults, Emerging Worship, Todd CioffiWe are currently observing a new phenomenon within the development of young adults:  emerging adulthood, which spans the ages of 18 to 29 (or even later), marked by unprecedented options for education, work and career choices, delayed marriage and family life, and remarkable geographic mobility. At the same time, emerging adults are also more self-focused, confused, and anxious than previous generations of “young adults.” This session will provide a definition of emerging adulthood and why this matters for the church, especially in regard to how our churches worship.
A8: Resources in Spanish and English for Choral and Congregational Music, Carlos Colon and Ivette Herryman
Spanish-speaking cultures have a rich tradition in choral and congregational singing. In this seminar we will examine recent output coming from countries such as Cuba, EL Salvador, Argentina, and other Latin American countries. We will examine several examples of choral music from the Americas, and will also examine bilingual resources from publishers in North America.
Audio Recording IconA9: Using Re-Tuned Hymns In Worship, Mike Cosper and Kevin Twit
We will discuss using old hymn texts set to new music and how to nurture a "hymn movement," including such issues as finding texts, songwriting, copyright issues, as well as working with artists, and recording and distributing music.
A10: Organizing a Sustainable Arts Ministry, Lisa De Boer
This workshop guides participants through a series of missional, organizational and practical questions that, if clearly addressed at the outset, will help your ministry survive and thrive as a vital part of your church's work and worship.
Video Recording IconA11: Enacted Word: Using Theater to Present Scripture, Friends of the Groom
Friends of the Groom Theater Company will demonstrate practical and exciting methods for bringing Scripture alive in worship. Participants will experience a variety of techniques from theater and oral interpretation that can be used to proclaim Biblical texts.
A12: Deepening Our Baptismal Practice, Paul Galbreath
An exploration of themes from his new book Leading through the Water (Alban Institute), examining the ways  congregations welcome, prepare, participate and live out our baptisms as disciples of Jesus Christ.
A13: Choral reading session, hosted by GIA Publications, Inc and Martin Tel
We’ll sing several older and new anthems published by GIA, especially those with congregational participation based on psalm refrains found in the new Psalms for All Seasons.  
A14: Learning the Language of Lament, a panel moderated by Betty Grit
Recipients of Worship Renewal Grants will share the insights on lament they gleaned as they explored the psalms to shape words for children, youth, and adults to express their pain to God.
Audio Recording IconA15: Worship in the Digital Age, Shane Hipps
This presentation explores the major historical shifts in technology and their dramatic impact on worship in the church. The digital age immerses us in a state of phenomenal complexity, and it is radically shaping the present and future of worship.
A16: “I want to join your community, but do I have to learn your music?” Six stages of music development in churches of the global South, James Krabill
Many churches in Africa, Asia and Latin America have passed through various stages on the way from their Western missionary origins to the creation of worship music they can truly call their own. Six such stages will be described here and illustrated with musical selections.
A17: Improvising at the Keyboard, Barry Liesch
Especially designed for those who are better readers than improvisers for learning ways to modernize hymn & chorus harmonies.  Learn exercises on how to create introductions, modulations, incorporate suspension chords, added seconds, chord substitutions and extensions. Free access to online material after you leave Symposium.
Video Recording IconA18: Reading Other People’s Mail: Preaching from the New Testament Epistles, Thomas G. Long
We will explore fresh possibilities for preaching from the epistles of the New Testament by examining the rhetorical possibilities in the ancient letter form, the ways in which ideas “move” in the NT letters, and the connections between themes in the epistles and cultural issues current today.
A19: Four Centuries of Singing the Psalms: An Exhibit of Metrical Psalters, J. Michael Morgan
The great Reformed tradition of singing the Psalms comes to life in this panorama of original English Psalters. Included in the exhibit will be many of the principal versions which set our faith to music, from Sternhold and Hopkins, through Watts and Wesley, to the 20th century. Michael Morgan has an outstanding collection of English psalters that he exhibits around the country.
A20: Contemplative Prayer, J. David Muyskens
How will the fire be lit in the passionate leader? How will it be rekindled? Contemplative prayer will help. In this workshop two methods will be taught and practiced: centering prayer and lectio divina. Both are ways of receiving the gift of contemplation.
A21: Drum Circle Worship, Eric Nykamp
This hands-on presentation explores how facilitated congregational drumming can be used in worship. All who come will be exposed to the basic facilitation techniques and make worship music together in this fun, interactive presentation. No prior drumming experience necessary!
A22: The Biblical Paradigm of Revitalization: Its Importance and Impact to Authentic Worship, Harry Reeder
We will lay out what the Bible says about church revitalization and how that positions a church for revival, renewal and growth that is spiritual, then functional, then statistical. The functional growth would obviously impact worship. The objective is a W.E.L.L. church: Worship with authenticity, Evangelism with intentionality, Loving with purpose, and Learning by disciple-making
A23: The Scent of Blessedness: What Today’s Preachers and Teachers Can Learn from a 4th century Pastor, Lester Ruth
The session will explore how Cyril of Jerusalem, a 4th century bishop, was able to preach and teach in profoundly theological and scriptural ways and yet spark the passion of his people.
A24: Getting Children Involved with Movement and Dance in Worship, Julia Start and elementary age dance students
We will demonstrate ways children can lead the entire congregation in movement, including hand motions for all, as well as specific ways children can lead the congregation in Scripture presentation, songs, stories, etc.
A25: Intentionally Inclusive Worship, Mark Stephenson, with guests Bill and Lyn Vanden Bosch
When Rev. Bill and Lyn Vanden Bosch came to Oakdale Park Church in Grand Rapids they decided that they would stay long enough for the church to become an inclusive community. They stayed 30 years.  They will help participants understand what an intentionally inclusive church looks like.  It’s not about creating programs, but creating a mindset which says to each individual, “You belong.” That same mindset avoids paternalism by also telling each person, “You have something to contribute.”  Workshop leaders will touch on issues relating to inclusiveness and worship, pastoral care, outreach, and fellowship.
A26: Union with Christ and the Sacraments, Dennis Tamburello, hosted by Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
This session would explore how "Union with Christ" constitutes a unifying theme in Calvin's sacramental theology, particularly as expressed in the Institutes and as explored in Tamburello's  book of the same name, published by Columbia Theological Seminary in their series on Reformed theology.
A27: Preaching As Celebration, Frank Thomas
This workshop will explore celebration as the distinct perspective and genius the African American Church has brought to the preaching task. Participants will discern and discuss the role of celebration in African American preaching and discuss celebrative preaching as a universal characteristic of good preaching in varied cultural contexts.
A28: Apocalyptic Worship, Thomas Thompson
This session reflects on apocalyptic worship—worship according to the Apocalypse for our apocalyptic times which promises to be “apocalyptic”—earth-shattering, globally-consequential—in effect.  Tracing this worship in Revelation’s first act (chs. 4-11) shows the Christological congruence of the church’s corporate worship and its spiritual worship/reasonable service in the world à la Romans 12:1-2.
A29: Preaching God’s OTHER Book, John Van Sloten
God reveals himself through two books – the Bible and creation. What would it mean to preach creation as though it really were a text (revelatory, authoritative, God-breathed)? Can you imagine a sermon on a Redwood tree, the film Up, the biology of Wound Healing, or the latest Arcade Fire song? Learn how.
A30: Children’s Books about Worship, Kristen Verhulst
Come and learn more about children's books about worship. There are a number of wonderful picture books from a range of publishers that help parents and educators teach children about worship. These books focus on the sacraments, Christian year, the psalms, and prayer. Children's books provide another means to welcome and engage children (and adults!) in worship as members of the body of Christ.
Audio Recording IconA31: Conversation with N. T. Wright, hosted by John D. Witvliet
This conversation will continue themes explored in the morning’s plenary address.
Session B
B1: Lunch break. Bring your own lunch or hot lunch available at the Commons Dining Hall, pre-paid or cash-at-door.
B2: Revitalizing and Renewing the Worship Service in the Far East, Takayuki Ashida
God has blessed Shin Urayasu Tokyo Bay Reformed Church with remarkable growth (for Japan!) the last five years.  A major factor in that growth was the efforts of the church under Rev. Ashida's leadership to revitalize the worship services.  In this session Rev. Ashida will share his efforts, struggles, and resulting blessings.
B3: The Psalms of Ascent during Holy Week, Bruce Benedict
The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134, also called the psalms of pilgrimage) are a collection of 15 psalms that the Israelites sang as they journeyed each year to Jerusalem for Passover.  This session will explore these psalms as resources for leading your congregation on a journey singing and praying with Jesus through Holy Week.
B4: To See Thee More Clearly, Timothy R. Botts
Timothy Botts will show some of his work in Scripture and explain his creative process for each of them. He will also make a large word picture of a Scripture to illustrate this method of visual meditation. After reviewing basic design principles, you will have a chance to make your own word picture using your own handwriting and printscript with simple art supplies (which will be provided).
B5: The Triune God to, through, and in Whom We Pray: Glimpses from the Psalms, Phil Butin
How can the traditional hypothesis that the God of the Psalms is the triune God of Christian faith best be explored and supported?  What aspects of trinitarian faith are authentically refracted in the Psalms?    We’ll examine how praying the Psalms can illumine, clarify, and nourish trinitarian faith, worship, and spiritual formation.
Video Recording IconB6: Rethinking Christian Community and Worship in a Global and Post Modern Context, Moses Chung, moderator, with Kevin Adams, Eddie Chu, Steve DeRuiter, and Dirk VanEyk
How do we create an environment for worship that builds genuine community among those with no—or perhaps with negative, experiences of “church”? Several church planters and leaders with wide ranging experiences and different models of ministry (small church to mega church, suburban and urban, American and Asian) will discuss their approaches to inviting people to join with others in worshiping a most hospitable God.
B7: Building Better Partnerships, Norma de Waal Malefyt and Howard Vanderwell
This is an interactive session to explore together how to build better worship-planning partnerships. What are the best strategies for working together week after week? Who should be involved? What are the pitfalls to beware of? What can/should each bring to the planning session?
B8: Divine Play: Theater and Storytelling in Worship, Friends of the Groom
Learn by doing as we demonstrate methods for staging scripture and creating scenes for adults as well as children.  This hands-on “taste” of our longer Thursday seminar will provide a balance of useful “how to” demonstration, practical advice, and participation.
B9: A Key Rule for Preaching: “Show, Don't Tell”, Scott Hoezee
Writers of fiction are taught that the most important rule for vivid writing in the composing of novels or short stories is "Show, Don't Tell." It's a key rule for preachers, too, and in this workshop we will explore ways to add vividness to preaching, including things we can learn from movies and other media to enliven our sermons.
B10: Creating Photography for Worship, Steven Huyser-Honig
Don’t depend on the crutch of stock photography; instead, create your own images to include in worship. This non-technical presentation will inspire photographers of all levels to become comfortable producing and using imagery from your own congregation and community.
B11: Self-awareness as a Key Component of Discipleship and Worship Leadership, Mike Johnson
“Without knowledge of self, there is no knowledge of God” (John Calvin). Self-awareness is a key, and often overlooked, component of discipleship. This workshop will expand on this concept, exploring some simple self-awareness exercises, while also showing various tools for self-awareness that would be helpful for worship leaders and building worship teams of character. One key tool this workshop will introduce is the Grip Birkman Blueprint. Each participant will receive a free book.
B12: More than Praise and Shepherds: Using the Psalms with Children and Teens, Laura Keeley  and Robert Keeley
The Psalms are some of the most-loved parts of scripture, but children and teens are often introduced to only a handful of them. We will look at a variety of ways to use Psalms with children, teens and intergenerational groups.
Video Recording IconB13: The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God's Call to Justice, Mark Labberton
Worship and justice are often seen as separate and unrelated. Nothing could be further from the truth based on the character of God and the revelation we have been given in Jesus Christ. How should we understand the relation of worship and justice, and how does that get reflected in our lives and in our services of worship?
Audio Recording IconB14: Re-thinking the Christian Funeral, Thomas G. Long
Based on the research done for Tom Long’s book Accompany Them with Singing: The Christian Funeral, the workshop will discuss key issues and challenges in planning and leading Christian funerals.
B15: Ministry in North American Latino Communities, Juan Francisco Martínez
Latinos are the largest minority community in the US and continuing to grow in numbers. Yet they are also a very diverse community.  Identifying some of the principal diversities within the community makes it possible to more effectively reach across the ethnic divide.
B16: Bridging The Generations Through New/Old Hymns In Worship, Sandra McCracken
Thinking through an approach to style, presentation, and song choice, with simplicity and grace, we’ll explore a creative approach to unifying generations and musical preferences, encouraging churches to meet together as one congregation.
B17: Christian Prayer—In, With, as well as To God, Martha Moore-Keish
How should Christians pray?  For what should we pray?  What is distinctive about Christian praying? Our answers to these questions shift if we consider the triune God of Christian prayer: one who is not only the one to whom we pray, but also the one in and with whom we offer our prayers.
B18: Poetry and Imagery: Four Centuries of Psalm 23 in English Paraphrase, J. Michael Morgan
This session will explore how English poets and hymn writers have interpreted Psalm 23 over the centuries by broadening, interpreting, and personalizing the imagery so familiar to us. Numerous examples will illustrate how the “Shepherd Psalm” has been expressed in private devotion and congregational song.
B19: Wounded Healers, Marc Nelesen
Clergy often have a front row seat on the pain of others and know that it cannot be ignored. Given that loss and disappointment are key parts of the life and work of the minister, these too, should not be overlooked. This sectional will focus on helping clergy – and those who care for them – identify ways to integrate their brokenness as resources for healing.
B20: Everything That Has Breath: Enabling Instrumentalists and Choirs to Lead in Worship, Robert Nordling and Chris Snyder
Join Robert Nordling, Chris Snyder, and members of the Calvin College Orchestra in discovering ways to utilize instrumentalists to enhance worship in your congregation. A variety of music will be presented, including choral anthems, works for organ & brass, and instrumental accompaniments for congregational singing. Participants will receive a packet of choral octavos and other resources.
B21: Christian Engagement with People of Different Faith, Diane Obenchain, with Bennett Samuel
The modern, secular understanding of "religion" has deeply and perhaps misleadingly changed how Christians think and talk about their faith.  We have been side-tracked into talking about Christianity as one of many so-called "world religions."  This session will encourage and testify to an approach to stop focusing on “religion” in our conversations with those of different faith and focus more on what scripture says: to humbly offer the Good News of Jesus Christ, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”  This approach has implications for preaching as well as for all Christians when speaking to those of other faith traditions.
B22: Sound Leading, Alice ParkerAlice Parker, renowned not only as a composer but for the ways she encourages “sound singing,” will lead us in several songs, demonstrating how choirs and congregations will respond immediately to the leadership of one human voice, rather than an instrument. Their singing will be transformed the moment the leader is immersed in musical sound, rather than the page. Lead by example!
Audio Recording IconB23: Talking with Children about the Sacraments, Sue Rozeboom and Carrie Steenwyk
These two mothers of young children have a particular interest in helping children understand what it means to be baptized and to participate in the Lord’s Supper.  This session will help parents structure conversations with their children in a theologically rich and pedagogically accessible way.
B24: Praying the Psalms, Don E. Saliers
This session will focus especially on the "emotional range" of the psalms as prayer--both devotional and liturgical. We will examine the way in which the psalms are "humanity at full stretch before God." Particular attention will be given to the necessary affective tensions between doxology and lament as modes of knowledge of God and the human heart.
B25: Why is It So Hard to Preach About Money? Craig Satterlee
Putting the “M” word back into stewardship, we celebrate giving money in response to an explicit proclamation of the Gospel. This workshop's goal is to encourage and equip pastors to preach both stewardship sermons and the topic of money as it is found in Scripture.
B26: Hands around the World: An Introduction to Hand Percussion in Worship, Greg Scheer
Praise the Lord. Praise him with the djembe, conga, bell and shakers! This session will explore the use of hand percussion as an accompaniment to worship, focusing primarily on African drum ensemble styles. All experience levels are welcome to take part in this energetic, "hands-on" experience.
B27: Taking Symposium Worship Home to Your Church, Kathy Smith
Symposium worship services are planned to offer a variety of ways to bless those who attend and to bless and be blessed by God.  They also are meant to stimulate ideas for worship planning that you can bring back home. In this session we will look at some of this symposium's services, hear about how they were planned, and discuss together ideas for adapting them to your worship settings.
B28: Greening Spaces for Worship and Ministry: Congregations in Pursuit of Creation Care, Mark Torgerson
“Green building” is an activity for the whole faith community. The entire life cycle of a building offers avenues for creation care.  We’ll explore examples of new construction, renovation, and historic preservation, while making choices that are environmentally, economically, and socially responsible.
B29: A Panorama of Organ Preludes and Postludes: My Top Twenty Picks, Larry Visser
Visser will speak briefly about and play all or excerpts of his favorites—mostly hymn-based preludes and postludes appropriate for worship, pieces that have been received well and composed in a variety of styles, including traditional, global, Taizé, spiritual, gospel, funeral, wedding, baptism, communion, etc.
B30: Singing Old Genevan Psalms in Very New Ways, Eelco Vos and members of The Psalm Project
A practical workshop discussing lessons we have learned from music and church history that are making psalm singing attractive again today to people of all ages.  We’ll also sing some of our arrangements, and even apply our learning in work together on writing new lyrics to the tune of Genevan Psalm 136.
B31: The Order of Worship and the Re-ordering of our lives, Isaac Wardell
We will examine the ways that Biblical worship, particularly through use of the psalms, can form and shape our attitudes to make us better servants of our neighbors, workers for justice, and messengers of the gospel."
B32:  Encountering the Psalms in a Low-Church (“non-liturgical”) Tradition, Cory Willson
It has been said that the Psalter reflects the whole gamut of human experiences and emotions. As a guide to worship and prayer for both Jews and Christians for millennia, the people of God have used the Psalms in prayer to bring diverse human experiences to speech before God. This session will consist of a short worship service based on the psalms, followed by a discussion of how the Psalter was used by an Anabaptist church (Grace Brethren) to transform their corporate worship.
Session C
C1: Conference Choir Rehearsal, directed by Carlos Colon
Come to prepare for participation in the closing communion service on Saturday. We’ll sing the premier performance of a setting of Psalm 103 composed by Larry Visser, the organist for this service, as well as music composed by our conductor, Carlos Colon.
C2: Psalms for the Unbaptized, Kevin Adams
This session will focus on stories about and by those outside the church—the faraway and those who can’t seem to find the door despite their best efforts. Part of our church’s story has been to help folks uninitiated to the faith “see” how the psalms help them, how in that ancient language they can find honest prayer.  We’ll look at several principles we have found helpful in making the at-times unfamiliar images of the psalms resonate with spiritual novices.
Audio Recording IconC3: The Strange Silence of Songs of Justice in Contemporary Biblical Worship, John L. Bell
The word justice is never far hidden in the vocabulary of the psalmists. Over half the psalms specifically use the word. But in worship today, particularly in the Western church, the word is suspect and politicised. In this workshop we look at how the global church does not share the reservations of the West, and also use examples of psalm settings which celebrate this necessary theme in our praise.
C4: Not for Preachers Only: Logos Bible Software’s Logos 4, Carl Bosma
This “hands-on” session will demonstrate the powerful and versatile features of the Libronix 3.0 Digital Library, which contains numerous Bible versions, morphologically tagged Greek and Hebrew Bible, Greek and Hebrew lexicons and grammars, Bible dictionaries, theological dictionaries, commentaries and more.  This versatile program enables laypersons, pastors and theological students to accomplish their exegetical tasks with greater efficiency.
C5: Learning Liturgies, with Debra Buursma and Jo-Ann Van Reeuwyk
Explore and re-imagine sacred spaces as places of sanctuary for worship, learning, and prayer. Consider how our worship spaces might speak of salvation, inspire holy pursuit of the Triune God, and support visions of renewal and justice. The workshop leaders (educator and artist, and believers) have been probing together the theological and educational concepts of place, sacred space pedagogy, and shalom through image, object, activity, and text.
Video Recording IconC6: Worship Practices in the Hispanic Culture, Edgar Cajas
We will explore some of the distinctiveness of worship in Hispanic Churches in USA. There will be a discussion of the characteristics of the Latino culture and its implications on the way worship is conducted in these communities. The concept of Hispanic worship as “fiesta” and in “exile” will be explored as well as bilingual and multicultural issues. Practical ideas on how to minister effectively in cross-cultural contexts will be also presented.
C7: The Creative Process of Visually Transforming Our Sacred Space, Woong-Sik Timothy Chon
Where is your sacred space? What are some of the visual noises in that space? These two questions have led multiple Christian communities to transform and even develop new sacred spaces. We will examine this creative process in depth through several case studies.
C8: Teaching Worship in an Asian Context, Eddie Chu
After years of teaching worship in Hong Kong to students from a variety of Asian countries, including leading students on frequent trips to mainland China for ministry experience, Professor Chou offers insights and principles for those who minister in countries where Christians are restricted in their opportunities for worship.
C9: The Church as Community, a panel moderated by Todd Cioffi
Currently, there is much talk about the importance of “Christian community.”  Is it possible to have church without Christian community?  Is it possible to have Christian community without the church? These questions will be addressed by a panel of Calvin College students—what Christian community means to them, how it relates to the church, why it matters in the world, and how young adults may think differently about the church and Christian community than previous generations.
C10: Copyright 101 for Worship Planners, Diane Dykgraaf 
This session will clear away some of the confusion regarding copyrights. Learn the basics of what is legal, what is not legal, how to give proper credit, how to ask for permission, where to go for help!
C11: The Holiness of Jazz, Gillian Grannum
This workshop explores the themes of creation and re-creation (improvisation) through jazz. Drawing from the monastic tradition of evening vespers and the spontaneous inventiveness of jazz performance, Gillian seeks to create a musical space in which participants collectively image God as creator and master artist.
Video Recording IconC12: Developing Vertical Habits, a panel with Worship Renewal Grant recipients, moderated by Betty Grit
Recipients of Worship Renewal Grants will describe practical resources that helped people of all ages better understand why we do what we do in worship.
Audio Recording IconC13: Worship in the Desert: the Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, Christopher A. Hall
"Spirituality" and "Worship" have been hot topics recently. In this session we’ll explore the world and worship of the ancient desert monastics—Christians living in the rugged regions of Syria and Egypt in early Christian history.  We’ll ask questions like: How did these ancient Christians pray?  What other key spiritual disciplines formed the rhyme and rhythm of their lives?  What was their particular contribution to Christian worship and spirituality?  How can we today best translate their insights (and avoid some possible mistakes) into a modern setting?
Audio Recording IconC14: What College Students Have Taught Me About Preaching, Mary Hulst
They are the emerging leaders in our congregations. They are only a few years away from serving as deacons, elders, or preachers themselves. What are they listening for in sermons? What are they hungry for? What bores them?
C15 : Global Hymns as Source for Theology, James Krabill
Nothing shapes the faith and practice of the church more than its music. This seminar will challenge participants to think more critically about the church’s theology as composed, preserved, and transmitted in musical form by and for God’s people in faith communities around the world.
C16: Improving Your Praise and Worship Charts, Barry Liesch
Simple ways to make internet charts much more effective. Twenty tips for doing "take downs" and making good charts. Expand, understand and use Nashville shorthand.  And more. Free access to online material after you leave Symposium.
Audio Recording IconC17: Worshiping in a Multicultural Environment, Juan Francisco Martínez
A multicultural, multilingual congregation is one that reflects the diversity of God’s kingdom, but also the complexities of life together this side of eternity. Having a way of understanding and interpreting the differences among us makes it possible to anticipate the worship described in the Revelation vision.
Audio Recording IconC18: My Life and the Soundtrack of Hymns, Sandra McCracken
Hymns have been woven into our lives with layers of significance. Hear the stories behind the hymns that were written, why hymns still matter today, and how they have shaped my own story. This session would be a combination of discussion, performance and singing together.
C19: A Royal Priesthood: Election, Worship and Being Church, Suzanne McDonald
When was the last time that thinking about election had a positive impact on your vision for church life? What if you thought of election in terms of being called to represent God to others and others to God? Whatever our doctrinal positions, this broad scriptural framework encourages us to reflect on issues such as how election might enrich our understanding of worship, and what it means for God’s people to be a “royal priesthood” for the world.
C20: Art as Prayer, Eric Nykamp
Explore non-verbal prayer by learning about how the prayer of the eye (perception), the prayer of the hand (expression), and the prayer of the moment (the dialogue with materials) allow us to commune more deeply with God.
Audio Recording IconC21: Does Worship Keep Your Understanding of God Too Small? Insights from Ancient Constantinople about the Transcendent in Worship, Lester Ruth and Carrie Steenwyk           
Worship today often stresses the nearness of God, on God as our personal friend. But God is much more. This session will explore the setting and practices of worship in 6th century Constantinople to learn how they can contribute to our worship practices and larger understanding of the greatness of God.
C22: Praying the Psalms through Media, Paul Ryan with the Calvin Worship Media Team
Listen and learn how a team of students at Calvin College produced two films for worship this past fall. Both films were designed to help the college community pray the Psalms and were produced through an enriching, collaborative, and creative process. Come ready to explore the use of film in worship and how to involve film makers in your community.
C23: The Non-Verbal Languages of Worship, Don E. Saliers
This workshop will explore the ways in which sight, sound, taste, touch, gesture and movement animate the essentials of Christian worship. In particular we will examine the "synaesthetic" elements of ritual action where our senses "cross-over" and animate one another in the experience of grace in Word and sacrament.
C24: Lift Every Note and Sing, Jeremy Simpson
Explore and engage the African American experience through musical literature. We'll explore practical use of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in worship. Encounter the vibrant melodies, heart-felt lyrics, and unique expression of the Spirit's power through music.
C25: Moving Worship: Encouragement to Engage Our Bodies in Worship, Julia Start
We will study together how dance and movement can enhance worship—whether in the pews or in an open space. Congregational Movement, Dance Ministries, and other ways and ideas to move within worship will also be addressed.
C26: Praying by the Book, Leonard Vander Zee
There is a surprising movement among Evangelical and Reformed Christians rediscovering the long tradition of fixed prayer, or the daily office. With it has come a spate of new “prayer books” for groups and individuals. This workshop will explore the tradition of the daily office, the benefits and pitfalls of fixed prayer, and survey the various prayer books available today.
Audio Recording IconC27: What the Church Can Learn about Lament from Popular Music, Cory Willson
Part of being an embodied witness to the world involves the Christians listening and learning from the cultures in which they live. With the well-attested loss of lament from much church services, there is much that Christians stand to learn from how popular musicians are expressing and engaging in lament. This session will focus both on what popular musicians can teach American churches about lament, as well as what the psalms have to offer the church and broader culture for engaging in lament.
C28: One Campus Bible Study—A Thousand-Plus Participants, Aaron Winkle
Come hear how one Christian college launched campus-wide Bible studies, last year on Paul's letter to the Philippians, and this year on the Psalms--with both years including more than 100 groups and 1,000 participants both on and even beyond our campus. The session will include information on how to develop study guides, train leaders, and register participants.
  • Video Stream IconThe Lord Is My Shepherd: A celebration of Psalm 23, led by John Bell
  • Taizé Vespers Service, led by Philip Chan and Yvette Lau
  • Jazz Vespers: Playing in Tongues, led by Gillian Grannum
  • Melodious Prayers, led by Alice Parker
  • Vespers led by Friends of the Groom
Art Gallery reception and artist talk
Friday night 
Video Stream IconPsalms for All Seasons: A Festival of Singing, hosted by Martin Tel, with leadership from many Symposium presenters
An evening celebrating the release of this major collection that holds promise to bring the psalms into the heart of worship. Together we will explore the full spectrum of singing the psalms crossing boundaries of time and tradition. This festival is free and open to the public. Held in the Covenant Fine Arts Center auditorium.
David: A Play with PsalmsA Play with Psalms is a new musical based on stories of David from I and II Samuel with Psalms texts (including 23, 51 and 72, among others) set to music. Although dialogue and narration are adapted directly from Scripture, you have never seen a "Bible drama" quite like this. Directed by Joy- Elizabeth Lawrence and Amanda Ytzen. Held in the Gezon Auditorium located in the Spoelhof Center building.


Morning worship services 

  • Video Stream IconPsalm 113, College Chapel, Anne Zaki, preaching
  • Psalm 13, Covenant Fine Arts Center,  Frank Thomas, preaching
Plenary sessions: 
  • Performing a Counter World: the Alternative Reality Offered by the Psalms for the Worlds We Inhabit, Walter Brueggemann, College Chapel
  • Video Stream IconPraying the Psalms: Personal, Pastoral, Theological and Liturgical Reflections
    N.T. Wright, Covenant Fine Arts Center
Sessions A, B, and C are repeated from Friday. See above for titles and descriptions.
Closing worship, Covenant Fine Arts Center
  • Video Stream IconPsalm 103, Thomas G. Long, preaching,communion service with participation by conference choir

for Symposium 2012