The IWS Alumni Newsletter

July 2005                                                        June Session Edition                                 Volume 2, Number 3

In This Issue

Click to go to the article.

·   Anamnesis it is

·   Post-grad seminar

·   2005 graduates

·    IWS regionals

·    Worship renewal story

·    Accreditation process marches on

·   The new Barnabas ministry

·   Post-grad seminar resources

·    Bob's Schedule




















Our New Alumni Web Site

Have you visited our new website?  It was published on June 6, and since then traffic on the site has never been better.  New pictures, resources and alumni "stuff" have been added since the June Session.  Check it out!


























The "June Read"

Bob Webber's June Presidential address was inspired by the "June Read": Mystical Theology: the Integrity of Spirituality and Theology by Mark Allen McIntosh (Blackwell Publishers, 1998).  It's a challenging read but well worth the effort.  See more info at Barnes & Noble.  See McIntosh's definition of "mystical" below.





























Updating your Personal Profile

A number of alumni have visited the Alumni Directory on the website to update their personal profile That's a huge help as we try to keep current so we can stay in touch. 

You can update your personal info too.  Here's how: click here to go to the directory.  Click on your name.  Click  “Update”.  If you don’t have your user name and password, contact me or Ken Rushing.  After you have updated your profile be sure to email Ken so that he can activate your changes. Thanks!
































Defining "mystical"

"What is mystical is not the inner experience of the Christian but the hidden meaning and transformative understanding discovered in Christ. . . The hidden mystery of God's plan to re-unite creation with God's own existence is embodied in Christ, discerned in the Scriptures, and sacramentally enacted in the eucharistic community" (Mystical Theology, Mark McIntosh, 43).





























Alumni Giving Reaches Around the World

In the last edition of Anamnesis you were introduced to Daniel Longhin who began doctoral studies in June thanks to alumni giving to the Scholarship Fund.  On June 22 Daniel, his wife Valarie, and their 4 sons left for their first term of service as missionaries in Argentina (Daniel's home country). 

While his tuition costs were covered from the Scholarship Fund, Daniel was still trusting God for the travel costs from Argentina for future classes (about $1100 each time).  Remarkably, Bob Webber was given a gift during the June Session that will cover Daniel's expenses for the rest of his training!  Praise the Lord!



































Contact Information
The Institute for Worship Studies
Florida Campus
151 Kingsley Ave.
Orange Park, FL 32073

Ph: 904.264.2172
Fax: 904.215.0799

Director of Alumni Relations and Editor of Anamnesis
Kent Walters
7323 Westlane Ave.
Jenison, MI 49428
H: 616.457.5234
W: 616.538.9350
Fax: 616.538.3564

Our Newsletter Gets a Name!

Congratulations to Nyle Sexton (MWS 2004 and DWS candidate) whose submission of the name "Anamnesis" was chosen as the winner in our Name the Newsletter Contest!  A total of 20 names were submitted, including some very creative ones: The Jim-Bob U. Wag, The Truth Four-Fold, and The IWS (I’m Weally Smart) Times.  Eric Bolger, Connie Cherry, Darrell Harris,

Jim Hart, and Reggie Kidd served as our esteemed panel of judges.  Special thanks to Doris Borchert for first suggesting a contest to name our newsletter.

A rousing cheer went up in the "Refectory" for Nyle as he was presented with an IWS shirt of his choosing during the recent June Session.  Way to go, Nyle!

Isn't Anamnesis a great name for our newsletter?  As one of the oft-used Greek terms in IWS environs, we all connect with its meaning particularly as it relates to the Table.  The term is translated "remembrance" ("Do this in remembrance of me," Luke 22:19), but it is deeper and more active than simply recalling.  Laurence Stookey explains: "For ancient Jews and early Christians . . . remembrance was a corporate act in which the event remembered was experienced anew through ritual repetition.  To remember was to do something, not to think about something. . . . [The intention is that we] actively participate--and in the participation experience anew for ourselves the presence of the living Christ among us" (Eucharist: Christ's Feast With the Church, 28-29). 

Without intending to presume upon the sacredness with which we associate anamnesis in the sacrament, let me suggest a few practical applications.  It is the purpose of this newsletter to help us remain connected with the IWS community--actively connected, not just remembering the wonderful times we had in Orange Park.  As you read each new issue of Anamnesis: The Newsletter, may you be encouraged to participate in community--to bring the awareness of past blessings into present reality as an active member of this unique community--by, perhaps:

  • emailing a fellow alum

  • writing an article describing worship renewal in your life/ministry

  • organizing/participating in a regional IWS gathering

  • praying for the faculty and students

  • reading a new worship book/resource for personal growth

  • contributing to the Alumni Scholarship Fund

  • suggesting a resource or link for the alumni website

  • interacting on the Alumni Message Board

  • recruiting a new student

You can see why I'm so pumped about our newsletter's new name: it embodies the very purpose for this publication.  Hopefully this newsletter will bring encouragement, inspiration and motivation for you to stay connected to and participate in this faith community through which God revealed himself to you time and time again and reshaped your life and ministry forever.

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Second Annual Post-graduate Course

The June 2005 Session featured the second annual Alumni Seminar, this year taught by Bob Webber--Worship and Spirituality.  Click here to see additional pictures.  The seminar included an expansion of and stimulating discussion on Bob's Presidential Address: Mystical Theology (which drew from Mark McIntosh's book of the same title--the "June read" for the IWS community).  You'll definitely want to hear the audio of this address.

Here is some personal feedback from three alums who attended the seminar:

Rejoining the Ride (Dean Moyer - Beta, 2003)

"The IWS train was an amazing ride for me. The passengers, the crew, the shared experiences of learning and worship all contributed to an amazing spiritual journey. What a rich blessing to hop back on the train this week and enjoy these rich treasures! The alumni seminar with Bob was predictably engaging and enriching. The dialogue among peers was sharpening. And of course the laughter was wonderfully therapeutic. I came with an intrigue in the subject matter of Worship and Spirituality. I left with new insights and language that will enable me to make much of Christ as I serve. Thank you IWS family for the opportunity to rejoin the ride."

Recapturing the Vision (Heather Hood - Gamma, 2003. Pictured below.)

"Being back at IWS for the Alumni Seminar was a breath of fresh air for me. Seeing friends and reconnecting with faculty was heartwarming; meeting new students and celebrating with the graduates reaffirmed my  appreciation for all that I experienced and learned (and continue to learn); sharing in conversations with Bob Webber and the other Seminar participants was encouraging; being in the worshiping environment with the IWS body was inspiring and renewing. Those few days helped to recapture the vision for my work and strengthen my commitment to not let the IWS experience end with graduation. Thanks to all of you for a great time!"

Reconnecting with Community (Tom Burns - Alpha, 2002)

"Having attended both alumni seminars, for me, it is like the cleft in the rock where ideas are shared and thought provoking discussion is a starting point for further inquiry.  It allows me to pull out of the everyday push of ministry and explore what God is doing in the lives of others. It is my time to reconnect to the IWS community which nurtures my soul."  (Picture: Bob, Jim, Norm Brunelle, Tom Burns)

Another post-graduate course is being planned for June 2006.  It has been recommended that we extend the seminar over the weekend, starting on Saturday and concluding on Tuesday.  I'll keep you informed as the details for this great event come together.  In the mean time, mark your calendar: June 17-20, 2006

We're developing a list of desirable speakers for future seminars.  Who would you recommend?  Please give us your input.

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Congratulations 2005 Grads!

The fourth IWS Commencement was held on Sunday, June 12 in the context of another inspiring eucharistic service of worship.  We welcomed 30 new members into the IWS Alumni Association that night.  We're now 98 strong!  [Click to see the 2005 "regalia" pics].

Several alumni donned their regalia and joined the processional along with the graduates, faculty and staff.  As the service began, Bob Webber spoke in honor of the late Dr. Stan Grenz whose wife Edna would receive her doctorate that night.  The music used in the service was selected in consultation with Edna to reflect Stan's appreciation for the doctrines of the Trinity, Christology and eschatology.  Bob gave inspiring (we've come to expect nothing less!) "comments"  on the rights and privileges of the doctoral degree, and Dan Sharp led the choir of Grace Church and IWS musicians in Jane Marshall's My Eternal King.  Click to view the commencement bulletin and the list of graduates and their thesis titles, or to hear Bob's introduction and comments to the graduates.

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IWS Regional Connections

By Heather Hood, Gamma 2003

The establishing of regional IWS alumni gatherings is one of the ideas that Bob, Jim and I discussed in our first brainstorming meeting in June 2004.  So, when Jack Van Marion and Heather Hood told me about what they are already doing in Minnesota I was thrilled!  Below Heather explains how their informal alumni connection is working in the Twin Cities.  Then, if you are interested in connecting with other alumni in your area let me know.  I'll do the research and discover those alumni who are near you.  Or, just go ahead and connect with those who are nearby.  Let me know what you are doing and I'll pass along ideas that may be of interest to you.  This is another new beginning.  Who knows, it could develop in such a way that we have regional events to which Bob or other IWS faculty are invited.  It's another "IWS--a Unique Community" thing!  Read on.

This past year I was delighted to find that Greg Lundberg [pictured with Heather below], one of my IWS Gamma classmates, was moving to my area to serve a church in a northern suburb of the Twin Cities. Early on, I asked him if he would be interested in getting together occasionally to read and discuss books on worship, pray for each another, and support one another in ministry. Shortly after our first meeting, we discovered that Jack Van Marion had just moved to a church in the Twin Cities, so we invited Jack to join us in our next gathering. He indicated that another IWS graduate, Dave Ellison, is also in the area, so Dave has been invited to join us as well. Our churches and homes are separated by a 30-60 minute drive time, so each one of us is taking turns choosing a book to read, and coordinating a date and location to meet, often over lunch. Thus far, those meetings have taken place about every three months. It gives us a chance to reconnect, see each other's churches, share our joys and concerns, bounce ideas off each other, dialogue about worship and ministry, and support one another. It's a "mini-IWS experience" that helps us to remain focused, challenged, open to ideas, and committed to growth as we serve in ministry. Perhaps there are IWS alumni in your area who would be willing to meet on a regular (or irregular) basis. Even regional meetings might be an opportunity to keep those ties to mission and ministry strong and vital, as you encourage one another as servants of the Lord.

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A Story of Worship Renewal

By Wave Wilkerson, Gamma 2004

We all have known the joy as well as frustration (even pain) of leading those to whom we minister in worship renewal.  As our personal understanding and practice of worship deepens we desire to lead our people along similar paths because that's what pastors, teachers, and leaders do.  All of us have stories of accomplishment and disappointment in the process, but we are encouraged by the fact that God calls us to persevering faithfulness rather than success--however "success" may be humanly defined.  So we endeavor, with the help of the Spirit, to discern God's plan for deepening the personal and corporate worship of "our people."  It is an ongoing and never ending task, but one we love (most of the time) because God is in it and we have come to realize that worship is about Him. 

Here is how is God working in one place of ministry.  Wave Wilkerson shares how a creative approach to prayer is renewing the worship life in his church--First Baptist Church of Groveport, OH.

A few months ago my senior pastor attended a prayer conference.  When he returned he expressed to me his desire to lead our church back to corporate prayer during our Wednesday adult service and to discontinue the practice of asking for prayer requests at the end of a Bible study.  He desired to teach them the importance of corporate prayer by “coloring outside the box” in the process.

Our midweek service has begun to undergo drastic changes, becoming an intimate time of participatory worship.  The first unusual change was how prayer was expressed--praying scripture.  With verses projected on the screen the pastor would lead the people to pray the scripture aloud together.  Occasionally he explained how the scripture was a means of expressing our needs according to the will of God, and then he would ask them to pray the scripture again.

Recently the pastor has been teaching how prayer is an integral part of individual and corporate worship.  Whenever he presents a new prayer concept he models it and provides opportunities for the congregation to immediately practice.  Sometimes we pray silently.  At other times we pray in small groups.  Occasionally the people are invited to pray at the altar.

Here is an overview of the service this past June 29:

  • Subdued lighting in the sanctuary as people arrive

  • Opening chorus without any verbal introduction or welcome

  • Praying of scripture from the projection screen

  • Short teaching on the importance of personal preparation before coming to corporate worship

  • Time of personal reflection and directed prayer

  • Solo: “We Come to Your Table”

  • Congregational singing as the people come forward to receive the Communion elements

  • Blessing over the people as they partake of the elements

  • Directed prayer at the altar for the church, country and world.

Now remember, these changes are occurring in a Southern Baptist church in Columbus, Ohio.  For this congregation the changes are drastic.  Our Wednesday adult attendance has grown from 8-10 people to 30-35 people in just eight weeks.  God is blessing.

Thanks for sharing this story of worship renewal with us, Wave.  I encourage other alumni to share what God is doing to bring worship renewal where you are serving.  Please contact me.

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Accreditation Process Surges Forward 

Special meetings with Larry McKinney (on the right below), Executive Directory of ABHE (The Association for Biblical Higher Education), occurred during the June Session.  He was very impressed with the Institute and our students and faculty, and thoroughly enjoyed worshiping the Lord with us. 

Having met ABHE's 22 conditions of eligibility, IWS has been granted Applicant Status with the accrediting organization.  The work of numerous subcommittees under the direction of Eric Ohlmann, IWS Director of Strategic Planning and Accreditation (on the left), continues with the anticipation of receiving Candidate Status in about two years and full accreditation in as little as 4 years from now.  This 3-phase process typically takes 8 years, but, according to Mr. McKinney, given the expertise and experience of the faculty and staff and the strong sense of mission that already exists at IWS the process could perhaps be abbreviated.

The Institute will be stronger and more effective in striving toward excellence in all our ministries as a result of this process.  Thank you for your prayers on behalf of this important endeavor.

Despite the fact that IWS is currently unaccredited, story after story is being told of graduates who are being appointed to church and college positions based on our highly credentialed faculty and the esteem held for the Institute and its founder.

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Launching the Barnabas Ministry

By Wave Wilkerson, Gamma 2004

But my mouth would encourage you;

comfort from my lips would bring you relief (Job 16:5 NIV).

For a year now, an idea has been developing in my mind that would involve our IWS Alumni.  Do you remember the trials, struggles, frustrations and stress of completing your thesis project?  I thought you would.  Did you have a Barnabas, an encourager, during that process?  If your answer is yes, you know how important that person was to you.  If your answer is no, you understand how important that person could have been to you.  Out of this need a ministry is emerging.

The IWS Barnabas Ministry will assign a volunteer alumnus to a DWS 801 student.  The alumnus’ responsibility is simply to encourage the student to persevere.  The first contact will be via email.  Any further contact information (phone numbers, mailing address, etc.) will be between the alumnus and student, given each person’s comfort level.  The alumnus will not be the official thesis reader, just an encourager.  If the student needs to ask the alumnus’ opinion or toss out an idea for feedback, that would be fine.  The main goal is encouragement.  The commitment will be to stay in contact with the student until the thesis project is completed. 

I will be overseeing the ministry’s development.  Presently, I am working on guidelines that each volunteer will need to follow.  If you are interested, or agree to be part of this ministry, a copy of the guidelines will be emailed to you as well as to the student you will be contacting.  This can be a vital ministry for the thesis project students.  In addition, what better way to stay vitally connected to the IWS community?  If you would like to be a "Barnabas" (encourager, Acts 4:36) email me at  

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Post-graduate Course Follow-up

For those who attended the recent seminar with Bob, Worship and Spirituality, and others who are interested--a number of resources and ideas for further study surfaced in our sessions.  Hopefully the following will be helpful to you as you continue to digest and make personal application from our discussions.  Some of these resources (marked *) have been posted on our alumni website.  Follow the links.  If you would like to pass on useful info you have discovered since the seminar, please let me know.

Articles +:

*How to Read a Book (Bob Webber)

*The Divine Kiss (Bob Webber)

*The Holy Kiss (song by Darrell Harris and Phil Keaggy)


Radical Orthodoxy Online

Books recommended by Bob (links take you to Amazon page):

The Fourth Turning, William Strauss & Neil Howe

Millennials Rising: the Next Great Generation, Neil Howe & Wm. Strauss

The Transformation of American Religion: How We Actually Live Our Faith, Alan Wolfe

The Next Christendom: The Coming of Global Christianity, Philip Jenkins

The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations, Christopher Lasch

Other books that were mentioned in discussions:

Heaven Is Not My Home, Paul Marshall

Heaven Is a Place on Earth, Michael Wittmer

Created For Community, Stan Grenz

Theology For the Community of God, Stan Grenz

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Bob Webber's Speaking Schedule

Christian Scholars Conference, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA, July 21-23.  Click here for info.

After Evangelicalism Conference, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, MI, September 15-17.  Click here for info.

Worship Comes to Life Conference, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, October 9-11.  Click here for info.

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