The IWS Alumni Newsletter

November 2005                                                        Alumni Ministries Edition                          Volume 2, Number 4

In This Issue

Click to go to the article.

·   In this issue

·   Graduate teaches in New Guinea

·   Chan published

·    Reggie's new book

·    A Barry nice endeavor

·    Gary Matthews dons wooden shoes

·   IWS training enables move

·   Linda Borecki shares a moving story

·    Alumni Seminar 2006

















New on the alumni Web site

Have you checked out the Resources Page on our Web site lately?  Here is what is new in the last 30 days: articles by Todd Farley (Christmas Dramas, and The Ministry of the Arts), the MP3 file for Rob Still's It's All About Me: The Bob Webber Narcissistic Un-Worship Song, and Dan Sharp's list of favorite choral anthems.  Check it out!












Alumni help  thesis students

Each of the current DWS801 thesis students is now being prayed for and encouraged by an alumnus, thanks to Wave Wilkerson (Gamma, D.W.S. 2004) who has organized the Barnabas Ministry.  See the article in the July 2005 edition of Anamnesis for more details.  More encouragers are needed as a new group of students begin the process in January.  Please contact Wave.














The "January Read"

Bob Webber has chosen Reggie Kidd's new book, With One Voice: Discovering Christ's Song in Our Worship, for the January Read.  I know many of you seek to stay fresh and "sharpen the sword" by keeping up with what the students are asked to read each session.  See more details for this book at Amazon Books


















Keeping connected just got easier!

Do you have a new cell number?  Change of address?  New ministry title?  Click here to go to the Alumni Directory (or just access the directory from the main IWS site).  Click on your name.  Click  “Update”.  If you don’t remember your user name and password, click on the link and it will immediately be emailed to you. Updating your personal profile is now easier than ever. 




















Sympathy and prayer for Todd Farley

Our hearts go out to Todd Farley and his family as his younger brother, Josh, was murdered last month in the Phoenix area.  Please keep the family in your prayers during this difficult time.

















Jim Hart asks for prayer

Jim Hart asks that the IWS alumni remember Grace Church and the Episcopal Church in general in prayer: "For a move toward Godly and peaceful resolution in the turmoil in the international Anglican communion and its effects on Grace Church."












Carla Waterman requests prayer and miles

Carla Waterman will teach on spiritual formation in Thailand in March.  She writes: "I will be teaching at Bangkok Bible College for a three day conference for their students and staff.  Of note to IWS’ers is my hope to have IWS student Nancy Nethercott, who is a missionary in Japan, join me there to assist with some dramas that will accompany my talks, and to help me adapt to ministry in such a different environment. If anyone has any extra United miles they would like to contribute to helping Nancy join me there, please let me know!"





















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

Ph: 904.264.2172
Fax: 904.278.2878

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

In This Issue . . .

This edition of Anamnesis focuses on the lives and ministries of our fellow alumni.  The stories—varied and interesting—remind us of the diversity and giftedness present among our alumni.

There is no way we can keep up with all 98 graduates, but we sure want to try.  Please let us know how the Lord is using and challenging you in ministry, or how worship renewal is occurring in your field of influence.  This is no time for inordinate humility.  Share so that we can keep informed and connected!  Please email the editor with your story (or a fellow alum's).

ANNOUNCING: This year's Alumni Post-grad Course guest speaker--See the details regarding the 2006 Alumni Seminar below!!

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Graduate Teaches in Papua New Guinea

Mike Wiebe (Delta, D.W.S. 2004) serves as Minister of Music and Worship at First Church of the Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho.  He had a unique cross-cultural teaching opportunity last summer.  Read on.

In June of 2005, I was invited to Papua New Guinea to teach a masters-level course in worship for national administrators and professors at Melanesia Nazarene Bible College.  Our denomination is targeting the education of national pastors in third-world countries with the goal of helping them apply biblical principles in their unique cultural context and Wesleyan-Holiness traditions.  Based on my doctoral thesis, I taught on the topic of Communion as a means of grace through which Jesus brings healing to the infirmities of our souls.  This concept included the potential of Communion as an invitation to salvation as well as to spiritual maturity.  The course was patterned after our IWS intensives with pre-class reading, in-class lecture and discussion, and post-class writing. 

By the end of our two weeks, the eight men in the class decided that the best way to celebrate Communion in their culture (one that places the highest value on relationships) was to sit in a circle outside on the ground so that everyone could see each other.  The Communion elements needed to be easily acquired, even by people in bush churches.  They proposed water, perhaps colored by the juice of red berries, as a substitute for grape juice, and fried banana (like a fritter) as a substitute for bread. They visualized using a larger section of bamboo as a chalice and smaller sections of bamboo (brought by each family) for the cups.  They decided that Communion in their culture would rightly focus on the servant example of Jesus and the importance of loving one another in the community of believers.  An important companion theme would be that Jesus invites everyone (from seeker to saint) to gather at his table in growing relationship with him.

There was no doubt in my mind that God called me to the specific task of teaching these men about the depths of mercy and healing available through the sacraments.  They will, in turn, teach their ministerial students, whose influence will spread to every corner of the Melanesian world.

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Chan book published in Chinese

Philip Hong Chan (Delta, D.W.S. 2005) is Associate Professor of Church Music at Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary.  He also has earned an M.C.M. from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a D.M.A. from the University of Cincinnati.

For his doctoral thesis at IWS, Philip chose to write a textbook for the music and worship class offered by the Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary.  Philip has since translated this ten-chapter textbook into Chinese, added twelve worship designs with detailed explanations and an annotated list of 200 books on music and worship to form the book entitled Worship and Music: Theory and Practice.  This new book was released by the Logos Publishers Ltd. in Hong Kong in July 2005.  It was soon granted a bronze award by the Association of Christian Publishers in September 2005 for outstanding book in theological research.  Since its publication in July, the book remains the second best selling book of Logos Publishers Ltd. 

Congratulations Philip!  God bless you as you serve Christ and His kingdom in Hong Kong.

Click here to visit the Hong Kong Baptist Theological Seminary Web site.  And, if you can read Chinese, click here to visit the publisher's page on Philip's book.

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Reggie's New Book Now Available

What? Another book on worship?  Yes, by someone we know and trust.  Reggie's new book, which includes a forward by Robert Webber, was just released last month. 

Here's what his teaching partner, Carla Waterman, says about the book: "We sing for Jesus. We sing to Jesus. What I particularly appreciate about With One Voice is Kidd's rich examination of what it means to sing with Jesus. . . . Kidd himself has several voices that all sing with Jesus. The theologian sings with his mind, the artist sings with illustrations from music, art and literature, and the man sings with honest moments from his own journey. They blend together beautifully, and for me there were moments when, even while reading, I began to hear that other voice."

Check out more details on Reggie's Web site and at Amazon

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Barry Wilson Launches Ministry

IWS training changed the way Barry Wilson (Beta, D.W.S. 2003) views the arts.  As a result, Barry applied his creative vision to launch a new ministry: The Doxology Institute.  Barry also serves as Minister of Music at Kilbourne Park Baptist Church in Columbia, SC.

During my studies at the IWS I had several “ah-ha” moments.  The first was during a practicum when Ashley Olsen performed an interpretive movement to “Shout to the Lord.”  The next came through Mark Torgerson’s teaching on visual arts in worship.  Then, one day in Carla and Reggie’s class I finally “got it” about symbols and symbolic actions.  By the time I graduated I realized that the denominational cocoon I had been wrapped in for so many years had burst open and I was no longer the person I was three years earlier.  Now the question was what was I going to do about it?

For two years I did little or nothing about it!  However, after a series of disappointments in my church and serious questioning in my heart, the Lord helped me begin to focus my training, experience and vision.  Combining my background in spiritual formation with my new understanding of worship arts, the Lord led me to form The Doxology Institute. 

The mission of The Doxology Institute is to interpret Christian arts to churches, communities, and individuals; encourage artists in their spiritual formation and artistic development; and introduce Christian arts to new audiences.  The members of the board of directors are successful in business and deeply interested or involved in the arts.  The staff is comprised of highly trained and well-respected artists.  Our dance team director has a master’s degree and has taught dance on the college level for twenty years.  Our drama team leader is working on his doctorate in theatre and teaches at a local Christian university.  We have incorporated and have applied for tax-exempt status (501c3) with the IRS.  Our Web site (in process pending funds) will be

Our first project will occur Thursday, March 23, 2006 when we will sponsor a performance by Ballet Magnificat ( at the Koger Center for the Performing Arts (University of SC) in Columbia.  After this “coming out party” we will be available for workshops and conferences.  We will also sponsor HeART groups, which are spiritual formation groups for artists, dancers, actors, writers, musicians, etc.  We will continue to bring high quality artists to major secular venues desiring that God will be glorified, believers encouraged, and seekers introduced to Jesus Christ at work in the lives of working artists.

Click here to view The Doxology Institute promotional brochure.  For more information contact Barry at

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A New Call in Ministry

Gary Matthews (Alpha, D.W.S. 2003) recently accepted a new ministry call.  Besides being a Minister of Music, Gary has maintained a concert ministry with his brother, Ron, for years.  You may be interested in visiting their Web site.  Here's Gary's story.

I was a very grateful person.  God had blessed me with twenty wonderful years of ministry at Highland Park Baptist Church in Southfield, Michigan.  God had brought together an amazingly talented group of worship leaders. For the past eight years the choir had sung with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra at least one set of concerts per year, our church orchestra was made up of top quality free-lance players, and gifted and godly people led the more modern elements in worship.  It was a church that loved our family, loved me (what grace!), and was a wonderful place to call home.

Then the phone call came to consider leaving and going to a new place.  I have always responded with a willingness to pray about such options for a week and God would always lead me to stay at Highland Park.  This time it was different.  It became clear that God was leading us to become part of the staff at Christ Memorial Church in Holland, Michigan.  I had known of the church for about ten years.  My brother and I had done concerts there under the soon to retire Minister of Music, John Bright.  John had become a mentor and friend, so to follow him would be a humbling call.  We began a new ministry there this summer.

Christ Memorial is a great church.  What a gift God has given us—to go FROM a great church TO a great church.  The church is a member of the Reformed Church in America (RCA), and has a wonderful team of worship leaders.  The 200-voice choir has been trained well, and there are full graded choir, handbell and orchestra programs.  I’ve been able to apply much of my learning from IWS in my new place of service.  We have three worship services: Classic Worship (using historic expressions of the arts in worship), Convergent (I know, a brand new term for you!) Worship (converging historic, modern and post-modern expressions of art in worship), and a Cross-cultural Worship experience. 

God is forming us as worshipers and it is a joy for us to serve the Lord here in Holland.  I’m so grateful for my training through the Institute that has allowed me to develop and stretch in order to better lead in worship.

Jodi, Cindy, Gary, Jessica, Jill

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IWS Training Enables Ministry Change

Last year Julie Smith (Aleph, M.W.S. 2004) became the Director of Music Ministries at St. John Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa.  She previously served as Director of Worship and Music at Saint Andrews Chapel in Sanford, Florida.

My training at IWS definitely broadened my understanding of worship and was influential in preparing me for my new position.  At IWS I developed the desire to make everything in worship purposeful and intentional.

My new pastor read several of my papers, which influenced his selection of me as the person for the position.  I've had opportunities to discuss worship with many in my new community and through these discussions more worship/music leaders are becoming aware of the value of this program.  I will be forever grateful for the opportunity I had to be at IWS and hope to continue in the D.W.S. program in the future.

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Page 125: a Song Sung (at least) Twice

We have all heard stories of God-given opportunities to witness while traveling, but sometimes we're left feeling guilty for not being more aggressive in similar situations.  Well, relax.  We close this edition of Anamnesis with an honest and moving account by Linda Borecki (Zeta, D.W.S. 2005) written in an email to Professor Borchert last April.  This was not intended for public consumption, but Linda graciously consented.

Hello Dr. B.,

I was in an Amtrak train last Monday on my way to Portland.  Before I left I grabbed a Time magazine and a Bob Webber book to read on the trip, but then I spied your New American Commentary on the second half of John that I had purchased at IWS to read someday when my thesis was finished.  So I put the Webber book back and grabbed yours instead.  I read it in the train.  It's a good book!  I remember that you said you sang when you wrote parts of it, and I enjoyed guessing when that was. 

I sat beside a 15-year-old girl from Modesto, California.  An hour before her destination in Eugene I put down the book and noted out loud that the train was getting more and more behind schedule.  She said she had waited three hours in the god-awful Sacramento train station with the homeless guys and druggies until her train finally arrived from L.A. at 3:30 that morning.  I agreed that I'd heard Sacramento was a rough town and that I had friends who moved from there to get away from the crime.  “Modesto is much worse,” she said.  “There's a murder almost every day.  I’m on my way to visit my grandparents for a week just to get away.  Last week I watched my friend get shot and killed right in front of my eyes.”  “What?” I said.  “Yeah, it was actually the eighth person I knew who was killed in the last year.”  Two of her friends were shot in a drive-by shooting, a classmate committed suicide in February, and now her boyfriend was threatening to kill himself because she had just broken up with him.

She checked her cell phone and left her seat to take a call.  When she returned I tried to keep the conversation going, but it was disjointed and awkward with the open car full of travelers.  She went on to explain that she had broken up with her boyfriend because she had helped him steal 20 cars for drug money.  Now the police are hovering near her house.  She was afraid of being arrested.  Her parents are divorced and her mom is caught "in the chaos," and her older brother just got out of jail.  We talked about dealing with so much death and turmoil so early in life.  I asked if she had a faith community or support somewhere.  “No.”  “Do you have plans for the future?”  “Yes, someday I want my own family.”  “Like what kind of family?”  “My own kids.”  She'd been pregnant twice but lost the baby both times.  “Anything you might want to do before creating a family—maybe go to college?”  “Yeah, but I don’t know what I’d study.”  “What do you like to do?  What are you good at?”  “Nothing.”  “Well, it sounds to me like you are good at surviving.  Maybe God has some plan you just don't know about yet.”  Her cell phone rang.  She showed me the text message.  It was from the boyfriend who was constantly messaging saying he wanted her back.  Off she went again to talk.

We were near Eugene and I was panicking inside because Lutherans have no practice at "witnessing."  We do not carry our Bibles, we do not practice praying ex corde, we are a totally formal, cosmic-story church—not a personal story church—(to use Lester's words) and I was almost wild with wanting to say something meaningful about God but not thinking of anything.  I kept asking God to tell me what to say or do.  Should I ask if I could pray with her?  Tell her that Jesus died for her sins?  Do what?  Say what?  

She came back and we were approaching her stop.  I desperately wanted to do or give her something significant.  Great; I have Time magazine and an academic scripture commentary that doesn't even include John 3:16. People were up and grabbing their belongings.  There was loud laughter and kids running in the aisles.  She stood up to gather her stuff.  I flipped open the book and saw the section from John 14:18-24 in bold text, "I will not leave you as orphans. . . . Because I live you also will live."  The sentences before and after these verses seemed so appropriate.  So I ripped page 125 right out of the book and said, “Here, I want you to have this.” She took it and then she was gone.

Ten minutes later I thought of a dozen things I could have done—get her email address or, for goodness sake, her cell number.  I needed an Evangelical there.  Hmmm.  You were.  Thanks for writing that book.  I hope page 125 was one of your singing pages.


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Third Annual Alumni Seminar

Mark your calendars for another great alumni seminar/post-grad course at

IWS—June 18-20, 2006.  Detailed plans are still in the works that will include the great ideas and input received from the attendees at our seminar this past June.  We may include a special seminar session on Saturday, June 17 for those interested in coming early and getting more for your money.  I'll keep you posted.  Let me know if you like this idea.

Our guest speaker this year will be Dr. Harold Best, Dean Emeritus of the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and author of Music Through the Eyes of Faith, and more recently, Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts.

You are sure to be challenged by Dr. Best's wisdom and wit.  I attended several of his sessions at the Calvin College Worship Symposium last January and found his presentations very stimulating.  Click here to view Dr. Best's homepage.  Check out the detail's on his latest book at

Registration fee for the seminar is $100.00.

Look for the complete details in the February 2006 edition of Anamnesis.  But for goodness sakemark the dates on your calendar right now!!



Alumni Seminar Attendees, June 2005

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