The IWS Alumni Newsletter

February 2006                                                    Post-January Session Edition                          Volume 3, Number 1

In This Issue

Click to go to the article.

·   In this issue

·   Alumni Seminar 2006

·   Web site updates

·    New IWS regionals

·    Change for Grace Church

·   New faculty member

·   Lex cantati lex credendi est

·    Presenting: the theses!



























Harold Best quote:

"We make and offer art because we worship; we should not make it to lead us into worship. . . . If we are not careful, music will be added to the list of sacraments and perhaps with some Christians become another kind of transubstantiation, turned into the Lord's presence.  Then the music, not the Holy Spirit, becomes the paraclete and advocate.  God is reduced to god and music is raised to Music.  Thrones are exchanged, lordship reverts to its fallen hierarchy, and conditioned reflex replaces faith" (Unceasing  Worship, 119).






























32 new students join the IWS family in January

19 new DWS students (Xi class)  and 13 new MWS students (Gimel class) joined the IWS family in January.  The current student body totals 104.  It was encouraging to learn that several chose to attend IWS as a result of interaction with alumni.  Keep up the good work!




























From With One Voice:

By virtue of his resurrection, Jesus is alive in such a way that he can be both "with us" and "for us." Simultaneously he is "in the midst of the assembly" and in the heavenly Jerusalem ever interceding for us. A permanent Singer has been installed. From one perspective, he sings with us in the church; from another he intercedes for us in heaven. When the church gathers in worship, earth and heaven converge. When we sing we are not singing by ourselves. There is a higher song going on above ours and a deeper song going on beneath ours" (Reggie Kidd, With One Voice, 115).  Book details at
























More Best:

"Worship is the continuous outpouring of all that I am, all that I do and all that I can ever become in light of a chosen or choosing god" (Harold Best, Unceasing Worship,

























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 Activities 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 . . .

Each session on campus in Orange Park enables us to make progress in accomplishing our Alumni Association goals on your behalf.  It's great to be able to meet the new students, and to work with the faculty and staff on developing resources for our alumni.  The fruit of these ongoing efforts is reflected in this edition of Anamnesis. 

The major event before us right now is our annual gathering for the post-grad seminar.  The expanded schedule of events this year should make for a great time of encouragement and growth together.  I sure hope you can come.

You'll also read about our ever-expanding resources on the Web site, IWS regionals that are springing up across the continent, and breaking news regarding major changes for the Grace Church family in Orange Park. 

W. Dan Lee, new MWS instructor, is introduced in this edition, and our feature article is by Lambda student, Bill Davis, on the theological content of worship songs.

So, read on; get re-connected; renew your prayer for the IWS community; and then give me some feedback or input regarding our newsletter or Web site.

Kent Walters

Serving as your link to the IWS community

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Alumni Post-graduate Course 2006

The third annual gathering of the IWS alumni in Orange Park is scheduled for June 17-20, 2006.  The event will include several new features this year, most of which were prompted by your suggestions.  Thanks for your input!

Our guest speaker will be Dr. Harold Best, Dean Emeritus of the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and author of Music Through the Eyes of Faith and Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts.  The exact title and scope of Dr. Best's sessions are still being worked out, but they will likely be drawn from his most recent book.  He is anxious to hear and address particular concerns and needs IWS alumni are facing. 

Click here to view Dr. Best's homepage.  Check out detail's on his newest book, Unceasing Worship, at

Here is a general overview of the schedule, which is still being finalized:

Saturday, June 17

  • Lunch with Bob Webber (Bob will give an update on the Institute and share his current passion for worship renewal).

  • Afternoon session with Bob via video (we will view and discuss Bob's Presidential Address given to the student body 3 days earlier).

  • Optional visit to one or more DWS or MWS class sessions (like old times!)

  • Evening class reunions and alumni gatherings at local eateries

Sunday, June 18

  • Morning worship

  • Dinner and fellowship with old friends at local eateries

  • Afternoon alumni meeting (sharing of vision, ideas and prayer)

  • Evening Commencement Service (alumni may don their regalia and process with the faculty and staff)

  • Alumni Reception at the Continental Club

Monday and Tuesday, June 19-20

  • Chapel (led by Darrell Harris and Jim Hart)

  • Morning and afternoon sessions with Harold Best

  • Evening Practicum / Service of Healing and Renewal

The seminar officially ends at the close of the Tuesday afternoon session, however, attendees are welcome to stay through chapel on Wednesday morning.

Some pre-course reading and interaction on the Message Board is also being considered for those who want to squeeze all the benefits they can out of this experience. 

The cost for registration is only $80.00 if you pre-register by May 1.  After May 1 the full registration fee of $100.00 will be charged.  This fee does not include meals on campus nor those at "local eateries" as listed above.   I'll keep you posted on meal costs as the details are finalized.  A list of recommended hotels will be sent to registrants prior to the event.

Doesn't this sound great?  Thanks for all who helped form this event with your creative ideas!

To register: mail the registration fee along with your current contact information (mailing address, phone, email address) to IWS (attn. Dana Brodsky), 151 Kingsley Ave., Orange Park, FL 32073.

As the event draws near the sharing of rental cars, hotel rooms, transportation to and from the airport, etc. can be coordinated on the Alumni Message Board.

See you in Orange Park in June!

Please direct any questions you have about this event to Kent Walters.


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Alumni Web Site Updates

We continue to make progress in expanding the resources and functionality of the alumni Web site.  We actually have more ideas than time to execute them.  Here are a few of the latest additions (or soon to be added).

New articles in the resources section by Connie Cherry (Planning Blended Worship and From Passive to Participative Worship) and Jack Van Marion (Eat, Drink--and Live: the Presence of the Ascended Christ is the Eucharist).  Both Connie and Jack presented very well-received sessions at the Calvin Symposium on Worship in Grand Rapids in January.  Some 10-12 IWS alumni, students and/or faculty attended this stimulating event.

Audio files:

  • January 2006 Presidential Address: A Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future (Bob Webber)

  • January 2006 Chapel Sermons (Darrell Harris)

  • January 2006 Convocation Sermon: With One Voice (Reggie Kidd)

  • June 2004 Presidential Address: Ancient-Future Evangelism (Bob Webber)

  • June 2004 Convocation Sermon: The Pledge of Allegiance (Constance Cherry)

Worship files:

  • Archived Convocation bulletins from 2002-2006

Pictures from the recent January Session are also posted.

We hope to soon have the web archives complete with all the audio files and worship bulletin documents that are available since the school's inception in 1999. 

Check out our alumni Web site!

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More IWS Regionals

As the IWS family expands across the country (and world) more and more interest is being expressed in forming regional gatherings for alumni, students, faculty and friends of the school.  One regional has already been established in the Twin Cities (see article in Anamnesis, July 2005).  Five more are in the process of forming:

Colorado Springs (contact: Richard Hunt)

Nashville (contact: Rob Still)

East Tennessee (contact: David Brown)

Toronto (contact: Alan Brisco)

West Michigan (contact: Kent Walters)

In keeping with one of Bob's organizational principles for IWS, we want these gatherings to be free from bureaucratic requirements and unnecessary structure.  The primary goal is mutual encouragement and support in worship ministry.

If you are interested in forming a regional gathering in your area, contact me (Kent) for more information. 

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A Time for Courage; a Time for Prayer: Grace Church (Anglican) Is Reborn

On the Feast of Epiphany, January 6, 2006, Grace Episcopal Church of Orange Park left the Episcopal Diocese of Florida (ECUSA) and united with the Diocese of Rwanda (Anglican) in a moving service attended by both parishioners and members of the IWS family who were on campus for the recent January Session.

As most of you know it has been a long and arduous journey for the church, and the aftermath of this important decision will surely have implications for IWS.

Grace Church must leave the facilities as of Easter Sunday 2006 and relocate.  This will not immediately affect IWS as the school has a binding contract to remain in the Kingsley Avenue facilities for a number of years.  The IWS leadership has been considering future options for some time.

This is a time for prayer for our brothers and sisters at Grace Church as their faith and conviction is tested in these difficult days. 

Transition news and updates are available on the Grace Church Web site.

Picture: Grace Church Rector, Sam Pascoe, is prayed for during the IWS Town and Gown meeting in January.

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IWS Welcomes Dr. W. Dan Lee

Dan Lee recently joined the IWS faculty to teach the new MWS 504 class: Spirituality and the Post Modern World.  Dan teaches with skill and passion and was enthusiastically received by the students last month.  I've asked him to introduce himself, giving some academic and personal background.  Welcome to the IWS family, Dan!

I am thrilled to join the IWS faculty. I am a theologian-at-large, and a former faculty member at Northern Seminary. Bob Webber was a great mentor as well as a dear colleague of mine at Northern.

At Northern, I taught practical theology in the areas of postmodern culture and spirituality, Christian leadership, formation for Christian ministry, and multiculturalism. I received a Ph.D. in systematic and biblical theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and both MA and BA in philosophy from Baylor University. I have published numerous articles on multiculturalism and was a plenary speaker at the Ethnic Workers’ Summit 2002 sponsored by the Billy Graham Center.

In addition to theological education, I am currently completing a Juris Doctor at DePaul University College of Law in Chicago and will be graduating in May 2006. I am currently working as a law clerk (intern) at the Circuit Court of Cook County (Illinois). My legal education is focused on civil litigation and international transactional laws. As part of litigation, my legal interests include constitutional issues regarding free exercise of religion, liabilities against clergy and church (and religious organizations), church property disputes, employment issues, and liability for negligent pastoral/spiritual counseling.

Once I complete my legal education, I intend both to practice law and to teach. As part of my teaching ministry, I am fully committed to the mission and vision of the IWS and am honored to be part of this great movement of promoting a new paradigm for Christian worship and spirituality.

My wife's name is Clara.  We met at Baylor.  We have three children: Ashley (13), Emiley (11), and Nathan (2).

I look forward to meeting you in the near future.

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Lex Cantati Lex Credendi est

By Bill Davis (DWS student, Lambda class)

You all remember how stimulating meal time is at IWS.  Well, during table talk at one the meals this past January Session I was intrigued by a project Bill Davis had recently completed for DWS 601 in which he analyzed the lyrical content of the top 25 CCLI songs.  Bill's research appears in two helpful charts: Theological Concepts Survey; Theological Concepts Summary.  Thanks, Bill, for sharing this info with us.  BTW, Bill serves as Minister of Music at Thomasville Road Baptist Church in Tallahassee, Florida.

My project last semester was on the theme: “Living between the two Advents.”  In my research I found that the Church’s level of interest in Jesus’ return has waxed and waned throughout her history, related to the conditions Christians were facing at the time.  I wanted to see if our current use of worship choruses reflects a similar pattern.  Of the “Top 25” worship choruses reported to CCLI in August 2005 by North American churches only two reference the second coming and only four speak of heaven or eternal life.

I wonder if, along with a proliferation of “felt needs” sermons and “health and wealth” theology, this trend in singing could indicate that the North American Church is drifting toward a “here and now” faith and losing an eternal perspective.  As a “baby boomer” I grew up under the threat of nuclear holocaust.  Interest in eschatology as expressed in sermons, books, and music was at a higher pitch.  I wonder if, since the fall of the USSR and the Berlin Wall, we are more “comfortable in our time” and not looking as intently toward the eastern skies as those a generation before of us.

In examining other theological concepts expressed in the “Top 25” I made the following observations.  We are singing much about the nature and acts of God, and we are singing to Him.  Many of the songs are expressions of response to God.  About half of the choruses are Christocentric, and slightly fewer allude to scripture.  Less than a third speak of the cross.  Most use “I” language instead of corporate “we” language.  None are Trinitarian. 

Whether this data reflects current theological foci in North America or whether it means that theological balance is not on the “radar” of the average worship planner, it is a reminder for me to make the theological value of the text an important consideration in worship song selection.

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Presenting: the Theses!

During the recent January Session, the 2002, 2003 and 2004 DWS theses (the 2005 theses have not yet arrived from the book binder) found a temporary, yet more easily accessible home in the church vestry near Jim Hart's office.  They are arranged alphabetically by author.

Think of the hours of research, prayers, tears, proofing, testing, "golden threading," writing and rewriting that are represented here!

Then, remember Bob's encouraging words: "Get it done and then go out and do what you were called to do: serve the Savior!"

A complete listing of the theses is available on our Web site.

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