The IWS Alumni Newsletter
May 2006 Spring Edition Volume 3, Number 2
In This Issue
Click to go to the article.
· IWS regionals update
· Grace Church in transition
Harold Best on musical appropriateness in worship:
"Everything done musically must be defended or critiqued theologically and biblically. Church music does not exist for its own sake; nor is it, as some would have it, just a tool. Nor is it part of a setup--half behavioral and half spiritual--for the allegedly more important activities of worship. Music is, in its own way, proclamation and as such is completely accountable. Musical appropriateness . . . is first of all an issue of faith musically put to work shown through discerning choice. . . .[It] is never a matter of pragmatics but rather of wisdom (Music Through the Eyes of Faith, 188).
The "June Session Read"
Bob Webber has chosen his book, Ancient-Future Evangelism, for the June Read. Surely you all have read this book by now, but if not, take the opportunity to read this great text on making your church a faith-forming community. See the details for this book at Amazon.com.
The most often-asked question by alumni:
"What is the username and password for the Web site?"
So don't feel embarrassed any longer! I email this info all the time. Just send me an email with the word "Help!" and I'll reply.
"Discerning worship leaders
must sense that when familiarity begins to turn into conditioned reflex or the right worship atmosphere cannot be achieved unless certain music is used, they are responsible to correct the worshipers and lead them back into the way of faith" (Harold Best, Music Through the Eyes of Faith, 194).
The big news is our alumni seminar, which is just around the corner. It's not too late to make plans to attend. I sure hope you can come.
As you page down you will read about Dale Dirksen and a new worship Web site, an update on our IWS regionals, the transition Grace Church is experiencing, a teaching opportunity for Don Fugate and Merrill Smoak, and a useful list of worship questions from Lester Ruth.
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.
Serving as your link to the IWS community
And what a time it will be! Few are better qualified to address the topic of "Worship and the Arts" than Dr. Harold Best. If you haven't read his books by now you really need to: Music Through the Eyes of Faith and Unceasing Worship: Biblical Perspectives on Worship and the Arts. He has also contributed a section on tradition hymn-based worship in the book, Exploring the Worship Spectrum: Six Views, edited by Paul Basden, Zondervan, 2004 (Amazon link).
The third annual gathering of the IWS alumni in Orange Park is scheduled for June 17-20, 2006. I'm looking forward to the additional activities that will occur on Saturday because of our expanded schedule this year.
Dr. Best has planned a rich array of topics for our sessions on Monday and Tuesday that will facilitate a stimulating discussion of music and the arts in worship from theological, philosophical and practical perspectives.
Here is an overview of the schedule:
Saturday, June 17
Sunday, June 18
Monday and Tuesday, June 19-20
The seminar officially ends at the close of the Tuesday afternoon session, however, attendees are welcome to stay through chapel on Wednesday morning.
The registration fee is only $100.00. Meals and lodging are not included in the registration fee. Click here for more details.
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. Once we receive your registration a detailed schedule and information regarding meals and lodging will be sent to you.
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.
In April of 2006, faculty and students of Briercrest Seminary in Saskatchewan, Canada launched a Web site called "The Canadian Centre for Worship Studies" (www.ccws.ca). CCWS is dedicated to the thoughtful engagement of ideas and practice related to Christian worship—both corporate and personal. Dale Dirksen (Gamma, DWS 2003), the web site moderator, believes this kind of resource is important for students, scholars, leaders and lay people who want to think about and carefully practice worship. The site enables a person to both contribute to and take advantage of the worship resources available.
Sections of the web site include "papers" related to worship in the following areas: theology, history, sign and symbol, contemporary and postmodern thought, technology, music and the arts. Worship service plans and links are also posted on the site. A “community of learners” who participate on an ongoing basis is already developing through this Web site.
If you would like to submit a paper that might fit with the content of this Web site, please send it to Dale (email@example.com).
East Tennessee Regional (contact: David Brown)
David reports: Thus far we've had one East Tennessee regional gathering that took place over lunch in Knoxville, and plans are in the works for our second. We're excited about the possibilities of meeting with other worship ministers and lay leaders within the East Tennessee area who are currently not connected with IWS. Several of our upcoming goals will be to continue to meet with one another, share resources that might be useful, and invite anyone interested in hearing about IWS to our regional gatherings as a way to introduce them to the school.
Twin Cities Regional (contact: Heather Hood)
The next meeting will be on Thursday, May 11, at 12:00 p.m., in Edina, MN (exact location to be determined). We will be discussing the book, Heaven is a Place on Earth: Why Everything You Do Matters to God by Michael E. Wittmer, Zondervan - ISBN 0-310-25307-1 (one of the books recommended in the 2005 Alumni Seminar).
West Michigan Regional (contact: Kent Walters)
Our regional met for the first time on March 27. Five alumni and students gathered for an informal lunch at a Grand Rapids area restaurant. There was a great spirit among us! After sharing personal updates we discussed our schedules and the nature and location of future meetings. There are five more IWSers in Michigan who expressed interested in being a part of these gatherings.
If you are interested in forming a regional gathering in your area, please contact me (Kent) for more information.
Grace Church held their last services in the Kingsley Avenue facilities on Easter Sunday. They are currently meeting in the Orange Park High School while property is being acquired and building plans are made. At this point the IWS office and campus will remain at the Kingsley Avenue facilities.
Continue to pray for our Grace Church brothers and sisters during this time of transition. You may also be interested in reading a recent postings by Rector Sam Pascoe as he describes the church's last Sunday on their historic campus and the first Sunday at the high school. Click here.
Merril Smoak (Alpha, DWS 2002) is Associate Pastor for Music and Worship at Trinity Baptist Church in Livermore, CA and Don Fugate (Delta, DWS 2004) is Associate Pastor at Foxworthy Baptist Church in San Jose, CA. They are both adjunct faculty members at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, CA. Don gives the following report on a successful team teaching endeavor last summer.
Merril Smoak and I had the privilege of teaching "Music and Worship in the Faith Community" to 46 students at the seminary last summer. What a wonderful experience. We used Dr. Hill's book, Enter His Courts With Praise, as our main text. We incorporated so many concepts we learned at the Institute as we discussed the biblical and historical basis of worship, the Christian year, and the use of visual arts in worship. We even included a field trip to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco as we explored the subject of sacred space. The teachings seemed to resonate with the students who hunger for the touch of a majestic, mysterious and even dangerous God.
Future editions of Anamnesis will feature the personal and ministry changes of our fellow alumni since graduation. Please send me info about the changes in your life. Have you relocated? Had a baby? Won the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes?
Also, please be sure to keep your personal profile on the Web site current. your personal password for making updates will be automatically sent when you click on the update option. Follow the easy instructions. Thanks.
Keep celebrating the Resurrection!