November 2008 Fall Edition Issue #17
In This Issue
Click to go to the article.
· Reggie's new role
· Half price seminars
Phyllis Tickle in the Press
Recently in Grand Rapids for a speaking and book signing engagement, Phyllis Tickle was interviewed by The Grand Rapids Press:
Attention college professors:
A student from your institution may qualify for a scholarship to IWS as the recipient of the IWS Award of Distinction in Christian Worship. Contact Jim Hart for more information.
Click to enlarge.
Toward defining the Great Emergence
"The Great Emergence . . . has been both characterized and informed by increasing restraints upon, or out right rejections of, pure capitalism; by traditional or mainline Protestantism's loss of demographic base; by the erosion or popular rejection of the middle class's values and the nuclear family as the requisite foundational unit of social organization; by the shift from cash to information as the base of economic power; and by the demise of the nation-state and the rise of globalization (Phyllis Tickle, The Great Emergence, 51-52).
IWS: "Much more than I expected"
Now that I am approaching the end of the DWS program, I thank God for giving me this wonderful opportunity to be part of this learning and serving community. I share with my friends about learning at IWS– “I am getting much more than I expected!” (Kai Ton Chau, Ontario, Canada)
Please invest in the life-changing work of IWS with your gifts.
Book for the January Session
Jim Hart has selected The Dangerous Act of Worship: Living God's Call to Justice, by Mark Labberton (IVP Books, 2007) as the discussion book for the January Session.
Please share your personal news with the IWS community. Send me an email with a few details about your life, family, ministry.
Chicago area gathering
Click here to page down to a few pictures from this recent event.
Denver area regional
This past summer the regional met to bid good-bye to Jon and Jada Swanson as they prepared to move to Oregon to plant a church. Part of the evening was spent singing around Larry Ellis' pipe organ (that's right--a pipe organ in his home!). Click the picture to enlarge.
IWS promotional poster
We have produced a very attractive promotional poster with a tear-off, self-addressed postcard to request more information on IWS. These posters may be placed in churches, colleges, grad schools and seminaries where interested potential students would see them. Please contact the IWS office for copies of this new poster.
Webber Quote of
This Thanksgiving marks the 1st anniversary of the online Webber quotes. During this first year we have walked through two of Bob's books (The Divine Embrace and Blended Worship), with a few seasonal quotes from Ancient-Future Time and other writings. We're currently mining Bob's wisdom from Ancient-Future Worship. Each Monday a new quote is published on the website and emailed to the IWS community and interested friends. If you're not receiving these weekly emails let me know. Check out the Quote Archive.
How about some feedback?
Is this a worthwhile endeavor? Have you ever forwarded a quote to a friend? Do you have a quote to suggest? Have you added a Webber Quote of the Week icon/link on your website? Talk to me.
Spread the wisdom and promote IWS! Add this or a similar icon as a hyperlink on your Web site. Contact Kent Walters for more info.
Bob Webber was often referred to as a modern-day prophet. This is not surprising given his ability to discern our times, his knack for synthesizing and communicating vast amounts of knowledge in an understandable and compelling way, his vision for the Church rooted in Scripture and history, and his relentless call to genuine worship in a sea of cultural and ecclesial change.
Bob consistently demonstrated the rare ability to read the church in its cultural context and goad her to faithfulness and renewal. He spoke truth with boldness, shining its light on our grievous shortcomings as well as our glorious future. I am forever grateful for this servant of God and his ongoing influence in my life. In need of perspective, Bob's wisdom often helped me "connect the dots" in history and theology, giving me renewed passion for the work of the kingdom in my small area of influence.
I have recently experienced a fresh sense of "dot connecting" in reading Phyllis Tickle's newly published book, The Great Emergence: How Christianity is Changing and Why. The author kindled within this reader a fresh sense of divine urgency that comes from a keener insight into our times.
Carefully linking significant events that have contributed to the major shift currently emerging in the church and the world, Ms. Tickle writes with the skill of an historian and sage in a book that I highly recommend to everyone in the IWS community. The timeliness of this book is amplified by the overwhelming challenges our country now faces, such as economic collapse of our varied institutions, major political and social restructuring, and the consequent global repercussions.
We are blessed indeed to have Phyllis Tickle scheduled for our 2009 seminar at IWS, June 13-16!
Check out the short video (2:45) below in which Phyllis describes the "Great Emergence." Then, read the book, mark the seminar dates, and plan to be inspired!
Kent Walters, D.W.S. (Alpha, 2002)
by Carla Waterman
The following is an excerpt from Carla Waterman’s forthcoming book—All is Well: Feminine Graces in the Formation of Faith—available soon at www.lulu.com. This book explores five statements spoken by or to Mary, the mother of our Lord, “on the days when Gabriel is not conspicuous and the wise men have gone home.” The book seeks to trace God’s unique finger print of grace as received by Mary—and, by extension, by all that is feminine in the world, whether woman, responsive Christian soul, or the church herself in the every day challenges of life. The graces explored are: simplicity, receptivity, wisdom, confidence and buoyancy.
Behind the piano in my living room hangs a large print of Rublev’s famous icon of the Trinity. While there are many details written into this famous work, I have always been captivated by the eyes. The eyes of the Father look with love on the Son, the Son looks back with love at the Father, and the Holy Spirit, with head slightly bowed, is both absorbing and reflecting back the love between Father and Son. Here is love initiated, here is love received. As Jean Corbin reflects,
The mysterious river of divine communion is an outpouring of love among the Three, and in it eternal life consists. Each person is gift and acceptance of gift, never varying, yet not motionless…each is joy given gratuitously and accepted freely.[i]
To be human is to be created a relational being whose life flows out of this Trinitarian communion. While this dance of love is most readily perceived in the one-flesh union of husband and wife, we ought never forget that even the best marriage is a mere reflection of the all-penetrating love that lies at the heart of the Trinity.
“Masculine and Feminine meet us on planes of reality where male and female would be simply meaningless.”[ii] This book has sought to ponder the feminine side of this reality and reclaim it as a wonder that women, Christian souls and the church embody without ever fully revealing.
To live in these divinely extended feminine graces of simplicity, receptivity, wisdom, confidence and buoyancy is, somehow, to be caught up in the loving gaze of the Son toward His Father. Receptive love adores great Initiator. And from this divine exchange of love proceeds life itself. Again Jean Corbin writes,
In the communion of the Blessed Trinity no person is named for himself. There is here neither ‘in itself’ nor ‘for itself’: terms that among us are signs of barrenness and death. In the communion of the living God, the mystery of each person is to be for the other: ‘O! Thou!’[iii]
Whether in marriage, in friendship, in the commerce of everyday life or, most especially, in the church, women and men are privileged to carry the fundamental creaturely expression of a much larger reality. This realization ought to make us wonder at the hints of Trinitarian communion offered us through the woman across the fellowship hall and the man in the next pew. When wonder pervades our encounters with each other our souls are strengthened and our lives are blessed. We taste what cannot be analyzed and are somehow drawn into an eternal communion beyond our capacity to express in words.
May these feminine graces take root and grow in us, that as women of God, as faithful Christian souls and as the Church awaiting her Bridegroom we might be caught up—as much as our frail beings can bear—into this Trinitarian love where all, indeed, is very, very well.
[i] Jean Corbin, The Wellspring of Worship (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2005), 31.
[ii] C.S. Lewis, Perelandra (New York: MacMillan Pub., 1944), 200.
[iii] Jean Corbin, The Wellspring of Worship, 30.
Worship Leader magazine recently named IWS as one of the top educational programs that influenced Christian worship in the past calendar year. The designation was awarded by the magazine's editorial team and listed in the October 2008 "Best of the Best" issue. IWS was the only degree granting institution to be honored by the publication, which cited our equipping of "pastors and music leaders alike with unique graduate level programs in worship studies."
Jim Hart commented, "IWS is honored to receive the Worship Leader magazine 2008 Editor's Pick designation. This award honors the hard work and dedication of the students, alumni, faculty, board and staff of IWS, as well as Bob Webber's rich legacy in worship education."
The magazine also named Robert Webber in the category, "10 Biggest Influences in the Worship Arena." Citing his more than 40 books, the magazine honored Bob's role as columnist and editor for Worship Leader since the very first issue until his passing in 2007. Julie Reid, a member of the Editorial Team, wrote: "[Robert Webber's] thoughts, and the way in which he compelled others to think about worship are his lasting legacy. . . . It would be impossible to list all of Bob's accomplishments; certainly his impact in terms of the language of Ancient Future Worship has and will continue to be significant." Click on the picture to enlarge.
by Jim Hart
IWS has been blessed with high retention rate among our students. In other words, very few of our students drop out of either the MWS or DWS programs. This is due, at least in part, to the strong sense of community that is established and nurtured among and between students, faculty, alumni, staff, and board members.
In an attempt to maintain an intentional connection between alumni and students, IWS is developing a mentoring program. Here is how this will work. One or two alumni will be invited to sit in on each class during each session. These alumni will serve to encourage, pray for and mentor the students in the class during that semester, initiating contacts with the students and providing assistance as requested by the student. Additionally, alumni will be invited to participate in all of the worship services and other events in the on-campus experience during the week. There will be no charge for this opportunity to “retake” a class, and up to two CEU’s can be earned. The alumni will be expected to provide their own transportation to Orange Park and pay for the meal service. Private home stays are an option for alumni mentors.To apply to be a mentor, please contact Registrar Laura Ritter (email@example.com). You should specify if you would like to request a particular class. Applications must be renewed each semester. This is a great opportunity for alumni to stay connected and involved with the life of the IWS community while reinforcing the foundations of their IWS educational experience.
Meal time conversations and classroom discussions at IWS often turn to issues surrounding church staff relations and/or finding common vision in worship theology and planning with co-workers. One way to bridge the gap of understanding is to bring your pastor or worship pastor/director to an IWS seminar. Our 10th anniversary year will feature TWO alumni and friends seminars--one during the June Session of 2009 and one during the January Session of 2010. AND--you may bring your pastor or worship pastor/director to these seminars for half price on the registration!
This summer--June 13-16, 2009--we are privileged to welcome Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the religion department at Publishers Weekly and one of the most highly respected authorities and popular speakers on religion in America today. This seminar on the Great Emergence is sure to have broad appeal given the subject matter of her new book. Mark the dates and look for registration details in the February edition of Anamnesis.
Dr. John Witvliet will be the speaker for our first January Session Seminar scheduled for 2010. John is the Director of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, and Professor of Music and Worship at Calvin College and Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids, MI. His latest book is The Biblical Psalms in Christian Worship: A Brief Introduction and Guide to Resources. The dates for this event are January 6-8, 2010.
Chan's book, Liturgical Theology: The Church as Worshiping Community, is another must-read for everyone in the IWS community!
A 10-day Holy Land Tour/Seminar with Jerry Borchert is in the planning stages. As many of you know, Jerry has been leading tours and teaching on the biblical, historical and archeological significance of the ancient sites for many years. He really desires to share this experience with the IWS community. We are earmarking the trip for February 2010. Click here to see a sample brochure of a comparable trip.
A good amount of interest was expressed following the first announcement of this trip in the last edition of Anamnesis, but we still need more travelers before definitive dates and plans can be set. Please contact Kent Walters as soon as possible to express your interest in being a part of this IWS trip.
Lyndel Vaught, D.W.S. (Zeta, 2005)
Lyndel passed away on Wednesday, September 10, 2008, after a short battle with pancreatic cancer, having been diagnosed on August 21. He was 63.
Since 1993 he was Professor of Church Music at Southwestern Theological Seminary. The news release published by the seminary lauded Lyndel as a missions-minded music professor who will be greatly missed.
"In the last few days of his life he spent his time encouraging others in the assurance of salvation and the hope that lies ahead of all who put their faith in Jesus," said Stephen Johnson, dean of the school of church music at the seminary. "Dr. Vaught's heart for the future ministers that sat in his classroom was well-known," Johnson said. "His love for deep worship and active missionary involvement, most recently with the Navajo, represented passions that occupied many of his conversations and much of his time." During his sabbatical in the 2007-08 academic year, Lyndel ministered to Native Americans in New Mexico.
A 2005 graduate of IWS, Lyndel had a heart for ministry to senior adults. He is the author of the book, Senior Adult Choir Ministry--Age Is No Excuse. His IWS thesis was titled, A Daily Worship Guidebook to Promote Personal Christian Worship During Holy Week Among Senior Adults, Age 65-85 at the Silver Serenaders Choir, Dallas, Texas.
In addition to his wife, Janet, he is survived by three children, Andrea, Christopher and William.
The annual AEF Conference was held October 9-11 at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL. This conference, the third in a series that focuses each year on one section of "A Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future," was titled, On the Church: the Continuation of God's Narrative. It you're wondering, "What in the world is The Call?," click here to read a CT interview with Bob Webber on the topic. You need to be aware of this significant document and the vision behind it.
David Neff has posted an excellent summary/overview of the conference. You can still benefit from the conference via streaming video; page down the link to see the 13 videos that are available. Also, outlines and notes from the sessions may be found on the desertpastor blog. Click on the October archives and page down through the October 9-12 postings.
IWS Chicago Regional Gathering
Following the conference, IWSers and friends who attended the conference or live in the greater Chicago area met at Reza's Restaurant nearby for an excellent Mediterranean lunch, great conversation, and a stimulating talk by Jim Hart: "IWS After 10 Years." Here are pictures (thanks to David Pannabecker!) of some of the 13 people who attended. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger versions.
Dear Students, Alumni, Faculty, Staff, Board Members and Friends of IWS,
This Fall I have been contemplating the primal optimism of God, manifested even in trying times. As we live into our call to participate in God’s restoration of the whole created order, we can’t help but see his redemptive work all around us. His grace and favor have been evident at IWS throughout this year. Our school has continued to thrive in the accomplishment of our mission as our graduates, faculty and students have continued to influence worship renewal all over the world. In February of this year, the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) awarded IWS candidacy status. Our library continues to expand as we move toward forming a local theological library consortium. During this past June’s graduation, 37 students received their diplomas and welcomed the charge to advance God’s Kingdom through renewed worship. I am thankful for God’s work in and through IWS.
IWS remains committed to its mission of promoting worship renewal and education through transformed lives that are making a real difference in the church and the world.
The ongoing fulfillment of our mission is truly a team effort, a team that includes you. As IWS has grown in numbers and influence, many have taken their places in their support and promotion of our mission by the investment into IWS of time, talent, treasure and prayer. Last year’s Annual Fund reached its goal of $75,000 despite economic hard times. Additional gifts were designated for scholarships, the Library Fund, the Alumni Fund and the Robert E. Webber Endowment Fund. As the school has matured, related areas of operational expense have grown, including our accreditation pursuit, activities related to development and recruitment, and the board’s decision in June to make the president’s position full-time. We want to continue responding to the challenges of faithfully fulfilling God’s mission for IWS. Therefore, we are launching the 2008-09 Annual Fund, with a goal of raising $80,000 this year. We are relying on your generosity and prayers to continue building the financial muscle we need for a secure future. Your gifts will be wisely invested in our students and the mission of our beloved institute.
Please join Carol and me, along with the board, staff and faculty, and your fellow alumni and students, as we support the ongoing mission of IWS through our prayers and our gifts. Our goal for this drive is again to have the highest possible percentage of participation from the entire IWS family and friends. No gift is too small. If you are a first time donor, perhaps you would consider a $10 gift in honor of our tenth anniversary. Please also consider IWS in the mission budgets of your churches. The future of IWS continues to be bright with the blessing and presence of God.
Thank you for your support of the Lord’s work in and through IWS.
Grace and peace to you,
James R. Hart, President
of Alumni Activities and Editor of Anamnesis