Walking with God in Worship
Many pastors and worship leaders reserve the last week of January for the Calvin College Worship Symposium, and this year is no different. Four members from Mountainview were in Grand Rapids Michigan, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, taking in plenary sessions, vespers services, electives and presentations from artists, musicians, pastors and scholars around worship and preaching. Some 112 presenters served over 1,500 registrants, along with several praise teams, choirs and soloists invited to enhance and inspire. The theme for this year’s conference comes from the gospels post resurrection story, “And Jesus did many other things as well…” The five plenary session stories included “The Road to Emmaus,” “Jesus meeting Thomas,” “Jesus on the Beach,” “Jesus reinstating Peter,” and “The Ascension.” The Calvin Worship Symposium gives preaching pastors an opportunity to listen to excellent sermons. There is also a sermon making track around the preaching of the word. There was a lecture on Preaching from John, and another one entitled “Wisdom for Preaching, Praying and Singing about Suffering.” I was able to listen to a lecture given by one of my favorite Calvin Seminary Profs; “A Thankful Heart; Contours of Gratitude for Preaching.” There were workshops on song writing, banner making, churches in the midst of racial tensions, growing in intimacy with God, how to include those with disabilities and what about those “in-between words” in worship. There were sectionals on global justice, after the benediction and into the work week, welcoming youth into worship, using visual arts, being intergenerational, serious play, sharing our stories, teaching like Jesus, and praising God with dance. Needless to say, it was hard to drink it all in, but thirst quenching it was. As we continue in our weekly practice of worship, it is our prayer that we will all catch sightings of his presence, as he actively seeks us out and continues to expand his kingdom in and through the joy that we receive in walking with our resurrected Lord.