Calvin Worship Symposium 2012 – Reflections

image (c) Erik Nykamp "A Tree Planted"

PDF – 2012 Program Book (workshops and worship)

Video and Audio from workshops will be posted here

It’s not often that you get the opportunity to worship with over 1500 people from dozens of different countries, cultures, and denominations.  This diversity is one of the chief joys of participating in Calvin’s Worship Symposium held every year up in balmy Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The theme of this years symposium was ““When Life is Prayer” with a special focus on the Psalms.  This theme corresponded with the publication of a new psalter “Psalms for All Seasons” that every single attender received. (Cardiphonia contributed Psalm 120)


Participating in this seminar:

Seminar 3: Tune My Heart to Sing Your Praise: The Re-tuned hymn (and psalm!) movement in the context of the broader culture, hosted by Greg Scheer and James K.A. Smith and featured Bruce Benedict, Sandra McCracken, Kevin Twit, Eelco Vos, and Isaac Wardell.
When Kevin Twit and RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) began setting historic hymn texts to new tunes, who knew it would grow into a movement with contributions from Indelible Grace, Sojourn Music, BiFrost and others? And who knew that in Europe a similar approach would rejuvenate singing the Psalms? Several leaders in this movement will discuss the cultural background, perform examples of their own songs, and discuss the future of this movement. We’ll give special attention to ways of using this repertoire in the local church.

– Here is a list we put together for the conference of all of the “re:hymned” albums we know of.

Leading worship

For over 900 people on Friday and Saturday mornings with Greg Scheer, Kevin Twit, Karl Digerness, and Sandra McCracken.

Set List:O God, Our Help in Ages Past (Ps90), To You, O God, I lift up my Soul (25C), Praise the Lord, Sing Hallelujah ((148C), Jesus, Draw me ever Nearer (Getty), Wait for the Lord (Taize), Justice will Roll Down (McCracken)

Friday evening there was a mini-festival to celebrate the new psalter and a diverse group of musicians gathered to play their various compositions led by Martin Tel the chapel director at Princeton Seminary.  We were invited to play our Psalm 120 and were the featured ‘folk’ group of the night.  We show up at about the 38:00 min mark.

Helping with these workshops:

B3: The Psalms of Ascent during Holy Week
The Psalms of Ascent (Psalms 120-134, also called the psalms of pilgrimage) are a collection of 15 psalms that the Israelites sang as they journeyed each year to Jerusalem for Passover.  This session will explore these psalms as resources for leading your congregation on a journey singing and praying with Jesus through Holy Week.

Psalm 130 "Like the Watchman Waits for the Morning" (c) Aaron Collier, 2007

It was also great to see Aaron Collier’s Psalm 130 up in the hallway and included as program art.

C12: Developing Vertical Habits, a panel with Worship Renewal Grant recipients, moderated by Betty Grit
Recipients of Worship Renewal Grants will describe practical resources that helped people of all ages better understand why we do what we do in worship.

Hearing these plenary sessions from NT Wright and Walter Bruggeman.

  • Performing a Counter World: the Alternative Reality Offered by the Psalms for the Worlds We Inhabit. Walter Brueggemann

“The dominant world given to us by our culture is not the real world,” he said, “and we need not inhabit it. In a world without God there are only idols. The Psalms mediate to us the covenant-making God of Israel.”

  • Praying the Psalms: Personal, Pastoral, Theological and Liturgical Reflections.  N.T. Wright (video here)

“The Psalms work in us and invite us,” he said, “to live in the radically alternative world that is both creational and covenantal.”

There was even time for a fun outing into the usedbook utopia of Grand Rapids led by the experienced hand of Kevin Twit.

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