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Notes

Here are two European travel opportunities for those interested in worship and culture worldwide.

Reformed Worship Worldwide,
July 8-26, 2005

This interim course, offered jointly by Calvin College and Calvin Seminary, will be held in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Open to students and other interested adults, the course offers a wonderful opportunity for international learning and fellowship. Here’s the course description:

A study of Reformed worship theology and practice worldwide while participating in the quadrennial assembly of the Reformed Ecumenical Council (www.recweb.org), a gathering in Utrecht from July 12-26 of 100+ delegates from 39 Reformed and Presbyterian denominations in 25 countries, mainly from Africa and Asia. The class will study historic Reformed worship and worship practices from the countries represented based on readings, interviews of delegates, attending assembly meetings, and planning and leading worship during the assembly. The class will form a choir (singers as well as instrumentalists and/or dancers) to help lead daily worship with the delegates. Housing is at a historic hostel in the woods on the river Kromme Rijn, a short tram ride from the conference site.

Excursions will include attending and participating in local worship services; exploring the fascinating university city of Utrecht; visiting sites of interest in Reformed church history (Amsterdam, Gouda, Kampen), including Reformed and Roman Catholic church buildings; and touring the Delta Works, the Vught Concentration Camp, the harbor of Rotterdam, and the northern provinces.

Course instructors will be

  • Harry Boonstra, former associate editor of Reformed Worship, theological librarian, and native of the Netherlands.
  • Emily Brink, editor of RW and senior research fellow of the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
  • Joel Navarro, director of several Calvin choirs who served the Christian Reformed Church in the Philippines, a denomination belonging to the REC.

For more information, contact Emily Brink (embrink@calvin.edu).

An Invitation to Worship Song Writers

Please note two opportunities for budding (or experienced) songwriters:

What Language Shall I Borrow?

A one-day hymn text writing seminar Thursday, January 27, led by Carl P. Daw, Jr., one of the foremost hymn authors in the English-speaking world. Participants are invited (not required) to submit up to five hymn texts in advance. Texts submitted by January 1, 2005, will be discussed and critiqued during the seminar. The seminar will include versifying psalms as well as guidance for writing original hymn texts. All participants will receive in advance a copy of Lessons in Hymnwriting by Gracia Grindal. This seminar precedes the Calvin Symposium on Worship held January 28-30. For registration information for this seminar and/or for the entire Calvin Symposium on Worship held each January, check www.calvin.edu/worship.

New Songs Based on New Testament Texts

Songwriters are invited to submit new songs based on New Testament texts for consideration in a forthcoming collection to be published by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and Faith Alive Resources. Hymn texts (without music, possibly with tune recommendations) as well as complete songs with music are welcome. The plan is for a collection of worship songs arranged in canonical order, beginning with a composite account of the gospels, including both Scripture paraphrases and texts clearly based on a given text (not texts that simply include a phrase or reference to a particular verse).

Deadline for submission is June 1, 2005. Please submit three copies of each submission to

New Testament Songbook Submission
c/o Joyce Borger
2850 Kalamazoo Ave. SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49560

New Copyright Licensing Agency

Thousands of churches belong to CCLI; thousands more to GIA or LiscenSing or other licensing agencies. Churches would do well to check out OneLicense.net, the newest company, and compare prices and services. OneLicense.net offers annual, event, or one-time licenses to reprint thousands of congregational hymns and songs, words and music, from the leading church music publishers of the twenty-first century. Their sophisticated online reporting system enables you to complete that process in just minutes. For more information go to www.onelicense.net.

2005 Conferences

Choristers Guild Conferences and Workshop Handbell Conference for Directors and Ringers, Michael Helman, Clinician

Jacksonville, Florida, February 11-12
Centreville, Virginia, March 4-5
Fall 2005 Directors’ Enrichment Conferences, Anton Armstrong, Clinician
New York, New York, September 23-24
Denver, Colorado, September 30-October 1
Charleston, South Carolina, October 21-22

For more information on these and other conferences, go to www.choristersguild.org.

Grand Rapids, MI, January 27-29
“Calvin Symposium on Worship and the Arts,” www.calvin.edu/worship.

Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 4-6
“Biblical Storytelling.” Dennis Dewey will speak to pastors, worship leaders, and planners on how to read Scripture well. To register contact Ken Vander Horst, kenvh@arenet.net.

Seminars in Christian Scholarship
The seminar program seeks to promote a strong Christian voice in the academy by addressing issues of current debate within various disciplines from the perspective of a deep Christian commitment and encouraging the production of first-order scholarship.

Grand Rapids, MI, June 20-24
“Musical Theology: Past Lessons, Present Perspectives.” Directed by Richard Plantinga, Calvin College, and Clayton Schmidt, Fuller Theological Seminary. This seminar for pastors and church leaders will take a musical look at some of the great issues of theology in the Christian church.

Grand Rapids, MI, June 20-July 1
“Keeping and Talking the Word: Scripture Memorization for Contemplation, Formation, and Proclamation” The people of God have been enjoined “to keep these words . . . in your hearts.” Why? How? Timothy L. Brown, Western Theological Seminary, will explore the rationale and the practice of Scripture memorization for spiritual formation and the practice of ministry.

For more information and to apply, go to www.calvin.edu/scs.

Trinity University, San Antonio, Texas, July 17-21
The Hymn Society Convention, “Music of the Americas.” www.thehymnsociety.org.