Julia K. Start Fletcher

Julia K. Start Fletcher is a dance instructor for training and collegiate programs in West Michigan.

Articles by this author:

  • How does your congregation celebrate the Lord’s Supper? Is it a celebration, or is it a more somber, reflective experience? Do you take communion as a community, or is it more individualized? Maybe your answer is that it’s a little bit of everything, or maybe it depends on the time of year.

    My home congregation celebrates the Lord’s Supper the same way about once a month. At certain times of year we may mix it up a little bit and go forward to the table rather than receiving communion in the pews. Other than that, things remain fairly static.

  • And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

  • Christmas can be a beautiful time to incorporate movement into your worship gatherings. Christmas Eve candlelight services provide an especially wonderful atmosphere for introducing a simple dance done either in a group or solo. Christmas programs are also a perfect time for children to lead movement and get comfortable worshiping through motion. And what better occasion than Christmas Day, the birth of our King, to get the whole congregation involved in a processional with simple side steps and clapping?

  • Dance without music, you say? That sounds rather intimidating! Where is the rhythm and the underlying flow and melody to accompany the dance?

    Dance without music and with Scripture or other spoken words can be very effective and pow- erful. Dance has the ability to make words come alive as the movement helps paint the overall picture. Many Scripture passages and poetic litanies have a natural flow to the wording, making them appropriate for pairing with dance.

  • If you’ve ever watched a group of dancers on one of those reality so-you-think-you-can-dance shows on television, you might have asked yourself “What makes this group so much better than the last?” When a group is in sync with each other through each movement and transition, that makes them stand out. It’s the unity within the choreography—both physical and emotional—that heightens the excellence of a dance piece.

  • We are a church relishing in the resurrection. I like to think that Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who heard the good news of Christ’s resurrection did not simply hurry off to tell this exciting news, but that they danced. “They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him” (Matt. 28:9). How could they have kept still?

  • Picture a young child ripping open a gift—something he’s been longing for. What does he do? Does he sit quietly and smile? If he’s like most kids, he’ll more likely clasp his hands and raise his shoulders in excitement. Maybe he’ll even give the giver a spontaneous hug before throwing his arms up in the air. Physical expressions of celebration and rejoicing flow naturally from young children.

    But joyful movements aren’t just for kids.

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