Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Worship Seminar - Preparing for Thursday, February 26, Sheer, Chapter 3

Our reading for this session is in the Scheer text, chapter 3.  Since we are beginning our song-writing project, let's focus our reading on pages 55 to the top of page 69.   I hope you enjoy the humor of pages 68-69 and I hope you notice how well the reading corresponds to our song-writing project!  Respond to the following for your journaling:

1. Respond to "growing in faith through enculturation" on page 55-56 in light of Deuteronomy 6:6-9 and Exodus 12:14, 17, 24-28.
2. Scheer lists 3 primary lines of communication concerning text direction. Carefully study these.  List them and define them, AND, as an experiment, list several songs that you know in each of the three areas. 
3. On Tuesday we began to comment about our mid-term project of writing a hymn. To begin looking for a direction, consider your favorite Psalm as a good place to start.  Psalm 139 might be a possibility. (By the way, Ps. 139 divides nicely into three sections.... the three sections are the grand theological "O" words we have discussed. Can you find the section divisions?) On page 63 Scheer begins a section discussing Lyric Quality of hymns and worship songs. Journal (by listing) a few of the main concepts and ideas you glean from the reading that will assist you in writing your lyrics. Do you have a topic/starting point/title for your song? I know our world premiere songs will "sing forth the honor of His name and make His praise glorious" Psalm 66:2.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Worship Seminar - Scheer, Chapter 1, Preparing for Tuesday, February 24

We begin our third book of the semester! Our reading for the upcoming session is in The Art of Worship by Greg Scheer, chapter 1.  As you read this chapter, put yourself in the role of someone exploring whether to change, or, how to structure your church's music program.  For our journal on this chapter:

1. This chapter is amazingly practical in approaching music in worship.  Therefore, as a practical exercise, create a listing of Sheer's practical tips and suggestions that you see as significant.

2. There is no doubt that Sheer tackles several interesting situations head-on!  For example, just to reference a few:  page 17-18 as well as page 29, plus others!  Choose one of these instances and share your thoughts about the approach taken.  (Consider these "situations" much like the "scenarios" that Rory Noland shared in the Worshiping Artist.)  Do we once again find Sheer to be amazingly practical?  Do you agree or disagree?
Stay warm!
Gerald Chafin

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Worship Seminar - Webber, Chapter 7, Preparing for Thursday, February 19

#snowmageddon2015 . . .  Hope you are enjoying these unique days for our institution!  Let's "plow" forward in our reading.  Stay warm, drink coffee or tea and enjoy our next reading!  For Thursday, Feb. 19, the topic of Chapter 7 is central to our understanding of the creative use of the arts in worship.  A careful reading of the chapter will prepare you to do the journaling.  As you come to the end of the reading, take a close look at the conclusion and begin your journal:

1.  In the second paragraph of the Conclusion one statement in particular connects back to page 39 and our earlier discussions.  Type the entire statement as a method of enriching the thought's magnitude in our minds:
"What should be prominent in worship is. . . . . ."

2.  In the same practice as above, complete these statements:
     A.  Worship is never to be arts-_____, but arts-______.
     B.  Churches most sensitive to the arts are churches . . . . 

3.  Share a detailed description of a worship service in which you encountered Christ through the creative expression of an art form other than music.

4 and 5.  The use of arts in worship, based on Scripture:
Select two Scripture passages of your choosing and describe how you would use art forms in worship to enhance the understanding of these passages.  Try to using a different art for each, or, try connecting several art forms!

Looking forward to your creative and artistic insights, AND, hopeful to see you as soon as we are able to meet,
Gerald Chafin

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Worship Seminar - Webber, Chapters 5 & 6, Preparing for Tuesday, February 17

Thank you, again, for the rich discussions that our group is experiencing through our shared readings.  As you prepare for Tuesday, Feb. 17, our reading is Webber's chapter 5 and chapter 6.

Follow this sequence of events to prepare for our next session:
1.  As a reminder of the approach Webber is taking, flip back to chapter 3, reviewing page 39 and the central definition Webber offers for worship.  Run this through your thoughts several times, then, simply re-say this definition in your own words.  Also, reflect this question in your journal:  Did you experience this definition in the time of worship at your church on Sunday?

2.  There are really two sets of content in Chapter 5.  First is on page 72, what Webber lists as the six ministries that the Church is called to do.  Second, the remainder of the chapter describes the Pre-Conditions before worship renewal can occur.  These pre-conditions are the section-headings through the remainder of the chapter.  To Journal:  Make a chart listing the six ministries of the Church; then, integrate/list the section-heading Pre-Conditions to the ministry category that they match!  It's an interesting exercise that might be somewhat different for each person, but will provide us with some interesting discussion on Tuesday!  (You might even have two Pre-conditions listed for one ministry area.)

3.  Rather than journaling something incredibly specific (like we are doing for chapter 5), let's go another direction for chapter 6.  Write about what stands out to you in this chapter.   (For me, two items grab my attention and they both can be summarized in short paragraphs.)

Monday, January 12, 2015


Welcome to COMMON METER:  a distinctive merging of the definitions of common and meter to create a multi-layered meaning of these words.  Our purpose is to observe the rhythms of faith-life that we share.  Indeed, "what is most common is truly most personal."

COMMON METER is composed here to bring together my academic and ministerial endeavors.  As conductor of the Lindsey Wilson College Singers, I will share insights about our concerts and touring.  And from the unique ministry of connecting churches to Lindsey Wilson College, this location will provide a "thought-full" place for LWC students participating in the Worship Seminar to engage with the pastors and ministers of music from churches we visit.  Throughout the 2014 spring semester we offer the opportunity for students and ministers to interact about the topics we encounter during class sessions.  Posting will begin in late January.

More about "Common Meter"
Meter is a term used in music and in poetry. In fact, "common meter" is an important term in hymnology; it is meter at, meaning the alternation of eight and six syllables per line or phrase. For example, the hymn O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing is based on common meter:
O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace.

Notice that the first line is 8 syllables, the second line is 6 syllables, the third line is 8 syllables and the final line is 6 syllables. Ta-da!  Thus, the stanzas of this majestic hymn are in common meter -

Truly, one aspect toward a deeper connection to our faith-life is discovering our common meters.
Soli Deo Gloria,
gerald chafin
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