A Manifestation of Ancient-Future at an Ordination

Last week I had the blessing to be in Tulsa, Oklahoma to participate in the consecration (or ordination) service for the newest bishop for my denomination.  The service was very beautiful and one I won’t forget.  Even as I sit and write this a week later I can still sense the ripples of what I experienced that evening.  I want to try to paint a picture of it for you…Read More »

Take Time to Listen: Masterworks for Holy Week and Easter


With Holy Week/Passion Week now firmly upon us, I wanted to offer some suggestions for intentional listening.  The selections that I will put forth here will require, and in some cases demand, time to be absorbed.  These selections are what are deemed “masterworks,” meaning they are considered “a great work of art.” (Merriam-Webster.com, “Masterwork”) As such they are larger works, both in scale (some are for choir, orchestra, or both) and time (some lasting as long as an hour or more).Read More »

To, With, For, From

A few weeks ago I was discussing a chapter from Jeremy Begbie’s book Resounding Truth with the students of one of the courses I teach.  In the chapter (which addresses biblical contexts of music and worship) Begbie discusses the ministry of the Levites and their relationship to their “congregation,” the nation of Israel:

“It is important to note that the Levites did not see themselves as offering song instead of the congregation but on behalf of the congregation, even if the congregation were not actually singing.  They acted representatively for king and people.” (Jeremy S. Begbie, Resounding Truth, p66)

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Journeys in Worship: Seasons of Faith, Pt. 2

The Bishop's Corner

Last week we looked at the first part of the Church calendar.  This week I’d like to finish that thought and consider potential “next steps.”

As mentioned last week, Robert Webber divides the Church calendar into two sections: the “cycle of light” and the “cycle of life.” (See Robert Webber, Ancient-Future Time)  The cycle of light contains the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany – all of which have some aspect of revelation, or “light shining in the darkness,” (John 1:5) aspect to them.  The cycle of life is the result of the cycle of light; you could say it is the manifestation of the revelation.  Webber notes,Read More »

Journeys in Worship: Seasons of Faith, Pt. 1

The Bishop's Corner

Last week I discussed some things I have learned over the years regarding the journey that is the corporate worship service.  This week I would like to continue the conversation and look at larger view of the journey, namely the one through which we walk during the year: the Church calendar.

We live in a world that is run by different calendars: chronological, fiscal, academic.  Each month sees the celebration of birthdays, weddings, anniversaries of various kinds, and civic holidays; each month also sees the remembering of those who have passed, the recalling of demarcating events in history, both good and bad.  Interwoven in all of this is the Church calendar.Read More »

Journeys in Worship: The Service

Last week I shared about my first experience leading a worship service.  This week I want to turn our attention to a few specific things of the many I have encountered and learned in the intervening years.  I am couching them as the “journeys in worship”: things that can, to paraphrase The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis, lead us “further up and further in” to a relationship with God and his Church.  These journeys not only lead the congregation on a “journey within a journey” (i.e. the Christian faith), they also ask the Church to live within a constant rhythm of God’s loving, salvific story.Read More »

Learning to Lead

Hello!  My name is Ryan Mackey.  I am a new contributor to TalkingWorship.com.  I am very excited and honored to share life with the TW community.  For my first post I want to share how I began leading congregational singing:

My first time leading a worship service was my junior year in college. Even though I’d been part of my church’s music team since I was in high school I had not led. At this college there was a Wednesday morning chapel service and a small Sunday evening worship service in a multi-purpose room/black box theatre; shortly after the semester started I began playing rhythm guitar and singing harmony in the small worship team.  Read More »