It was so interesting how I found myself looking for opportunities to support just worship in the service today. Even more interesting was how subtle injustices in worship were now easily identifiable for me. Thank you for the course!
The Bible commands all of God’s children to study to show oneself approved. Where I live, I don’t have access to a seminary—certainly not one rooted in the African-American religious experience. Then, last year I learned that Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary went outside of the traditional classroom! They went so far as to set up camp in my home making it easier and much more affordable for me to attend seminary. Since the inception of the program, my mind has gained so much that I had to take up a building fund offering to add room to what is already there! I am forever grateful to Johnson C. Smith for giving me the chance and opportunity to learn while I continue to serve my church through music.
Thanks to the staff and trustees of JCSTS, I’m having joy in seeking out the social justice my church will bring in new ways to our community.
The interactions I’ve had with the Learning Partners in JCSTS’ certificate program have been more of a gift than anything I had imagined . My view of worship is now through the lens of justice in the corporate worship setting. I have learned to be mindful of those who are not able to participate in the traditional manner of everybody stand, everybody dance, or even everybody turn to your neighbor. I had never considered the introvert who would be triggered by having to create a welcoming and inclusive worship space so that all will be able to feel a part of the experience. This program has taught me about the task of hospitality and the role I can play as a worship leader in creating a more hospitable environment. In addition, I pay attention to the keys and types of songs that are sung so that the people are not taxed incorporate singing. This program has many other nuggets of golden information and I look forward to the balance of the program.