We continue our 2019 series centered around images from Charles Wesley's hymn "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling," this time focusing on Growing in Love.
When the Editorial Committee met last summer to plan our 2019 issues, we were keenly aware that our April-May-June edition would be published close on the heels of General Conference 2019. We discerned that this issue needed to be a reminder that growing in love is what Jesus would have us do whatever the outcome of the conference.
As worship artists, we are called to help those for whom we plan worship to grow in their love of God, of all God's children, and even of the arts.
Yet in these troubled times in our nation and denomination, how do we keep that growth alive? How do we ground ourselves so we, in turn, may foster that growth in others?
This issue seeks to provide some direction, if not answers, to those questions. To set the stage, former national Fellowship president Joe Stobaugh has assembled wise persons from three different worship arts disciplines — a visual artist, a pastor, and a musician — who share insights into a "more righteous path than the winning and losing that our culture sets forth as the norm for political gatherings like General Conference."
Others offer stories of revitalizing worship, of the self-care practice of flourishing, of the wisdom of children, and of the art of conveying the richness of the Bible in storytelling. Growing in love encompasses all these, and more.
With Joe, our "prayer for this issue of WorshipArts is that it inspires in you ... a reminder of the call of Jesus to each of us as worship artists to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love our neighbor as ourself ..."
And, in the words of pastor/percussionist Juan Carlos Huertas, "in a culture that is so polarized, where love [may seem] distant, may we who love Jesus become bearers of the rhythm that agape has so that others may experience it, learn it, hear it, and most importantly feel it." May it be so.