The Reformed Church Center at New Brunswick Theological Seminary is thrilled to be able to announce that John L. Bell, internationally renowned author, teacher, worship leader, and congregational song enlivener from the Iona Community in Scotland, will be giving the 2019-2020 Poppen-Young Lecture in Reformed Worship on Saturday, November 7, in a special, online program from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
John Bell is a Resource Worker with The Iona Community, who lectures, preaches and conducts seminars across the denominations. He is a hymn writer, author and occasional broadcaster, but retains a primary passion for congregational song. John is based in Glasgow and works with his colleagues in the areas of music, worship and spirituality.
John writes this about his plans for the day:
“My initial thoughts regarding the session are:
1) A Biblical background to Justice being at the heart of God’s purposes, noting the gradually evolving realization that justice was not just the prerogative of the chosen race but for all.
2) An exploration of how, within the developing world (particularly nations like El Salvador and South Africa) the call for justice has been incorporated into their worship life, and the relevance of texts such as the psalms of lament has become very real.
3) A reflection on how justice ultimately is a threat to those who misuse power, in the church as much as anywhere else.
4) A questioning of why some western Christians balk at the mention of justice and see it as synonymous with left-wing politics.
5) The implications of all this for life and liturgy.
I would envisage interactive participation and group conversations.”
This program was originally to be held last February, live, on campus at NBTS, but was delayed due to the death of John’s writing partner, Graham Maule, last winter. Then the plans for us all to be in New Brunswick this fall were set aside by the ongoing pandemic, which will also keep us all from singing together; but, by gathering online, we are able to do this on a Saturday—allowing many more people to take part—and we are freed from the limitations of space at NBTS and the need to travel to New Brunswick, meaning this can be a much bigger gathering.
And this event will be FREE for EVERYONE! Participants just need to register at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwlcuyupz0qHtd3hTwn6Qnz9nj1oyLAth-3.