A Late Summer Invitation From Minister Sandra

Jim Hopkins

August 5, 2020

Invitation to Reflect Together on the Psalms

‘In times of anxiety and disruption, the Psalms are a profound source of strength, insight, and encouragement. When we pray them intentionally, we also nourish our memories, so that the Psalms are a ready-made soundtrack for the living of our lives at work, home, school, and play–as well as at worship.’ Professor John Witvliet, Calvin Theological Seminary

Friday was the last day of the online course I was taking, “Praying the Psalms in Ministry”, a three-week inductive and interactive look at the book of Psalms. Rather than organizing this as a lecture intensive class, our class was organized with daily reading and videos to resources to take in and reflect on with each other on digital discussion boards. Our learning was not solely what we heard from the professor but also from our self-reflections and discussions with one another online, as well as optional Zoom discussions. The course was offered through Calvin Theological Seminary, a partner with the Calvin Institute of Worship, who administer the Lilly Endowment funded, Vital Worship Grants program, of which Lakeshore is a 2019-2020 grant recipient.

Rev. Dr. Nancy Hall and I both took this seminary course taught by Worship professor Dr John Witvliet, and we are excited to share with you a little of what we learned, using his teaching method of self-study, online discussion and live Zoom discussions. Our live class portion will be Thursday night Bible studies, which I will lead for the month of August. Rev. Carolyn Matthews is going on vacation for the first two weeks and she has graciously offered me the last two Thursdays as well. Please come and join us this Thursday August 6th at 6pm online for our first look at the Psalms together. Starting this coming Monday August 10th, I will begin emailing the self-study portion of our study with Psalm reading, video links and questions for your reflection and online discussion via email. Please feel free to participate as your schedule allows. As this is also part of our ongoing worship grant project, you will have the opportunity to write prayers and songs for our project.

Whether you want to participate in our group studies, create new worship resources for Lakeshore or utilize the materials for your personal devotions and prayers, I hope you will join us and read/study some of the Psalms. I will send out the study/self-reflection materials to people using the email lists I had from our previous Sunday afternoon worship classes. If you were not on that email list and would like to be added to the list or if you have any questions, please email me at