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Post By: Sandra Van Opstal

Rooted Worship and the All Girl Band!

I took a look at the backyard of the abandoned drug den we now call home. We had already discovered the crap left in the toilets and the party paraphernalia awaiting our cleaning. We had no running water, no working appliances, and the front door wouldn’t even fully close, much less lock. I’d pretty much had enough when we found the beautiful purple grapes hanging on a sorry excuse for a fence. Finally, a good […]

Si Se Puede: Contextualizing Lyrics for New Generations

Recently the question “Should We Update Old Hymns to Address Modern Themes?” was asked in Christianity Today. I appreciated the article and that friends that work together can all have different takes given their context, denominational background, ethnicity and worship philosophy. Check out the article. For this expert weighing in, I’d be up on the top of the list with Pastah J (Jonathan Brooks). Si se puede! Contextualizing for the different generations and cultures is […]

Busy Busy Week

Started out at the Duke Divinity Latino Pastors retreat preaching from Luke 14 “El Gran Banquete”, which comes straight from The Next Worship chapter, facilitating bilingual conversations on listening to your community and empowerment (CCDA). Then after two days of catching up at Grace and Peace (GAPC), i headed to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) to compel college ministers to consider how diverse worship can transform their students.  The day ended as I lead worship with students […]

New York / New Jersey Events

I’m going be in New Jersey and NYC! Please come and join us for The Next Worship workshop. Also, invite your friends. We’d love to see CRC, ECC, CCDA, and Lausanne folks as well as InterVarsity staff, students, and alumni. Come learn and collaborate.   New Jersey Friday, April 29th 7:00pm – 9:00pm Dialogue on Multicultural Worship Bridgeway Community Christian Reformed Church 381 Haledon Ave, Haledon, NJ 07508 bridgewaycrc.org New York (Manhattan) Saturday, April 30th […]

Mutuality: Traditions That Expand Our Understanding of Christ’s Last Week

Holy Week is one of my favorite weeks to be on social media! Even in years where I hear the voice of the Lord himself to take a REST from Facebook for lent, I always start back up on Good Friday. Am I trying to be disobedient? Naw! I don’t want to miss out on how differently churches “celebrate” or “observe” Holy Week. Easter Easter is celebrated in so many different ways: formal chorals, choirs, […]

Music as Gospel Onramp

Writing for Gospel Life out of the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton allows me to integrate my love for #worship #mission #diversity. Check out my latest post. I figured out a way to have ‪#‎cancionesinfantiles‬ @christomlin @davidkinnaman @GabeLyons ‪#‎goodfaith‬ ‪#‎Justogonzalez‬ in same post. Check our how two multiethnic churches @seattlequest @theGAPC in very different contexts have a common connection. If you believe that when Christians play and sing outside the context of the […]

Arroz Con Pollo Colombiano (Chicken and Rice)

Arroz Con Pollo Colombiano (Chicken and Rice) As promised every month there will be a featured ethnic food that corresponds with the each of the chapters of The Next Worship. This is way for you to actually experience the table with people of every nation and tribe not only via sound, but tastes, smell, and sight. Let’s start with my story in chapter 1. Sandrita, venga a comer! Growing up, I heard my mom shout […]

Multicultural Worship and Millennials

Sunday morning I had to shout out during worship, “I see you Juwaan!” as our young leaders led us in worship through their arrangement of a song “We Celebrate”.  The original aspects of the song were there, but the electronic sounds coming through were clearly their mark. I watched the three musicians, Sammy, David, and Juwaan look at each other during worship with this ridiculously happy look on their face. They are always joyful during […]

Diverse Worship: Beyond Representation

This fall I had the honor of hosting a video shoot for my book at GAPC (Grace and Peace Community). The filming was done in our prayer room which is 24/7 dedicated to prayer.  Not only was it filmed in a place many in my community have saturated in prayer, the worship team at GAPC is featured in the background as we rehearsed for Christmas season. Our hope was that this video would capture some […]

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