The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW), located at Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan, is an interdisciplinary study and ministry center that promotes the scholarly study of the theology, history, and practice of Christian worship and the renewal of worship in worshiping communities across North America and beyond.
Mark Charles is a Resource Development Specialist for Indigenous Worship for the CICW, working from Fort Defiance, Arizona. He writes articles for CICW's website and links to them are provided here:
Paved Roads (January 1, 2009) - Be still and know that I am God. That is the exhortation we hear from God in Psalms 46:10.But how possible is this in our modern technological world?What does it mean to be still before God?
When I Grow Up I Want to Be A Shepherd (January 1, 2009) - "When I grow up I want to be a shepherd." I imagine that is what my grandfather said when he was a young boy growing up near Blanco Canyon in New Mexico.
A Laughing Party (May 4, 2012) - Has your baby laughed? On the Navajo reservation, thats a common question posed to parents who have infants around the age of three months. The first laugh of a Navajo child is a very significant event.
Natural Disasters (November 11, 2011) - What exactly is a natural disaster? The intersection of the average and 'the extraordinary.
Language of Adoption (November 11, 2011) - By using language of adoption the grandmother would be able to establish her role as the host of the house, but also communicate that her guests were welcome and accepted. A relationship with boundaries, protocol and defined roles could be started.
What Is Truth? (November 8, 2011) - As a Christian I believe truth exists but I also find that there are many interpretations and varied opinions of what is truth.
Lessons from a Donkey (September 28, 2011) - A look at how one's voice can be heard above the noise of the world.
Just As It Should Be (June 1, 2009) - It is called Throat Singing and I do not even know how to fully describe it. To me it sounded like a cross between an oboe and someone clearing his throat. It was fascinating to listen to. And as I sat there I found myself feeling excited, uncomfortable, confused and at peace, all at the same time.
Uuh' (January 1, 2010) - It didn't happen every day, but was frequent enough that I clearly remember it. I would be sitting with my grandparents, in their house, around their kitchen table. We would be finishing a meal or even just a simple snack, and the conversation would come to a lull.
Ya'at'eeh (April 1, 2009) - "Ya'ateeh." That is what I should have said. Yaateeh is a Navajo greeting. It is always accompanied with a hand shake, and, if the parties do not know each other, it is usually followed with a formal introduction.
Audio: Contextualizing Worship: My Journey to Worship God as a Navajo Christian (January 1, 2009) - When the first Christian missionaries came to the Navajo people they unfortunately brought more than the Gospel. They also brought the message that God could only be worshiped through the Western culture. This workshop contained a collection of stories and lessons learned in my journey to understand what it means to be Navajo and Christian.
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