To create and host a day long formation experience once a year for an in-depth exploration of a major theme of the Christian life led by a recognized expert as a way to serve the spiritual growth needs of Knox Church and our friends and guests from the broader Christian Church in Toronto.
Exploring Worship Together
Every year we set aside time in the winter to gather together for a day for learning, fellowship, and spiritual growth right here at Knox. This year, we are blessed to have Steve Bell, an acclaimed, Juno Award-winning songwriter and storyteller, lead us for a retreat we’re calling “The Worship Journey.” Our hope that your faith would be refreshed as you explore spiritual traditions for the weary and the wary.
Many today are longing for a rooted faith. We seek a pattern of prayer and worship that fashions depth within our souls and Christian communities, offering an alternative to the often-fruitless distractions and egocentric fulfillments of contemporary life.
The Worship Journey Retreat with Steve Bell explores the fertile tradition and spirituality of a Trinitarian faith, navigating a pattern for corporate worship based on Isaiah 6:1-9 in tandem with the Christian calendar year, the Hebrew psalms, and ancient prayers of the church. Practiced together, these theological commitments and devotional praxes “irrigate our souls, soften the ground of our hearts, and nourish the soil of our lives until the seed of the word of God itself begins to grow in us, comes to fruit in us, ripens us in the spiritual journey of a lifetime” (Joan Chittister).
“Steve Bell’s music and stage presence embody both the grace and truth of Jesus Christ and translate the depths of the biblical narrative into ways that resonate with our own experience more than anyone else I know. These are profoundly wondrous gifts.” —Dr. Syd Hielema, Team Leader for Discipleship for the CRC denomination in Canada & U.S.
Trinity: The Master Key
Before we can know how or why we should respond to God, we must ask the more important question: who. Who is God? This first session establishes that God, in God’s very nature, is a communion of mutually self-donating persons, and that we have been made in the image of this God. This understanding is key to discerning the meaning of our worship, our practical love for one another, and our role as stewards of creation.
Worship as Journey: From Alienation to Intimacy
Using Isaiah 6:1-9, Steve lays out a rich, ancient pattern of worship that is both structured and open to innovation, but which helps the worshipping community journey from alienation to intimacy.
The Story that Forms Us: Travelling Through the Liturgical Calendar
This session examines the tradition of the Christian calendar year as a storied framework, and discusses how the idea of pilgrimage gives shape to our lives, forming us both as individuals and within Christian community.
Psalms, Saints & Ancient Prayers: Nourishing the Faith Community
Using selected songs from Steve’s body of work, this session delves into the treasury of psalms and ancient prayers, as well as the lives of particular saints, considering more deeply how they fashion and nourish the faith community.
Steve Bell is an award-winning singer/songwriter and author whose lifelong pursuit of the rich traditions of the church has awarded him a voice in the contemporary recovery of relevant formational practices for personal and corporate Christian spirituality. Besides having produced 20 solo CDs and performed thousands of concerts across the globe, Steve has also written articles for Canada’s two national Christian papers (ChristianWeek, Faith Today) and has guest lectured at Regent College, Duke University, BIOLA University and Providence University College. He has authored (with Malcolm Guite and other special guests) the Pilgrim Year e-book collection, and has co-authored I Will Not Be Shaken: A Songwriter’s Journey Through the Psalms with Rev. Jamie Howison.