This book describes why and how worship in the African American tradition is formative as a learning experience for worshipers. Worship is for the praise of God and it forms people in key practices of the Christian faith. In this sense, worship nurtures. Faithful worship feeds and protects, supports and encourages. Chapters describe and illustrate the supportive effect of the sacraments of baptism and communion, and encouraging function of preaching, praying and music making. A key question this book addressees is “In what ways can and should worship nurture the religious development of worshipers?” The word “nurture” is intentional. Each chapter asserts the important role worship participation has in the upbringing of ever maturing Christians. The author states, “…worship is a primary experience not simply of coming before God, but as a time of disclosing to new and continuing worshipers and ongoing generations understandings of worship, faith, and life. Worship as Christian education may be seen as edification, formation, and nurture.” The author serves as Principal Investigator for Faith Journey: Partnership in Parish Ministry Formation at the Interdenominational Theological Center.
Reviewed by Tim Shapiro