See also: Script of the Video.
5 min. Welcome & Announcements
Greet people and announce things like breaks, bathrooms, snacks, water, etc. Share with them that everyone is a participant in the workshop no matter what experience with dance or what physical ability one has. At the same time, be gentle with your body. Do not do anything that causes pain.
10 min. Opening Worship:
Select one familiar chorus
35 min. Video: The Moving Word
Have the group make notes of the different ways movement is used in the video. (Ordering Information)
Comments and responses to the video. List ways of movement on newsprint.
Preview the video now: Click one of the links below to watch The Moving Word! online. To see it, you need RealPlayertm. You can also read the script.
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20 min. Human Sculpture/Plateau
Divide into two groups (or more if you have a larger group). Number each member of the groups so there is an order. One group will create a "plateau," or group sculpture, while the other group watches. Then they will reverse roles.
Select a Psalm or other descriptive scripture to read aloud. Play recorded music in the background. Begin reading the Psalm. In order of their number, each person will take a stance or posture in response to the words of the text. They will create some contact with the previous person so that a whole "body sculpture" or "plateau" is created. The idea is to interact both with the scripture and the first person who took a stance to create a total statement or interpretation of the scripture as it is heard.
If you have a large group divide into 3 or 4 (or more) groups. Have 2 groups create separate plateaus while the remaining group(s) observe and then repeat.
After creating the plateaus have the groups reflection on their own experiences of creating a plateau and reflect on what interpretation of scripture was communicated by the group they observed. Any new insights or possible interpretations?
20 min. Congregational Movement
This exercise should be done quickly and is designed both to see movement as something for the whole congregation as well as to "oil the wheels" of our imagination--to be coming up with ideas quickly. Keep the energy up and move the groups quickly.
In groups of 3 or 4 create a movement for a congregation to use with the sung responses to the Psalms in the back of the hymnal. You will probably only be able to read the responses unless individuals know the tunes or sight read well.
In the United Methodist Hymnal look at Psalms 1, 4, 27, 41, 46, 65, 76, 78, 92, 102, 103, 114, 116, 126, 134, 143, 150. You may want to give two to a group so they can choose one.
Decide on one or two simple movement that goes with the response. Present it to one other small group after working for about 5 minutes. If you have a small number of groups, have them each read their response and move with it. If you have many groups, ask for a few volunteers to share examples.
10 min. Break
15 min. Mirroring
Have the group divide into pairs, play a different type of music and Psalm. If the first was praise and glory, let the next be sadness and abandonment. Have the group move in partners to the text as it is read with a musical background. Stay in some physical contact with each other and mirror each other's movements. No one is the leader. You will intuitively take turns following each other. This was modeled in the video. Take a few minutes to hear feedback on the experience.
45 min. Scripture Interpretation
Select a scripture keeping in mind the season of the church at the time you will be doing this workshop. You may want to select several and give different scriptures to different groups. If the text is long, give segments to small teams of two or three persons.
The groups will then work out a movement for their text. Remind people that they do not have to be literal with their movements by acting out every word. Work toward a few simple movements that enhance the hearing of the text. You may want to use the plateau approach--or let one person move at a time--or have the group move together--or some combination. Still moments are powerful but try to make them as intentional as any movement.
A familiar hymn tune that has some meaning with the scripture can be hummed as the scripture is read and the movement begins. Give the groups about 15-20 minutes to work out the details. Begin the humming before the scripture is read. Be creative. You may want to begin with everyone standing with their back to the audience or begin humming before the group moves to the front.
Take time to reflect on the meaning that was interpreted through the movements. What were the people's feelings and insights?
10 min. Reflect on your experience together. What did you gain? How can movement be used in your congregations?
Close with the chorus, "Move Me" # 471 in the United Methodist Hymnal.
10 min. Evaluation
Create a simple evaluation form with the following questions.
Return to The Moving Word!