In Psalm 137:4, the psalmist inquires, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” A resounding theme of justice and peace will be part of the song as Christian Theological Seminary Assistant Professor of Worship Dr. Tércio B. Junker serves as music director for the 10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches (WWC), in Busan, Republic of Korea. The event will take place October 30 through November 8.
The assembly is the highest governing body of the World Council of Churches (WCC), and convenes every seven years. It is a moment when the fellowship of member churches comes together as a whole in prayer and celebration, including music. Dr. Junker, who also serves as director of Sweeney Chapel at CTS, is a member of the Assembly Worship Planning Committee. The assembly theme, “God of life, lead us to justice and peace” provides a focus for theological reflection, worship and meditation, as well as for activities before, during and after the assembly. The assembly has the mandate to set the future agenda of the council, to elect governance officials and to speak with a public voice on behalf of the churches.
Leading music in a foreign land is not a new concept for Dr. Junker. A native of Brazil and an ordained elder of the Brazilian Methodist Church, Junker previously served as Assistant Music Director for the previous WWC assembly held in Port Alegre, Brazil, in 2006.
Dr. Junker noted that nearly 60 songs have been selected that will celebrate inclusivity while paying respect to diverse traditions within the Christian faith. “More than 4,000 people from around the world will gather during the morning and evening prayers and the worship music will include traditions ranging from Orthodox to Pentecostal,” Dr. Junker said. Both choir and chamber ensembles will be part of prayer and celebration during the assembly.
Dr. Junker joined the CTS faculty in 2006, after serving as the head of the Liturgy and Arts department at the Methodist Seminary of São Paulo, Brazil. A 1985 graduate of Methodist Seminary of São Paulo where he earned a B.A. in Theology, Junker received a M.A. in Theology and Ecclesiastical Music from the Protestant Institute for Higher Theological Studies in Buenos Aires, Argentina, then earned his M.A. of Sacred Theology from CTS and his Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL.
“Christian life is shaped through worship and music in communities around the world, and music and the performing arts hold an especially sacred place at CTS. We are humbled and privileged to share Dr. Junker’s passion for music with attendees at the World Council of Churches Assembly,” said Matthew Myer Boulton, president of Christian Theological Seminary.