Perhaps never before has the church needed to worship well as we do now. We always need vital worship. But in an environment of fake news, hatred, violence, divisions in families and congregations, our worship is that place we come to be changed so we can serve a troubled world together. When we worship well so much more unites than divides us. Our openness to eternal Scriptures, sung texts that have served believers well over time, prayers honed by thoughtful pens, music well-crafted that flows from our lips, liturgy that is unpretentious, sincere, complete – these form community and take us to new understandings of ourselves, others, and God. We are changed. As Dorothy Day reminds us, we should enter the church and fasten our seat belts, ready to encounter the living God.
The Church Music Institute is partnering with the Association for Reformed & Liturgical Worship for reflection on how leaders of worship can prepare for excellent worship. (See statement of the AR&LW Steering Committee, here.) The 2017 Sacred Music and Worship Summer Workshops celebrate the importance of worship in an environment where Christian community can be an antidote to division and fragmentation experienced elsewhere. To that end, “Challenges to Worship in a Post-Election Church” brings leaders of worship and music together to reflect on calling and tasks for leadership in this critical time. The wisdom of gifted presenters will be augmented by sharing of attendees for best practices and opportunity to ask questions.
Some questions to be addressed: Has the election created a divide in your congregation? What stresses are created for pastoral and musical leaders? How do these challenges shape preaching and musical leadership? Does the table challenge or welcome in this current environment? What role does music play and how should it be chosen? How can worship prepare us to be salt and light in a world in need of the Gospel?
A special opportunity is offered for all choral singers and directors on Sunday evening, June 11, in Dallas, or August 13 in Portland, for a “Choral Sing through the Church Year” led by gifted conductors, to explore both familiar and new repertoire that will shape the liturgical experience. Registration is optional for Sunday only, or comes automatically with registration for Monday. Groups from one church receive a 15% discount.
Don’t miss the chance to learn, to worship, to sing, to be transformed. Fasten your seatbelt and join us!