1. Wishin' for mission and not attrition
Jay Beech, the Center for Worship & Music Studies
Jay Beech will moderate a vigorous discussion among a panel of pastors and musicians from a variety of ministry contexts. Each will be invited to share how their sense of mission informs the way they plan and lead worship. How do they navigate the need to be both faithful and effective? Commonalities and contrasts will be explored.
2. Liturgy after the liturgy: Worship and the world God loves
Cláudio Carvalhaes, Associate Professor of Worship and Liturgy, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
In this workshop we will press the porous boundaries between our worship services and our mission in the world. We will check the relation between the altar and the world and discuss the orthodox
notion of the liturgy after liturgy.
3. The cross at the center of Christian formation
Jessicah Krey Duckworth, Program Director, Religion Division, Lilly Endowment, Inc.
This workshop will identify newcomer questions around Christian worship. We will entertain these questions together at the foot of the cross. Christian formation begins when a new generation participates in discipleship practices with a bunch of folks who have been following Jesus for some time. While participating in practices such as Scripture study, prayer, conversation and consolation and worship, the new generation will ask ultimate questions about life, Jesus and the Christian faith and will call upon the longtime Jesus followers to explore these questions together in small groups or one-on-one conversations. Newcomer questions often contain cries of doubt, despair and suffering. Christian formation encourages these questions, refusing to respond with platitudes. Instead, Christian formation leans into newcomer questions, placing them at the foot of the cross where all our questions are met by promise. Christian formation at the foot of the cross is where doubt is met by faith, despair is met by hope and suffering is met with love.
4. Youth, mission and worship – What does it mean to be “living sacrifices”?
Terri Martinson Elton, Associate Professor of Family Ministry, Luther Seminary
Romans 12:1—“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
The appeal of Romans 12:1 coincides with current research regarding youth and spirituality. Youth and young adults are drawn into God’s activity in the world and in their lives as they are sent into the world to serve their neighbor. Yet the work of service and acts of worship are often disconnected in the life of our congregations. What might happen if mission and worship become connected? How might worship be reimagined? How might our call to the world be reimagined? This workshop will address such questions and offer a framework for thinking about why connecting mission and worship is important in the spiritual lives of young people.
5. Healing, hospitality and hope for the living of these days: A congregations’ attempts at an integrative healing ministry in a changing context
Mary Halvorson, Co-Pastor, Grace University Lutheran Church
Two worship renewal grants from the Institute for Christian Worship at Calvin College gave our congregation encouragement and funds to creatively implement a healing ministry, learn about hospitality and its practices and explore the role of mystery in worship. Come and learn about the various ways a congregation can embody healing and hospitality for its members and others in healing services, healing gardens, prayer ministry and more. We will discuss ideas for worship and explore practical and creative ideas to integrate healing practices within the community of faith.
6. Faith-forming, faith-shaping ministry
Paul Hoffman, Pastor, Phinney Ridge, Seattle, author, teacher
An intentional welcome to the font brings an unexpected richness and diversity to congregational life. This workshop is designed to share with its participants the various ways in which a congregation can re-imagine its ministry with the font at the center. An intentional baptismal invitation inevitably brings new joys and challenges to an established congregation. Paul Hoffman will share his experiences of living into the insights that those new or renewed in faith see with fresh eyes. Hear how one congregation experienced its own blessed renewal in Christ while encountering the questions that the newly baptized and newly affirmed bring: “Why?” “How?” “Really?”
7. Why don’t my children (and grandchildren) go to church? (And what can I do about it?)
David Lose, Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching; Director, Center for Biblical Preaching, Luther Seminary
Whether you have asked this question personally, trust me when I say that many of your people have. One of the great laments, in fact, of the elders in our congregation is that they somehow seem to have failed to pass on their faith to their children and grandchildren. It’s not that their kids aren’t good people, and it’s not that their kids aren’t doing all kinds of good things that flow from the faith they grew up in. It’s just that most of them don’t seem to have time for church. How did this happen? More importantly, what can we do about it? While this session won’t provide you with all the answers, it will offer some convictions, hunches and lively conversation about how we can better share our faith with those we love.
8. Going deeper: Worship shaped by practices of listening in a new age of mission
Blair Pogue, Rector, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, St. Paul
In a new age of mission, how can church leaders listen deeply to God, to community neighbors, to our own members and to tradition as we reshape worship to speak afresh? This workshop explores a case study of a local church in St. Paul that has been intentionally seeking to learn more about what God is up to in its neighborhood, as revealed through neighbors’ hopes, dreams and challenges. Church leaders have also been interested in how to open up worship treasures so that they might speak to new generations. Through simple communal spiritual practices including dwelling in Scripture, dwelling in the world, interpreting the actions of worship in language people can understand and engaging in ongoing discernment or “wondering conversations,” the church has deepened its theological imagination and identity, learned to listen more deeply to its neighbors and those on the margins of its congregation, found ways to connect its gifts with the world’s needs and fostered a learning culture in which ongoing experimentation is the norm.
9. Radical eucharistic welcome: The challenge of Jesus' meal practices
Christian Scharen, Assistant Professor of Worship and Theology; Director, Contextual Education Initiative, Luther Seminary
If we gather, called by the Spirit of the risen Christ, sharing in his meal and following his pattern, we're in for a ride. This workshop seeks to open our practice of communion to critique and revision based on what we know of Jesus' own meal practices, apparently threatening enough to earn him a reputation as "a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners."
10. What are people hungry for? Nurturing responsive, enculturated liturgies
Emily Scott, Pastor, St. Lydia's Dinner Church, Brooklyn, New York
St. Lydia's, a four-year-old dinner church in Brooklyn, came into being as a response to a need that hunger pastor Emily Scott began to perceive in the city around her. People were hungry for connection, to work with their hands, to make something tangible and to deepen a felt relationship with the divine. St. Lydia's was borne out of a particular set of cultures and the particular hungers those cultures are experiencing. What hungers do you perceive in your community, and how might you and your congregation begin to cultivate a liturgy that reflects and meets these hungers in tangible ways?
11. Prophesy to these bones: Missional proclamation
Edwin Searcy, Pastor, University Hill Congregation, Vancouver, British Columbia
In this workshop we will reflect on and experiment with the changes required of our preaching by the missional location of the North American church. We will identify some of the basic assumptions about preaching that shift when we proclaim the gospel in a missional setting. And we will play with the ways in which these different assumptions may inform our preaching in the upcoming season of Lent.
12. Preaching the missional Scriptures
Al Tizon, Ronald J. Sider Associate Professor of Holistic Ministry, Palmer Seminary, Eastern University; Co-President of Evangelicals for Social Change
The Bible does not just contain missional texts; it IS a missional text. Authentic biblical preaching, therefore, is missional preaching. In what way is the whole narrative of the Bible missional? How can preachers draw out the missional dimension, not just from Genesis 12, Jonah, Matthew 28 or Acts 1, but from any text? What role does preaching play in cultivating a mission-shaped church? This workshop will explore these types of questions to aid pastors in inspiring and equipping their congregations for mission.