Worship Planning

Worship has sometimes been described as an encounter with the Divine, an experience of the Spirit of God, an outpouring of love and devotion for the Creator.  How, then, can true worship be “planned?”  This session will explore how careful thought, study, prayer, communication and, yes, planning can increase the odds of creating a worship experience in which the profound presence of God is experienced. We’ll share personal stories and experiences, resources, methods, and ideas for developing a team approach to worship planning.  There will be time allotted for questions and discussion. Leaders:  Andy Mangum
Location:  Indiana Convention Center Room 201

Top Tips for Worship Arts Collaboration

Dr. McFee will share her top tips for worship artists as they seek to bring the Word alive through all the senses. These practical worship how-to’s in music, verbal, visual, media and dramatic arts offer up ways that all the worship arts work together, collaborating for a sensory-rich experience that focuses on the message.  Leader:  Marcia McFee
Location:  Indiana Convention Center Room 203

Make a Joyful Noise to God

What musical talents and gifts do your members bring to the worship of God?  Can everyone participate?  Or can some of us just sit back and watch?  In Psalm 66:1, we aren’t asked, but rather commanded to “make a joyful noise to God, all the earth.”  In this session, we’ll discuss ways to create opportunities for each worshiper to participate in joyful noise making.  Whether in an ensemble of flutes, guitars, ukuleles, handbells, drums, shakers and sticks, or by adding improvised sounds and rhythms to a hymn or song, each child of God can experience the joy of creating music in worship to God. (If you brought an instrument to GA, we encourage you to bring it to this session.) Leader:  Jeffrey Goodspeed 
Location:  Indiana Convention Center Room 202

Strengthening the Leadership and Experience of the Small Choir

Many of our churches, using various styles of worship music, have active choirs and choir programs.  These groups contribute to communal worship, providing messages of God’s Word in song, powerful witnesses of faith, and support for congregational singing.  Those participating in choirs or vocal groups also can be a part of a closely bonded and supportive community within the group, facilitating their own faith development and enhancing life experiences.  This session will provide resources for starting, growing and maintaining choirs, including a reading session of music especially for small choirs or groups.  This will be an interactive session, open to questions, discussion and sharing of experiences. Leaders:  Suzanne Hatcher and others
Location:  Indiana Convention Center Room 204


Acting It Out:  Drama and Movement in Worship

Drama, movement and dance are nothing new to worship.  David and Miriam danced before the Lord.  Sacred stories have been acted out in worship since before the Middle Ages.  How do we recapture and implement these creative acts of worship in our current settings? From children’s musicals to expressive movement, we’ll share creative ideas and resources for the smallest and youngest of groups to experiences for entire congregations. Leaders:  Carol Joy Wilson and others
Location:  Indiana Convention Center Room 204

The Politics of Change

Change is hard. And when change occurs in long-held traditions, tensions can result (ok that was an understatement, right?!). This session will explore many insights about reaction to change that Dr. McFee has gained in 20+ years of consulting with churches, why we get into conflict about worship and how to deal with it.
Location:  Indiana Convention Center Room 203

Reclaiming Congregational Song

Many of our churches have lost the basic practice and art of singing together, while others maintain robust singing as one of the most important acts of worship. Scientific studies about the individual and communal benefits of singing abound. And the plethora of songs found in the scriptures as well as proclamations to sing to God are unmistakable.  Come and learn how and why to coax a congregation or group to sing with joy and abandon.  Praise the Lord and rejoice with singing (and without fear and trembling)! Leaders:  Dana Lobaugh, Alin Cass and Nathaniel Cook
Location:  Indiana Convention Center Room 202

One Table for All:  Liturgies that Invite and Unite

How can congregations adapt worship to meet the needs of persons living with Autism?  We’ll look at worship design and liturgy, how those with Autism experience the world, and what factors to consider in creating worship that includes them.  Hear what one church is doing and learning as they take the first steps toward creating a more inclusive worship environment. We’ll discuss and experiment with a mock worship plan, adjustable for your worship and congregants.Leaders: Betty Sivis and Larry Sivis
Location:  Indiana Convention Center Room 201