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Why Liturgy? An online Lenten

Why Liturgy? An online Lenten pilgrimage.

Have you ever wondered why we say the things we say, and do the things we do during worship? If so, as your Lenten practice this year you might consider taking an online pilgrimage through Evangelical Lutheran liturgy.

Starting Ash Wednesday, the website https://www.whyliturgy.ca will be posting about 200 words each day on a different part of the liturgy. Each post contains insights on the origins and theological underpinnings of a part of the liturgy. Posts will be accompanied by photos taken in the Holy Land, Turkey and Rome; and at St. Matthews Evangelical Lutheran Church (Kitchener) and Waterloo Lutheran Seminary.

The journey is being shared by Mirko Petricevic, the seminary’s director of communications and public affairs. He created the visual study guide while working toward a Master of Theological Studies degree at WLS. The project was supervised by Rev. Dr. Mark Harris, who now serves as the seminary’s principal-dean.

You will be able to also follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Links to social media platforms are available on https://www.whyliturgy.ca. StoneMir Media is the name Mirko uses for his freelance projects and labours of love.


Real Presence: The Meal

Event from Liturgy Canada

Saturday, April 28, 2018 – St John the Baptist, Dixie – 719 Dundas Street East, Mississauga
9.30 to 3.30
Real Presence:  The Meal

The fourth in our series of conferences on the ordo. This session will focus on The Meal. Why is this meal the centre of Christian life? How can consumers of communion become celebrants of communion? Workshops will focus on Table Song; Including Children; Making Space at the Table and the Material of Worship.

For parish worship teams or individuals. It does not matter if you have not attended one of the previous conferences, so please join us!

Registration is now open!  realpresence4.eventbrite.ca

Where Two or Three are Gathered: Worship for Small Assemblies – Lent

The Program Committee for Worship of the ELCIC has commissioned Where Two or Three Are Gathered: Worship for Small Assemblies, a series of worship outlines for the seasons of the church year using Evangelical Lutheran Worship as the primary resource. Each week’s worship orders include options for Holy Communion and Service of the Word. Resources for Lent were prepared by Carolyn Ethier, Synod of Alberta and the Territories. We hope you find these outlines helpful in your worship planning.

Where Two or Three are Gathered: Worship for Small Assemblies – Lent 2018

Lent 2018 – Online Resources

Image courtesy of Richard Lyall/engageworship.org Many blessings on your Lenten journey.  Attached is a list of some of the online resources available to help you with your worship planning in this season.  You will find prayer suggestion, preaching helps, music ideas, devotional materials, and children and family resources.

2018 Lent Resources


What’s Coming Up?

Have you ever wondered what is happening worship wise in other Ministry Areas of Synod?  A new monthly feature of the Eastern Synod Worship Blog will be a listing of upcoming worship and music events occurring around the synod, as well as nationally (and even some international events!).  My hope is to build a place where people can learn what others are doing, and to provide a comprehensive list of events that may be of interest to rostered ministers and laypeople who are interested in worship.

The activities may range from worship services to conferences to retreats to workshops.  It will include:

  • Workshops, Seminars, Retreats, Conferences – especially focusing on preaching, music, worship, prayers, etc….
  • Ecumenical and Joint Worship events (Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Prayers for the Holy Land, Reformation, Lenten Services/Events, to name a few)
  • Installations, Ordinations, Consecrations,…

If you have any ideas of events that could be included in this list, please forward them to me at: esworshipblog@gmail.com.

Here is a beginning list of events in Kitchener/Waterloo and Area, Toronto, Ottawa, Victoria and Washington

Kitchener/Waterloo Area January 28, 2018 – Circle of Learning and Song

St. James Lutheran Church, Elmira at 2:30 pm with Inshallah, Mino Ode Kwewak N’Gamowak (Good Hearted Women Singers) and some of our Six National neighbours.  Hear about our Eastern Synod partnership with the Six Nations community to develop the Music for the Spirit program for youth.

Circle of Learning and Song

February 10, 2018 – Worship Come to its Senses

Explore songs, texts, and a combination of verbal and non-verbal ways to communicate our worship with Don Saliers, author and distinguished professor emeritus of theology and worship at the Candler School of Theology, Emory University.

Co-sponsored by the Kanata Centre for Worship and Global Song at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, Anabaptist Learning Workshops at Conrad Grebel University College, and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada.

For more information and to register, click here.

February 11, 2018 – Service of Lessons, Carols & Choral Music

On the Festival of the Transfiguration, the Leupold Chorale will host a Service of Lessons, Choral Music, and Carols to celebrate the seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, and to mark the end of the Christmas Cycle of the Church Year.  4:00 pm at Mount Zion Lutheran Church in Waterloo.

Leupold Chorale – Transfiguration

Toronto February 11, 2018 – “Big Sing” of Canadian Hymns (Southern Ontario Chapter of the Hymn Society)

During “Canada 150” there were many reminders of Canadian contributions to science and technology, sports, peace-making and the arts. Hymns are also part of the Canadian legacy. The earliest familiar song is “The Huron Carol” sung at Christmas. “What a Friend We Have in Jesus” was written in southern Ontario.

You are invited to sing these and other selections of Canadian authorship at Eden United Church, 3051 Battleford Road, (at Winston Churchill Blvd) in Mississauga. Refreshments at 2:30, concert at 3:00 P.M.

The “Big Sing” will include selections from the Eden choir led by Bev Killen and Catherine Ambrose with narrative provided by Dr. Fred Graham. Admission is free, and parking is available.

Please plan to attend with a singing companion.


Ottawa and Area April 28, 2018 – Centered in Song

Early plans on being made for this event where we’ll learn about The Center for Congregational Song, hear from some of North America’s top song-leaders, and sing together with a closing hymn festival. Check back soon for updates on speakers and breakout session topics. Email ccs@thehymnsociety.org for more information.

International  May 21- 25, 2018 – Festival of Homiletics

26th Festival of Homiletics – 2018 Washington, D.C.

“Preaching and Politics”

Be inspired by God’s Word proclaimed by some of the nation’s finest preachers and teachers. Experience the fellowship of hundreds of  preachers. Learn and worship in an atmosphere that’s dynamic, friendly, nurturing and prophetic. Come renew, refresh and recharge your spirit.

Early Bird registration ends February 16, 2018

Preaching and Politics – Festival of Homiletics


July 16 – 19, 2018 – National Anglican Lutheran Worship Conference

Sing, Pray, Presence in response to disasters

Registration opens March 1, but mark your calendars now.








Prayer Cycles and Prayer Days

As we continue in this new church year and begin a new calendar year, there are a variety of prayer cycles that are available for our use, to help us pray consciously and consistently for our neighbours locally and around the world.  As well, there are two important ecumenical dates that encourage us to pray with each other and to strive for unity.

How do you encourage prayer for others in your own community?  What other resources do you use?  Let me know and I will be happy to share these resources with others.

From the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada and the Anglican Church in Canada we have the Anglican Lutheran Prayer Cycle

From the World Council of Churches website: The Ecumenical Prayer Cycle enables us to journey in prayer through every region of the world and through every week of the year affirming our solidarity with Christians all over the world, brothers and sisters living in diverse situations, experiencing diverse problems and sharing diverse gifts. Lord, hear our prayer …

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Dates:  January 18 – 25, 2018

Theme:  “Your right hand O Lord, glorious in power”

There are both International resources from the World Council of Churches and resources from the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Canada (WPCU in Canada)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – World Council of Churches

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in Canada

World Day of Prayer

The World Day of Prayer is normally celebrated on the first Friday of March (March 2 in 2018).  This year, the service is prepared by the people of Suriname, under the theme, “All God’s Creation is Very Good!”  See the following links for more information.

World Day of Prayer – International

World Day of Prayer – Women’s Inter-Church Council of Canada

Blessings as we continue to pray with and for each other and our neighbours both near and far.

Kathryn Smith


Epiphany 2018 – Worship for Small Assemblies

The Program Committee for Worship (PCW) of the ELCIC has commissioned a series called Where Two or Three Are Gathered: Worship for Small Assemblies.  It is a series of worship outlines for the seasons of the church year using Evangelical Lutheran Worship as the primary resource.

Attached are the worship outlines for Epiphany and the Time after Epiphany.  One set of outlines includes Holy Communion, and one set of outlines is for Service of the Word.  This set of outlines was prepared by Kathryn Smith, Eastern Synod representative on the PCW.

We hope you fine these outlines helpful in your worship planning.  We welcome your feedback.







Away in a manger

Away in a Manger will most certainly be sung over the Christmas season. Sometimes it is hard to shift from a sentimental singing of the “little Lord Jesus no crying he makes” to the hard realities of the world. Inspired by Inshallah singing Shirley Erena Murray’s verses “Away and in Danger” – a carol of the refugee children (see http://www.thehymnsociety.org/singingwelcome), Allen and I wrote these verses for our upcoming Carol Sing at Kitchener City Hall where we are raising money for the local Refugee Health Centre.

Feel free to use these verses if they speak to your context with the following recognition if you choose to print them: alternate lyrics: Allen Jorgenson and Debbie Lou Ludolph (c) Kanata Centre, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, 2017.

God meets us in strangers

And helps us to see

that helping my neighbour

is God helping me.

The little Lord Jesus

Arrives in strange ways

That startle our privilege (singing priv-lege)

And quiet self-praise. 

Be near us dear Jesus

we ask you to stay

close by us forever

to shape loving ways.

To live with each other

as one human race

Show us how our weakness

is God’s place of grace.

Companion of the Worship Arts: Call for Nominations

2018 Companion of the Worship Arts Call for Nominations

The Program Committee for Worship, on behalf of the National Bishop, calls for
nominations to the Companion of the Worship Arts. This is an honour conferred in
recognition of significant contribution to the worship life of the ELCIC at a local,
synodical, and national level. The honour recognizes the recipient’s ongoing inspiration
and encouragement to others, together with service to God through worship,
spirituality, and the arts.

Please include these supporting materials with your nomination:
1. Reasons for the nomination; i.e., biographical material with a listing of the
person’s specific contributions to the worship life of the ELCIC (examples
should include national, synodical, and local involvements)
2. An indication, with examples, of the ways the person continues to inspire and
encourage others in the worship life of the church
3. A minimum of three letters of support for the nomination from others familiar
with the individual’s contributions.

The honour will be conferred at the ELCIC/ACC National Worship Conference in
Victoria, BC, in 2018. (www.nationalworshipconference.org). Current members of the
Program Committee for Worship are not eligible for nomination.

Send nomination materials by February 15, 2018 to
Kathryn Smith
8 Jodi Place
Guelph, ON N1H 7R1

Advent 2017 Resources

FROM KATHRYN SMITH: PCW representative, Eastern Synod   The Program Committee for Worship of the ELCIC has commissioned a series called  Where Two or Three Are Gathered: Worship for Small Assemblies It is a series of worship outlines for the seasons of the church year using Evangelical Lutheran Worship as the primary resource.  We begin with the season of Advent. Please find attached worship outlines for each of the four Sundays of Advent. One set of outlines includes Holy Communion, and one set of outlines is for Service of the Word. These outlines are prepared by Michèle Barr, from the Manitoba Synod.   We hope you find these outlines helpful in your worship planning. Advent-2017-Worship-for-Small-Assemblies You can also access the outlines from  http://www.worship.ca