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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  

New songs to teach by rote

At the synod/seminary sponsored Music Makes Community event this past summer, I taught a number of songs along with teaching practice skills that are part of the MMC core principles. Here are two you-tube clips that could help you teach these pieces paperlessly — both are found in Inshallah’s songbook “Sing the Circle Wide” published last November, available from Sperling’s Church Supply in Waterloo.


Who will set us free? (well suited to Advent)

Palestinian Hallelujah (well suited to singing at the time of the Gospel Acclamation when you are speaking about the synod’s relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land or making prayers for peace in Palestine/Israel)  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWQezCzazpg

a cappella singing

Jamie Courtney, Minister of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church, New Hamburg, reminds us of the gift of a cappella singing:  “A cappella,” when translated from Italian, doesn’t, in fact, refer to the absence of instruments. ‘In the manner of the church/chapel’ is the simplest translation. Wisely, our understanding of voices-only singing, has its roots right here, in the worship space.” (Trinity Dove, 2013)

Join Dr. Wendell Glick as he draws from practices and postures of an a cappella congregational singing tradition to provide perspectives that can help enable the congregation’s voice in accompanied traditions. Considerations will include strengths and challenges of incorporating unaccompanied singing in worship settings, examining textural priority (congregation vs. organ vs. choir, etc.), use of physical space, leadership strategies, formative patterns, congregational buy-in, and listening tips.

November 13, 7 pm, WK United Mennonite Church, Waterloo.

For more information, see Singing Faith – Nov 13 2017 FINAL

Sponsored jointly by the Kanata Centre for Worship and Global Song, Waterloo Lutheran Seminary and The RCCO Waterloo Wellington Centre chapter.

John L. Bell in Toronto!

John L. Bell will lead a congregational sing “The Unsung Jesus” on Monday evening October 23rd at 8 pm at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church,  1585 Yonge St (just north of St. Clair Avenue). This event is free and open to the public. There may be a freewill offering.

LITURGY CANADA workshop “Real Presence”


Real Presence:  Responding to the Word is the third of five Anglican – Lutheran Liturgy Days and the first to be held in Waterloo. Consider bringing your worship and music planning team to this event. Date:  Saturday, September 23rd Time:  9:00 am to 3:30 pm Place:  Renison University College Plenary speaker:  Rev Canon John Hill Registration deadline:  This Friday, September 15 Cost and additional details are found on the attached flyer above.