• A Mighty Fortress Is Our God – Alternate text

    Last year, during the Reformation 500 celebrations, 

    it is possible that “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” was sung more times, and in more places than ever before.  It is important to note that Martin Luther wrote the original words for this hymn for a particular time and a particular place.  500 years later, Rev. Dr. Allen Jorgenson, professor at Martin Luther University College (formerly Waterloo Lutheran Seminary) penned an alternate text to this familiar hymn tune.  These words were first sung at the 2017 Reformation Open Door service at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary, and then at the synod announcement of the newly named Martin Luther University College in June 2018.

    Allen shares his thoughts on the lyrics – both the original and the alternate.

    “Martin Luther’s ‘A Might Fortress’ is a lyrical adaption of Psalm 46.  In it, Luther takes the psalm’s metaphor of God as a fortress and illustrates the implications of this for Christians in his time.  For the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the posting of the 95 Theses, said by some to mark the beginning of the Reformation, I wrote new lyrics to the traditional tune of this famous hymn.  These lyrics take up Luther’s interest in metaphors for God.  Metaphors are poetic pictures that illustrate a truth about God without pretending that the image is exhaustive, or philosophically rigorous.  Metaphors are evocative.  The three I chose are God as poet, midwife and painter.  God as a poet points to God’s creative power.  God as midwife points to God’s loving care.  God as painter points to God’s inspiring power.  This is seen in the phrase ‘God brooks no hesitation.’  The verb brook means to allow, or put up with.  The metaphor imagines God as a painter so taken up in the creative energy of the moment, that God cannot stop until this energy has been put on canvas.  My hope is that just as Luther inspired me to consider other metaphors for God, my words will inspire you to consider metaphors that speak to your experience of God.”

    Here are Allen’s new lyrics to this familiar tune.  Please note that they were written for the rhythmic version of the hymn, which can be found in EvLW #503.

    EIN FESTE BURG – Jorgenson

    continue reading
  • 100th Anniversary of Remembrance Day

    This year, we experience that interesting phenomenon

    when Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday.  Is this a day we celebrate in our Sunday morning gatherings?  Is it a day we tolerate as part of the pastoral ministry to the gathered people?  How do we, as God’s children, remember Remembrance Day?

    To help worship leaders navigate this day within their own assembly gatherings, the Program Committee for Worship asked Lt(N) Rev. Michael Macintyre, ELCIC pastor, serving as Chaplain, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry to prepare Worship Resources for the 100th Anniversary of Remembrance Day,

    In addition to this ELCIC resource, over the years, a number of other people have added their voice to this discussion.  For those of you who would like to dig deeper into this conversation, I offer these other articles and blogs to help you think, reflect, discuss and pray about the church’s role in remembering Remembrance Day.

    In 2009, Liturgy Canada published an entire issue on this topic, including articles by Rev. Paul Bosch, Marilyn Malton, and a variety of personal reflections.  This particular Liturgy Canada issue offers a wide range of opinions.  Then editor, The Rev. Peter Wall, Dean of Christ’s Church Cathedral (Anglican) for the Diocese of Niagara offers these words:  “We are not trying to persuade any to hold to any position nor to take any particular action, save some important critical thinking – asking questions, praying, talking with others.”

    Liturgy Canada, Issue 47, Volume X11, #3, Remembrance Day

    Also found on the Liturgy Canada website is a blog posting by Christian Schreiner, on his thoughts regarding Remembrance Day –  A German Lutheran reflects on Remembrance Day in Canada

    And finally, Music Minister Ginny Chilton Maxwell offers her insights into using “patriotic music” for congregational singing.  Although opposed to the singing of patriotic music and hymns in church, she offers reflections about her journey and the people who have influenced her.  Her posting is from the website: Sing! The Centre for Congregational Song, a great resource for all things related to congregational song.

    Patriotic Music on Sunday Morning: Yes or No?

    I encourage you to add your voice to the conversation, by sharing your comments, or emailing me at esworshipblog@gmail.com

    continue reading
  • Where Two or Three Are Gathered: Fall 2018 Year B Resources are now available

    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 weeks’ worship orders include options for Holy Communion and Service of the Word.

    We hope you find these outlines helpful in your worship planning.

    New worship resources for October and November are now online, including suggestions for Thanksgiving, Reformation, and All Saints Sunday.  These outlines support worship in the congregations and ministries of the ELCIC and partner churches by providing information and ideas supplementary to other print and online sources.

    Find them on the Worship website of the ELCIC at:  http://www.worship.ca .


    continue reading
  • Reflections on the National Worship Conference

    The Anglican Lutheran National Worship Conference

    held in Victoria BC this past July offered a variety of opportunities for participants to enter into the theme of the conference, “Responding to Disaster – Prayer, Song, Presence”, through plenary sessions, worship, workshops, and social gatherings.  Clergy, laity, Anglicans, Lutherans, ecumenical partners, and all who attended, were challenged by our keynote speaker, Lizette Larson-Miller, an Anglican priest and the Huron Lawson professor at Huron University College of the University of Western Ontario.  Chad Fothergill, our conference musician, offered musical insights during our worship, as well as challenging us with the psalms of lament.

    Two of the conference attendees offer here their diverse reflections on attending the National Worship Conference.  Pastor David Malina touches on the theme, “Are we ready?  Are we pastors and worship leaders prepared to offer liturgies and prayers at times of heartbreaking disasters, which help us absorb, process through, and respond to disasters when they eventually happy, both in our personal, individual lives, as well as in our corporate lives.”  Rev. Paul Bosch reflects on where tradition plays a role in our worship conferences – both in our liturgies and in the songs and hymns we sing.

    Take the time to read through these reflections.  Feel free to comment and add your own thoughts.  And it is not too early to know that there will be another National Worship Conference coming in 2020.  Details will be communicated as they become available.

    Malina – 2018 Worship Conference

    Bosch – 2018 Worship Conference

    continue reading
  • Sing Fires of Justice

    continue reading
  • Liberated by God’s Grace …to be neighbour


    This year’s synod assembly focused on the freedom

    we have been given in Christ to love our neighbour.  The themed session were an exercise in contextual theology as we listened closely to our neighbours inside and outside the church, set within our times of praise and prayer.  (Debbie Lou Ludolph, Worship Ministries Director, original quote published in The Eastern Synod Assembly Edition).

    Each of the worship missals is attached to this article.  You are invited and encouraged to review and use the prayers, songs and bible studies that are provided.  At the end of the each missal is a list of permissions and resources.  Please credit the original authors for any resource  that you are using.

    Our thanks to the Worship Planning Team of:  Debbie Lou Ludolph, Jonah Bruce, Sherry Coman, Rev. Steve Hoffard, Bradley Moggach, Cherub Philip, Kathryn Smith and Robb Wilson.

    Thursday June 21, 2018

    Opening Worship – Bishop Michael Pryse with Rev. Rosalyn Kantlah^nta’ Elm presided, National Bishop Susan Johnson preached.

    …to be neighbour I– Multi-faith neighbours, with Bible Study by Rev. Dr. Allen Jorgenson

    Friday June 22, 2018

    Morning service – LGBTQIA+ neighbours

    …to be neighbour II – Race relations, with Bible Study by Dr. Mary Philip (Joy)

    Saturday June 22, 2018

    …to be neighbour III – Homelessness and Addiction, with Bible Study by Rev. Dr. Allen Jorgenson and Dr. Mary Philip (Joy)

    Sunday June 23, 2018

    Closing Worship – National Bishop Susan Johnson presided, Bishop Michael Pryse preached

    If you have any questions about the missals and or resources, feel contact Kathryn Smith at esworshipblog@gmail.com.

    continue reading
  • Book Review – Leading Worship Matters

    Augsburg Fortress has published a number of books

    under the “Worship Matters” banner.  Being both a book junkie and someone who is passionately interested in liturgy and worship, I just couldn’t resist getting these books.  I have found all of them helpful and easy to read and use, but there is one in particular that has proven very beneficial in the area of worship leadership.  Leading Worship Matters: A Sourcebook for Preparing Worship Leaders is written for the person training the worship leaders, but includes many helpful handouts and resources for those who will be taking on worship leadership roles.

    The book clearly ascribes to the belief that worship leadership is the responsibility of the entire assembly gathered for worship, referring to Principle 8 in The Use of the Means of Grace, a statement on the practice of word and sacrament, adopted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA):  “All the baptized share responsibility for the proclamation of the Word and the formation of the Christian assembly.”  The introductory pages continue with theological, missional and practical reasons for including lay members as worship leaders.  What I appreciate, though, is that at no time do the writers take these roles lightly, but rather emphasize training and reflection.  As stated in the introduction,”Leading worship is not, of course, simply a matter of standing up and directing traffic; it is a ministry that requires prayer, thought, and practice” (p. 9). Another important point – there is no expectation that every congregation needs to follow an exact formula.  The content of the book is applicable to a broad range of contexts, leadership, and worship styles.  For example, in the chapter on Communion Ministers, there is acknowledgement that there are as many ways to distribute communion as there are assemblies, and the emphasis is placed on being gracious and graceful ministers, “caring for this meal as something both precious and familiar” (p. 125).  The tips In the “Tips for Communion Ministers”, include:  Serve with grace and purpose; Serve with joy; Worship while you serve; Know that you are serving Christ”  (p. 133).

    The various worship leaders roles covered in the book include: Assisting Ministers, Readers, Intercessors, Acolytes, (more…)

    continue reading
  • Where Two or Three are Gathered Resource – Time of Creation

    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.

    The Time or Season of Creation is increasingly being recognized by churches across the world. It is now designated each year between the Day of Creation, September 1, and the festival of Francis of Assisi, October 4. This year there are five Sundays to recognize this seasonal emphasis on the goodness of God’s creation and God’s calling all people to care for the earth and its climate.

    Clink on the link Where Two or Three are Gathered  for visual and musical suggestions, a simple order for worship, prayer and liturgical choices from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELW) and other sources.

    See last weeks post for additional resources.

    continue reading
  • Centered in Song – Toronto 2018

    An invitation from The Centre For Congregational Song

    to learn about this groundbreaking resource centre. You will hear from some of Toronto’s top song leaders and hymnologists and sing together in a “Big Sing,” celebrating the diversity of the church’s song.

    September 29, 2018

    9:30 am

    310 Danforth Ave, Toronto

    The price is right – FREE – but please register to ensure the venue has enough space for everyone.

    For more information and to register:  Centered in Song – Toronto 2018


    continue reading
  • Free Webinar: All Hands In: Drumming the Biblical Narrative Vol. II

    Led by Mark Burrows and Brian Hehn


    The exciting sequel to All Hands In is here! And here’s your chance to learn from composers Mark Burrows and Brian Hehn as they lead this webinar hosted by Sacred Choral Editor Katie Houts. Mark and Brian will show you how to maximize your use of drumming resources in fun and creative ways. Join the session live at noon (central) Thursday, Aug. 30.

    Click on this link to register:  REGISTER

    continue reading