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  • Open Spirit hymn competition

    The ELCIC and the ACC are seeking to encourage and cultivate the creativity of authors and composers among us.  The contest is open to all members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church In Canada and Anglican Church of Canada.  Entries may consist of

    • Original music with original text

    • Original texts set to existing music

    • Original music for an existing text

    For more information, visit .

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  • New offertory song introduced at National Worship Conference

    Jesus invites us to feast is an offering song by Tricia Coldren, pastoral liturgist at St Mark’s (Kitsilano) Anglican Church in Vancouver.  She generously offers it to be used to the glory of God.

    Tricia led morning prayer on Wednesday at the ELCIC/ACC National Worship Conference in July and included this offering song. She taught it in 2 parts, the soprano melody line and the bass line, and as marked, sang it with energy.  She used her hands to indicate pitches rising and falling as she taught us.  Once the two parts had been learned, we sang it several times together (no piano or other instruments). Tricia has learned much about congregational song and worship from the workshops offered by St. Gregory of Nyssa Episcopal community in San Francisco.

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  • Psalm text set to Québécois tune by Matthew Anderson

    Psalm 103, set to a Québécois tune by Matthew Anderson, pastor of the Eastern Synod in Montreal, as a gift to the Kanata Centre for Worship and Global Song, was first introduced by Waterloo Lutheran Seminary global music choir Inshallah at St John’s Lutheran Church, Montreal, in April, and then at LutherHostel in June. Find the music and lyrics, as well as an excerpt by Inshallah, of  Generations Tell Each Other at , the ELCIC/ACC site for original congregational music and lyrics.  And then you’ll need to find the congregation member who wants to play the spoons!! Enjoy!

    Bless the Lord all that is in me, slow to anger, steadfast love;

    Generations tell each other: love and mercy from above.

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  • Worship Renewal Grants

    The Worship Renewal Grants Program of the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship fosters well-grounded worship renewal in congregations and worshiping communities throughout North America. Made possible through the generous support of Lilly Endowment Inc., these grants serve to stimulate thoughtful and energetic work for worship that exhibits renewed creativity, theological integrity, and relevance.

    Grants are awarded once a year.  Proposals for 2011 will be accepted between December 1, 2010 and January 11, 2011.  They note, “While we are interested in receiving a wide range of proposals, we are especially interested in projects related to intergenerational worship practices and projects related to the Psalms.”

    It’s not too early to begin planning and writing a proposal if you have a project in mind!  More information.

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  • EvLW: Liturgies audio, volume 3

    Evangelical Lutheran Worship Liturgies Audio Edition, Volume 3
    The first two volumes in this set presented recordings of several of the holy communion settings in Evangelical Lutheran Worship. This third volume completes those recordings, with Holy Communion Settings Three, Four, Nine, and Ten, as well as the three principle daily prayer settings, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer. Useful for getting acquainted with the liturgical music in this worship resource, these recordings are professionally produced and follow the music as printed in the accompaniment volume. 978-1-4514-0117-2. $16.98

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  • EvLW: Choral Stanzas

    Choral Stanzas for Hymns
    This resource is being published in two volumes. Volume One, The Church Year, is now available. The second volume will be published in early 2011. The first volume includes stanzas of 81 hymns from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (and many other current hymnals), treating the sections from Advent (#239) through Holy Communion (#502). For each hymn that is included, one stanza has been selected for choral treatment by a gifted composer. Intended for use within the assembly’s singing of the hymn, the settings vary from unison to four part, unaccompanied to keyboard and obbligato instrument. All settings are fully reproducible. 978-0-8066-9841-0. $59.95

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  • Space, Art, Image…..and worship

    Here are some sites that I have added to the links for those of you who are interested to connect with people who are thinking about faith and art and worship and space.

    • For many years I have used the devotional book Sacred Journeys by Jan Richardson and recently I found her website where she offers paintings and reflections on the lectionary readings. Check out Jan Richardson: The Painted Prayerbook.
    • When we were at St Mark’s in Kitchener in the 90s, Richard Caemmerer came to visit and told us of the Grünewald Guild — check out what they are doing at  The Grünewald Guild .
    • For a full listing of visual arts links, go to Lift Up Your Hearts , and search under Visual Arts Links.

    What might the artists and painters and potters in your congregation do to enliven worship in your place? What as a synod might we do to nurture the artists in our midst and to hear what God is revealing through art?

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  • Global Song Sunday

    Pastors Carey and Sebastian Meadows-Helmer share their Global Song Sunday service from this summer in Maynooth using the Evangelical Lutheran Worship resource. Global Song Sunday Model

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  • On the lighter side…..

    I think it is only fair that I respond to my colleagues who took great pains to introduce new liturgical praxis at the Synod Assembly.  I give the rest of you their tireless efforts, because in the midst of serious discussions about worship praxis, about which we all can get a little too over zealous, it is good to smile and remember the Spirt blows as it wills.

    I commend to you the use of Vuvuzelas in marking times when walls of Jericho fall down or mortgages on church buildings are burned or we open our doors to the outcasts of society…… those times when we say that we are willing to think beyond ourselves.  And so towards those times, enjoy our colleagues comments!!

    The original motion on the floor, submitted by Thomas Arth, Hans Borch, Rob Wiesner, Neil Thompson, Krister Ulmanis: That the Ministry Director for Worship Ministries investigate the possible liturgical and musical uses of the Vuvuzela and communicate her feelings through the Worship Matters newsletter

    Don Nevile’s cleverly crafted response:


    My Lord Bishop, I wish to move an amendment to Motion 2.2, currently before the Assembly.  My amendment is simply that the word “outdoor” be added to the motion, between the words “possible” and “liturgical”, so that the motion reads, “That the Ministry Directory for Worship Ministries investigate the possible outdoor liturgical and musical uses …”, the rest of the motion to remain the same.

    My Lord Bishop, I believe that the Vuvuzela is an excellent liturgical musical instrument, right up there with the Alphorn, so beloved by Christians in Switzerland and Austria, with the Bagpipes, so dear to the hearts of Scottish Christians, and with the Phonorton, that legendary liturgical wind instrument, which is blown at both ends.

    My Lord Bishop, the Vuvuzalea is an important instrument to us for several reasons …
    FIRST, it is cheap, and would assist the Church in dealing with its current financial challenges;
    SECOND, it is easy to learn; anyone can play it, and so it will fulfill our mandate to be inclusive;
    THIRD, it will only play one note, and in that sense is an audible sign among us of the unity of the Church.

    My Lord Bishop, just think how the outdoor liturgical use of the Vuvuzala would enhance our witness among the soccer community, and the African diaspora community in our land.  Moreover, imagine the impact of a Vuvuzela ensemble in your community, performing together at an outdoor Easter Sunrise service at, say, 6:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday morning, outside your Church building, or at a nearby hillside or park.

    However, my amendment is very important: the use of the Vuvuzaela only outdoors is paramount, if we value the sanity of our Church.  If it is not restricted to outdoor use, we may be exposed to permanent hearing loss, which would prevent us from hearing the Gospel in its purity and truth.

    For these reasons, I support the passage of the amended version of this motion … or whatever.


    (footnote:  the rumour circulating at our synod assembly has now been confirmed – that this fall, a major Quebec organ building firm will be offering an add-on Vuvuzela organ stop.  The stop will consist of a full 54-note rank, with the resonators and wind supply mounted outsidethe church building, but playable from the console inside the church.  Spokesperson for the firm, Pierre Bombarde, says, “This is the first time we have worked with plastic organ pipes.  We look forward to this novel concept, which we expect will initiate a new era in Canadian organ building.”)

    Martin Giebel’s contribution:

    At our recent Eastern Synod Assembly of the ELCIC June 24-27 in Toronto some of us worked hard to pass a motion considering the use of the Vuvuzela for liturgical music. Regrettably though, this motion did not make it to the floor of the Assembly. Still, we see enormous potential in this initiative! For example, we have come to realize that we sometimes are separated from one another by walls of misconceptions, distrust and fear. We believe we have found a scripture based and time-tested remedy in the formation of a Vuvuzela choir and recommend that this newly established choir walk around any walls that separate us following the clear instructions of Joshua 6:1-5. Scripture tells us what will happen: The walls will crumble and the people of God will be realize new opportunities. (This technique might also prove helpful in tearing down any structures that are between us and a more appropriate organizational model of the ELCIC on the national level.) Also, the low cost of this most effective instrument will most certainly meet the tight constrains of future budgets among all levels of the church! Moreover, since these instruments are crafted in some of the poorest countries of this world, we can send a strong message of support and unity to those emerging, local industries. Discussions during Synod Assembly have shown many more possible uses on the local level. E.g. Vuvuzelas appear to be very effective in getting people’s attention and demonstrating support – both things our congregations and church are in need of.

    Let’s all keep the perspective , and thanks for the smiles (-:  I am so glad to work together with all of you.

    debbie lou

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  • News from The Festival of Homiletics

    This summer Pastors Carey and Sebastian Meadows-Helmer attended the Festival of Homiletics in Nashville. Read about their experience:  “The joy of preaching” , and take a look at the line-up for next year in Minneapolis at Meet you there!!

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