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  • Lent 2018 – Online Resources

    Image courtesy of Richard Lyall/
    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


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  • 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:

    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 (more…)

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  • 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 (more…)

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  • 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.






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  • Christmas Eve dramatic reading

    Still looking for Christmas Eve resources?

    Pastor Rick Pryce, Lunenburg, offers his dramatic reading from Christmas Eve 2016 as a resource.

    Christmas Eve Dramatic Readings (1)

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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, 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.
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  • 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. ( 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

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  • 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.
    You can also access the outlines from
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  • 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)

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  • 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.

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