Liturgy, Formation, Mission and Art: A Conference
I'm very excited to announce a conference taking place in Durham, NC, on November 8-10. While its primary target audience is Anglicans and Episcopalians, the topic of the conference does not, to my mind, exclude others, whether high-church Reformed or traditional Catholic, liturgical-charismatic or Oxford Methodists, or anybody else who might want to join in.
What occasions this conference?
The first thing that occasions this conference is a concern over the way in which the Anglican liturgy is often (mis)perceived along with the role of the arts in it.
My response to that perception? Yep. You're right. It can be and has been all of those things at some point or another, and possibly worse.
But it needn't be. Form need not be pitted against freedom, nor tradition against innovation. In fact the form of the "classical Christian liturgy," at its very best, is a refreshingly freeing thing. And because it's an organic rather than a mechanical thing, it "lives" and is able to respond supplely to the contingencies of time and space--indeed across time and space.
The second thing that occasions this conference? A confidence that the classical or traditional form of the liturgy and the role which the arts can play in it have much to offer contemporary Christians. It is a confidence that believes the Anglican liturgy is good for us, and good not just for us but also for our neighbors, whether they are of the nominal or irreligious kind.
Quite a number of exciting conversations along these lines are afoot (here, for example) and this conference is simply another effort to add clarity to one part of this conversation and to inspire folks with a hopeful vision of what could be.
I've included here a summary of the conference along with links to Anglican 1000, our primary host, where you can get registered for the event and, eventually, find a longer explanation of the talks, workshops, travel, etc.
Intended Audience: pastors, priests, ministry leaders, church planters, music leaders, liturgists and artists of all types. And students are most welcome to join us too.
Overall Goal: to equip us with an understanding of the formative power of the Anglican liturgy and so to bring to light the possibilities of its doxological, theological, ethical, missional and artistic beauty.
The Four Plenary Talks that frame the conference:
1. “The Compelling Logic of Anglican Liturgy”: The Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel and Research Professor of Christian Ethics, Duke Divinity School
2. “Liturgy as a Counterforce to the Prevailing Cultures”: Mark Galli, Senior Editor, Christianity Today
3. “Liturgy, Music and 'Participation'”: Dr. Lester Ruth, Research Professor of Christian Worship, Duke Divinity School
4. “The Visual Power of the Liturgy”: David Taylor, Candidate for Doctor of Theology, Duke Divinity School (editor of For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts)
The conference will include three workshop sessions, Q&A following each plenary talk, two meals so that we can share significant time together, lots of white space and, best of all, four worship services--Compline, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Morning Prayer with Eucharist. Each worship service will be led by a different team and will allow us to practice what we're hearing and saying.
The contestedness of "togetherness"
General cost of the conference $99, but for students, artists and church planters the cost is $49.
Here is a video invitation that Father Steve Breedlove and I shot on July 14. (My forehead is wrinkled half the time because of a wicked sun that kept bearing down on us.)
If you know anybody who might be interested in joining us, please pass along word of this event. Thanks so much!
(And thanks to Erik Newby for the excellent poster design. And thanks to Daniel Adkinson, fearless director of Anglican 1000, for his good partnership.)