More Good Words on "Anglican Worship" conference + Why? + Why again? + 2 vids

Crunching Jesus
John 6: 53-58

The communion bread is laid on my tongue 
so gently. But I am ravenous; I want to gnaw 
the whole loaf. 

Already we know we are his body, 
but taking in this crumb of the earth’s flesh, this sip 
of its given blood, presses Incarnation into my flesh. 

As imagination takes in the symbol 
and the substance, we become more acutely 
vessels filled with Christ. 

Even as we step away from the altar 
and out the church door, we keep living the liturgy 
and the urge to Eat and Drink. 

The wine burns still in my throat. 
I have a pasty shred of bread stuck in my teeth. Oh, 
how to feed the hunger and thirst of the world? 

--Luci Shaw

Words from Artists and Worship Leaders
In this post I include words of commendation from artists and worship leaders on behalf of our November conference: "Anglican Worship: A Conversation on Liturgy, Formation, Worship and Art."  They're very fine words by the way. (See other good words here. See two videos below.)

What (problematic) questions occasion this conference? They are these.

1. Is it missional to practice the "full" Anglican liturgy?

2. In what way exactly is it "contextual" to process the cross at the start of the service, genuflect, wear vestments, carry the gospel to the center of the congregation, confess sins, sing the psalms or the Alleluia or Gloria, preach the lectionary texts, recite the Creed or cross oneself?

3. How does the fullness of the liturgy--its words, actions and spaces--form a congregation?

4. How can church leaders facilitate this formation? What mistakes should they avoid?

5. How does it form us in counter-cultural ways: counter to the culture at large or counter to the culture of the congregation itself?

6. How do these musical forms form us: congregational singing, service music, cantor-led music, choral song, instrumental music and even "singing in the Spirit"?

7. How do they form us in distinct ways and contribute together to the "participation" of the people in worship?

8. How does the arrangement of the space and the art on the walls or the visual data of the chancel or the aesthetic aspect of the narthex and the external spaces of the church form us--and our neighbors too?

9. How can artists serve the church's worship?

10. And how again is all this missional?

These are the questions that God-willing we'll explore together on November 8-10 in Durham, North Carolina.

Who should come?
Not just pastors, church leaders and church planters, but also artists of all media, liturgists and lay people who love to worship. If you know anybody who might be interested in joining this conversation, encourage them to send an email to katieb (AT) anglican1000 (dot) org.

To register go here (regular price at $99, for students, artists and church planters at $49).

To find all info go here and here.


“As a congregant but also a poet and worship leader in the Episcopal Church, I have found Anglican liturgy to be profoundly incarnational, involving body, mind and spirit. Everything about it--the music, the antiphonal prayers and chants, the vestments, the body movements of kneeling, standing, reverencing--leads us into Christ’s presence until the ultimate, the crunch of wafer and the taste of wine in our mouths, unites us with him in a more than merely physical way. Such worship is both personal and communal, demonstrating what is meant by ‘the body of Christ’.”

 --Luci Shaw, Breath for the Bones: Art, Imagination & Spirit, Writer in Residence, Regent College

 “Art has been present in all cultures throughout all time and cannot be seen as a luxury but rather as something that fulfills a deeply human need. Likewise, liturgy is not a luxury or a ritualistic add-on. Liturgy is the metaphoric and aesthetic embodiment of corporate worship itself. Closely examining these deeply intertwined aspects of our humanity is essential for our time. The renewal of our liturgy is the renewal of the church. We would be wise to join in on this conversation.”

 -- Albert Pedulla, Visual Artist and board member for CIVA, Jersey City, NJ

 “Some of the greatest artistic achievements in history have been produced out of a worshipful response to the richness and depth of God's word and His creation. For those of us who are artists and worship leaders, the opportunity to contemplate worship in its fullness will undoubtedly serve to spark new creative inspiration that can impact our own crafts as well as the communities around us.”

-- Dr. David E. Berry, DMA, The Juilliard School; Director of Music and Worship Arts, All Angels' Episcopal Church, NYC

 “As a violinist from a non-liturgical background, I was used to giving "special numbers" that didn’t feel integrated into the service. My present experiences in liturgical settings have caused me to see how the liturgy helps us to meaningfully integrate artistic forms into the rhythm of the service. As a worship leader in an Anglican church plant, I am experiencing first hand how the liturgical narratives provide with me a foundation for artistic freedom that results in transforming moments for worshippers. This conference is an excellent chance to talk these things out.”

-- Rebecca Engstrom, violinist and Worship Arts Leader, Light of Christ Anglican Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin 

 “I am thrilled about this upcoming conference. I've been an evangelical song leader for a couple of decades and am fairly new to the Anglican Liturgy. The liturgy has opened up a whole new world for me as a church musician. I strongly encourage musicians and song leaders from all backgrounds to attend this conference.”

-- Fernando Ortega, musician and worship leader, Christ the King Anglican Church launched in Albuquerque, New Mexico 

 “At this pivotal time in the American Anglican church, it is vital that churches begin to think more deeply (and creatively) about the role of liturgy in corporate worship. Too often liturgy is either performed unthinkingly or completely discarded. I highly recommend this conference to anyone who worships in a liturgical tradition—or would like to!”

-- Anna Swynford, Assistant Director of Worship, The Falls Church, Virginia

And here are two kinds of Anglican music that I fully endorse.


I am so glad that Brian gets to attend this -- hoping he'll come home "contagious" with good thoughts, words, ideas and graces.

Praying for you as you prepare!
Thank you, Tamara. I'm so glad Brian gets to come. Now if only you came too, then we'd have a small revolution of fun on our hands.
i KNOW! this whole stay-at-home-mom gig is really cramping my style...
Zac Hicks said…
I sincerely hope there will be recordings/notes of this conference. This line of questioning is what I've been asking for a few months and years now. Help a brother out!

Zac, we'll try to record as much as possible. We'll certainly let folks know what we've been able to capture by audio.

One of these days we'll meet properly, brother. Until then, warm greetings across the electronic lines.
What church is the "contemporary" song being sung at and what is the song?

I also approve of both songs. :)

I'm the music pastor in an AMIA church plant and really wish I could attend, but it's just not possible this year.

I look forward to hearing how it goes and maybe getting the audio when it's available.

Chris, that's Holy Trinity Brompton. Glad to hear that you're a music pastor in an AMIA church. If we do this event a second time, perhaps you can join us then.
HTB-that makes sense. Thanks.

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