We Come With Joy! A Gathering on Worship in the Progressive Church

  • We Come With Joy! A Gathering on Worship in the Progressive Church

    Location: Dayton, Ohio
    Contact: carole@allianceofbaptists.org

    We Come With Joy!—A Gathering on Worship in the Progressive Church

    October 17-19, 2014—Harmony Creek Church—Dayton, Ohio

    Register now!

    Join us for an inspirational and informative weekend as we explore the meaning and practice of worship as it is emerging in progressive congregational settings. Be renewed by a variety of worship experiences featuring creative liturgies, contemporary hymns, instrumental music, biblical storytelling and preaching using technology and the arts. Joyfully return to lead worship in your setting spiritually renewed and equipped with ideas and resources to do the work of worship!

    Schedule, housing information, workshop leaders and more can be found below!


    $50.00 per person - early bird until Sept. 23

    $75.00 on/after Sept. 24, 2014


    Holiday Inn Express, 5655 Wilmington Pike, Centerville, Ohio 45459, 937-424-5757

    $109.00 (Including complimentary hot breakfast)

    Free housing is available to Seminary Students upon request. Contact Mike Castle: mdcastle@aol.com

    Register Now!

    Plenary and Worship Leaders:

    Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan, our contemplative worship and workshop leader for the weekend, is an adventurous and imaginative composer, teacher, worship leader and hymn writer and a gifted craftsman leading community prayer. Since earning an M.A. in Theology and the Arts from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities he has been immersed in a long-term study of the Psalms, creating new songs for all of the 150.He lives with his family in Strawberry Point, Iowa.

    Christopher Grundy, plenary speaker, worship leader and teacher, brings over two decades of creative worship leadership, composing and teaching to his weekend offerings. Informed by his extensive research in liturgical studies, his tenure serving local congregations in Iowa and Kansas, as well as his teaching of preaching and worship at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Christopher has been shaping worship in the emerging church for two decades. He is a co-author of the book The Work of the People: What We Do InWorship and Why and has ten songs in the United Church of Christ’s songbook Sing! Prayer and Praise.

    Molly Marshall, sanctuary proclaimer on Sunday morning, is a trusted and prophetic voice among Baptists, having earned theological degrees and taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary prior to serving as professor, acting dean and now president and professor of theology and spiritual formation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Kansas. Her published works include No Salvation Outside the Church?, What it Means to Be Human, and Joining the Dance: a Theology of the Spirit, as well as numerous chapters in books, dictionary and journal articles, and Bible study curricula.

    Eric Mathis, leader in worship and workshops throughout the weekend, is a frequent speaker and writer on adolescent spirituality, liturgy and the arts and Baptist worship practices with a commitment to liturgical responsibility. An ordained minister, Eric earned degrees in music, theology and homiletics before joining the faculty at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., where he is also the director of anima: the Forum for Worship and the Arts.

    Debra Mumford, proclaimer in Saturday’s service and workshop leader is a writer, preacher, teacher and prophet, serving as professor and associate dean at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary in Kentucky. A native of North Carolina, her journey has taken her from east to west coast as she has studied, proclaimed, written and published for and about the contemporary church. She holds standing as an American Baptist minister and recognition in the Alliance of Baptists.

    Trent Sims, our organist for the weekend, is a native of Dayton, Ohio and has been an organist since he was 16 including a career as a theater organist in Cincinatti, Indianapolis and Dayton. He has performed across the United States, England and Germany. Along performing and recording, Trent serves as organist and director of choral music of Harmony Creek Church, Kettering, Ohio.

    Workshop Information

    Workshop Session One: Saturday, October 18 11a.m.-12:15p.m.

    God as Jazz Band Leader: Human and Divine Power and Responsibility in Worship and Prayer

    Facilitator: Carolyn Bohler

    We will attend to the metaphors we use for the Divine and reflect upon the implications of power and responsibility —those God and humans have. The purpose will be to foster justice and compassion, not “leaving” to God action we need to take ourselves. God as Jazz Band Leader may be an evocative metaphor for this purpose.

    Carolyn Bohler recently retired from 39 years of ministry in the United Methodist Church. For 21 years she was Professor of Pastoral Theology and Counseling at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. She is the author of God the What? What our Metaphors for God Reveal about our Beliefs in God, and God Is Like a Mother Hen, among other books.

    Multiple Sacraments in Worship

    Facilitator: Rod Kennedy

    This workshop will attempt the elevation, celebration and magnification of the ways and practices of worship available to Baptists.

    Rod Kennedy is lead pastor of First Baptist Church, Dayton, Ohio, and a Professor of Baptist Studies and Homiletics at United Theological Seminary, Dayton. He co-edited Gathering Together: Baptists at Work in Worship, and authored Sermons from Mind and Heart: Struggling to Preach Theologically, among other works.

    Biblical Storytelling Symposium: An Emergent Worship Model for the Progressive Church

    Facilitator: Brice Thomas

    In this post-modern era many have experienced the popular contemporary worship model as unfulfilling, lacking a deeper connection to God and characterized by performance vs. an authentic liturgical model of spiritual formation. Based on the groundbreaking work of Dr. Thomas Boomershine, this workshop will review the integration of this new exegetical paradigm into the worship context.

    Brice Thomas is an ordained minister, actor, singer and ballroom dancer. In addition to ministry work as a UCC pastor in the local church, Brice facilitates workshops on a variety of topics, from emerging worship to conflict resolution. He recently self-published a pastoral counseling workbook for same-sex couples and is currently pursuing his Doctor of Ministry in Performance Criticism at United Theological Seminary. He is a member of the CinDay Guild of the Network of Biblical Storytellers.

    The People’s Work-in-Progress: Liturgy Planning and Resources for the Progressive Church

    Facilitator: Susan A. Blain

    Scripture, life experience, music, poetry, mission: how pull these elements together in a Spirit-filled service which becomes more than the sum of its parts? We will look at strategies for engaging members in planning and leadership, check out resources both new and tried and true, and playfully practice together the art form which is Worship.

    The Rev. Susan A. Blain is Minister for Worship, Liturgy, and Spiritual Formation with the Faith Formation Ministry Team of the United Church of Christ. Sue works with writers and liturgists from around the UCC to create Worship Ways, the on-line resource for lectionary-based worship. She has edited volumes 2 and 3 of Imaging the Word: An Arts and Lectionary Resource © 1995 and 1996 United Church Press. She served on the editorial board for Sing! Prayer and Praise © 2009 Pilgrim Press.

    Workshop Session Two: Saturday, October 18 2p.m.-3:15p.m.

    New Hymns for the Progressive Church

    Facilitator: Deb Loftis

    Singing together can help congregations reflect on issues confronting the congregation, contribute to faith formation, build unity and help members grow into new ways of being God's people in today's world. Discover new resources to enrich your worship. This workshop will explore new hymns that challenge and stretch us, and also recent texts and tunes to help us celebrate seasons of the church year.

    Deborah Loftis is Executive Director of The Hymn Society in the U.S. and Canada, a non-profit, ecumenical organization devoted to promoting congregational song. The Hymn Society is headquartered on the campus of Baptist Theological Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, where Deb teaches hymnology. She holds a Ph.D. in musicology and is an ordained Baptist minister.

    Projection Practices for the Progressive Church

    Facilitator: Eric Mathis

    In a world saturated with all types of media, two questions are central for progressive congregations: 1. How can our media enhance rather than distract from worship? and 2. How can our technological practices distinguish us from the church at large? Examining topics such as restorative justice, liturgies of resistance and human rights advocacy, this workshop will provide a philosophy and practices for progressive churches seeking to incorporate digital media into their worship practices.

    Eric Mathis is Assistant Professor of Music and Worship at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama, where he also is director of anima: the Forum for Worship and the Arts. Eric, who advocates for the inclusion of teenagers in worship leadership, frequently speaks and writes on adolescent spirituality. An ordained minister, Eric holds a Ph.D. in theology.

    Biblical Storytelling Symposium: An Emergent Worship Model for the Progressive Church

    Facilitator: Brice Thomas

    Brice-thomas.png(see description above)

    Workshop Session Three: Saturday, October 18, 3:30p.m.-4:45p.m.

    God as Jazz Band Leader: Human and Divine Power and Responsibility in Worship and Prayer

    Facilitator: Carolyn Bohler

    (see description above)

    Contemporary Music Resources for Progressive Worship

    Facilitators: Christopher Grundy and Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan

    In this workshop we will sing, as well as discuss musical resources for progressive churches and how to find them. We will begin by outlining what is meant by “music for progressive churches,” with all the complexity that entails. We will discuss some resources and approaches to building repertoire and more.

    Christopher Grundy is Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship and Associate Dean of the Chapel at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. An ordained UCC minister who holds a Ph.D. in liturgical studies, he is the co-author of The Work of the People: What We Do in Worship and Why. He has recorded six CDs, and 10 of his songs are included in the UCC’s Sing! Prayer and Praise songbook.

    Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan is a composer and musician who is all about adventurous and imaginative music for the ever-evolving church. He serves across denominations, singing and teaching about worship and spiritual formation. He has recorded several albums of original music, and his hymns have been published by the UCC, ELCA, UMC and PCUSA. He earned his M.A. in Theology and the Arts from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

    The People’s Work-in-Progress: Liturgy Planning and Resources for the Progressive Church

    Facilitator: Susan A. Blain


    (see description above)

    Multiple Sacraments in Worship

    Facilitator: Rod Kennedy

    (see description above)

    Workshop Session Four: Sunday, October 19 9a.m.-10:15a.m.

    Singing Psalms in the 21st Century

    Facilitator: Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan

    The Psalms of the Hebrew Bible have been the center of the Christian liturgy for centuries. Come discover how the Psalms are renewing the wider church today and what might happen to us if we took them seriously. We will sing the Psalms in a variety of styles and explore how to bring them to life in your worship context.

    Righting America at the Creation Museum: Young Earth Creationism and the Culture Wars

    Facilitators: Sue and Bill Trollinger

    Located just outside Cincinnati, the Creation Museum makes an extraordinary argument in the 21st Century, namely that the entire universe was created by God in six 24-hour days just 6, 000 years ago. But despite what seems like obvious scientific evidence to the contrary, the Creation Museum is hugely popular. The presentation will focus on the museum's rhetoric and how these arguments connect with the contemporary culture wars.

    Susan Trollinger is Associate Professor of English at the University of Dayton. Much of her research focuses on religion and visual rhetoric, including her latest work, Selling the Amish: The Tourism of Nostalgia. Bill Trollinger, Professor of History at UD, has highlighted conservative Protestantism and American culture in his work. His latest, “Evangelism and Religious Pluralism in Contemporary America,” appeared in Gods in America. The couple co-authored a book on creationism, forthcoming from Johns Hopkins University Press.

    Pros, Cons and Obstacles to Truly Multi-Cultural Worship

    Facilitator: Debra Mumford

    While multicultural worship sounds like a worthy goal, actually attaining it can be a major challenge. This workshop will highlight the pros and cons of multicultural worship, highlighting four obstacles which prevent many faith communities from realizing their multicultural worship goals. Attendees will be invited to dialog about ways to overcome the obstacles.

    Debra Mumford is a Professor of Homiletics and Associate Dean for Student Academic Affairs at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary in Kentucky. She holds a Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union and is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church. Debra serves as convener of the Justice, Ethics and Preaching work group of the Academy of Homiletics and has authored Exploring Prosperity Preaching: Biblical Health, Wealth and Wisdom and many journal articles.


    Beginning Friday at 6:30 with a opening worship and a dessert reception, the weekend continues through Sunday worship with possible participation in four different workshops and four different worship settings.

    Friday, October 17

    6:30 – 7:00 p.m. Organ Concert by TRENT SIMS

    7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Opening Worship with ERIC MATHIS

    8:30 p.m. Dessert Reception sponsored by UNITED THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

    Saturday, October 18

    9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Contemplative Worship Experience – RICHARD BRUXVOORT-COLLIGAN

    10:00 – 10:45 a.m. Plenary Session with CHRISTOPHER GRUNDY

    11:00 – 12:15 p.m. Workshop 1

    12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Lunch (included in registration)

    2:00 – 3:15 p.m. Workshop 2

    3:30 – 4:45 p.m. Workshop 3

    5:00 – 6:15 p.m. Worship with DEB MUMFORD

    Evening is free

    Sunday, October 19

    9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Workshop 4 (These workshops are offered ONLY on Sunday morning)

    10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Experience One of Harmony Creek’s Three Sunday Gathering Options:

    sanc·tu·ar·y/ [sangk-choo-er-ee] (In the Sanctuary)

    - from the Latin word sanctuarium, meaning “a sacred or holy place.” Sanctuary Worship seeks to maintain faithfulness to the historic Christian tradition and worship practices but do it in a way that is consistent with progressive theology and witness. In the Sanctuary you will sing hymns, enjoy beautiful organ music, offer praise God, hear the choir and others sing and play awesome songs, engage in sermons and pray for each other and the world.

    sym·po·si·um[sim-poh-zee-uhm] (In the Fellowship Hall)

    – from the ancient Greek, which literally means a “drinking party” and a drinking party it will be! Morning beverages are served as people gather at tables. Opportunities are offered to praise God through contemporary music, engage the sacred texts, and pray, but instead of a sermon, the people gathered at tables are asked to bring their differences, their questions, and their unique experiences into conversation and dialogue with each other. You may be surprised what is on the agenda!

    sa·lon[suh-lon] (In the Herbster Community Room)

    – a throwback of a word, reaching back to 17th-18th century Europe where people gathered to discuss art, politics, ethics and religion, among other things. The Salon is not a Christian worship service, but is a hospitable space for those who prefer a much more human centered approach to life and living without the barriers of faith, theology, or religious practice imposed upon participants. Perfect for those who want to be in community with others of goodwill and who care deeply about working with others to make the world a better place!