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Blog – Centered In Song

Blog – Centered In Song

A blog connecting you to deep conversations, valuable resources, and challenging ideas

Centered In Song is a blog that features a core team of writers who care deeply about the congregation’s voice and who seek to have deep and meaningful conversations. Our team of bloggers are always on the lookout for great events, fresh ideas, and artists who are passionate about congregational singing. Because the team is made up of folk from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, this blog offers a variety of viewpoints and opinions on congregational song, celebrating the diversity that the church’s song embodies each and every week.


12th of July 2018

Another Friendly Letter to the United Methodist Hymnal Revision Committee

Author – Brian Hehn is the director of The Center for Congregational Song.   Like any denominational hymnal committee, you are already being bombarded with people’s opinions –  support, attacks, sarcasm, and any other kind of feedback you can possibly imagine. While much of what you will hear is born out of fear, excitement, trepidation, […]


12th of July 2018

Patriotic Music on Sunday Morning: Yes or No?

Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher.   At my church we do three patriotic songs a year: one on the Sunday nearest Memorial Day,  one nearest Independence Day, and one nearest Veterans Day. We had […]


11th of June 2018

Singing As Summer Sabbath

Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher.   One of my choir members was telling me the other day that every time she hears “Be Thou My Vision,” she can picture the outdoor chapel where she […]


5th of June 2018

Worship and God’s Grand Story

Author – Adam Perez is a doctoral student in liturgical studies at Duke Divinity School.   One of the hardest things for me in planning worship is constructing the overarching narrative of the service. From the very first word to the last, I want the worship services I plan to take the congregation on a journey […]


31st of May 2018

Abandoning “Success:” Embracing the Kingdom

Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher.   I’ve been thinking a lot about failure lately. At work I lament that I flubbed my postlude or that a new hymn went over like a lead balloon. […]


16th of May 2018

A Profound Silence

Author – Brian Hehn is the Director of The Center for Congregational Song and not an expert in silence…but here we go!       Silence How much silence is incorporated into your weekly worship services? In a world defined by continuous sound we are increasingly deprived of silence, and questions are arising about the […]


3rd of May 2018

Leading Through Generational Divides

Guest Blogger Ryan Flanigan is a liturgical folks artist and church music director at All Saints Church Dallas where this story of intergernational worship occurs. As an artist rooted in the Christian Story, Ryan works to create beautiful and believable sacred music for the sake of the world. He believes the church can be a credible witness of […]


16th of April 2018

Staying Alive All through Eastertide

Author – Ginny Chilton Maxwell is Music Minister at Church of the Ascension in Norfolk, Virginia, where she serves as organist, choirmaster, and elementary music teacher. On Easter Day we celebrate that Jesus came back to life, but starting the day after Easter most of us in ministry, and music ministry specifically, feel anything but […]


2nd of April 2018

“The Resurrection of the Body and the Life Everlasting”

Author – Adam Perez is a doctoral student in liturgical studies at Duke Divinity School.   Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed, Alleluia!   This past holy week, I was reminded of a song from Mumford & Sons’ triple-Platinum,[1] break out album Sigh No More (Glassnote Records, 2009). This folk/rock/bluegrass-inspired album is packed with religious material […]


22nd of March 2018

Bilingual Worship: Lessons I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Author – Rosa Cándida Ramírez is the Worship Pastor of La Fuente Ministries, an intercultural, intergenerational bilingual ministry in Pasadena, California.   The following are lessons that I have learned while leading bilingual worship.     1. Give up the idea of comfort. Leading worship bilingually is hard. It takes a LOT of work to […]