Loading Events

Writing the Church’s Song 2020 – POSTPONED

May 27, 2020 2209 E Grace Street
Richmond, VA 23223 United States

3-day workshop from May 27 to May 30, 2020 in Richmond, VA




After the busy seasons of Lent and Easter, time away to rest, reflect, and re-inspire is important. Writing the Church’s Song is a three-day writing retreat for beginner and intermediate hymn writers. Two exceptional clinicians will challenge, inspire, and guide you as a hymn writer. These mentors will provide sessions on how to start writing hymns and how to hone your skills throughout the three days. Group sessions to build writing/composing skills will be offered, as well as one-on-one time with the mentors to discuss your works in detail and receive personal feedback.

Rest, Reflect, and Re-Inspire

Date & Location

May 27-30, 2020 – Postponed, Update Coming Soon

Richmond, VA

Our hosts will be Richmond Hill, an ecumenical Christian fellowship and residential community who serve as stewards of an urban retreat center within the setting of a historic monastery.

Lodging & Food: Richmond Hill is a residential facility with simple but comfortable rooms available. The full registration ($350) includes a room within the Richmond Hill facilities, all your meals while on campus, and times of prayer with the community. For more information about what it’s like to attend a retreat at Richmond Hill, you can click here.



$350 Full Registration Fee (includes 3 nights lodging & all meals)

$200 No-Lodging Registration Fee (only includes lunch for each day)


Text Writing – Mary Louise Bringle

Mary Louise (Mel) Bringle is Professor of Philosophy and Religious Studies and serves as coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Studies program at Brevard College (Brevard, NC). A teacher at heart and a theologian by training (with a Ph.D. from Emory University and an assortment of publications in pastoral theology), she began writing hymn texts in 1999. Since that time, she has won a number of international hymnwriting competitions and been featured as an “emerging text writer” by The Hymn Society in the US and Canada. GIA has published two single-author collections of her hymns (Joy and Wonder, Love and Longing in 2002, and In Wind and Wonder in 2007), as well as anthems written in collaboration with composers like William Rowan, Sally Morris, and others. Her texts and translations are included in publications from numerous denominations, including Roman Catholic, Mennonite, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Episcopalian, United Church of Canada, and Church of Scotland. She has recently served as President of The Hymn Society and chair of the committee to create a new hymnal for the Presbyterian Church USA.


Tune Writing – Sally Ann Morris

Sally Ann Morris lives and works in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. In 1990, she discovered the joy of composing hymn tunes, and has now written more than 150 which are published in three collections from GIA Publications, Giving Thanks in Song and Prayer (1998),  …to sing the Artist’s praise…(2009), and Spread the Good News (2016).  Her tunes appear in Glory to God, Community of Christ Sings, Gather Comprehensive II and III, Worship IV, the New Century Hymnal, The Hymnal 21 in Japan, Church Hymnary 4 of the Church of Scotland and in other current and forthcoming denominational hymnals, collections, and supplements. More about her life and work may be found in The Canterbury Dictionary of American Hymnology.

Sally serves as Musician in Residence at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity where she leads, enlivens, encourages, demonstrates and teaches the diverse wealth of congregational song for twice weekly chapel services.


Hospitality & Logistics – Brian Hehn

Brian is an inspiring song-leader equally comfortable leading an acapella singing of “It Is Well” as he is drumming and dancing to “Sizohamba Naye.” Experienced using a variety of genres and instrumentations, he has lead worship for Baptists, Roman Catholics, United Methodists, Presbyterians, and many more across the U.S. and Canada. He received his Bachelor of Music Education from Wingate University, his Master of Sacred Music from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, and is certified in children’s church music (K-12) by Choristers Guild. He has articles published on sacred music and congregational song in multiple journals and co-authored the book All Hands In: Drumming the Biblical Narrative, published by Choristers Guild. While working for The Hymn Society as the Director of The Center for Congregational Song, he is also Director of Music at Light Street Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland, and adjunct professor of church music at Wingate University in Wingate, North Carolina. Brian lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife, Eve, and son, Jakob.




4:00PM – Arrival & Room Check-In

6:00PM – Evening Prayer

6:30PM – Dinner

8:00PM – Opening Gathering

Thursday & Friday

7:00AM – Morning Prayer

7:30AM – Breakfast

9:00AM – Plenary Session 1

10:00AM – One-On-One Sessions & Small-Group Workshops

12:00PM – Noon Prayer

12:30PM – Lunch

1:30PM – Plenary Session 2

2:30PM – One-On-One Sessions & Small-Group Workshops

4:00PM – Free Time

5:00PM – Participant Sharing & Feedback Session

6:00PM – Evening Prayer

6:30PM – Dinner


7:00AM – Morning Prayer

7:30AM – Breakfast

9:00AM – Final Gathering & Anointing Service

11:00AM – Check-Out & Departure


Event Location