Free congregational planning retreat with Center Director Brian Hehn in Burke, Virginia on November 16, 2019. Click here for more details.
Deborah Carlton Loftis Ambassadors Program
We collaborate with university and college music departments to provide their students with workshops on church music. The Center for Congregational Song provides all of the programming, two clinicians, and all materials so that the workshops are free for the students and provided at no cost to the University/College. All students that attend receive a free 1-year membership to The Hymn Society and are provided with a packet of choral anthems that lend themselves to including the congregation’s voice.
The Ambassadors Program is designed to achieve 2 primary goals:
Provide non-church music students (Music Majors, Music Education Majors, and/or Seminarians) an opportunity to learn basic church music skills, inviting them to think more deeply about the importance of congregational song in the life of the church, and connecting them to church music organizations that can serve as a resource should they find themselves serving a church through music and/or worship.
Provide young professionals within The Hymn Society an opportunity for leadership.
The Ambassadors Program provides:
A free church music workshop (usually 3 hours) for students at Universities, Colleges, and/or Seminaries on behalf of The Center for Congregational Song. These workshops are free and open to the broader community, but the primary audience is students.
Free 1-year memberships to The Hymn Society and Choristers Guild for all students who attend.
[Optional Add-On] A free hymn festival in a nearby local church.
Topics can be chosen from the following units:
Unit 1: Congregational Song and Forming Identity – How does singing together form us as a people?
Unit 2: Introduction to a Hymnal – This includes the how’s, what’s, and why’s of using a hymnal to plan worship
Unit 3: Breaking Through the “Traditional/Contemporary” Divide – A session that offers a new way forward rather than continuing to use the false dichotomy of traditional and contemporary
Optional Add-On: Choral Reading Session – Choral music from our partner organization Choristers Guild focusing on congregational participation
Unit 4: Individual Ambassador Units – Each Ambassador has created their own unit that draws on their particular passions and skills. To see all our Ambassadors, go to our team page.
Joshua Zentner-Barrett – “Risking it all: The Songs that make us uncomfortable”
Slats Toole – “Sing Praise At Any Moment: Paperless Music 101”
Thomas Wesley Moore – “Sharing Their Stories: Researching Context of Congregational Songs”
Joslyn Henderson – “Black Hymnody Matters: The Music of Charles A. Tindley, C.P. Jones, and Margaret Pleasant-Douroux”
Jonathan Hehn – “Auditions and Interviews: what musicians ought to know and what pastors ought to ask”
Megan Mash began serving as the Music Minister at Sebastian...
Megan Mash began serving as the Music Minister at Sebastian United Methodist Church in August 2010 She attended Simpson College in Indianola, IA and graduated summa cum laude earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Religion In May 2010 Megan graduated magna cum laude with a Master’s of Sacred Music with a concentration in organ from Perkins School of Theology at SMU Here she studied with Larry Palmer, David R Davidson, Julie Scott and Michael Hawn and Christopher Anderson She served as Dean of the Treasure Coast Chapter of AGO for the 2017-2018 season
Jonathan Hehn, OSL, is a musician and liturgist currently serving...
Jonathan Hehn, OSL, is a musician and liturgist currently serving as Choral Program Director and Organist at the University of Notre Dame He is a brother in the Order of Saint Luke and holds degrees in music (BM, DM) from the Florida State University and theology (MSM) from the University Notre Dame Additional time was spent at the Universität Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria Jonathan has won prizes in both regional and national competitions in organ performance and remains active as a performer
A scholar in the area of sacred music and liturgy as well, Jonathan has presented at both national and international conferences, and his written work has appeared in The American Organist, The Hymn, These Days, Call to Worship, Doxology, and other print and online periodicals He currently edits Sacramental Life, a quarterly theological magazine published by the Order of Saint Luke
Jonathan resides in South Bend, Indiana with his wife, three children, and dog A passionate practitioner, writer, and thinker, you can find him on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @JonathanHehn
Slats Toole is a musician, writer, educator, preacher and theater...
Slats Toole is a musician, writer, educator, preacher and theater director/sound designer based in New Jersey They are an inquirer for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and have had formative experience in Baptist (CBF and Alliance), United Methodist, Episcopal, and Reformed churches They hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a Master of Divinity and Certificate in Theology, Women and Gender from Princeton Theological Seminary They serve on the Advisory Team for NEXT Church, and are the resident sound designer for the In[heir]itance project
Slats’ Lenten poetry series has been compiled in the collection Queering Lent, and their work has also been published in “History of Hymns”, Call to Worship, and Sacramental Life Slats has led workshops on expansive language and queer theology (with a particular emphasis on gender identity) at Princeton Theological Seminary, the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, Montreat Conference Center, and the NEXT Church National Gathering Slats’ work centers around creating space in the church where all are welcomed, embraced, and loved
Joslyn Henderson is a full-time graduate student at Truett Seminary...
Joslyn Henderson is a full-time graduate student at Truett Seminary and Baylor School of Music, having first earned her Bachelors of Vocal Performance from Spelman College in Atlanta She is a prolific gospel singer and worship leader and currently serves as the Ministry Associate for Worship & Chapel at Baylor University, as well as the Minister for Worship & the Arts at One Fellowship United Methodist Church
Josh Zentner-Barrett is a dedicated church musician who serves as...
Josh Zentner-Barrett is a dedicated church musician who serves as Organist & Director of Music at Kanata United Church in Ottawa, Canada He holds degrees in organ and sacred music from Wilfrid Laurier University (BMus) and Southern Methodist University (MSMus), and is an Associate of the Royal Canadian College of Organists Josh’s work seeks to enliven the song of the congregation, with a particular commitment to global music in the context of the church community His leadership fuses ancient and modern hymnody with innovative performance techniques, and he is particularly interested in song at the intersection of cultures and faiths At the core of Josh’s teaching is a response to the call to witness, where music engages the congregation in a full experience of the sacred and bridges the gap between diverse expressions of faith
If you would like The Center for Congregational Song to come to your University or College, please contact us so we can begin the scheduling process. We currently have openings for the Fall 2019, Spring 2020, and Fall 2020 Semesters.