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Writing the Church’s Song 2022

3-day workshop from October 19th to 22nd, 2022 in Richmond, VA

REGISTER NOW! ONLY 17 SPOTS LEFT!

 

Invitation

For those who work for the church week in and week out, 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

October 19-22, 2022

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.

 

Registration

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

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

Faculty

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.

 

Schedule

Wednesday

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

Saturday

7:00AM – Morning Prayer

7:30AM – Breakfast

9:00AM – Final Gathering & Anointing Service

11:00AM – Check-Out & Departure

REGISTER NOW! ONLY 17 SPOTS LEFT!

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

THIS EVENT IS POSTPONED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. UPDATES COMING SOON.

 

Invitation

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.

 

Registration

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

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

Faculty

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.

 

Schedule

Wednesday

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

Saturday

7:00AM – Morning Prayer

7:30AM – Breakfast

9:00AM – Final Gathering & Anointing Service

11:00AM – Check-Out & Departure

 

Introduction

This episode is with biographer Gillian Warson on the life and legacy of hymn writer Fred Kaan. It was recorded by Ben Brody at The Hymn Society in Great Britain and Ireland’s 2019 Annual Conference in Canterbury, England. For a full biography of Fred Kaan, click here.

 

 

Season 3 – Episode 6

In this interview with Gillian Warson, the life and legacy of hymn writer Fred Kaan is discussed. Stories from Fred’s life of justice and peace-making are shared. How his life and legacy are displayed in his hymn texts is explored along with many humorous and poignant anecdotes.

 

Listening time: 24 minutes

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Also available on: iHeartRadio

 

REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED

Invitation

After the busy season of Lent and all the blessings and hard work that Holy Week brings with it, time away to rest, reflect, and re-inspire is important. Writing the Church’s Song is a 3-day writing retreat for beginner and intermediate hymn writers. Three top-class clinicians will be provided, two focusing on text writing and one focusing on tune writing. These mentors will provide guidance on how to start writing hymns (or how to hone your skills if you already write/compose) throughout the 3 days. Lots of free time for reflection and writing will be provided as well as one-on-one time with the mentors to discuss your works in detail.

Rest, Reflect, and Re-Inspire After Holy Week

Date & Location

April 25-27, 2019

Dallas, TX

Our hosts will be Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, TX.

Lodging: There are many hotels just a short drive away, as well as great AirBnB options. You are responsible for securing your own lodging for this event.

 

Registration

$99 Registration Fee for first 20 participants (includes lunch each day)

$145 Late Registration Fee (includes lunch each day)

 

REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED

We’re looking forward to welcoming our 27 participants and 3 faculty!

 

Faculty

Tune Writing – Thomas PavlechkoWriting the Church's Song, Tune Writer, Composer, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Organ, Organist, Service Music, Hymn Society, Center for Congregational Song, Dallas

Thomas Pavlechko’s first hymn tune was sketched at a picnic table after a summer worship meeting in 1982. Two of his hymn tunes were published in 1994. Then, Thom was named the 2002 Emerging Hymn Tune Composer by The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, and now 73 of his 107 hymn tunes are in print in denominational hymnals and hymn collections across four continents. Read his full bio..

 

 

 

Writing the Church's Song, Text Writer, Hymns, Hymn Writer, Poet, Methodist, United Methodist, Center for Congregational Song, Hymn Society

Text Writing – Rev. John Thornburg, FHS

John began to write hymn texts in 1980 in response to parish needs. At first writing to familiar tunes, he went on to enjoy a fruitful collaboration with composer Jane Marshall, with whom he published four collections. John has since collaborated with several other hymn-tune composers, including his co-faculty for this workshop, Thomas Pavlechko. His hymn texts appear in many hymnals, hymnal supplements, and single-author collections. He describes his work as a “ministry of encouragement.” Read his full bio.

 

The Center for Congregational Song, CCS, Congregational Song, Writing the Church's Song, Workshop, Dallas, Church Music

Text Writing – Susan Palo Cherwien

Susan Palo Cherwien is a poet and musician. She received her bachelor’s degree in church music and voice from Wittenberg University, attended the Berliner Kirchenmusikschule, Spandau/Berlin; completed the Abschlussprüfung in voice at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin and a Master of Liberal Studies from Mundelein College, Chicago, where she focussed on spirituality, ritual, and the arts. Susan has composed numerous hymn texts which appear in denominational hymnals in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Read her full bio.

 

Introduction

This episode is with hymn text writer Sister Delores Dufner. Sister Delores is a member of St. Benedict’s Monastery in St. Joseph, Minnesota, a Benedictine women’s community of about 200 members. She holds Master’s Degrees in Liturgical Music and Liturgical Studies. She is currently a member of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada, the National Pastoral Musicians (NPM), the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), and the Monastic Worship Forum.

Sister Delores was a school music teacher, private piano and organ instructor, and parish organist/choir director for twelve years. She served as liturgy coordinator for her religious community for six years, Director of the St. Cloud Diocesan Office of Worship for fifteen years, and a liturgical music consultant in the Diocese of Ballarat, Australia, for fifteen months. Since then, she has been writing liturgical, scripture-based hymn and song texts which are found in many Christian hymnals.  Her hymns have been published in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and China.

Sister Delores has received sixty-one commissions to write hymn texts for special occasions or needs, and her lyrics are the basis of over eighty choral octavos. She has four published hymn collections:

  • Sing a New Church (Oregon Catholic Press, 1994)
  • The Glimmer of Glory in Song (GIA Publications, 2004)
  • And Every Breath, a Song (GIA Publications, 2011)
  • Criers of Splendor (GIA Publications, 2016)

Sister Delores was named a Fellow of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada in 2013. In 2014 she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from NPM, the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. In 2017 she received the Christus Rex award from Valparaiso University’s Institute of Liturgical Studies for her lifelong commitment to liturgical renewal.

 

Season 1 – Episode 4

An interview with hymn writer Delores Dufner, OSB, focusing on the craft and art of writing hymn texts.

 

 

Listening time: 32 minutes

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE ON iTUNES

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Highlights

Vatican II really motivated me and gave me materials with which to work.  That return to the sources was essentially a turning point in my faith life, especially the emphasis on Jesus’ ministry and his life…Seeing and paying attention to what Jesus taught gave me a whole new insight into what I wanted to teach and live.

 

I need to create space in order to write… When I actually sit down to write, I lock my office door, put the phone on automatic, and isolate myself until I have a first draft.

 

Pope John the XXIII was a huge influence.  He gave a new idea of what the church could be and should be.  There was a real freedom in that and a vocational call.

 

It has to be good news – not just true, but it has to be good news and it has to sound good!

 

My big goal right now is to try to connect science and faith, because so many of the prayers of the liturgy come from an antiquated view of the universe…I want to do more with writing about the cosmos.