Workshops & 

Plenary Sessions



Finding Our Voice: The Technology of Song

Josh Blaine

In this workshop, community song leader, Josh Blaine, will teach a few of the basic concepts and techniques behind the oral tradition of call-and-response song leading. In the process, we'll learn about the power of singing together as an effective means for bringing people into belonging, reverence, and healing.



Justice Songs for Congregations and Choirs – Reading Session

David VanderMeer, PAM President

Participants will have an opportunity to read and sing music with justice-related themes.  Anthems, collections, and congregational songs will be included.


Songs of Lament / Season of Lent

Phillip Morgan

Songs that lament the struggles of African-Americans often go unused in worship.  Fear of appropriation and misinterpretation often keeps music directors and their congregations from experiencing God through these songs. We will explore how congregations can use these songs of lament effectively, particularly during the season of Lent. As churches sing the faith of an oppressed community, they may be inspired to work for systemic change and justice.


Anti-racist Preaching: More than MLK Sunday

Carolyn Helsel

How can pastors incorporate anti-racism themes in their preaching throughout the year, instead of limiting mention of racism to the Sunday before Martin Luther King, Jr. day? Join Carolyn Helsel, author of Preaching about Racism, as she describes biblical themes and liturgical resources for preaching that empowers congregations to work against racism throughout the year.

Taking it Home: Effecting Worship Transformation without Violence

Jorge Lockward

Starting, continuing and sustaining a congregation’s transformation towards Just Worship is a long, delicate journey. This workshop will reveal some of its pitfalls and provide tried and true principles along with real-life examples of ways to engage the discomfort of transformation without crossing the line towards spiritual or liturgical violence.



“…And God will delight…”

Eric Wall

How does singing together help shape a worshiping community and propel it beyond its own walls? Do we sound like the church we are or like the church God is calling us to be? Can song help us claim our own voices and tune us to the world’s voices? This workshop looks at what we sing and how we sing in worship, exploring how singing in worship can be both “justice and joy” for the sake of the church and the world.

The Work of the People: The Formative Power of Worship

Tony McNeill

An engaging discussion that explores possibilities for planning, leading, and reflecting on corporate worship as a vehicle for spiritual formation that shapes believers into agents of change and transformation in the world. This session will examine the role of music, drama, dance, and the arts to build, restore, challenge and equip God’s people for the pursuit of justice, action and responsibility.


Just Love: The New Marriage Rite in the 2018 Book of Common Worship

Kimberly Bracken Long

The marriage service in the 2018 BCW is an inclusive rite that can be used for any couple who wishes to be married. We will explore the biblical and theological under-pinnings of the rite, its practical implications, and the new Prayer at the End of Marriage service.


Manos Indocumentadas Rehearsals

Cast and choir rehearses on Monday and Tuesday with director Jorge Lockward to prepare for singing in the Tuesday evening performance of Manos Indocumentadas. Rehearsals are mandatory to sing in the performance.






Just Worship Plenary and Worship  

The opening session will lead us on a journey centered on Jesus, in song, story, movement and prayer. The question before us: How does worship deepen us for the life to which Jesus calls us, and how does that life in turn deepen our worship? Both plenary session and worship will model how our practices and places of worship move us towards just living and the ways in which the call for justice impacts what we do in worship.


Leaders: Tony McNeill, Paul T. Roberts, Eric Wall



Just Worship Plenary

Through the lenses of scripture, cultures, and traditions we explore the ways in which our Sunday worship convocations are acts of justice. We look at received patterns from scripture, particular cultural practices, and different traditions’ ways of gathering, praying (spoken and sung), reading, proclaiming and testimony, the sacramental acts of water-washing and meal-sharing, and sending. We ask: how can these worship actions be just? Are they truly performances of justice in our congregations? Have we lost the sense of these actions-as-justice?  What turns them toward injustice?  We engage these and other questions through presentation, reflection, and discussion.


Speaker: Jennifer L. Lord


Just Worship!  Plenary and Worship

            In worship, the body of Christ enacts the coming reign of God. Through word, song, sacrament, and prayer we proclaim, invite, reflect, and anticipate the commonwealth of justice that will be complete when Christ comes again. We do not only wait in hope; we worship in confidence while we work toward God’s future.


Leaders: Kimberly Bracken Long, Tony McNeill