Our Commitment to Contemporary Worship

We are committed to worship that is God-focused...

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Contemporary Service for Ash Wednesday

In 2010, I received a request for a “contemporary” Ash Wednesday service. This was a first for this office, to my knowledge. Typically, we’ve commended using the ritual in the Book of Worship because it does what this service needs to do and because it does so using highly ecumenically recognizable language and symbols and standard United Methodist resources.


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Never-Ending Story — Barbara Brown Taylor talks about the importance of story and storytelling.

As a preacher and teacher, I make my living telling stories. While I know people who say that they "use" stories to make important points, I am one of those listeners who consistently remember the stories and forget the points. That is because the points tend to be perfectly clear and well behaved, as very little in my life ever is, while the stories (at least the good ones) star flawed characters with muddy motives whom I recognize at once.


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Cardboard Testimonies

A way for many to offer powerful testimonies without speaking… University Carillon United Methodist Church.  


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“Sunday’s Coming”: A Companion Ritual Analysis, Part 2

The pattern of worship portrayed in is very effective and appeals to our emotional responses. Some of my readers may be surprised to see me make such a positive assessment. After all, I've noted that the ritual portrayed here focuses almost completely on individuals, is led only by youngish white males in this particular example, is masterful at what may appear to be emotional and cognitive manipulation, and functions almost exclusively as a compelling performance by the "folks up front" for "an audience." 


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“Sunday’s Coming”: A Companion Ritual Analysis, Part 1

Whether you are a devotee or a despiser of contemporary worship, one thing that cannot be denied about it is that, when done well, participants often experience it as a genuinely compelling encounter that they say changes their lives. And that's because, when done well, there is an undeniable coherence between what is done, how it is done, and what is said at every step of the way. In short, it just works! 


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Traditional Hymns for Blended and Contemporary Worship

Downloadable musical score sheets. 


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Resources for Contemporary & Blended Worship

Comprehensive bibliography of print, web and electronic resources for contemporary and blended worship. 


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Music Downloads

Contemporary Music Downloads 


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Changing Worship and Music Styles

What would you be willing to sacrifice in terms of power, control, style preferences and all of that to keep the younger folks involved in your congregation?


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Worship Issues for the 21st Century

A panel discussion at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Convocation of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts (FUMMWA) on August 1, 2004, in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The panel discussed their responses to the question, "What is a pressing question facing worship leaders as we move into this century, and why is this an important question to ask?" Panel members have provided a summary of their individual presentations.


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