Summer Worship Bits and Bobs (June 17)

Here are some of our favorite albums and reads to check out this summer!

Whole Life snap lo


Our friends across the pond at Engage Worship have recently published a book called “Whole Life Worship” with tons of great ideas for worship the other six days of the week.  Great for a summer small group or VBS program!

Our staff at Hope College are reading some great books this summer on worship and ministry!

  1. The Next Worship – Sandra Van Opstal
  2. Worship, Community, and the Triune God of Grace – Torrance
  3. The Crucifixion of Ministry – Andrew Purves


WHOA!! It has been a busy season for these folks – check out some of these amazing local productions. Songwriters with deep talent and an even deeper love for Jesus and his church.

Wes CrawfordSimple Words
Wes recorded a whole album of covers written by nathan partain – a worship leader and songwriter at Redeemer Presbyterian in Indianapolis, IN.

Nathan PartainA Lovely Wait
Speaking of Nathan Partain! Nathan just released a new album of originals written for his congregation.

Mike Crawford & His Secret SiblingBright Hopes!
Another great collection of songs from Mike Crawford and the musicians at Jacob’s Well church in Kansas, City.

Matt SearlesPsalms
This project was new to me as I was exploring folks working on the psalms. Matt is a pastor and musician in the UK (Oxford). Check out his great work and an upcoming devotional coming out. Linking his version of Psalm 46 below that might be a good song choice in this 500th Reformation year.

Rachel WilhelmLament
Rachel is a worship leader and songwriter recently relocated to Minneapolis from the NoVA area. Her new album is an attempt to remedy the lack of songs in the church dealing with the theme of Lament. She draws from a wide swath of textual and emotional places! 

Psalter ProjectThe Good Life (Psalms, Vol. 2)
This is the 2nd psalm project from Emily Moore with original texts and tunes inspired by the Psalms. Great to see a few Liturgy Fellowship friends on here!



Alleluia Conference – Baylor
I’ll be talking about contemporary and blended worship at this annual worship conference hosted on Baylor’s campus JULY  17-21.

Worship of God – Midwest
A great lineup of speakers and music for this summers iternation of Bob Kaulin’s expanding Worship of God conferences.


SUPPORT Hymnary in their annual fundraising drive!


Hope College Worship – Psalms EP 2017

Last Fall we invited singer-songwriter and anglican artist-in-residence Wendell Kimbrough to perform a concert of his most recent Psalms album as well as lead a songwriting retreat with my worship teams with Hope College.  After a few hard months of edits, arrangements, and pre-production work my students booked one day in Hope’s fancy new recording studio and knocked out all 7 songs in a few takes!!

For most of my students this was the first time they had ever been commissioned to write something explicitly from the psalms – and for some of them the first time they had actually sung the words of the psalms in worship! The album is a mix of congregational, devotional, and small group worship expressions from the Psalms. We hope you find something that blesses you and your worshipping communities.

Album downloads include a songbook with chord charts and leadsheets. Any questions or comments can be directed to worship (at) hope (dot) edu.

Songs for Lent 2017


There have been some great resource posts on the Liturgy Fellowship facebookgroup for lent. Here are some of the highlights so far.  Personally, I’ve been reading through accounts of music innovations from the Reformation as I prep resources for a few 500th celebrations and many of those are apropos for lenten/catechetical formation.

  • Johann Zwick, one of the leading german reformers focused his early writing on hymns for the creed, the Lord’s prayer, the beatitudes, as well as hymns that built off of his well known catechism. Lent is a great time to work on having at least one song that builds off each of those topics.
  • Hymn-writer CF Alexander (best known for her hymn Once in Royal David’s City) has a wonderful collection of hymns for little children with selections for the creed, the ten commandments, and the Lord’s Prayer for those of you interested in a “re-tune” challenge.

Creed – I Believe in God the Father (chart)

Lord’s Prayer – Our Heavenly Father (chart)

Lord’s Prayer – Our Father (Jared Anderson)

Beatitudes Blog post with a list of songs

Catechism – Check out these recent songs on the Heidelberg catechism
– J. Zeyl – I Am Not My Own (chart)
– Dustin Kensrue – My One Comfort (chart)
– The Welcome Wagon – What is Your Only Comfort (chart)


Liturgical Folk – Check out Ryan Flanagans new record of liturgical settings.

Emerald Hymns – curated list of Lenten songs from Jess Alldredge

Lament – New album of originals and retuned hymns from The Gentle Wolves


Liturgy, Vol 32 “Worship in an Age of Reconstruction”

Lester Ruth, professor of Christian Worship at Duke Divinity School recently curated an issue of Liturgy Journal looking at the state of worship in america “post worship wars.” This current issue is riffing off an issue published in 2004 that explored the effect of the worship wars on mainline traditional worship – curated by Lutheran pastor and scholar Frank Senn.

Here is the list of articles from the issue published in 2004.

  1. Worship Wars by Frank Senn
  2. The Big Dig – by Sean McCarthy
  3. Worship Wars in the Roman Catholic Church – by James Empereur
  4. My Neighbor, the Evangelical Megachurch – by Amy Florian
  5. Heads Up – by Todd Johnson
  6. Worship Wars or Worship Awakening? – by Robb Redman
  7. The Portrayal of Pastoral Authority in Worship – by Deborah Knapp
  8. “Free-Church Bapto-Catholic” – by Nathan Nettleton
  9. Four Liturgical Movements – by Frank Senn

Here is the list of current articles:

[intro] Worship in an Age of Reconstruction: Introduction
Lester Ruth / Pages: 1-2
[1] The Eruption of Worship Wars: The Coming of Conflict
Lester Ruth / Pages: 3-6
[2] Style Matters: Contemporary Worship Music and the Meaning of Popular Musical Borrowings
Monique M. Ingalls / Pages: 7-15
[3] The Curious Longevity of the Traditional–Contemporary Divide: Mainline Musical Choices in Post–Worship War America
Deborah R. Justice / Pages: 16-23
[4] Lay-Prophet-Priest: The Not-So-Fledgling “Office” of the Worship Leader
Nelson Cowan / Pages: 24-31
[5] Why Worship Matters: Lessons From Lutheran Congregations Struggling in a World of Liturgical Change
Stephen Ellingson / Pages: 32-41
[6] Too Much Bono in the Church?
Aaron Niequist / Pages: 42-45
[7] Reconsidering the Role of Music in Worship: A Tale From the Vineyard
Matthew Sigler / Pages: 46-53
Bruce Benedict / Pages: 54-61

February 2017 Bits and Bobs

Here’s a round up of new music and worship links we’ve come across recently.

Lenny SmithYou Are My Hiding Place
I’ll be posting more on this album coming up but for now check out Lenny’s own words on this retrospective that highlights songs he’s written in the past 30 years!!

Alex Mejias – Kingdom Land [video for single]
New record from High Street Hymns maven Alex Mejias – produced by Matthew E White @ Spacebomb Records.  Definite orchestral 60-70’s vibe!

The Harp Family HymnbookVolume 2
Josh Compton has put together a collection of music makers around his hometown of Canton, OH. This is the 2nd volume of traditional hymns with super-tasty arrangements. Site
A new resource site primarily for preachers sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship

Festival of Faith and Music
The biennual festival is coming up this March.  Chris Bohle and I will be leading a breakout session talking about how we book our concert series at Hope College and engage visiting artist with our post-show talkbacks.

Current *Kickstarters* to Support:

Wes Crawford – Simple Words: The Music of Nathan Partain

Caroline Cobb – Songs that Tell the Story

Rachel Wilhelm – Songs of Lament (coming soon!)

Nathan Partain – A Lovely Wait


Lenten Devotional 2017  – Joel Littlepage (Redeemer Pres, Winston Salem, NC)

Lenten Readings 2017 – West End Presbyterian (Richmond, Va)

Resources for Worship and Vocation


Isaac Wardell (Trinity Pres & Bifrost Arts), Laura Fanucci (Collegeville Inst.) and I hosted a workshop at this years calvin worship symposium entitled “Here Are My Hands: A Practical Workshop on Affirming Vocation in Weekly Worship Practices.” 

Below are some of the resources that were shared during our time. It’s a rambling collection but full of gems!



[] A yearly “Vocation” Sunday – could be labor day, or a sunday in Lent that looks at the life of Jesus.
[] Article from Willow Creek’s “The Practice” on Vocation.
[] Great list of resources (prayers/songs) from “
[] A simple service for ordination to daily work from ^^.
[] Include vocation topics in Sunday “Prayers of the People.”
[] Invite your congregation to write prayers they would like the pastoral staff to pray for them in their vocational lives (think broadly – from students, to moms, to recent retirees)
[] MUSIC – check your hymnal tags!
[] Laura Fanucci – small group curriculum on vocation.
[] “To Bless Our Callings” – new book of hymns and prayers on vocation by Laura Fanucci
[] Prayer – the BCP has many excellent collects related to themes of vocation. More contemporary collects HERE.
[] Worship and Work resources from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship.
[] “Work in Worship” is a 252-page, comprehensive treasury of prayers, readings, hymns ancient and modern, orders of service and ideas for preaching about work. Originally written by Cameron Butland.
[] Create a map in your narthex where people can pin where they work. Gives a sense of a communities geography, and as Eugene Peterson says – all theology is rooted in geography.
[] Create a series where individuals from various vocations share how they struggle to live our their faiths.
[] Create a visual installation of photos people have taken of their work lives.
[] Create a “Christ in the City” series for summers – where various parishioners share their work and how they live out their faith in it.


  • Disparaging certain vocations in our communication and preaching
  • In our ministry updates only including ‘vocational’ ministries.
  • Using language of ‘leave your weekly baggage” at the door of the sanctuary.


  • Commission and celebrate vocational fruitfulness at every life stage – baptisms/parenting, graduations, retirement, funerals, etc.
  • Value the anxiety of parishioners between jobs and vocational stability.


a new liturgy – an audio/liturgical meditation welcoming God into our daily commute.

Top 5 Recommended Books for further reading

Jobs for Life


Congregations are the best places for God’s people to be inspired and equipped to live out their callings each day. In the congregation people can be led to find their center in God, as revealed in Jesus Christ. At its best, the congregation can then offer us a safe place in which we can talk about the brokenness, fragmentation, and challenges of our daily lives, and where we can explore how to live our faith in every arena of our lives. 

—Jack Fortin, The Centered 

A Hymn of Calling (Laura Fanucci)
(Tune: The Church’s One Foundation)
For all that we are called to,
God, we give thanks this day.
For people, partners, places,
at home, at work, at play.
You gift us for our calls as
you make the world’s needs known.
Bless us with strength and courage
to serve where we are shown.For those who need our work, God,
the ones that we’re called for.
We strive each day to serve them,
to give and love them more.
Vocation is for others,
lives given in exchange—
the good of all your children,
our common hopes and dreams.For all that we are called from,
transitions we must face.
When journeys end or change course,
and we must turn away.
The old and new both challenge;
we question though you guide.
Be with us through our leaving,
lead to the other side.

The people we are called as,
diverse and none the same.
Created for vocation,
baptized and called by name.
To witness as disciples,
our universal call
Yet each uniquely serving
the God who cares for all.

To You, God, we sing praises,
the One who calls each one.
Transforming and inviting,
you call and we respond.
Creator and Redeemer,
the Spirit’s stirring song—
Your Trinity uniting
to call our whole life long.

© Text: Laura Kelly Fanucci (For permission to reprint “A Hymn of
Calling,” please contact Laura Kelly Fanucci at

24. For Vocation in Daily Work

Selections from The Book of Common Prayer:
(from The Collects: Contemporary, Various Occasions)

Almighty God our heavenly Father, you declare your glory and show forth your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth: Deliver us in our various occupations from the service of self alone, that we may do the work you give us to do in truth and beauty and for the common good; for the sake of him who came among us as one who serves, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Collect for Work – Steven Garber

God of heaven and earth, you promise to make your blessings known as far as the curse is found. We pray for that, and we live for that. In our vocations and occupations, give us the wisdom and grace and skill to keep on keeping on, that the work of our hands will be integral to that blessing in the worlds of business and banking, politics and the arts, education and the law, health care and international development, at home and all over the world– as far as the curse is found. Amen and amen.

Calvin Worship Symposium 2017

Hope College Worship was invited to lead a service again at this years Worship Symposium. The theme for services this year was the book of Revelation. We planned a service that was inspired by Revelation 4-5.

You can watch the whole service HERE.

You can download this years Worship Symposium program catalog HERE.


Prelude: O Lord, You Are My Light  (Jess Alldredge)

God’s Greeting and Call to Worship
inspired by Revelation 1:4–8

Before the Throne of God Above (Charitie Lees DeCheney Bancroft, Vikki Cook)

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty (traditional)


Confession (Rev.Lauren Taylor)

Sanctus (Bethany Brooks)

Assurance (Rev.Lauren Taylor)

All Things New (Green Carpet Players)

Litany Prayer: “Thou Who Wast Center
(Christina Rossetti, based on Revelation 5)

Jesus at the Center (Israel Houghton)
recording forthcoming…


Prayer for Illumination Revelation 4 and 5
Message: “The Mountains Are Out” (Trygve Johnson)

Revelation Song/Digno y santo (Jennie Lee Riddle)

Prayers of the People (Rev. James Ellis III)

The Lamb Has Overcome (Luke Morton)


Valediction (from Revelation 22)
Behold, Jesus is coming soon. Blessed is the one who keeps the words of this book.
Behold! Jesus is coming soon to judge the earth with righteousness and truth.
He is the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”
And let the one who hears say, “Come,” and let the one who is thirsty come;
let the one who desires take the water of life without price.
Jesus is coming soon. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!


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