Using our Living Voice

by the Rev. Heidi Moore, Worship Team Chair

I was asked to give you all a taste of what the ELCA Worship Jubilee was about and talk about where the ELCA is headed “in a couple of paragraphs.” How can you distill what felt like drinking from a fire house for three days down into just a few paragraphs?

This event hadn’t occurred in many years. Held in conjunction – for the first time – with the biennial meeting of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians, it was in fact a huge reunion with all the attendant fun and weirdness that goes along with any family gathering! Gather we did – around word and a sacrament and in the joy of the Lord – in Atlanta on July 19-23.

Pictured are some of the synod's Jubilee participants, including our author (pink shirt with blazer) and workshop presenter (white blazer).
Pictured are some of the synod’s Worship Jubilee participants, including the Rev. Heidi Moore (pink shirt with blazer). synod worship chair, and the Rev. Leila Ortiz (photo right), event workshop presenter.

In various and many ways throughout the week, we were asked this theme question: “Where are we being ‘Called to Be a Living Voice’?” All of us – 12 from Metro D.C. Synod along with the more than 800 other people – have different answers reflected by our context and world experience.

Along the way we experienced every kind of worship in the most remarkable places of worship – from formal hymnal following in the Cathedral of St. Phillip, to holding hands and singing “We Will Overcome” in Ebenezer Baptist Church; from experiential art and song – every kind of song, with every kind of instrument – in Peachtree Road United Methodist Church, to quiet prayer in a convention meeting room.

Each morning began with “Holy Conversation: The Voice of Worship” in plenary session. Talks were given by Dr. Maggi Dawn, Associate Dean for Marquand Chapel and Associate Professor (Adjunct) of Theology and Literature, Yale University; and the Rev. Guy Erwin, Bishop, ELCA Southwest California Synod.

The rest of the days were filled with various workshops such as preparing for the 2017 celebration of the Reformation. From Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Gaithersburg, the Rev. Leila Ortiz was a workshop presenter. In the evenings, we worshiped and caught up with those we hadn’t seen in “forever and day” – like other family gatherings!

Want to help us use our Living Voice right here in the Metro D.C. Synod? Consider being on the Worship Planning Team. The team plans major synod worship opportunities, including looking ahead to a “Grace Gathering” in 2016 overlapping with the ELCA Churchwide Assembly and observance of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017.


Contact our guest blogger Pr. Moore, chair of the Worship Planning Team and Associate Pastor at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, for more information and to get involved at hmoore@lordoflifeva.org.

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