Register for Worship Course: Training in Teams

Date Posted: 10/23/2014

The list of UMC worship teams registered to hear nationally-recognized worship designer, professor and consultant Dr. Marcia McFee is quickly expanding but it is not too late to register your attendees.
Have you heard or thought this before? Our congregation is diverse – ranging from those who have never attended church, persons from very different faith traditions, and people who have been connected with the United Methodist Church for years. Factoring that blend of backgrounds into the scenario, Associate Pastor Tammy Heinrich, Atascocita UMC, shares that the goal of worship “is for everyone to discover new and spiritually edifying ways to offer themselves fully to God and to be increasingly open to receiving back whatever God has for them that day.”
Tammy voices the thoughts on many hearts of worship leaders across the conference, adding, “The challenge, as I see it, is for our congregation to present liturgy and worship in a way that is meaningful and engaging to those who are present, that demonstrates proper reverence, praise and thanksgiving to God, and that stays true to our faith traditions as United Methodists.”  
Atascocita UMC is one of eight congregations planning to take their worship leaders and teams to the upcoming 5-week worship workshops led by nationally-known worship consultant Dr. Marcia McFee beginning November 1 in Humble. Adds Tammy, “I am certain that I am going to hear, see and experience ideas about worship that are new or different to me.  I am especially looking forward to the session on the verbal arts (writing liturgy and enhancing preaching) and on making ritual "rich." In particular, I believe it is important to safeguard the ritual of the sacraments and I am interested to see if there are ways to make the sacraments more engaging without compromising the ritual.”
Rev. M. Rhett Ansley of Wildwood UMC is also anticipating new ideas and inspiration for this essential aspect of church leadership. “We’re taking 12 people who are part of the worship teams for traditional and contemporary worship, including people who work with music, media, and design. I’ve been given the opportunity to learn from Dr. McFee in seminary at Brite Divinity School and through previous offerings from the Texas Annual Conference, and I believe she has a unique gift for helping people feel free to be creative with worship. Her teaching moves beyond the style of worship to the effectiveness of teams and allowing liturgy to actually be the work of the people.”

The upcoming Worship Design Studio Experience is open to all churches in the Houston area, and all participants will receive recordings of the workshops to share with any who miss a session. “No matter the denomination or style of worship, or size of congregation, worship that is theologically, biblically and symbolically rich, communicated in sensory-rich ways, facilitated by leaders with spiritual depth can transform lives,” says session leader Dr. Marcia McFee, who has taught on these theories and techniques for two decades.
5-week and One-Day Session Options
Churches that prefer a condensed one-day workshop can attend the November 1 event only. While serving as a kickoff for the following sessions, this one-day workshop is now also being offered as a registration option.  “Saturday will be jam-packed with tips for designing memorable and meaningful, sensory-rich worship in any style and providing tips on forming or streamlining your worship arts team,” she explains. For 1-day registration info:
Churches pursuing the more advanced training over five weeks will send leaders and teams for five consecutive Tuesdays following the November 1 seminar and service. These follow up sessions will be devoted to hands-on learning among participants and teams on topics ranging from visual, verbal, music, media and dramatic arts.
Atasocita UMC is taking four people so we can divide and conquer by attending as many sessions as possible,” adds Tammy.
Dr. Craig Gilbert, chair of the TAC Passionate Worship Committee believes in providing worship leaders and pastors with opportunities to explore new worship ideas. Notes Craig, “Sometimes old ideas that may be new to you can go a long way to helping a church stay spiritually healthy in its expressions of worship. Unfortunately, worship training is often discounted or overlooked by church leaders. There are a variety of both local and national programs available in every worship style. Our committee is ready and willing to help local congregations find the right training opportunity for their church.”
Speaker background
Dr. Marcia McFee has been teaching worship design and leadership for over 20 years and was the Worship Director for General Conference (UMC) in 2008 and 2012 and will be leading worship in the Texas Conference in 2016.