Summer conference to examine worship as public good

For anyone interested in Christian worship, it’s an easy sell: a summer conference of engaged innovators and cutting-edge workshops, all set in Vancouver, B.C., which undoubtedly will still be photogenic two seasons after the Olympic and Paralympic games.

From July 4-7 the National Worship Conference will investigate the theme “Taking Care of the Neighbourhood: Worship as Public Work for the Common Good” at the Vancouver School of Theology (VST).

The conference is co-sponsored by the Anglican Church of Canada and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC), which enjoy a uniquely close relationship through their full communion agreement. But Christians of all denominations, especially lay people, are encouraged to come. The website has all the details, and in case you’re already sold, it also includes registration information.

Need more reasons? “Worship matters!” said the Anglican co-chair, the Rev. Dr. Richard Leggett. “Worship is one of the most public things Christians do, and we should do it well.” Dr. Leggett, a VST professor, is overseeing the conference planning along with the Rev. Cliff Reinhardt, Lutheran co-chair.

Speakers will include Vancouver theologian Sallie McFague,Vancouver Sun columnist Doug Todd, National Indigenous Anglican Bishop Mark MacDonald, and new monastic Karen Ward. Workshops will be offered on subjects including local pilgrimages, the music and prayer of Taizé, and what to do when liturgical needs are not in the prayer book.

This biennial National Worship Conference may be relatively new to Anglicans (it is the fourth year of collaboration) but it is well known and loved in the ELCIC world, where it has gained a following over many years. The conference is usually held on the years between ELCIC national conventions, just like the national youth gathering, which this June meets in London, Ont. as the Canadian Lutheran Anglican Youth Gathering.

For more information on the National Worship Conference, email the conference organizers at [email protected].

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