Liturgy Serving the Life of the Church: How Worship Re-forms Us

This year’s Institute of Liturgical Studies conference will unpack how the reforming impetus of the 16th century continues to spawn enlivened worship. Then, from the inside of liturgy itself, we will examine how communities of faith are re-formed and re-shaped, challenged, and renewed. The observation of a commemoration is often tethered between the remembered history of the actual event and the real-life outcomes of that event on subsequent generations.

During 2017, many congregations and seminaries, colleges and universities, programs and international collaborators are reflecting on the expansive influence and the contested interpretations of the Reformation. During this conference, we hope to consider how to observe the 500th anniversary in meaningful ways that nurture and propel us toward a vibrant future for liturgical renewal. We regret the unresolved divisions that occurred regarding church unity because of the Reformation, and at the same time, we seek ways to value the contributions to faith and liturgy that a reforming spirit engenders. Because scholarly thinking about the Reformation period chronicles adaption and evolution over 500 years, how we have responded to particular contexts and prescient realities at any given time means that a great opportunity exists for pastors and musicians to think again about where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

By exploring the deep currents in seasoned thinking about the Reformation and examining cherished liturgical practices sustained in these last years by rich and robust ecumenical dialogue, this year’s conference promises to be a time to embody the tenor of the hymn by Shirley E. Murray that the Institute has commissioned for this year’s conference: The Spirit comes to recreate and shape our world to God’s design: new psalms to sing the timeless truths, new songs to make the Gospel shine, So let our worship, praise and prayer be true to all we know and share.

Guest Speakers include: Father John Baldovin, Lorraine Brugh, Edward Foley, Timo-Matti Haapianen, and Timothy Wengert.

I-to Loh and Shirley Erena Murray, hymn commission.