The Worship Matters 2013 planning team would like to create a safe space where diversity is respected, valued, and celebrated (such diversity includes sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, ability, age, colour, ethnicity, marital status, and social or economic circumstance). As a result, we have invited everyone providing leadership at the symposium to consider the following values when preparing for the event:

  • an attitude of respectfulness, humility, patience, open mindedness
  • a desire to learn from one another
  • and a willingness to take on the spirit of grace and forgiveness we have received in Christ


Keynote Speakers

Jonny Baker

Portrait of Jonny BakerWorkshop: Curating Worship (L6)

The particular “edge” that Jonny Baker brings to “Cutting Edge” is an imaginative connection of the Gospel to contemporary culture. A creative communicator, Jonny connects with pioneers, leaders who have the gift of not fitting in as they are called by God to new forms of mission and ministry. A member of Grace, a church that was part of a UK movement that became known for its alternative worship, he helped create the multimedia labyrinth installed at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, UK, and is a partner in Proost, a media company publishing downloadable worship resources. Jonny is also a team member of Pioneer Mission Leadership Training, a new, creative way of equipping and mobilising Christians for ground-breaking, transformational, sustainable mission.

Read Jonny’s blog.

Jana L. Childers

Portrait of Jana ChildersWorkshop: Body: The Spirit’s Message Board (P2)

The Rev. Dr. Jana L. Childers is a Presbyterian minister who claims her “central and great love” is preaching. Professor of homiletics and speech-communication at San-Francisco Theological Seminary, Jana is a popular conference speaker and is active in the leadership of her organization, The Academy of Homiletics. She has appeared regularly on Thirty Good Minutes, a TV program produced by the Chicago Sunday Evening Club, co-hosted the San Francisco based television program Mosaic, and was featured on the Odyssey Channel’s Great Preachers series.

Ruth Duck

Portrait of Ruth DuckWorkshop: Hymn Text Writers Practicum (M4)

Hymn texts by Ruth Duck, Professor of Worship at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, are included in the hymnals of several countries and many denominations; Voices United includes 12 of her works. An ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, Ruth received the doctor of theology degree in worship and theology from Boston University School of Theology and has edited or co-edited two hymn collections and three books of worship resources, including Touch Holiness (with Maren Tirabassi, 1990; revised 2012). She is completing a textbook to be published in 2013.

Visit Ruth’s website.


Workshop Leaders

Brenda Baker

Workshop: Music and Integration: Beyond Inclusion (M2)

Perhaps best known in Saskatchewan as a children’s entertainer, Brenda is a writer, performer, performance coach, and founding director of Kids of Note. She has performed her own songs at festivals and clubs across Canada, published an award-winning book of fiction, and recorded several acclaimed CDs.

Jordan Cantwell

Workshop: Embracing the Spirit in the Rural Church (L3)

Jordan is a born and bred city girl serving the rural congregation of Delisle Vanscoy United Church, Delisle, Saskatchewan. After five years in rural ministry, she is beginning to feel like she is truly at home there.

Michael Caveney

Workshop: Death Matters: Planning a Spiritually Meaningful End of Life Service (L1)

Michael is Minister of Spiritualty at St. Aidan’s United Church in Victoria, British Columbia. He has been involved in creating new liturgies for the United Church as well as planning and leading creative worship at St. Aidan’s. Michael received his D.Min. from the Toronto School of Theology. His thesis was titled Hoping and Coping: Spiritual Journeys of Persons Living with Life-Threatening Cancer. For nine years, Michael was the board chair of Hospice King serving York Region, north of Toronto. He has also served as chair of the Spiritual Care Committee of the PEI Cancer Society and worked in hospital chaplaincy.

Lauren Hodgson

Workshop: Connect. Imagine. Reconnect. (P3)

Lauren is in ministry at St. Matthew’s United Church in Toronto, Ontario. She has been involved in a variety of youth and young adult programs, including The GO Project, Rendez-Vous, and Worship Matters 2012 regional youth event. Lauren has a keen interest in creating dynamic, creative worship experiences that speak to, and involve, youth and young adults in particular.

The Rev. Dr. Danielle Ayana James

Workshop: Preaching Financial Stewardship: Talkin’ about Money, Mammon, and Generosity (P1)

Danielle leads the ministry team of First United Church, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. A creative worship leader and passionate preacher, Danielle leads workshops and preaches for key events such as Epiphany Explorations, More than Franchises, and the PCUSA National Multicultural Gathering.

Dr. Mary Kennedy

Workshop: Make a Joyful Noise! Music Leadership for the Church without a Music Director (M3)

Mary is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. She was music director at St. Aidan’s United Church in Victoria, British Columbia, 1977–1983 and January–June 2000, and was music director at St. Aidan’s United Church for performances of Godspell (1997) and Noye’s Fludde (2000). Mary has also served three times as music director for George Pringle United Church Camp’s music week. Her experience as a choral music teacher/professor in both Canada and the United States has allowed her to become familiar with many styles of music for worship.

David Kim-Cragg

Workshop: What Happens at Children’s Time in Worship (L4)

David is an ordained minister serving Grosvenor Park United Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. He has been committed to making the worship intergenerational and intercultural. One of his passions is storytelling.

HyeRan Kim-Cragg

Workshop: What Happens at Children’s Time in Worship (L4)

HyeRan is Lydia Gruchy Professor of Pastoral Theology at St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her teaching areas include worship, Christian education, postcolonial feminist theology, and intercultural ministry.

Trisha Little

Workshop: Using Technology in Worship: Praise, Prayers, and Projection (L7)

Trisha Little is a medical lab technologist with an innate thirst for learning about anything related to technology. As a lay member of Meewasin Valley United Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Little became involved some five years ago in the installation and running of new audiovisual equipment in her church, and since then has continued to seek ways in which she might add to the audiovisual facets of her church’s gatherings. As part of her research, Little has spoken with numerous churches—in multiple denominations—regarding their audiovisual programs. Over time she has discovered the most effective ways to use audiovisual tools to enhance the worship experience.

The Rev. Scott MacAuley

Workshop: The Journey from Pipes to Praise: Empowering the Voice of Your Congregation (M1)

Scott has been the pastor of Sparling United Church since 2001 and has led the congregation through critical changes to its ministry and worship. He encourages lay worship leaders to explore the use of global songs and sung scriptural responses as a means to teach and celebrate faith.

Judy McKelvey

Workshop: The Journey from Pipes to Praise: Empowering the Voice of Your Congregation (M1)

Judy is actively involved in the leadership team of Sparling United Church and coordinates the worship and education ministries. She has been a part of the evolving music program which lifts up congregational song as the essence of community worship.

Janice Springer

Workshop: Nurturing Spiritual Depth in Worship (L2)

Janice, a pastor for 30 years in the United Church of Christ, is the Minister of Spiritual Formation at one church, teaches adult education at another, leads workshops and retreats in the US and Canada, and is the author of Nurturing Spiritual Depth in Christian Worship: Ten Practices. Her passion is to help churches and individuals deepen their spiritual life in the context of the profound changes in today’s church and culture. Visit her website.

Beth Walker

Workshop: Creating a Worship Space: Speaking Interiors (L5)

Beth Walker is Diaconal Minister at Fairfield United Church, Victoria, British Columbia.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email