Just Worship event coming to Austin seminary Sept. 30-Oct. 2


Event promises stirring preaching, exceptional music and fascinating workshops

by Kimberly Bracken Long | Special to Presbyterian News Service

The Second Just Worship event is set for Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Sept. 30 through Oct. 2.

LOUISVILLE — The second annual Just Worship event will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.  Like the first one at Columbia Theological Seminary, this promises to an extraordinary time led by stirring preachers, exceptional musicians and talented workshop leaders.

At the first Just Worship those present marveled at how the Holy Spirit took hold of attendees in life-changing ways. Which is why as project director for Just Worship initiative, the author says she’s excited about this event and its potential to change how the church sees the essential connection between how we worship and how we work for justice.

This year, two signature events promise to enlighten. On the first evening, conferees will join Josh Blaine’s community sing at the Texas state capitol in Austin. Blaine’s organization, Finding Our Voice, seeks to equip people with community-building and protest songs to sing at public gatherings. He will meet with Just Worship attendees the following morning to discuss the experience.

The second evening features a performance of “Manos Undocumentadas/Undocumented Hands.” This bilingual cantata, directed by composer Jorge Lockward, tells the stories of undocumented workers, the people who hire them and the complexities that arise. A discussion of the work will be held the following morning.

Worshipers will appreciate the leadership of several accomplished musicians, including Tony McNeill, Eric Wall, Phillip Morgan, and Dave VanderMeer, who will be providing leadership in worship and offering workshops.

Preachers, plenary speakers, and workshop leaders include Paul Roberts, president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary; Margaret Aymer, Professor of New Testament at Austin seminary; Jennifer Lord, Professor of Homiletics and Liturgical Studies at Austin seminary; Carolyn Helsel, Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Austin seminary; and the author, the editor of PC(USA)’s “Call to Worship Lectionary Aids.

A photo-essay exhibit titled Undocumented Stories will be on display through the course of the conference.

The Just Worship event will also be the subject of a professionally-produced documentary, directed by Scott Galloway of Susie Films. This film will eventually be distributed to churches around the country, along with a discussion guide, to broaden the reach of the Just Worship initiative.

Come and be part of this extraordinary experience, where we will sing, pray, lament and celebrate together. Full scholarships for registration and lodging are available for students/seminarians and Presbyterian of Association Musicians members.

More information about Just Worship and registration can be found here.

Just Worship is a cooperative effort between Austin and Johnson C. Smith seminaries, the PC(USA) Office of Theology and Worship, and PAM.

Kimberly Bracken Long is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a leading expert in liturgy. She is the co-editor of “Inclusive Marriage Services: A Wedding Sourcebook,” editor of the “Feasting on the Word Worship Companion” series, and author of “The Worshiping Body: The Art of Leading Worship,”  all published by Westminster John Knox Press.

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