Music and Worship Leaders Retreat


Music & Worship Leaders Retreat

January 8-10, 2021

Music & Worship Leaders Retreat will be held virtually, with an option for an in-person spiritual retreat at Laurelville to give you a much-needed respite. We’ll be celebrating the arrival of Voices Together with many new songs, resources, and explorations of components of the new hymnal. All ages of worship and song leaders are welcome! If you’ll be joining us in person, you’ll have the opportunity to watch online content alone or in regulated small groups throughout our campus. There will be no large group singing sessions and no in-person singing as in the past. Masks are required. Overnight spaces will be limited, all CDC and PA Dept. of Health guidelines will be followed. See the new discounted pricing for students. Deadline to register is Dec. 29, 2020.

$50 scholarships are available upon request for:
  • Students
  • Individuals who express financial need
  • Individuals who commit to relaying learning to their congregation and reporting back to Voices Together team
  • For more information or to inquire about a scholarship, email
  • Deadline to apply for scholarships is Jan. 1, 2021 
  • Scholarships for this program are made possible through a Vital Worship Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.


Jump to: Registration | Inquiry Form


Planning Committee
Benjamin Bergey is an active song leader and conductor. He is assistant professor of music at Eastern Mennonite University, where he conducts the choirs and orchestra and teaches music theory and conducting. In addition to serving as music editor for Voices Together, he is director of music at Harrisonburg Mennonite Church and conducts the Rapidan Orchestra.
Sarah Kathleen Johnson is the worship resources editor for Voices Together, the editor of the Voices Together: Worship Leader Edition, and gives leadership to Together in Worship ( A graduate of Conrad Grebel University College (BA ’07, MTS ’08) and Yale Divinity School (MAR ’10), she is currently completing a Ph.D. in theology at the University of Notre Dame. Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, Sarah now lives in Toronto with her husband Carl Bear where she enjoys baking, reading fiction, and exploring her neighbourhood on foot.
Bradley Kauffman looks for meaning in unexpected places, dialogue among unlikely conversation partners. Eighteen years of programming and conducting vocal and instrumental ensembles in Mennonite institutions offered rich forums for faith, culture, history, and the questions of our time to intermingle. He is energized by the joys and challenges of curating a worship collection for 21st-century Mennonites. Bradley has made his home in Ohio, Iowa, Indiana and Kansas, now residing in Goshen, Indianna with his spouse, Renee Kanagy, and children Lucca and Rowan.
Anneli Loepp Thiessen is a PhD student at the University of Ottawa, where she researches gender representation and the worship music industry. In addition to her work as a Voices Together committee member and the co-chair of the Popular Idioms subcommittee, she is one of the directors of the Anabaptist Worship Network and serves as the director for Ontario Mennonite Music Camp. A graduate of the music ministry program at Canadian Mennonite University (2018), Anneli cares about equity and diversity in worship and pedagogical practices, and is passionate about resourcing the breadth of Anabaptist worship. 
Darryl Neustaedter Barg loves the church and its music. Employment with Mennonite Church Manitoba and Canadian Mennonite University in communications and multimedia has fostered an increasing interest in the role of “the medium” as being more deeply intertwined with “the message” than we want to admit, particularly in our church music. While leading singing at Canadian and binational Mennonite youth ggatherings (including St. Louis ’99) has been significant, he’d still much prefer the small gathering of youth around the fire at camp. Darryl lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Katie is an ethnomusicologist who studies race and ethnicity in a variety of contexts including Mennonite music, American music, and European opera. She has taught classes on Western music history and world music, and she accompanies recitals and school choirs when there isn’t a pandemic. She leads singing at her church in Columbus, Ohio, co-directs the Anabaptist Worship Network, and served as the Intercultural Worship editor for the Voices Together project.

Adam Tice is a widely published writer of hymn and song texts. His words appear in many recent denominational hymnals. He served as text editor for Voices Together, and now works as editor for congregational song at GIA Publications. He lives in Goshen, Indiana.  
Virtual Schedule

 In-person retreat sessions will be adapted for safety: distancing, masks,  foodservice, housekeeping, special seating at meals, etc. Watch the online conference alone on your device or in small regulated groups throughout campus (sign ups will dictate groups). The following events are the VIRTUAL SCHEDULE and only those pre-paid will receive the link to the event.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 8:   8pm- Evening prayer


  • 9am: Morning prayer
  • 9:30am: presentations on specific Voices Together topics
  • 11am: Panel discussion: implementing Voices Together during COVID-19
  • 12pm: Lunch break
  • 1:30pm: Voices Together Launch webinar (organized by MennoMedia) 
  • 5pm: Supper break 
  • 7pm: Hymn sing + coffeehouse 
  • 9pm: Evening prayer
  • 9:30am: Worship service

Jump to: Registration | Inquiry Form



         $210  single person per room, one night, three meals*

         $175 per person, two in a room, one night, three meals each

         $108.50 Student, per person, one night, three meals 

                                 *lunch & dinner Saturday, breakfast Sunday. All rooms include private bath, linens and towels


         $317 single person per room

         $217 double, two in a room

         All rooms include private bath, linens and towels


         $92  Three meals Saturday, breakfast Sunday and virtual program



         $50 per person



  • Students
  • Individuals who express financial need
  • Individuals who commit to relaying learning to their congregation and reporting back to
    Voices Together team
  • For more information or to inquire about a scholarship, email
  • Scholarship deadline is Jan. 1, 2021

Jump to: Registration | Inquiry Form

Register & FAQ

Who should attend this program?

This program isn’t just for pastors and music directors; it gathers a wide variety of individuals interested in worship, including:

  • New music or worship leaders looking to become stronger leaders
  • Experienced music and worship leaders looking for a refresher course to help them improve their effectiveness in their congregations
  • Anyone with a love for music and worship who is discerning their gifts and interested in exploring music or worship leadership

How do I register?

Please register before Dec. 29, 2020. The in-person retreat is limited to 100 registrants and there will be no large group singing as before. The virtual-conference-only registration is unlimited. To register, scroll down and register online, or you can print, complete, and send the registration form to Laurelville Mennonite Church Center at 941 Laurelville Ln., Mount Pleasant, PA 15666, or fax it  to 724.423.2096,  or call 724.423.2056 to register by phone Mondays, Thursdays or Fridays. Payment in full is required with each registration (your $50 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit is included in the registration cost). Please be sure to indicate any special dietary needs you might have so we can make necessary accommodations.

Many congregations choose to register their participants together and we encourage you to do this. Please note however that we must receive individual names, contact information, and payment in order to hold your spots.  Whenever sending payment, please clearly indicate the names of the congregation and participants so that we can divide the payment accordingly.

What if I need to cancel my registration?

Your payment is refundable (minus a $50 non-refundable, non-transferable deposit) until two weeks prior to the start of the event.  While no refunds are given after the two week deadline, you may transfer the balance of your registration payment (minus the $50 non-transferable deposit) to a participant coming in your place.  As we understand that life and weather can be unpredictable, we can roll your money into 2022.  

How do I get to Laurelville?

Laurelville is located 45 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Western Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, just fifteen minutes from the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Driving Directions

What are the lodging accommodations like?

Your retreat experience begins with finding a comfortable place to rest and relax. Lodging at Laurelville varies in terms of comfort and style, so we encourage you to select an accommodation that will best suit your needs.
Learn more about our lodging facilities.

Jump to: Registration | Inquiry Form


Please check back at a later date. Photo taken pre-COVID.

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