Music and Worship Leaders Retreat


Music & Worship Leaders Retreat

January 10-12, 2020

Come to hear stories about the curation of Voices Together. Glean ideas around how to prepare for the new collection in your congregation and build leadership skills that you can take home to your church family. This year’s retreat will introduce selections from a portion of the collection spanning Confessing Faith, Celebrating Baptism, Celebrating Communion, and Sharing Our Stories. Plenary sessions will emphasize adoption of the collection and content contributed by Anabaptists. All ages of worship and song leaders are welcome! Come and experience the many new samples of Voices Together worship resources and songs!

Jump to: Registration | Inquiry Form


Resource Team

Benjamin Bergey is the music editor for Resonate, the group responsible for the forthcoming Mennonite hymnal. Bergey also serves as Director of Music at Harrisonburg (VA) Mennonite Church, and has been active in music in worship for over twenty years. Having graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a degree in Church Music, he has nearly completed his doctorate in Orchestral Conducting at James Madison University. He also conducts the Rapidan Orchestra, a community orchestra in central Virginia. He and his wife, Kate, live in Harrisonburg where they enjoy gardening, hiking, and raising their mini goldendoodle.

Angie Clemens teaches elementary general music in Rockingham County (VA) Public Schools. She loves incorporating Orff, Dalcroze, and Kodaly methods to help her students know that they can be music makers and understand the music they hear around them. Angie is a frequent song leader at Community Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg.

Jim Clemens composes music ranging from Te Deum for choir and orchestra to a musical version of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. His stylistic influences include old-time tunes, West African rhythms, music of Native North Americans, jazz, and early American folk hymns. Jim also works as a music engraver and as an accompanist for ensembles and soloists.

Katie Graber, from Columbus, Ohio, is an ethnomusicologist who studies race and ethnicity in a variety of settings including Mennonite music, American music, and European opera. She has taught classes on Western music history, African American music, and world music. She is the chair of the Intercultural Worship subcommittee of the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee.

Sarah Kathleen Johnson is the worship resources editor for the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee. Originally from Waterloo, Ontario, she currently lives in South Bend, Indiana where she is working on her PhD in Liturgical Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Previously, Sarah served as a pastor at Ottawa Mennonite Church, completed an MTS at Conrad Grebel University College, and an MAR at Yale Divinity School. When she is not studying religion or planning worship, Sarah practices yoga, reads fiction, and bakes. Sarah welcomes your thoughts on worship resources and the new accompanying book for worship leaders. The best way to reach her is by email at 

Bradley Kauffman is the director and general editor for Resonate, the project generating a new hymnal for Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. Prior to joining this exciting project, Bradley served in Mennonite education for 18 years, teaching music at Iowa Mennonite School, Bethany Christian Schools, and Hesston College. He has been active in church music throughout each of these communities. Bradley holds degrees from Goshen College (Ind.) and the University of Iowa, where he studied choral conducting under Dr. Timothy Stalter. He lives in Cincinnati with his spouse, Renee Kanagy, and children, Lucca and Rowan.

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 Bi-National Mennonite Youth Gatherings (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, MB, is married to Krista, and they have two young adult children.

Adam Tice is text editor for the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee. He is a widely-published hymn and song writer, with texts appearing in many recent hymnals. He is editor of “The Hymn: A Journal of Congregational Song” for The Hymn Society. He co-directs The Open Fifths, a TTBB ensemble based in Goshen, Indiana, where he lives with his spouse Maria and son Ezra.

Amy Yoder McGloughlin is the Pastor of Germantown Mennonite. Prior to pastoring the church she worked in Child Welfare and Behavioral Health in the Philadelphia area. Amy graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in May 2010 and attributes her love for preaching and liturgy to her Lutheran sisters and brothers.  Amy is a self described church geek, and loves just about everything about church.  She believes that the Church gives us faint glimpses of all that God intended for humanity–relationships, connectedness, and lots of grace. Amy has been married to Charlie for twenty years, and they have two children and two cats.   Amy and the kids can often be spotted in local coffeeshops or exploring Fairmount Park.

Anneli Loepp Thiessen is a trained classical pianist, Anneli Loepp Thiessen has established herself as a solo performer, music educator, and worship leader across Ontario and Manitoba. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Music Ministry from Canadian Mennonite University, a graduate diploma in Arts Management from Queens University, and her ARCT in Piano Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music. Anneli is currently completing her Masters of Music in Piano Performance at the University of Ottawa.

Jump to: Registration | Inquiry Form


Tentative Schedule 

Friday, January 10
4:00pm Registration begins in Dining Hall lobby
5:30pm Dinner
7:30pm Opening Session
9:30pm Evening Prayer         

Saturday, January 11
7:30am Morning Prayer 
8:00am Breakfast
9:15am Morning Plenary
12:00pm Lunch
1:15pm Afternoon Plenary
3:30pm Breakout sessions
5:30pm Dinner
7:30pm Hymn Sing Plus
9:30pm Evening Prayers

Sunday, January 12
7:30am Morning Prayer
8:00am Breakfast

10:30am Worship
12:30pm Lunch

Jump to: Registration | Inquiry Form


The prices below include meals, lodging, and program expenses for one person. Prices are based on the number of people sharing a room. Lodging is assigned according to availability; first come, first served.

1 queen bed, 2 single beds, private bath, linens & towels
$350 Single $250 2 per room $225 3 per room

1 double bed, 2 single beds, private bath, linens & towels
$325 Single $235 2 per room $210 3 per room

$195 3 or 4 per room, no linens
$205 3 or 4 per room, linens included

No lodging provided; registration and all meals included

Saturday Only
No lodging provided; registration and meal for Saturday included

Jump to: Registration | Inquiry Form


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?

Registration begins September 3, 2019. The retreat is limited to 200 registrants. To register, you can print, complete, and send a registration form to Laurelville Mennonite Church Center either by mail (941 Laurelville Lane, Mount Pleasant, PA 15666) or fax (724.423.2096). You can also call (724.423.2056) to register by phone. 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.

Due to the popularity of this program, lodging can fill quickly. Therefore, we encourage you to select lodging for 3/4 per room when available. Lodging preferences will be granted according to date of deposit/availability. A limited number of single rooms are available. Please email ( to inquire.

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.  While we understand that life and weather can be unpredictable, we are not able to issue refunds for these reasons within two weeks of the event.  If you feel that you have an exception to this policy, please submit your request in writing to  These will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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


No Resources at this time.

Program Inquiry Website Form

We're Here to Help!

Thank you for your interest in our Programs. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon to respond to your questions. If you have a question about reserving your own retreat at Laurelville, please use this separate form.

Your Full Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Street Address

City, State, ZIP

Which program would you like to learn more about?

Please explain:

What is the best way and time to contact you?

Would you like to subscribe to Breezes, our e-newsletter?