Music and Worship Leaders Retreat


Music & Worship Leaders Retreat

January 8-10, 2021

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!

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Resource Team

Benjamin Bergey is the music editor for Voices Together. Ben also serves as Assistant Professor of Music at Eastern Mennonite University and 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 recently completed a doctorate in Orchestral Conducting at James Madison University. He also conducts the Rapidan Orchestra, a community orchestra in central Virginia. Ben and his wife, Kate, and daughter Lydia 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.

Michelle Burkholder is Associate Pastor at Hyattsville Mennonite Church and a visual artist. An alum of EMU’s art, English, and theater departments, Michelle went on to study art and theology at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. As a pastor and visual artist, Michelle has a variety of opportunities to explore the ever mysterious intersections of art and theology and is excited to invite others along on that journey of discovery. Michelle, spouse Becky, and their child, Simon joyfully reside together in Catonsville, Maryland.      

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 21stcentury Mennonites. Bradley has made his home in Ohio, Iowa, Indiana and Kansas, now residing 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 Frazer Mennonite Church in Chester County, PA. Amy graduated from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 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 five years, and together they parent two children

Anneli Loepp Thiessen is an active song leader, classical pianist, and music educator across Ontario. She is pursuing her Masters of Music at the University of Ottawa and completed her Bachelor of Music at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, MB. She holds her ARCT in Piano Performance and a graduate diploma in Arts Management from Queens University. Anneli is the director for Ontario Mennonite Music Camp and is honoured to serve on the Mennonite Worship and Song Committee.

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Tentative Schedule

Friday, January 8
4:00pm Registration begins in Dining Hall lobby
5:30pm Dinner
7:30pm Opening Session
9:30pm Evening Prayer         

Saturday, January 9
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 10
7:30am Morning Prayer
8:00am Breakfast

10:30am Worship
12:30pm Lunch

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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

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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.

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