Effective Service Playing: The Partnership between Organist and Congregation

Presented by David Kriewall

In this resource, principles of orchestral wind playing and communication between conductor and players are applied to the organist’s tasks of playing hymns and liturgy. We’ll consider topics such as phrasing, tempo, articulation, cueing, and registration, and apply them to tough spots in a sampling of hymns. Although geared toward organists, the session will be useful to anyone who wants to understand the organist’s musical goals or to improve singing in worship.

This resource is an online masterclass for organists, delivered by a video and a PowerPoint file. (Those who can’t view the PPT file can use the PDF version instead). This masterclass is like a group lesson that seeks to deepen knowledge of musical choices and to improve performers’ ability to play in a way that best supports congregational singing. This video invites organists to explore a variety of issues related to effective service playing. It’s valuable both for those who have had years of lessons and for those who are largely self-taught. It’s not a video to view quickly in one sitting. It’s something to study and ponder with hymnal in hand and trying out some of the performance examples during a practice session.

David is a member of Calvary in Bellevue, WA, where he has served as organist for over 30 years. He studied horn at Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, and organ in Germany as well as at the University of Washington (Seattle), where he received his MMus in organ performance in 2014. He has played horn professionally with orchestras in Germany, Chicago, and Seattle. He is serving as editor of Christian Worship: Musician’s Manual, part of the WELS hymnal project.


Other helpful resources, including Organist 101, are available in the Musicians: Organ and Piano section of the worship resource center.

C005 – Serving as a Military Contact Pastor (MCP)

This module is intended for pastors and lay people who are interested in learning about ministry to the military.

 

 

This is a description…

W004 – Worship Led by a Modern Ensemble

This module demonstrates the potential of leading worship with an ensemble consisting of piano, guitar, bass, hand percussion, and various solo instruments. The focus is on songs of the liturgy, psalms, and hymns – some of which will be included in the new WELS hymnal. Interviews with pastor and musicians also give a rationale for their approach.

For more on sound systems, see Worship the Lord vol. 100 – Audio, Acoustics, and Video in the Worship Setting – Part 3: Sound System Layout and Setup.

The worship folder for the service in the video can be found under the “Downloads” tab.

We plan to provide some study guides in the future. But until those are available, the video speaks for itself quite well.

C011 – Ministering to People Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

This module helps congregations make their worship, Bible study and other activities more accessible to people who have hearing loss, whether they are deaf or hard of hearing. Because this disability is invisible, churches are often unaware of how common hearing loss is. It would be wrong to underestimate the impact hearing loss has on spiritual life. Without the ability to access God’s Word, the Spirit’s work can be undermined. This interview provides practical insight and helpful advice for overcoming this common barrier. The downloadable resource provides even more detail on the contents of the video. Further resources are found at csm.welsrc.net/mdhh-resources-for-congregations/ 

C010 – Recovery Friendly Churches

This module helps congregations better understand the spiritual struggles and other dimensions of recovery for people who desire to free themselves of addiction. Jesus said that it is not the healthy that need a physician but the sick, and Christian congregations are uniquely positioned to serve people who have been broken by addiction. This interview and the downloadable viewers’ discussion guide is intended to help churches evaluate how their ministry can communicate a welcoming message that will retain members and reach others who are seeking divine help.

 

Social Media Preview

The social media videos come in four options:

  • 16×9 with WELS logo
  • 16×9 without WELS logo
  • 1×1 with WELS logo
  • 1×1 without WELS logo

16×9 and 1×1 are aspect ratios of the size of the boxes. 16×9 is the “normal” rectangular shape and 1×1 is a box and designed for social media (specifically for Facebook and Instagram). It is not necessary to use the 1×1 videos, but the option is available.

W004 – Worship Folders

Are you interested in upgrading your worship folders? If so, you’ll think through two issues: 1) content to include and 2) matters of design.

What’s best to include in a worship folder?

  1. An outline and the weeks announcements
  2. The flow of the service, with texts of choral music
  3. Number 2 plus hymns

A Worship the Lord issue (#73, July 2015, page 4) urges the second option above. “Printing the entire service every week allows for great variety in an accessible format.” Jumping around, using only the hymnal, “is nearly impossible for a first time visitor without pedantic instructions….”

What is good worship folder design?

For assistance from a professional graphic designer, see material by Ian Welch. Pages 1-3 of the article above are also useful.

Numerous examples of worship folders are available online from the Commission on Worship. These were originally provided as resources for worship variety. Some of them also serve as good examples of worship folder design. (See “Sample Service Folders” under Planning Resources.)

Outreach Newsletters for 2020 is a collection of twelve one-page articles that are based on Favorite Bible Verses:
January (New Year) – Hebrews 13:8
February – John 3:16
March (Lent) – Isaiah 53:5
April (Easter) – John 14:19
May – Psalm 23:1
June – Genesis 1:1
July – Romans 6:23
August – 2 Corinthians 5:21
September – Hebrews 11:1
October – 1 Peter 5:7
November (Thanksgiving) – Psalm 118:1
December (Christmas) – Galatians 4:4-5

Links for downloading the videos are found below.

 

*Video files are only available for individual download due to restrictions by the external hosting provider.

Study guides for “Welcoming Returning Members.”

Social Media preview

The social media videos come in four options:

  • 16×9 with WELS logo
  • 16×9 without WELS logo
  • 1×1 with WELS logo
  • 1×1 without WELS logo

16×9 and 1×1 are aspect ratios of the size of the boxes. 16×9 is the “normal” rectangular shape and 1×1 is a box and designed for social media (specifically for Facebook and Instagram). It is not necessary to use the 1×1 videos, but the option is available.

Listen to a sample sermon – God so Loved the World

Advent resources from C18 are available for those interested in using them this year.

Materials for a special “Service of the Cross” will be made available in September.

The “My Personal Mission Field” document can be found under Evangelism Resources.

Order postcards from Echt Printing.