Music and Worship Leaders Retreat


Mark your calendar for next year’s Retreat:

January 6-8, 2017

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Resource Team

Ken Nafziger (Harrisonburg, Virginia) is Professor of Music at Eastern Mennonite University. He also serves as artistic director and conductor of the annual Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival (Harrisonburg, Va.), and of the chamber choirs Musica Viva (in Winchester, Va.) and Voce (in Reston, Va.) He was music editor of Hymnal: A Worship Book (1992), editor of its accompaniment handbook, and assistant to the editor of Sing the Journey (2005) and Sing the Story (2007). He is active in the United States and Canada as a guest conductor, workshop leader and clinician. He co-authored Singing, a Mennonite Voice (2001).

Marilyn Houser Hamm was chairperson of the Music Committee for Hymnal Worship Book, and has been a committee member for the Sing the Journey and Sing the Story supplements. She is the former Director of Worship & Spirituality for Mennonite Church Canada, and is actively engaged in resourcing the wider church in music and worship as leader, clinician, performer, composer, and arranger.

Ted Swartz (Harrisonburg, Virginia) is a writer and actor who has been mucking around in the worlds of the sacred and profane for over 20 years. He is the creator or co-creator of over a dozen plays, including FishEyes, Creation Chronicles, DoveTale, What Would LLoyd Do?, with Trent Wagler, Tattered and Worn and Just Give ’em the News, with Jeff Raught, I’d Like to Buy an Enemy, Excellent Trouble with Ingrid DeSanctis, Live at Jacob’s Ladder, and others. Ted is a theologian of a different sort. Both theater and seminary trained, he has found a unique and entertaining discovery; at the intersection of humor and biblical story is often a greater understanding of the text. Or, at the very least, a different understanding.

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 eighteen years, and they have two children, and two cats.   Amy and the kids can often be spotted in local coffeeshops or exploring Fairmount Park.

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Guest Speaker


Isaac S. Villegas Isaac Villegas 

Isaac S. Villegas has been the pastor of Chapel Hill Mennonite Fellowship for a decade. He grew up in Los Angeles, CA, and Tucson, AZ, the child of Latin American immigrants. He has wandered through various Christian traditions on his way to becoming Mennonite–from Roman Catholicism to Pentecostalism to Evangelicalism, all of which still inform his identity as a convinced Mennonite. He is a member of the governing board of the North Carolina Council of Churches, and has served on the denominational board of Mennonite Church USA. He is the co-author of Presence: Giving and Receiving God (Cascade, 2011).



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Friday (Evening)

4:00    Registration

5:30    Supper

7:30    Opening Session / Introduction to the Weekend

8:45    Evening Prayers

7:30     Morning prayer

8:00     Breakfast

9:00     Session I – Isaac Villegas

10:15   Break

10:30   Session II – Isaac Villegas

Noon   Lunch

1:15     A Conversation with Bradley Kauffman and Others on the Hopes and Dreams we have for the New Hymnal

2:45     Break

3:00     Workshop Options

Worship Leading 2.0–Amy Yoder McGloughlin and Doug Brunk

Song Leading 2.0–Ken Nafziger and Marilyn Houser Hamm

Scripture Reading 2.0–Ted Swartz

5:30     Dinner

7:00     Hymn Sing Plus

8:45     Evening Prayer

7:30    Morning Prayer

8:00    Breakfast

9:00    A Conversation with Isaac Villegas

10:30  Closing Worship

12:30  Lunch



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Cost includes 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
$320 Single $245 2 per room $220 3 per room

1 double bed, 2 single beds, private bath, linens & towels
$300 Single $225 2 per room $200 3 per room

$185 3 or 4 per room, no linens
$191 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 in September 2016. 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 (800.839.1021 or 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

We also arrange for transportation for guests who are arriving by plane ($50 each way to/from Pittsburgh International Airport) or train ($25 each way to/from Greensburg/Connellsville Amtrak stations). If you are planning to travel by plane or rail, please notify us at least one week in advance with your travel plans so we can arrange transportation for you.

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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See photos of the weekend. January 8-10, 2016


Hymn Sing

Hymn Sing 2

 Print Resources

Luke 13 Sketch – By Ted Swartz

The Prodigal – By Ted Swartz

The Temptations of Jesus – By Ted Swartz

The Transfiguration – By Ted Swartz






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