Seminars are limited to 25 registrants each and will be scheduled concurrently on Monday, April 20, 2020 from 1:00–4:00 p.m.

Participants are encouraged to be prepared to perform or show their work if invited by the leaders to do so, each according to the focus of the class. Participants may receive instruction in the topics listed; for those who already have training in the area, the class can also serve as a model for how to teach the topic. Participation in seminars requires an additional fee of $65 with full registration or $75 if not attending the Institute.



Callista Isabelle

Living Breath of God: Embodied Liturgical Leadership 

For the seasoned presiding minister and musician to those newly rostered, and drawing on the recently published Embodying Confidence and Grace: A Handbook for Presiding Ministers, we will explore how the Spirit is active as we lead the assembly’s worship. How is God’s living breath at work in our liturgical planning, how we prepare to lead with confidence and grace, and throughout the assembly’s worship? We will reflect on our unique calls to lead in various contexts, from practical suggestions to theological reflection, all guided by the same Spirit.

Pastor Callista Isabelle serves as (insert new call info here). She has also served as Associate University Chaplain at Yale University, College Chaplain at Muhlenberg College, and as interim pastor at Hope Lutheran Church near St. Louis. She is author of Embodying Confidence and Grace: A Handbook for Presiding Ministers, forthcoming from Augsburg Fortress Press. Callista is a graduate of Yale Divinity School and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music.

Felix Malpica     co-leading with
Dr. Marissa Moore 

Honoring the Spirits Work through Global Music

The Holy Spirit is at work in and through musicians around the world, helping the church to more fully sing a hymn of praise to the Lord. Join ethnomusicologist Dr. Marissa Moore and Pastor/Musician Rev. Felix Malpica on an exploration of the cultural, theological, ethical, and ecclesial implications of using music from outside your own culture in worship. We will tell stories, share resources, make music together, and equip you to continue this conversation beyond our seminar and into your various contexts.

Felix Malpica is currently serving as Pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville, Wisconsin and has been a leader of global music and worship within the ELCA for 15 years. A graduate of Luther Seminary and a degree in music from Luther College undergird Felix’s passion for worship and music. Last year, Felix was proud to participate in the creation of the ELCA Resource “Can We Talk? Engaging Worship and Culture” and its following seminar “Engaging Worship and Culture.” Felix is the proud father of Javier John Malpica born in April of 2017 and the delighted husband of Jessica Malpica.

Marissa Glynias Moore is an ethnomusicologist focusing on the roll of the cross-cultural music making in mainline Protestant worship through the repertoire of global song.  She received her Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology in 2018, and her work has been published in the Yale Journal of Music and Religion, The Hymn, and is forthcoming in several edited collections.  Dr. Moore has serve as Lecturer at Yale and the University of New Haven, and is currently the Director of Development at the Cleveland International Piano Competition.



Frederick Niedner

Preaching in a Song-less Day of Disregard

We find ourselves at the faint border between Cain’s tilled fields and Abel’s pastureland. Fallen faces of the disregarded on one side conceal righteous anger that oblivious, favored ones on the other righteously ignore. Both sides sing, but not in each other’s presence. The Creator asks about the fallen face, but instead of listening issues a warning. What listening and speaking must happen at the border today? How do we who have died and risen with the Son of Man proclaim the gospel that requires no more spilled blood, but instead lifts all our hearts in song?

Dr. Frederick Niedner is Senior Research Professor in Theology at Valparaiso University. He writes for numerous publications that support the ministry of preaching, and for 25 years his fortnightly columns on religion and culture have appeared in the Chicago Tribune’s northwest Indiana edition, the Post-Tribune.


Scott Weidler     

co-leading with     Conie Borchardt


Singing together, in liturgy and beyond, forms us and our faith, strengthening our bonds and moving us from strangers to friends. Whether you have experienced Music that Makes Community or are new to this relational way to lead singing – without the use of paper, books or screens – you may imagine possibilities, discover new (actually old) ways of leading, expand your repertoire, be challenged, and have fun.

Scott Weidler served the ELCA as Program Director for Worship and Music for 21 years prior to relocating to Toronto. He currently serves on the boards of Music that Makes Community and Liturgy Canada, and previously, the advisory council of the Institute of Liturgical Studies and the boards of Lutheran Music Program and the Leadership Program for Musicians. In Chicago, he was also the interim director at All Saints Episcopal and, for 13 years, served as Cantor at Immanuel Lutheran. He has degrees in education, music, and liturgy from Concordia College, Nebraska, Wittenberg University, and the University of Notre Dame.

Conie Borchardt is a “Lutho-palian Sufi Dancer” acknowledging her Lutheran roots, time with Episcopalians, and interest in interfaith practices.  In addition to a BA in Music from Augsburg University, Conie has certificates in Spiritual Direction, the Full Voice 5 Elements Coaching Framework™, and Dances of Universal Peace, combining these listening and somatic tools to increase the capacity for healing and transformation within individuals and communities.  Born to a Korean-born mother and a 4th generation German immigrant farmer father on the prairie ancestral homelands of the Dakota has colored her worldview. Conie currently works for Edina Morningside UCC as Music Director.


              John Weit

  co-leading with


Jennifer Baker-Trinity

Exploring Resources for Worship Planning

In this seminar, participants will explore available resources for worship planning (specifically from the ELCA), as well as receiving guidance for best practices in the worship planning process, whether that is planning for the coming week, a liturgical season, or the church year. Particular attention will be paid to how pastors and musicians can plan well together.

John Weit a deacon of the ELCA, is called as program director for music in the Office of the Presiding Bishop, where he works with the worship team in supporting the worship life of the ELCA through resource development, education, and worship leadership for churchwide events.  Prior to his call to the churchwide organization, John was cantor to Trinity Lutheran Church in Worcester, Mass.  John earned a Master of Arts in religion with a concentration in liturgy and music from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.  As part of his call with the ELCA, John works closely with the board of the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.  John also serves as assistant organist at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood.

Jennifer Baker-Trinity, Deacon, serves as Program Director for Resource Development, a shared position between the ELCA (Office of the Presiding Bishop) and Augsburg Fortress. In this position, she attends to developing and teaching about resources that support the church’s worship. Jennifer completed her studies at Valparaiso University (B.M. Church Music) and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (MAR, STM). She has served as a church musician in congregations in Illinois, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.






















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