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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Liturgical boot camp

Kentucky congregation hires expert to fine-tune worship leading

Let’s just call it boot camp for congregational worship leaders.

Cantors and assisting ministers at Faith Lutheran Church, Lexington, Ky., take their calling as worship leaders so seriously they hired a noted Roman Catholic worship clinician from New York City to teach them how to be better at what they do.


Tim Sorenson is one of 20 members of
Tim Sorenson is one of 20 members of Faith Lutheran, Lexington, Ky., who in the last year have continued to polish their cantor and assisting minister skills after participating in a liturgical clinic at their church last August.

Bonnie Harstad, Faith’s director of music, came up with the idea. “This church has always valued excellence in worship,” she said.

While the men and women who serve as cantors and worship assistants were all competent and dedicated individuals, Harstad encouraged them to delve deeper. “There was just another level we thought we could attain with a little more effort and diligence,” she said.

So last August, Joe Simmons, principal cantor of St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church in New York, spent a weeklong residency in the Bluegrass State with Faith’s 20 volunteer cantors and assisting ministers.


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