I’ll be attending the first two, intermittently working the Daily Prayer Project table at Calvin. If you’re there, be sure to say hello!
Calvin Symposium on Worship
Date: February 8–10, 2023
Location: Calvin University, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Cost: $180 (or $25 for students and faculty of any school)
Organizers: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Center for Excellence in Preaching
Presenters: James Abbington, Latifah Alattas, Jeremy Begbie, Carlos Colón, Justin Giboney, Wendell Kimbrough, Te-Li Lau, Karin Maag, Debra Rienstra, W. David O. Taylor, and many more
Description: “The Calvin Symposium on Worship is an annual conference (since 1988) that brings together people from many different denominations and traditions, from a variety of roles in worship and leadership, including pastors, worship planners and leaders, musicians, scholars, students, worship bands and teams, organists, visual artists, preachers, chaplains, missionaries, liturgists, council and session leaders, and more; and encourages leaders in churches and worshiping communities of all sizes and settings.” This year’s theme is Paul’s letter to the Colossians.
Ordinary Saints—Creativity, Community, and Collaboration
Date: February 17–18, 2023
Location: The Trust Performing Arts Center, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Organizer: Square Halo Books
Presenters: Malcolm Guite and Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt (keynotes)
Description: Celebrating Square Halo’s twenty-fifth year publishing “extraordinary books for ordinary saints,” as its tagline reads. Coincides with the release of Ordinary Saints: Living Everyday Life to the Glory of God, an anthology of essays by forty-plus writers on such topics as knitting, home repair, juggling, traffic, pipes, chronic pain, pretzels, and naps. Art historian Elissa Yukiko Weichbrodt, author of the forthcoming Redeeming Vision: A Christian Guide to Looking at and Learning from Art, will be speaking on “Corporeality and Modern Art in Dialogue” and will participate in a panel discussion with Ed Knippers and Ned Bustard, and poet Malcolm Guite will be giving several talks. There will also be breakout sessions led by a range of guests, a pop-up printmaking studio, songwriting roundtables, a performance by Reverie Actor’s Company, and a concert by The Arcadian Wild.
Society for Christian Scholarship in Music (SCSM) Annual Meeting
Date: March 2–4, 2023
Location: Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina
Organizer: Society for Christian Scholarship in Music
Presenters: Luke Powery (keynote) and others
Description: The Rev. Dr. Luke A. Powery, dean of Duke Chapel and associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School whose publications include devotionals based on the African American spirituals, will offer the keynote address. The conference will also include twenty-three research paper presentations, panel sessions, a lecture recital, a choral concert, and more. Full details will be published soon on the SCSM website.
Art, the Sacred, and the Common Good: Renewing Culture through Beauty, Education, and Worship
Date: April 21–22, 2023
Location: Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, New Jersey
Organizer: Scala Foundation
Presenters: Aidan Hart, Jonathan Pageau, Anna Bond, Peter Carter, David Clayton, Margarita Mooney Clayton, Paul Coyer, Robert Jackson, and RJ Snell
Description: “The modern myth that beauty emerges from the subconscious of a self-seeking creative genius goes against the traditional understanding that beauty emerges from a living tradition under the inspiration of God. For example, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien met regularly in Oxford’s pubs to discuss their writing and their faith. In the early 20th century, Russian exiles in Paris formed a community focused on the re-establishment of the great tradition of iconography so central to Christian worship. Composers like Handel and Mozart created beautiful music accessible to all people that directed listeners to the transcendent.
“Conversations and community among creators and thinkers have always been essential to shaping culture. These eminently human moments—and the friendships they inspire—must be cultivated if we are to illuminate America’s darkening culture and society.
“American culture is in rapid collapse in large part because of an abandonment of beauty in education and worship. The Scala Foundation’s 2023 conference on art, the sacred, and the common good grows out of its deep work around Princeton to bring together artists, students, teachers, and scholars. In a world increasingly hostile to the idea that beauty is anything more than self-aggrandizement or yet one more tool of oppression, this event offers the warmth of community to anyone who is passionate to restore the connections between beauty and truth and between reason and creativity.”
Hutchmoot UK (*open to UK residents only)
Date: May 18–21, 2023
Location: Hayes Conference Center, Swanwick, Derbyshire
Cost: £365 (all-inclusive)
Organizer: The Rabbit Room
Description: A weekend of live music, delicious food, conversation, and a series of discussions centered on art, faith, and the telling of great stories across a range of mediums.
3 thoughts on “Upcoming conferences”
These all look great!
David Lyle Jeffrey, FRSC
Distinguished Senior Fellow, Baylor Institute for Studies in Religion
Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Literature and the Humanities
Waco, TX 76798-7236
Guest Professor, Peking University
חָבֵר אָנִי, לְכָל-אֲשֶׁר יְרֵאוּךָ; וּלְשֹׁמְרֵי, פִּקּוּדֶיךָ.
Je suis le compagnon de tous ceux qui vous craignent et de ceux qui gardent vos ordonnances.
凡敬畏你，守你训词的人，我都与他作伴 (Ps 119:63)
I will be going to the Scala conference in April. The Ordinary Saints conference also sounds very interesting; I wish I could go to both but I just can’t afford that many conferences in one season! I hope you find them rewarding and enlightening!
Discord: William Collen#3001
I think beauty has become the new bread.
There was a day we scanned our emails
for bills, for discount sales, for those things
we’d forgotten we had meant to do.
Now we check each platform we belong
for snippets enough to feed on.
To gather together to make a meal to sate
the gnawing of our stomachs, our hungry mouths.
And beauty has become a need,
like water, or shelter.
The beauty of friendship, of connection
in a world a little fractured, frayed at the edge,
that beauty becomes like thread for
or a doctor’s ministrations
to set our broken bones,
to give us faith in healing.
Now beauty is as much a comfort
as a hope.
A hope of something exceedingly better,
or even just the ordinary becoming
For who would use their time on beauty
unless there were a chance
for our continuing.
Who would waste good bread
to serve beauty on a platter as sweet cake.
Ana Lisa de Jong
Living Tree Poetry