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Reimagining Church: Rethinking Worship

Visioning a future church for the now; creating communities centered on Christ, cosmic good, and conscientious living.


Welcome to The Ministry Lab's curated list of resources to inspire and ground explorations in Rethinking Worship.

Scroll down to find:

  • Books to read and study
  • Webinars to share and discuss
  • Conversations About emerging worship practices
  • Multi-Media approaches to worship innovations
  • Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles to support exploration

Worship planners may also find inspiration and ideas in our Emerging Theologies and Faith Formation: Exploring God lib guides.


     Black Liturgies by Cole Arthur Riley     Blessed are the Women: Naming & Reclaiming Women’s Stories from the Gospels     CHURCH AT THE WALL     Church of the Wild: How Nature Invites Us into the Sacred          Every Step Is Home     The Hidden Powers of Ritual by Bradd Shore     Jesus Sophia          Our Unforming: De-Westernizing Spiritual Formation     Remove the Pews | Spiritual Possibilities for Sacred Spaces (Schaper)     The Small Church Advantage: Seven Powerful Worship Practices that Work Best  in Small Settings: Stewart, Teresa J.: 9781950899722: Books     Staying Awake: The Gospel for Changemakers     This Is God’s Table     Undoing Conquest: Ancient Israel, the Bible, and the Future of Christianity     


CONVERGENCE offers numerous leadership and community development webinars on-demand or in a cohort:


The Plural Guild offers these online workshops; click each image for further information:
  How to plan creative, inspiring, inclusive and revitalizing worship. Without killing yourself.         How to create worship experiences that embrace our bodies…all kinds of bodies…as God does.         How can worship become a catalyst for justice, racial equity, inclusion and peacemaking in our world today?         What does it really mean to be LGBTQIA inclusive?  Versus just “welcoming…”              A walk through your congregational hymnbook to discover more of its untapped treasures .        How practicing lament can transform our worship… and maybe even our world.         How to develop a manifesto that’s purpose-filled and inspiring.         How dinner church can be a life-changing experience. And how to host your own.         Exploring New Ways To Do Church.         An open conversation on racism in the church and in worship and what we can do about it.              Making sure the songs we sing actually reflect what we believe. Plus, writing songs!         Opening our worship to mystery, beauty and belonging through inclusive language.



God on the Move: A Worship Series on Technology and Innovation

This series includes 3 original liturgies, title graphics, planning guide with hymn suggestions, promotional blurbs, and sermon starters.

Pairs well with God on the Move: Faith and Democracy, which includes 3 original liturgies, title graphics, planning guide with hymn suggestions, promotional blurbs, and sermon starters.

MennoMedia's Ex. Dir. Amy Gingerich, reflects on discussions with pastors about the post-COVID church:

...None of us brought rose-colored glasses about future church life. We know that COVID has and will continue to bring enormous change to the church and society. You can’t just not worship in person for 12 months or more and then try to push your congregation back to the way things were. That is worshipping a false god.

People have changed. The church has changed.

...I heard... humbleness around the unknown...[and] generative ideas for building new kinds of congregational life. My encouragement for this week for church leaders is to reach out to other church leaders. Share ideas, collaborate on ministries (even worship), invite God to dream with you about the future.

Check These Out

Bullying - downloadBullying (PDF download)
A liturgy for those who are burdened, and a reflection

Rosemary Power

Digital download:  A liturgy in seven sections, for use in a small group with those who are burdened by bullying. There is also a reflection on bullying in the church.

This liturgy is intended for use in a small group with those who experience this form of spiritual malaise: targets of bullying, advisers, those with responsibility for addressing bullying, onlookers, and, if possible, as a guideline for perpetrators. It is designed so that people can pray together for one person, or more, in turn.

33 pages.

Learn more and find a sample here.

Aerial photo of Plainsong Farm in Michigan "Blessing the Fields”: A Liturgy for Community Farms and Gardens

With tips for Creating Your Own “Blessing the Fields” Liturgy

Your ministry might not take place at a farm, but wherever you are is a part of God’s creation too. How might you bless it, even as it has blessed you?

By Nurya Love Parish (she/her/hers); Feb 08, 2023

Expansive Language LiturgySighs Too Deep for Words

Pastor Tamika Jancewicz, Pastor Emilie Casey, and Anne Krentz Organ shaped this liturgy entitled Sighs Too Deep for Words (Romans 8:26). This resource gives special attention to women’s experiences in scripture and in everyday life, and it invites embodied prayer. This is a liturgy rooted in scriptural accounts of the breaths, sighs, groans, and shouts of God, humanity, and all creation. The writers have aimed to craft language and music that is not only theologically rigorous and aesthetically beautiful, but also clear, adaptable, and singable. May we pray and sing without knowing exactly what to say, for it is when “we do not know how to pray as we ought” that the “Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”

Thanks for visiting The Table -  NashvilleThe Table’s Mission Statement:

The Table promotes spiritual well being for LGBTQIA+ and minority people groups in the exploration of self, faith, community and the deeper issues of being and belonging.


Find books, curricula, prayer, music, and worship elements (including a full sermon), and community organizations and businesses grouped to help congregations take next steps in antiracism work, creation care, and addressing intergenerational mental health and well-being in the WaterThreads - Woven Together: Water, Community, Well-Being. Available online and via requested download for member congregations - who should email: - for access.

See our Singing While Gray Great Idea - based on Rev. Dr. Anna Hall's article, How Can We Keep Singing When the Church Choir Goes Gray? and Bryan Hehn's article, Questions for the Director: A Problem in My Aging Church - both on aging and differently abled musicians.

Click on the book cover for the Amazon linkRev, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has been re-writing hymn lyrics for over two decades. Find her seasonally relevant, theologically progressive, contextually significant writing here. Hymns can be searched by topic, scripture index, RCL or general Google Search.

Find her hymnbook, God's World Is Changing, here.

An black and white photo illustration of rows of lit candles with the words "Songs of Remembrance" across the bottom.

Luke Medina/NPR/March 4, 2022

What songs meant the most to your loved ones and friends lost to COVID-19?

NPR curated a list.

Living Rough, Living Sheltered

(PDF download)

A service of solidarity with rough sleepers with an emphasis on compassion, listening and acting for justice. 10 pages.


 This video is from the 2021 Online ELCA's Children, Youth, and Family Ministry Network's Extravaganza. It is the Story of Confession from Vance Blackfox from the Opening Worship. A powerful confession for us all, based on the story of Joseph in the Pit.

A Sanctified Art provides liturgical elements informed by and incorporating progressive theology, expansive imagery, and beautiful and diverse forms of art to encourage engagement in worship.

The Plural Guild creates unique liturgies and music specific to the times and contexts in which we live. They also offer amazing workshops for leaders and whole congregations, when you're ready to revamp your whole worship experience.

Create excellent music and liturgical resources for worship online or in-person, including Pandemic Resources and Lament Together, among others.

Blogs, Podcasts, & Articles

Our Great God Gun: This gun-obsessed society is a disgrace

Rev. Dr. Susan Thistlethwaite, President Emeritus of Chicago Theological Seminary adapted Isaac 58 to use as a confession/forgiveness/change liturgical element, to be used, 'until the guns fall silent'.

ImageMatthew Fox offers a lovely collection of Poems to the Mother.

Wil Gafney - Brite Divinity School

A new lectionary that centers women

“If the gospel isn’t good news to the women in the passage, is it still good news?” 

Grace Ji-Sun Kim interviews Wil Gafney 

February 15, 2022

The Mystical Body of Zoom by Diana Butler Bass

Online church is a gift to be embraced.

Image credit: Nicholas Kramer, Untitled (detail), 2021, photograph, Seattle. Used with permission.

From his week on Devotion, Fr. Richard Rohr's The Importance of Practice outlines compelling reasons to consider reimagining worship; Prayer of the Heart highlights the beauty of contemplative practices in personal and communal ritual.

In Memory of Malidoma Somé, 1956-2021 from Matthew Fox includes numerous quotes to start conversations on rethinking and renewing worship.

Why Campus Ministries Aren’t Streaming Worship

By University of Nebraska - Lincoln; Lutheran Center Campus Pastor Rev. Adam White (ELCA)

Rev. Dr. Cameron Trimble, reflecting on how our words/language create our realities, encourages us to Say What You Mean.

The Accessible Altar is a monthly podcast exploring the intersections of faith and disability.

The website includes this list of additional resources.


The Gospel for Changemakers by Rev. Tyler Sit

There is no Allyship Airlines for which you can buy a ticket and sit comfy.

In Searching for Why, Rev. Natalia Terfa asserts that, "the spirit is calling us forward, into something new", and encourages us to 'have the imagination to clear our minds of the what and the how and search for our "why"?'

In Our Library

50 Praise, Pray and Play Sessions By Rona Orme     Alternative Worship     Re-Imagining: Revisited and Revived - The Devil's Tale               Creative Ideas for Alternative Sacramental Worship          CHURCH ON PURPOSE     Essays on the New Worshiping Communities Movement               Book - Paperback     Healed, Restored, Forgiven     Healing Liturgies for the Seasons of Life     Healing Worship | Purpose and Practice (Epperly)     Picture of Introducing the Uncommon Lectionary - eBook [ePub]     Leading Worship Matters: A Sourcebook for Preparing Worship Leaders          Loving God in Return: The Practice of Passionate Worship - eBook  -     By: Robert Schnase     8354035          New Conversations: Imagination, Creativity and Change-Using New Technology  without Losing Faith Winter, 2004: Books          E-Book     Redesigning Worship: Creating Powerful God Experiences  -     By: Kim Miller          Speaking to Silence: New Rites for Christian Worship and Healing  -     By: Janet S. Peterman               Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World: Acevedo, Mr Jorge:  9781426767555: Books - Amazon