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Upper Room introduces new worship resource

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A UMNS photo courtesy of the Upper Room Ministries

The Upper Room Worshipbook is a new collection of songs, prayers and liturgies.
July 19, 2006

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)—A new worship resource that will be introduced this summer “is so well done, it practically sings itself,” according to a United Methodist Church executive.

The Upper Room Worshipbook: Music and Liturgies for Spiritual Formation is a new collection of some 350 hymns and songs, with new prayers and liturgies. The compilation will be launched nationally by the Upper Room Aug. 28-31 at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship and with worship services at the Upper Room Chapel and the Scarritt-Bennett Center.

“In the spirit of the Wesleyan tradition, the Upper Room worship book is truly a resource for the whole church, for it forms the heart and imagination and makes us want to follow Jesus,” said the Rev. Karen Greenwaldt, top executive at the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

The new resource is solidly grounded theologically and rich with scriptural imagery, said Jerry Haas, director of the Upper Room Ministries’ Academy for Spiritual Formation and Emerging Ministries. “It is so well done, it practically sings itself!”

“The liturgies — Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer, and Night Prayer — together with the four Great Thanksgivings for Holy Communion are suitable for individual, small group, retreat or congregational use,” Haas continued.

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The Rev. Karen Greenwaldt
The resource includes a wide-ranging collection of Psalms with musical settings and arrangements. New hymn texts and new songs complete every section and feature a variety of music from across the globe.

“Songs are included that fill special needs of worship planners in selecting music that calls participants away from the rush and business of daily life, that lift up the goodness of creation, and that creatively enhance our repertoire of images for the divine,” said Melissa Tidwell, the agency’s director of marketing.

At the three-day launch event, leaders will come from across the country and Puerto Rico and will feature interpretative presentations, worship experiences, hymn sings and workshops.

“In this one resource, we find a collection of songs that feature texts that are theologically meaningful and deeply creative — a happy blend of lively new tunes and new texts set to well-loved hymn tunes,” Tidwell said.

The official launch and celebration event, called “Sing A New Song To The Lord,” will begin with opening worship with the Rev. Safiyah Fosua, the director of invitational preaching at the board, preaching in the Upper Room Chapel.

Lecture presentations and workshops will provide a theological framework for this resource. The book’s selections were compiled by Elise Eslinger, director of the Institute of Applied Theology at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio.

Workshop topics include “Reaching the Rising Generation through Liturgy,” “Hispanic Enrichment,” “Creating Holy Space,” “Spiritual Formation and Preaching,” “Creative Use of the Psalms,” “Worship Planning and Leadership,” “Liturgy as Communal (Subversive) Act,” and “Spirituality and Fun.”

For more information or to register for the event, contact Gina Manskar at (877) 899-2781, Ext. 7131, or The registration fee is $100, which includes a complimentary copy of the book. A meal ticket may also be purchased for $90 (eight meals). Lodging and meals may also be obtained for $225 (three nights, eight meals). The registration deadline is July 28.

This story was adapted from a news release from Jeanette Pinkston, director of media relations, United Methodist Board of Discipleship.

News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or

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