Contributors

book open from pixabay

Whose writing will you find on Worship Words?

In alphabetical order (by surname; last name)…

Hugh is an avid photographer.  Many of his photographs appear throughout Worship Words.

A selection of Hugh’s photos found on Worship Words:

Linda Allen Victory Concert, Seattle

Linda is trained as an educator, a Clinical Musician, and an ordained interfaith minister.  She is a prolific song writer, composer and performer. As a Certified Clinical Musician, she is currently employed by a regional hospice provider.

Wellingtone is currently working on a Bachelor of Theology degree at the United Church of Zambia University in Mindolo, Kitwe, Zambia.

Rev Dr Merryl Blair is Senior Lecturer of Old Testament at Stirling Theological College, Mulgrave, Victoria, Australia and Melbourne College of Divinity, Australia.  Merryl writes liturgy primarily arising from her reading of the Old Testament.

Jim Burklo, Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California, writes regularly for the ProgressiveChristianity.org liturgy project.  Many of his liturgical materials can be found in his book Birdlike and Barnless: Meditations, Prayers, and Songs for Progressive Christians  (2008, St Johann Press).  Explore his blog for hymns, prayers and more.

“I was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, moved to Winfield, Kansas for college at Southwestern College, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Philosophy in 2009. I began seminary at Phillips Theological Seminary in 2010 and will graduate with my Master of Divinity in May 2016. I live in Lakewood, Colorado with my wife and 2 dogs, cat, and cockatiel. I work as an Independent Life Skills Trainer, helping brain injury survivors regain skills for independent living.”

Revd Thandiwe Cairn Christian Church

Ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Thandiwe  serves in ministry at Lovedale United Church of Christ in Lovedale, Colorado.

Many of the photos on Worship Words are through the discerning lens of Thandiwe’s camera.

Her contributions are divided into four groups:

  1.  Children’s worship resources – Children’s Messages & items for children and youth to lead/read in worship
  2. Advent & Christmas resources
  3. Prayers
  4. All other worship resources

Children’s worship resources by Thandiwe  (Children’s messages & items for children and youth to read/lead in worship)

Advent & Christmas resources by Thandiwe

Prayers by Thandiwe

All other worship resources by Thandiwe

A selection of Thandiwe’s photos found on Worship Words:

Visit Steve’s blog, Unfolding Light, “a daily reflection rooted in a contemplative, Creation-centered spirituality, often inspired by my daily walk in the woods.”  The items included in Worship Words are re-printed with permission from the author.

Steve describes himself on his blog:  “I’m a United Methodist pastor in Massachusetts. I’ve served churches for 37 years, mostly in Montana and New Hampshire. I’ve also lived in South Dakota, California, Washington and Minnesota. I have a wife, Beth, and three grown sons whom I love dearly. I often lead retreats on prayer, poetry and renewing our language about God. I used to write and perform with the Montana Logging & Ballet Company, a quartet that did music and comedy around the country…”

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Ana baptism 5Writer and minister in the United Reformed Church in Great Britain who cares about words and loves children, worship and baptisms!  Ana established and edits Worship Words.

Ana, with her husband Tod, serves a pastorate of three United Reformed Church congregations in the United Kingdom. From 2010 – 2015 they served St Andrew’s United Reformed Church in London UK.

Their years of service in Global Ministries (Christian Church-Disciples of Christ USA and United Church of Christ USA) have taken them to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia.

Ana’s most recent posts:

Ana’s contributions are divided into four groups:

  1.  Advent & Christmas resources
  2.  Dramas and readings for multiple-voices
  3.  Prayers
  4.  All other worship resources

Advent & Christmas resources by Ana

Dramas & readings for multiple-voices by Ana

Prayers by Ana

All other worship resources by Ana, listed alphabetically

Tod, with his wife, Ana, serves a pastorate of three United Reformed Church congregations in the UK. From 2010 – 2015 they served a URC congregation in southeast London UK.

Their years of service in Global Ministries (Christian Church-Disciples of Christ USA and United Church of Christ USA) have taken them to South Africa, Zimbabwe and Australia.

I’m a nurse specializing in care of the elderly in an acute hospital setting. I live in Oxford, in the UK, with my wife and two rescue dogs, and am a member and elder at Cumnor URC (a small village church just outside Oxford). I enjoy art, printmaking, writing and walks in fields and forests with our two lovely dogs. I’m also currently going through the candidating process for Ministry of Word and Sacraments in the United Reformed Church.

Bob Hill is a nonfiction writer, poet, and community consultant for non-profit organizations focusing on social justice issues, particularly quality public education, voter registration, and quality health care for all. Previously he served for more than 30 years as pastor at Community Christian Church in Kansas City, Missouri, before shifting into semi-retirement and being named Minister Emeritus in 2015.

‘I am a second career Pastor. I came from a very fundamentalist denomination where women weren’t allowed to do ANYTHING in public worship and here I am, a fully ordained minister! God truly does move in mysterious ways!’

Janice, ordained in the United Church of Christ USA, currently serves a congregation in Tulare, California.

Warren Lynn is an Ordained Minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) tradition. Through photography, contemplative and other spiritual practices, he seeks to offer diverse resources to facilitate others’ connection with all that is holy. One resource he offers is his Well-fed Spirit Website. You will find his stunning photos throughout Worship Words.

Pastor, husband, father, runner, reader, thinker. I’m a former independent, fundamental Baptist who stumbled into ‘liberal’ Christianity, ordained by the Disciples of Christ and proudly serving a United Church of Christ congregation.

Loren’s statement of faith, ‘What I do and do not believe,’ is included in the Worship Words Longest Night Service resources.

“I am a retired United Methodist clergy person serving half-time at the Lattimer United Methodist Church in Lattimer Mines, Pennsylvania, USA. I have represented my Annual Conference at various ecumenical and interfaith gathering. My wife, Anne, and I live with four cats.”

lynne-robertsLynne, a member of the Churches of Christ in Australia, has been writing prayers and liturgy for many years. Formerly both a primary school teacher and a professional musician, Lynne had to give up work for health reasons.  She now assists theological students with proof-reading, concentrating mainly on students whose first language is not English.  Her passions are reading, music, art, photography and social justice.

‘Chris was born in the rural county of Norfolk, England in 1948, where he has lived and worked for much of his life. Most of his working career has been spent in the agricultural industry. His love of nature, the countryside and the time spent within the agricultural industry is very much reflected in much of his writing.’ His work is also posted on Silent Flight Publications.

George Stuart, AustraliaBorn in Victoria, Australia, George Stuart lives with his wife, Wendy, in Toronto, New South Wales, Australia.  He received his Bachelor of Divinity at Melbourne University’s Ormond College.  His career has been varied, beginning as an Industrial Chemist, then as a Church Youth Worker and as a clergy person in the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches.  Subsequently he worked as a Personnel Officer/Manager, concluding his employment as a Rehabilitation Consultant.  Hea and his wife are blessed with four lovely daughters, their partners and six delightful grandchildren.  He has drunk deeply from life’s love and beauty.

George Stuart has written singable hymns with grounded, authentic and original lyrics set to traditional and familiar tunes. His “Singing a New Song” series includes 4 general volumes of new lyrics and 3 volumes (1 for each year) of new lyrics based on the Gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary. Indexes help one easily find tunes, titles, first lines and gospel passages used in 280 of the lyrics (George’s favourites). If you have the time to browse through the electronic versions of the books themselves, there are many more lyrics not listed in the indexes.  The full musical scores are included beside the lyrics except when there are copyright law restrictions.

Thanks to George’s generosity, all of the lyrics published on his website are free of any copyright restrictions and limitations and thus are all available for your use.

George is happy to be contacted directly at george.stuart@exemail.com.au.

Brenda writes, ‘The United Methodist Church became my church home in 2000, when we emigrated from Canada to Southern California. A long personal journey brought me home: pastoring a local church. This foray into creative writing has been only a recent and surprisingly powerful endeavor.’

Amanda Udis-Kessler is a hymnwriter, songwriter, composer, and writer who specializes in music and lyrics for liberal religious people and communities, including inclusive, social justice-minded Christians, Unitarian Universalists, and other open-hearted religious traditions.  She has served informally as composer-in-residence at Vista Grande Community Church (UCC).  Her website, Queer Sacred Music, includes numerous songs (lyrics, scores and recordings) and worship items.

Thanks to Amanda for her generosity:  ‘You have my full, express, written, and permanent permission to print my lyrics in full on Worship Words. Anyone interacting with your website has my full, express, written, and permanent permission to remove or copy any and all of my resources from Worship Words (and from my website queersacredmusic.com) and to freely print such resources for use in worship or other events and to adapt such resources for their immediate context as appropriate or desired (as long as such adaptations do not contradict the open-hearted and fully inclusive spirit of my materials).’

Bronwyn’s writing celebrates spirit and faith in postmodern, post-christian life: 21st Century words for evolving understanding. She draws on the Judeo-Christian tradition of her upbringing and her progressive Christian faith communities— real and online.

Bronwyn lives on the Kāpiti Coast in Aotearoa New Zealand, where Christmas comes at summertime: a festive season where pōhutukawa and rata are in bloom, friends gather around barbecues or picnic at the beach on Christmas Day, and many people travel to catch up with family or enjoy school holidays. On this small group of islands in the Southern Hemisphere, the rich culture of indigenous Māori people and the introduced religions of settlers and colonists, along with migrants from the Pacific, Asia and Europe, blend into a unique mix of creative, spiritual art forms: music, writing, paintings, sculpture and other creative work.

Bronwyn identifies as a cultural and evolving christian (lower case) but is part of a vibrant Progressive Christian faith community because she believes change—theological and on issues of social justice and equity—needs to come from within the Church. Bronwyn loves liturgy, “the work of the people”—writing, presenting and being a part of it so long as the theology is inclusive, progressive and contemporary. Her philosophy is, “Living with faith, not belief”.

Bronwyn has written two liturgical books, and is preparing a third for publication. You can buy You who delight me and Something new to say via her website Spirit & Faith or from Philip Garside Publishing.

Duncan Wilson is a retired minister of the United Reformed Church in Great Britain with former ministries in Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham and now living in Banbury.

Duncan writes contemporary versions of psalms.  He calls his on-going project ‘Praise from the heart: The Psalms in liturgical order’.

For many years, Duncan  has been using the lectionary’s choice of Psalms each week as a call or introduction to worship. He has paraphrased each psalm as a responsive call to worship and is now offering them as a resource for churches and worship leaders to use as they wish. He intends them to be accessible for all ages, inclusive and relevant, as the Psalms were inspired by people with thoughts and experiences much like ours.

He describes his writing in these words:

‘Towards the end of the United Reformed Church in Great Britain’s hymn book, Rejoice and Sing, is a section entitled Psalms and Canticles. I suspect it is used infrequently except for some well known numbers. Some are elegantly paraphrased, some by recent authors in the form of hymns. Others take the form of ‘metrical psalms’ which could as well be spoken as sung since they are set out for responsive chanting. But in many cases their language is somewhat archaic, at least not very accessible, and is hardly gender inclusive.

‘In trying to reclaim Psalms as a call or opening for worship, I have, for many years, been adapting them with both age and gender in mind for what we generally call ‘family worship’.

‘It seemed to me that the Psalms had a prominent part to play in Reformed worship before ever hymns became current and that they provided a very special resource in sharing with us the thoughts and feelings of people far removed from us by time but not by faith and the experience of life. The Psalms speak to us still.

‘Mine are paraphrases without any claim to skill in translation. I have read and compared many versions not with the aim of finding the most accurate translation but the one most likely to ‘strike a chord’, to resonate with life today, therefore subjective to a degree. So, I have taken some liberties which I trust God forgive.

‘There are, of course, some Psalms which refer to adversaries or certain hostile attitudes in a way which grates with us now and hardly helps to lift up our hearts as we open our worship. These I am guilty of glossing over.

‘This has been a personal and individual task and joy that, week by week, has compelled me to really read and imbibe the text. As I come back to them, I frequently modify them.

‘At the end of the day, the Psalms, like all of holy scripture, are there to inspire, to transcend the words with images of a God who has been trusted to be good, to be a saviour, a haven, a healer, a teacher, a companion, a judge and a shepherd. So, the ultimate aim is to encourage and sustain faith and hope. See what you think.’

Consider submitting a prayer, poem, liturgy, song or photo to Worship Words.  Submit your ideas here.

All of us who write for worship are part of ‘the modern liturgical movement” which is usually considered to stretch from 1600 to 2000 particularly in North America and Europe.  Let’s extend that movement into the 21st century and around the globe!

 Accept the invitation to both write and network liturgical and worship resources nestled in your files and tucked away in books.   By sharing what we have written, we can share the power of worship!

If you would like to submit a written item or photo, please click here to read the Submission Guidelines. 

Writing worship words full of authenticity and power? Consider submitting them to Worship Words.


Consider the themes in Worship Words and submit photos we can share to enhance the words on the page/screen.


Writing lyrics that speak from your heart? Consider submitting them…


Consider submitting your words of beauty, struggle and truth.


Consider submitting your prayer words and conversations.

Thanks to all those who have given their permission to reproduce copyright and non-copyright material, words and images, on this website.  Every effort has been made to trace and contact the owners of material (copyright and non-copyright) and I hope that no copyright has been infringed.  Pardon is sought and apology made if the contrary be the case, and a correction will be made as soon as the website manager is notified.