Contributors – writers

book open from pixabay

Whose writing will you find on Worship Words?

In alphabetical order (by surname/last name)…

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.

Daphne graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Public Policy and Psychology. She is the founder of two companies in the sustainability realm. She resides in Santa Barbara, California. Daphne’s mission in life is ‘for there to be more compassion for mother earth and all of her inhabitants because she has lived’.

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

Anna Blaedel, an ordained minister, serves as theologian-in-residence at ‘enfleshed’ which brings ‘an attentiveness to the intersections of academic, activist, and ecclesial engagement.’ Anna nourishes students through campus ministry for the University of Iowa Wesley Center and is enrolled in a PhD program in Theological and Philosophical Studies at Drew University’s Graduate Division on Religion.

Shared with permission from ‘enfleshed,’ which describes itself as follows:

‘While the world aches for transformation and healing, God is not a distant observer but an enfleshed presence at the margins, in the soil, in chaos and quiet, in pleasure and pain. The Divine is intimately entangled with all aspects of our collective life: The material. The political. The intimate. The sensual. The struggle. The places where they all meet.
With this assurance, enfleshed creates and facilitates spiritual resources for Christian-adjacent communities learning and unlearning dominance in belief and practice. As the Spirit, tender and fierce, calls us all to courage, enfleshed hopes to provide sources of deep spiritual nourishment for the work of collective liberation before us.’

Read this and more liturgical writings on the ‘enfleshed’ website.

Dr Merryl Blair, an ordained minister in the Churches of Christ in Australia, served as Senior Lecturer of Old Testament at Stirling Theological College, Mulgrave, Victoria, Australia and Melbourne College of Divinity, Australia.  Merryl, now retired, continues to write liturgy primarily arising from her reading of the Old Testament.

Susan, an ordained minister, is passionate about participatory liturgy.  She has kindly allowed Worship Words to share some items from her book, Re-imagining Worship.  She strives to ‘go beyond traditional liturgies to capture what is happening in the lives of congregations, [to] go beyond the walls of the church into the world.’ Susan hopes the book will inspire worship leaders to be ‘creative, try new things and involve your congregation in the process.’

Her book includes sections on topics identified as primary elements of Worship:

  • Words and preaching
  • Music and songs
  • Prayer and silence – meditative services
  • Liturgical Art
  • Interaction and participation – sermons with congregational input, plays (dramas, sketches) and skits
  • Movement and dance
  • Rituals

The resources focus on Holy Days in the liturgical year, non-religious holidays and special themes.

Re-imagining Worship is available on Amazon.

Jim Burklo, retired Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California, writes regularly for the 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 Jim Burklo’s blog for hymns, prayers and more.

Advent & Christmas resources by Jim

Hymns by Jim

Psalms & Prayers by Jim

Reflections & Worship Resources by Jim

Click on the link to read more about Jim Burklo.

Karen, an ordained Elder & Church Related Community Worker, serves the United Reformed Church as Secretary for Global & Intercultural Ministries.

“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.”

Visit Simon Cross’s blog — ‘Researching and writing at the intersection of spirituality, well being, mental health, social science and theology.’

Simon currently serves as Chair of PCN Britain — that’s the Progressive Christian Network in Britain.

Simon Cross is a writer, journalist, activist and academic, currently investigating ways in which spiritual capital may be said to develop in post secular society, looking particularly at the motivation that underlies participation in activity for the common good.

Born in Scotland and raised in rural Northumberland, he went on to study Politics and Sociology before embarking on a career in journalism.  Simon is currently writing a PhD, having previously been awarded postgraduate qualifications from Staffordshire University and Lancaster University.

Revd Thandiwe Cairn Christian Church

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

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

Thandiwe’s contributions are divided into five 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. Psalms
  5. 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

Psalms by Thandiwe

All other worship resources by Thandiwe

Photos by Thandiwe – click here

Zach Ford (they/them) is a queer epic fantasy novelist who has stumbled into a second calling as a modern psalmist and liturgy writer. In between making stories about dragons and magic, they aim to create original, lyrical prayers expressing the full range of their emotions and their relationship with God.

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…”

Writer and retired 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, served pastorates in the United Kingdom from 2010 – 2022, in London and Salisbury, and in the USA for 3 years in Franklin, New Hampshire.  Their years of international service, many with Global Ministries (Christian Church-Disciples of Christ USA and United Church of Christ USA), have taken them to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia and most recently in 2019 to Zambia.

Ana’s most recent posts:

Ana’s contributions are divided into groups:

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

Advent & Christmas resources by Ana

Dramas & readings for multiple-voices by Ana

Prayers by Ana

Psalms by Ana

All other worship resources by Ana, listed alphabetically

   photo by Ben Ulrich

Tod, with his wife, Ana, served pastorates in the United Kingdom from 2010 – 2022, in London and Salisbury, and in the USA for 3 years in Franklin, New Hampshire.  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.

Sam writes, ‘I’m a member and elder at Central United Reformed Church in Derby, UK. I’m also currently on a candidating journey which is a response to a call into some form of ministry.’