Worship Opportunities at the 2019 Regional AGO Convention in Denver
In addition to the Sunday evening Opening Convocation and Monday morning Festival of Hymns, there are four worship opportunities for convention registrants. While one is an example of the ancient Office of Compline, three are examples of “alternative” Eucharistic liturgies that are neither traditional in the sense of organ-led worship, nor contemporary in the sense of praise band-led worship. The latter three are forms of worship developed by three different downtown Denver congregations to reach out to those who might consider themselves to be “spiritual, but not religious,” and each is designed to be radically inclusive of people for whom “church” may have a negative connotation. While there are similarities between the three liturgies—in particular all three feature an “open phase” during which participants can move around the church and choose from a number of different spiritual activities—the musical styles employed are very different. Please note that two of the liturgies have seating limitations which will require pre-registration on a first-come first-served basis.
Sunday, 7 July 2019, at 5:00 pm
House of All Sinners and Saints
1595 Pearl Street, Denver
An opportunity to share the Sunday worship experience with House of All Sinners and Saints, a unique Lutheran (ELCA) community of faith founded by Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber in 2008 and now overseen by Pastor Reagan Humber. Meeting in the Parish Hall of the Denver Community Church Uptown (formerly Temple Emmanuel), a diverse group of around 200 people gather every Sunday afternoon around a central altar to pray, hear the word, receive Holy Communion, and sing fairly traditional hymnody a cappella under the leadership of Cantor Jamie Halladay. Worship is informal, friendly, and participatory, and buses will be provided for the first 50 people to register; those who wish to walk approximately ten blocks to and from the hotel are also welcome.
Monday, 8 July 2019, at 5:00 pm
Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church
2015 Glenarm Place, Denver
A contemplative liturgy now in its sixth year at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Stillpoint was conceived as a service combining the ancient with the modern, pairing Gregorian chant and candlelight with silence, contemporary Eucharistic prayers, and sacred poetry. Occasionally a solo instrumentalist (cello, piano, classical guitar, violin, organ, etc.) provides voluntaries before and after the service, but congregational singing is unaccompanied, chant-based, and led by a schola of three or four men or women under the direction of Saint Andrew’s choirmaster Timothy J. Krueger. The homily, usually presented by the Rev. Elizabeth P. Randall, is followed by a generous ten-minute period of silence to provide an unhurried time of reflection, tranquility, and respite from the busyness of modern life. Normally held on Sundays at 5:30 pm, Stillpoint will be re-created especially for the AGO convention, and can accommodate the first 150 registrants because of space limitations in the intimate setting of Saint Andrew’s Church.
Tuesday, 9 July 2019, at 5:00 pm
Saint John’s Episcopal Cathedral
1350 North Washington Street, Denver
Also being re-created for the AGO convention, The Wilderness is a liturgy normally occurring every Sunday evening at 6:00 pm at Saint John’s Cathedral the purpose for which is to develop a worshipping community that explores and affirms an Anglican heritage creatively and with a special sense of welcome to those who are new (or newly returning) to Christian spirituality or organized religion. With a title drawn from the official name of the Cathedral (Saint John’s in the Wilderness), The Wilderness also has many Scriptural connotations, from the Exodus story of the people of Israel wandering in the wilderness, to John the Baptist crying in the wilderness, to Jesus’ place of temptation after his baptism. In the context of this liturgy, The Wilderness is “a quiet place, free from the hectic bustle of life, where mind and soul can wander, searching for meaning in life and searching for God. It can be an unsettling place of questions, and transformation. It is holy ground.” Musical leadership for The Wilderness is provided by a trio of vocalists and instrumentalists whose original music combines elements of jazz with characteristics of new age music, often providing new tunes for traditional hymn texts. Given the size of the cathedral, there are no seating limitations for the convention.
Wednesday, 10 July, at 9:45 pm
Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception
1530 Logan Street (Corner of Colfax and Logan), Denver
The traditional Office of Compline will be led by Phil Bordeleau, Director of Sacred Music, and members of the Cathedral Choir for those who wish to conclude the final day of the convention with prayer following Marie-Bernadette Dufourcet-Hakim’s gala organ recital at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.