Free worship planning retreat for GNW Area churches with Marcia McFee


Through worship, people find a sense of belonging and community, coming together to share common beliefs and values. A well-planned worship service can foster a connection with the divine, promoting a deeper understanding of one’s purpose and encouraging a life of compassion, love, and selflessness. 

And worship planning can be a lot of work. What if you don’t have to do this planning alone? What if you could participate in a worship planning retreat from the comfort of your home, for free?

Empowered by a gift from a generous donor, the Greater Northwest Area is pleased to offer United Methodist local churches in the Alaska, Oregon-Idaho, and Pacific Northwest Conferences the chance to participate in Dr. Marcia McFee’s 2023-2024 livestream worship planning retreat at no cost to you on August 13-16, 2023 (recordings are also available in perpetuity afterward). Please consider participating and share this with members of your congregation who help to plan worship for your faith community (pastors, lay ministers, worship leaders, and team members). Our participation gives you access to the entire event for free!

This multi-day continuing education experience will focus on planning ahead for the liturgical year to come. The last few years have pushed us all to become more “rhythm flexible” through offering online and hybrid worship. At the same time, we recognize that weekly worship is an important source of spiritual nourishment and community connection for many people in the communities you serve.

Dr. Marcia McFee will help you explore emerging themes to engage with in worship, guiding you to develop concrete plans for each season of the liturgical year. Dr. McFee’s teaching sessions draw on historical and thematic notes from traditional scripture lectionaries and non-lectionary sources. Engage with all the worship arts – music, media, visuals, verbal and dramatic arts – to bring your messages alive in meaningful and memorable worship.

Your participation in this retreat will also give you access to the Worship Design Studio website, Dr. McFee’s online community of 8,000+ pastors, worship staff, and volunteers who put her design principles into practice and bring creativity and inspiration into their communities.

All you need to do is register (at no charge). You can also invite unlimited members of your worship team (or potential worship team members) to sign up through our registration link. 

We encourage you to take advantage of this free offer (usually $150 per church) made possible through our conference’s participation.

Questions and Answers

  • What if I am not available on Aug 13-16, 2023?  
    Register anyway so you can get the links to the recordings.
  • Can I bring other people from my church? 
    Yes, you can share the link with those in your church to register themselves.
  • What if I don’t use the lectionary? 
    The planning retreat is still beneficial to explore what designing worship entails. Moreover, you will receive various resources and ideas to help you prepare for Advent/Christmas and Lenten/Easter seasons.
  • What if my church has a unique style of worship? 
    The worship planning retreat is not based on any specific style; it will give you principles and processes of worship design, which is beneficial regardless of congregational worship style.
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