2015 Courses: Liturgy and Preaching

Planning the Party: Elements of Reformed Worship (Liturgy)

Instructors: Doug Hatch, Pat Raube and Cynthia Walton-Leavitt

Designed for:

  • ALP candidates and those interested in exploring the lay preaching program
  • Ruling Elders and others who lead worship and/or preach in their own congregations
  • Worship & Music Committee members who are responsible for oversight of worship
  • Anyone interested in the 2014 proposed draft revision of the Directory of Worship sent to the church for comment and study (only 17,000 words as opposed to 27,000 words!)

      Imagine being called upon not only to bake the cake, but also to plan the whole celebration.  Such is the calling for anyone who steps into the pulpit. 

      Leading worship includes not only the careful exegesis of scripture and preparation of a sermon (the “cake”) -- it also involves the thoughtful gathering together of foundational elements of Christian worship so that the congregation might have an experience of the Word, Jesus Christ (the celebration!).


Participants in this class will:

(1)   Experience the richness and diversity of ordering Reformed worship using the newly proposed revision of the Directory of Worship;

(2)   Become familiar with the essential elements of Reformed worship (aside from the sacraments) -- and learn the church’s best practices with regard to ordering them;

(3)   Explore various lectionaries and discuss the advantages of choosing scripture texts with lectionary guidance;

(4)   Make a joyful noise with a guest leader from the “Glory to God” hymnal team as we learn about the role of music and hymns in worship, including how to select hymns [This session on April 18th will be open to the entire presbytery.];

(5)   Come to appreciate the “planning of the party” that is faithful and vital worship.

Preaching Out Your Salvation without Fear and Trembling

Instructors: Bob Heinle and Emrys Tyler

For the Seasoned Preacher (morning course)

  • Designed for ALPs, CLPs and Teaching Elders who wish to preach and receive

feedback from the instructors and classmates.  Participants will be asked to consider the role of preaching in salvation, and to shape their later sermons around this consideration.  

We will take some time at the beginning of each session to reflect on exercises from A Sermon Workbook: Exercises in the Art and Craft of Preaching (Troeger & Tisdale, Abingdon Press, 2013), though this reflection will not constitute the bulk of the course.  The assessment of a student's work will be made on presence and participation both in preaching and discussions.

For the Beginning Preacher (afternoon course)

  • Designed for those new to preaching

Our sessions will serve as a time to evaluate assignments completed from A Sermon Workbook: Exercises in the Art and Craft of Preaching (Troeger & Tisdale, Abingdon Press, 2013) and consider how those assignments change how we preach.  The later sessions will give more time to preaching and evaluation of the delivered sermon by instructors and classmates.  Participants will be asked to consider the role of preaching in salvation, and to look at their own preaching through this consideration.  The assessment of a student's work will be made on completion of assignments from the Workbook, presence in class, and participation in preaching and discussions.

Class Meeting Dates (third Saturday of the month): January 17, February 21, March 21, April 18, and May 16th.  These dates are subject to change by mutual agreement between the instructors and participants. 

A “Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal” team member will be with us on Saturday, April 18th to both introduce the new hymnal and help conduct this class on hymnody.

The entire Presbytery is invited to join us for this session from 9:00 am to 12 Noon.


9:00 AM to 12 Noon -- Liturgy in classroom and Seasoned Preachers in sanctuary

12 Noon to 1:00 PM -- Lunch break

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM -- Beginning Preachers in sanctuary

Place: Bainbridge Presbyterian Church, on the square at 3 Church Street; Phone: (607) 967-8021

Cost: $50 per course (or $10 per single class, including the hymnody session)

            Checks made payable to “Presbytery of Susquehanna Valley”

            Send to Registrar Patty Wolff at P.O. Box 147, Sidney, NY 13838

2015 Occasional Seminar: Witnesses to the Resurrection

CoLP will be offering a seminar on Witnesses to the Resurrection (i.e. funerals, memorial and graveside services).  Details to follow.

Our CoLP program continues to evolve as we endeavor to serve the members and friends who worship with the congregations of our Presbytery. 

For more information about the CoLP or being an ALP, please contact:

2014 CoLP Chair Cynthia Walton-Leavitt at (607) 267-4333 or cynuff(at)gmail.com

2015 CoLP Chair Patty Wolff at (607) 604-4337 or revpattywolff(at)gmail.com