Kari Hahm

2pt-Unison Children

Learn about the latest children’s repertoire from NPH and a curated selection from other sacred music publishers. Also included will be discussion and repertoire about using children’s choirs liturgically in worship.

Bio | Kari Hahm

Kari graduated from Martin Luther College in 2000 with a secondary music degree. Currently she is the music department chair of West Lutheran High School in Plymouth, Minn., teaching and directing freshmen music, concert choir, concert band, pep band, Western Accents, and theater. She has spent over a decade leading parish music in her previous calls and congregations. She has been a member of Canticum Novum: a WELS Chamber Choir since 2005. Kari and her husband, James, are blessed with five children.

Recital - Canticum Novum

Canticum Novum

This recital presents Johannes Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem with accompaniment for four hands piano arranged by Brahms himself. Canticum Novum, under the direction of Jonathan Laabs, is a choir dedicated to performing challenging choral music for the spiritual edification of its listeners and the encouragement of choristers of all ages to use their God-given talents at the highest possible level. Canticum Novum is unique in that its members, from WELS congregations across the Midwest and beyond, rehearse independently in the weeks and months leading up to the performances and meet as an ensemble for only a week out of the year at a retreat with intensive rehearsals, fellowship, and performance.

This recital is offered only Tuesday afternoon at 4:15 p.m. in the Carthage chapel. It is not necessary to sign up to attend. It will also be presented on Fri., June 21, at 7:30 p.m. at St. Marcus in Milwaukee and Sat., June 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Trinity in Waukesha. Visit canticumnovumwels.org for more information.

Recital - It's About Time

It’s About Time

This is a recital compiled and performed by Dr. Juanita Becker and Dr. Kayme Henkel and their colleagues. The program brings together different perspectives about time.

It includes works from times past as well as our current time. The performers include WELS musicians who have established careers as well as performers with less time since earning their degrees. Performers include Alana Laufman, Judy Kriewall, Tevelis Winslow, Quinten Petersen, Daniel Hafenstein, Brett Duwe, and Joshua Hoenhke. The program will include a premiere of a piece by Dr. J. Richard Freese.

Recital Sine Nomine Brass

Sine Nomine Brass

This recital offers “500+ Years of Worship with Brass and Keyboards.” Dr. Patricia Backhaus started Sine Nomine Brass during the pandemic. They began playing in her driveway. Eventually the members asked their home churches to host the group. One church asked, “What is your group’s name?” With crazy banter at rehearsal, the name was born: Sine Nomine means “no name.” United in faith and from six different WELS congregations, this group performs everything from polychoral to hymntune-based literature to contemporary Christian repertoire.

Johnold Strey

Making the Most of CW21

The Christian Worship suite offers a wealth of resources for planning worship. Intended for pastors, musicians, artists, and altar guilds, this presentation covers a variety of themes to help worship planners: seasonal best practices, how to introduce new music, balancing variety with comfort, recognizing the capabilities of differing congregations, and creating festive worship for festival days. Consideration will be given to a wide variety of parish sizes and circumstances.

Bio | Johnold Strey

Pastor Strey served congregations in California for 15 years and as the Arizona-California District’s worship coordinator for a decade before coming to Crown of Life in Hubertus, Wis., in 2016. He earned a master’s degree in worship and church music from Santa Clara University in 2009. He has served on the School of Worship Enrichment team and on the hymnal’s rites committee and is the author of Christian Worship: God Gives His Gospel Gifts (NPH).

Johnold Strey

The Story of The Service

Each generational hymnal brings familiarity and change to public worship. Christian Worship: Hymnal is no exception. The familiar flow and content of the tried-and-true Lutheran liturgy is presented with adjustments and adaptations for a new generation. Johnold Strey, a member of the hymnal’s rites committee, will share the story behind The Service—the discussions, debates, and decisions that ultimately led to the shape of the liturgy in the new WELS hymnal. This workshop also provides useful background information for Pastor Strey’s new Bible class called A Look at the Lutheran Liturgy from Northwestern Publishing House.

Bio | Johnold Strey

Pastor Strey served congregations in California for 15 years and as the Arizona-California District’s worship coordinator for a decade before coming to Crown of Life in Hubertus, Wis., in 2016. He earned a master’s degree in worship and church music from Santa Clara University in 2009. He has served on the School of Worship Enrichment team and on the hymnal’s rites committee and is the author of Christian Worship: God Gives His Gospel Gifts (NPH).

Phil Magness

Traditions and Mission: Discerning What Is Good

Drawing on his experience as a leading musician serving in many contexts and capacities in the LCMS for over 30 years, Magness offers 1) a survey of how the “worship wars” impacted liturgical and musical practice in the Missouri Synod and 2) an overview of current trends. Key to his observations are how different attitudes and approaches to tradition have both served and impeded the church’s worship, proclamation of the gospel, and calling all to faith. As congregations in the WELS move forward with a new hymnal, it is hoped that his perspectives may be useful to pastors, musicians, and lay leaders as they make worship decisions for their communities.

Bio | Phillip Magness

Phillip serves a dual call as cantor at Village Lutheran Church in Ladue, Mo., and LCMS missionary to francophone Africa. He also serves as the interim associate of Music Arts at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He previously held cantorates at congregations in Texas, Illinois, and Oklahoma. He chaired the introduction committee for the Lutheran Service Book, has served on district and synodical boards, and has led music for daily worship at three LCMS national conventions. He is a published composer, arranger, and author. His book, Church Music: For the Care of Souls, is published by Lexham Press. Eight of his pianistic hymn settings are in Christian Worship: Accompaniment for Hymns and music for seven psalms in Christian Worship: Psalter.

John Bauer

Lutheran Worship: What Now? —Further Conversation

This conference’s plenary address, to be presented after the opening service on Wednesday, explores the following themes and questions. In 2024, Lutheran worship celebrates its 500th birthday. Within the next few years, Christian worship will enter its third millennium. These milestone anniversaries happen at a time when nearly everyone agrees that our world is experiencing unprecedented changes. Whether it’s advances in technology, shifts in spirituality, or instability in institutions, the dramatic ways in which our world is changing have given us a world we would not have recognized a decade ago (much less a world Lutherans in 1524 or the apostles in first-century Jerusalem would have recognized). So what now? How do Christian congregations meet the unique challenges presented by our late-modern world as they gather weekly in Jesus’ name? This presentation aims to demonstrate how, as confessional Lutherans, we are fully equipped to answer this crucial question about our worship: What now?

Those interested in further conversation about this plenary address may select this breakout session. The plenary address builds off of Jon Bauer’s 2023 keynote at the WELS National Conference on Lutheran Leadership with specific application to worship. After he expands on the thoughts of his address, participants will have an opportunity for further discussion.  View Pastor Bauer’s keynote address from the leadership conference.

Bio | Jon Bauer

Pastor Bauer graduated from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 2008. His first call was to Emmanuel in Tempe, Ariz. In 2014 he accepted the call to Good News in Mount Horeb, Wis., a mission church that dedicated its first building project in 2023. Jon serves on the WELS Commission on Congregational Counseling and the Institute for Worship and Outreach. He served on the executive committee of the WELS Hymnal Project.

Aaron Christie

Stretching Your Worship Within Lutheran Parameters

Lutherans often take a different view on things. What, for instance, are the distinctive aims, actions, and aesthetics of Lutheran worship? We speak of the principles of Lutheran worship. Do we think of these principles as scriptural signposts that help us? Or as strictures that hinder a vibrant worship? A principled approach to worship comes with a possible pitfall: that our worship becomes stagnant. Is there sometimes a bit of truth to the critique of Lutheran worship, “It’s the same thing every week!”?

This workshop will encourage your congregation to spot that which is stagnant and then stretch your worship life. What are your next steps forward in enriching your orders of service; in singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs? Do you conduct worship in a way that welcomes the unchurched? The goal is to keep your congregation stretching toward a life of worship that exchanges parish ruts for Lutheran riches! God’s people and our communities will be blessed as a result. Attendees will bring home a list of deliverables to implement in their specific contexts.

This workshop was originally presented at the 2023 WELS leadership conference. It is offered only once.

Bio | Aaron Christie

Prof. Christie is dean of chapel and professor of worship and homiletics at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. He previously served churches in Antioch, Ill., and Waukesha, Wis. He holds a Master of Church Music degree from Concordia University Wisconsin. He has served the church at large as a presenter for Schools of Worship Enrichment, a member of the Commission on Worship and the Institute for Worship and Outreach, and chairman of the hymns committee for Christian Worship.

Musician’s Resource

Learn about the various resources available via Musician’s Resource. Note: This session will not cover liturgical ensemble, which will have its own session.


Bio | Jeremy Bakken

Jeremy serves as director of worship and sacred music at Northwestern Publishing House. He is an active church musician, composer, presenter, and clinician. He served on the hymns committee for Christian Worship: Hymnal, which includes four of his original hymn tunes. He holds degrees from Wisconsin Lutheran College (BA in music and mathematics, 2004), University of New Mexico (MM in composition and choral conducting, 2013) and University of Southern California (DMA in choral music, 2022).