AWAKEN! Wake up! Worship! What’s Next?

Bishop Carcaño, Wilson, Hawn
among featured leaders at Awaken 2017
Biennial convocation of The Fellowship
to be held July 24-27 in Little Rock, Arkansas

As the city of Little Rock, AR, commemorates the historic 60th anniversary of the Little Rock Nine and the journey toward desegregation, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts will gather to explore what it means to engage in transformative worship in communities that are full of complexities, conflicts, and politics during its biennial convocation.

Titled “Awaken 2017: Wake up! Worship. What’s next?,” the convocation is a unique event for musicians, dancers, visual artists, preachers, and all who seek to serve God’s people by designing and leading participatory worship experiences.

It will be held July 24-27, 2017, at the Little Rock Marriott and other nearby venues.
During the event, attendees will gather for daily worship in addition to learning through a wide variety of seminars and hands-on experiences, as well as numerous choral reading sessions. A highlight of the event will be a panel discussion on the Little Rock Nine held at Philander Smith College, a historically Black college affiliated with The United Methodist Church.

“Our world has not yet been purged of the prejudice and exclusion that led to the events at Central High School in Little Rock nearly 60 years ago,” said Laura Jaquith Bartlett, president of The Fellowship. “As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to wake up to the injustices still at work in the world around us. When we worship — as we will frequently at this convocation — we are shaped anew into the Christian community that together explores the question, ‘What’s

Featured leaders at Awaken 2017 include:
• Bishop Minerva Carcaño, currently serving as Resident Bishop of the California-Nevada Annual Conference of the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church;
• Rev. Lisa Yebuah, Campus Pastor at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, North Carolina;
• Rev. Cynthia Wilson, Assistant Vice President for Student Life, Dean of Students, and Director for the Garrett-Evangelical Center for Music and Worship in the Black Church Experience;
• Dr. C. Michael Hawn, Director of the Master of Sacred Music Program and University Distinguished Professor of Church Music at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University;
• Tom Trenney, Minister of Music of First-Plymouth Church in Lincoln, Nebraska, and widely recognized choral composer.
“Convocation is all about our name – The Fellowship,” said Brad Kisner, co-chair of the Awaken 2017 Design Team along with his wife, Jane Kisner. “We fellowship through worship, singing new music, sharing meals, meeting new colleagues, renewing longtime friendships and renewing our souls. We get our spiritual batteries charged as we return to our local congregations to lead worship.”
Early bird registration for Awaken 2017 will open on October 25, 2016. For more information or to register for the event, visit

About The Fellowship:
Founded in 1956 to support musicians in The United Methodist Church, The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts has grown to include worship artists, clergy, and laity involved in all aspects of worship from a variety of denominations and experiences.

The Fellowship exists to assist worship leaders in creating meaningful worship experiences that bring people into deeper relationships with God and each other. The mission of its members is to embrace God’s artistic gifts to create world-transforming worship. To learn more about The Fellowship, visit



Contact: Carla Swank Fox