What is WALi?

The Worship Arts Leader initiative (WALi) is a community-building initiative of Concordia University Irvine’s Center for Worship Leadership (CWL). Special WALi gatherings are created by the CWL to intentionally connect leaders of worship together for common support, empowered learning, and professional inspiration. These gatherings intentionally center around various types/modes of training. Below are descriptions of some of the training opportunities we currently offer.

WALi Summit - Canceled

WALi Summit - Canceled

Monday, June 29, 2020 - Thursday, July 2, 2020

One-Day Intensives: June 29, 2020

To the Worship Arts Leader Initiative (WALi) Community:

As we are all aware, the COVID-19 coronavirus, as a global phenomenon, drove churches and its leaders into an unusually shared ministry experience. With reported cases of the virus on the rise in our communities, and public health officials making it clear that these numbers would increase exponentially, decisions to close the doors of our churches and schools, and refrain from gathering in any capacity, were being made by the hour. Moreover, many of you were propelled into the new (and perhaps uncomfortable) role of technical arts ministry staff, having to become overnight live streaming “experts” and social media specialists; while at the same time, leading your ministry triage teams in crisis-mode and managing the well-being of your own families. It has been a blessing to see and hear of the tireless and unseen work that you are doing for the sake of the Gospel – work that you all are so willing to share with one another, in support of each other, out of your love for Christ and neighbor. Profound evidence of the Triune God at work in-and-through his Church!

We are also well aware of the negative impact of this pandemic. Effects that go far beyond the immediate health dangers that we monitor daily. Of course, we can’t possibly anticipate every long term implication, but we can certainly expect to feel the short term repercussions as we continue to make the health and safety of our communities top priority per the guidance of our local, state and federal authorities. Restricted travel and gathering size, heightened caution as we do everything we can to help flatten the curve of the spread of the virus, shifting church budget decisions, job security and looming financial hardships, our own health and the well-being of our families, etc. –– all are substantial contributors to our unknown future. In prayerful consideration of these things, and under advisement from the Concordia Irvine COVID-19 Management Team, the WALi Summit Planning Team believes that the wisest course of action is to cancel this summer’s worship conference at CUI.

Refunds will be processed shortly for those of you who have already registered and paid. If you have questions on the refund process, contact Joel Wetzstein at [email protected]. It should also be understood that due to the many complexities of CUI’s campus calendar, especially now, we will not have an alternative date for the conference this summer, but will instead seek to schedule something in 2021. While it is heartbreaking to cancel such a great event, we are confident that God has a better plan for us, and we look forward to sharing that plan with you in his time! If you have any other questions regarding the Summit and our decision, please contact me at [email protected].

In the meantime, as in all things and in every circumstance, we lift you and your ministry up to our God. Prayers for you as you continue to lead in the midst of this crisis with the hope of the Gospel. May God cultivate faith in the midst of fear, give his peace in the chaos of your storm, and through his Spirit, give you joy as you show love for your neighbor in a time where self-centeredness is our first instinct for survival. We pray it in the name Jesus!

The WALi Summit Planning Team

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What is a WALi Cluster?

WALi Clusters are *local*regional* communities (usually 8-16 people) where leaders of worship build meaningful relationships, receive support, find inspiration, and engage in thoughtful conversation surrounding a variety of ministry topics and challenges. These local groups are designed to connect you to other leaders of worship in your area and build a network of support both within your local cluster and with WALi as a whole.

The cornerstone piece of a WALi Cluster is the monthly gathering which is designed to help build relationships with other local leaders of worship, equip you for excellence in your specific ministry context, and provide inspiration.

WALi Clusters have a sense of unity—clusters are given helpful material each month including topics for discussion, reading/listening suggestions, and more. By having common experiences and discussions, we hope that involvement in your local cluster will also open the door to further engagement in the wider WALi community and beyond.

On the other hand, we encourage each WALi Cluster to be tailored specifically to meet the unique needs of your local leaders of worship. We do not expect that all clusters will look or run with uniformity. Meaningful and relevant topics in one cluster may not connect with a cluster in a different part of the country. Business-day gatherings may be ideal for most clusters, but in areas where most leaders of worship have full-time jobs outside of the church, something like an evening or weekend barbecue may be ideal.

I Want to Get Involved

We love your enthusiasm! Right now, a few WALi Clusters have beta-launched and a number of new WALi Clusters will be forming in early 2020. If you’re interested in becoming part of a WALi Cluster, leave us your contact info on our interest form.

After the initial launch, new clusters will be starting up regularly. There may already be a cluster near you! If you’d like to get involved, please reach out to Paul Kasaty at [email protected] and we will connect you with a cluster in your area. Partnering together is the key to our vision for WALi Clusters.

What is a WALi One-Day?

WALi One Day events are designed to give WALi Clusters within a geographical region customized training in practical skills-related disciplines – like worship band workshops – and growth opportunities in matters of worship theology and ministry leadership. Through these events participants receive valuable training and engage in thoughtful conversation with others regarding a variety of practical application issues, theological topics, and ministry challenges. Past WALi One Day focal points:

  • Media Integration (Dante, Planning Center Services, Audio Systems, etc.)
  • Liturgical / Modern Service Design
  • Songwriting Workshops
  • Band Workshops
  • Leadership Workshops
  • Ministry Visioning and Consulting Services

Please contact [email protected] if you’re interested in hosting a WALi One Day event!

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