Worship Director named for 2016 General Conference

Jaquith BartlettNASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Rev. Laura Jaquith Bartlett of Eagle Creek, Ore. has been named worship and music director for the 2016 United Methodist General Conference by the Commission on the General Conference.

“Laura will coordinate the worship that focuses us for the General Conference work of the global United Methodist Church,”said Sara Hotchkiss, business manager of the General Conference.

Bartlett is president-elect of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts and program director at the Alton L. Collins Retreat Center, as well as worship coach for several United Methodist churches. Her experience in leading music and worship spans more than two decades. She is an ordained deacon in the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and a three-time delegate to General Conference, serving as head of delegation in 2012.

The Commission on the General Conference has chosen “Therefore, go” as the theme of the event. As worship and music director, Bartlett will be responsible for designing and coordinating the worship experience and music in conjunction with the theme. Bartlett will also be responsible for music leadership in the plenary sessions, work with the Council of Bishops’ Worship Committee and the General Board of Discipleship in planning worship services, and audition and choose choirs to perform during the 11-day event.

“My hope, as well as my challenge, is to create experiences of worship that are both grand and intimate encounters with God,” said Bartlett. “The amazing experience of having thousands of people from around the world gathered in one place should reflect the grandeur and majesty of God. Yet, I personally believe for General Conference to be truly effective, we need to celebrate the relationships we share with one another and with God, so worship will also lift up the intimacy of the divine-human relationship and the blessings of our connection with each other as members of the Body of Christ.”

The selection committee felt that Bartlett’s leadership skills, open spirit, gentleness and vision were well-suited for the position. “We found Laura very comprehensive, ready to cooperate with everybody to perform her work,” said Joseph Mulongo, committee chair.  “Laura was interested in everyone in the room and made them a part of the service during her interview.”

Bartlett graduated summa cum laude from Boston University School of Theology with both a Master of Sacred Theology and a Master of Sacred Music degree. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with honors from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore.

UMReporter Staff

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