WELS National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts

Canceled – 2021 National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts

November 10, 2020

It is with a heavy heart that WELS has decided to cancel the 2021 National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts. Over the last months the worship conference planning committee has discussed if it is viable and wise to continue planning a conference for the first week of August 2021. So much about the future is uncertain. Here, then, is some of our rationale for canceling the conference.

  • Pandemic trends give no confidence that we can move forward. Rather than seeing a tapering end to the pandemic that we were hoping for in early September, we’re seeing the opposite. At this writing, new cases are more than triple the number from the better days of early September—and in some places still increasing. We cannot be confident that a vaccine will be widely available early enough to instill confidence among attendees to plan to attend. While we could hope and pray for better timely news, that seems to be counting on miracles to make the conference viable. Current projections could turn out to be wrong, but some experts are suggesting that some of the current restrictions and precautions will be with us through most of 2021.
  • We are already behind the normal timetable for gaining commitments from key personnel. But it would be difficult to gain such commitments when people really cannot know at this time if they will want to or be able to participate.
  • Decisions by other entities. Various other groups have canceled summer 2021 events and even events through the fall of 2021.

Obviously, it is with much regret that we have come to this conclusion. The national worship conference has been phenomenally blessed in the past. Based on advance planning thus far (connection with the new WELS hymnal, worship themes, newly commissioned music), it’s fair to say that it would have been an awesome conference. But we will strive to share many good things in other ways—especially various options to introduce the new hymnal.

Resources from the 2017 National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts are available for download below.

Conference photos can be found on Flickr and at Fresh Frame Photography.

Resources from previous conferences are also available.

Conference CDs from 2017 and previous years are available for purchase at Northwestern Publishing House.