Retreat Background

When Miriam crossed the Red Sea with the men and women of ancient Israel, she led as all the women drummed and danced to praise and thank God.

Women of the Iron Age continued to carry the responsibility of the people’s relationship with the Holy One for thousands of years after.

Banned by the Church Fathers for over 1200 years, and banned by the Rabbis on the Sabbath, the biblical drum and sacred dance are now being reclaimed by churches and synagogues for contemporary worship.

This retreat will explore ways we can integrate the Biblical drum back into its sacred role in worship today. 

Biblical drummers are warmly invited to gather for a 3-day retreat exploring the relationship and possibilities of Miriam’s dancing and drumming for contemporary worship today.


Retreat Details

Dates:   May 23, 24, 25, 2017

(Tuesday 1:30 pm to Thursday after lunch)

Place:   Galilee Centre, Arnprior ON,

Registration Cost: $250.00 (includes single room accommodation and 6 meals)

To register contact:

Other Details: Bring both your tars and tambourines.

Registration ends May 1, 2017.

Note: While basic drumming will not be taught during this retreat, interested readers are most welcome to register. 


Retreat  Topics

First GatheringWorship and Spirituality 

1.    Share about your involvement with any  religious organization from birth until now. (in pairs)

2.    What does ‘worship’ mean for you personally?

3.    Share about a moment in your life that felt “spiritual.”

4.    What made that moment feel “spiritual?”

5.    How do worship and spirituality relate to each other??

6.    Highlights from our conversations (whole group)

Second GatheringWorship Today


1. What are the parts of a worship service?  (in pairs )

2. What do we do in worship?

3.Sharing our lists (whole group)


 Jewish and Early Christian Worship

Third Gathering: Practicum

a.    Group 1: Drumming and Hymn Accompaniment

b.    Group 2: Drumming and Scripture Readings

c.   Drumming and Prayer in public worship and private life (whole group)

Fourth Gathering: Biblical Drum and Sacred Dance 

Presentation by Wendy Morrell, President of the International Sacred Dance Guild

Fifth Gathering: Dreams and Challenges

(in 2 groups)

Share about your time with Wendy: insights & challenges. What did you like about sacred dance? or not like?

How  might we work together? Give some examples. 

(whole group)

Dreams & Challenges: sacred dance and biblical drumming today.

Final Gathering: Visions and Plans

1. What have I learned about worship and drumming during our retreat? (as individuals)

2. How does this retreat shape my/our personal sense of Biblical drumming?

3. Concluding Conversation: 

            Where are we at as a result of this retreat?

            Where do we go from here?


Retreat Flow

Tuesday May 23, 2017

1:30 p.m.       Arrive, settle in

2:30                First Gathering: Worship and Spirituality

1.    Introductions 

2.    ‘Drum Says’ - Judy McElroy

3.    Drum Meditation – Kathy Grandsen and Sue Morrison

4.    Worship and Spirituality

5.    Worship in Miriam’s Time, in the Temples and Today - Judith Wouk

5:00-6:00       Grace and Dinner

7:00- 8:30      Second Gathering: Worship Today

1.    Early Christian Worship

2.    Purpose, variety & structure of worshiptoday

8:30                Campfire (with drums)


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Sunrise          Worship – Judy Wagdin

8:00-9:00       Breakfast

9:30-12:00    Third Gathering: Practicum

                        Drumming with Hymns, Scripture Readings & Prayer

12:00-1:00    Grace and Lunch

2:00-4:00       Fourth Gathering: Sacred Dance – Wendy Morrell, President, International Sacred Dance Guild:

1.    Sacred Dance in history and today

2.    Experiencing Sacred Dance

3.    How the Guild integrates Sacred Dance and worship

4.    How our drum and Sacred Dance might merge                

5:00-6:00       Grace and Dinner

7:00-8:00       Fifth Gathering: Dreams & Challenges

8:00                Social


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Sunrise          Worship –Judy Wagdin

8:00-9:00       Breakfast

9:30-12:00    Final Gathering: Visions and Plans               

12:00              Grace and Lunch

1:00                Departure