Anita Draper
Catholic Herald staff

“Creating Joyful Servants: Our Response to God’s Grace” is the theme of the Diocese of Superior’s 2023 Music Ministry Workshop and Retreat.

Led by Midwest musicians Bonnie Faber and Kate Cuddy, the Feb. 3-4 event offers three presentations, dinner on Friday evening, question-and-answer periods, time for fellowship, and breakfast and lunch on Saturday.

St. Joseph Church, Amery, is hosting the 2023 workshop, which begins with 5 p.m. social time on Friday and concludes at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Faber was also slated to lead last year’s retreat, which was later canceled and held virtually due to rising COVID-19 rates.

“Chameleon musicians” by Faber’s description, she and Cuddy combine decades of experience in music ministry in the Twin Cities area, although Cuddy now lives in Iowa.

Both have served as vocalists and instrumentalists, choir directors, educators, workshop clinicians and more, and both understand the work of being an ensemble player in choirs big and small, whether there are more singers or instrumentalists, and “everything in between.”

As the world emerges from the pandemic, the presenters will focus on “adjusting and finding our new path” in music ministry.

Following the isolation of COVID, Faber observed, “What’s better than singing in a choir?”

“Soul sisters,” as Faber calls them, the two women have worked together for years and are accustomed to “thinking on our feet in the classroom,” Faber explained. They plan to bring a list of topics, but she also emphasizes the importance of responding to the needs in the room.

“Our job is to be of service to the attendees,” she commented. “There’s always such wisdom in the group.”

In allowing topics to evolve “organically” during workshops, the presenters are giving God an opportunity as well.

“We always leave room for the Spirit to breathe,” she added. The Holy Spirit “by the way, always shows up.”

Cost to attend the workshop is $35 per day. Registration is due by Jan. 20; funds will not be accepted at the door. Email for registration information.

Blocks of rooms have been reserved at the Forrest Inn, Amery, and the St. Croix Casino Hotel, Turtle Lake. Guests must call the hotels directly and mention the Diocese of Superior to reserve rooms at the block rate.

Bonnie Faber