April 22-24—Bifrost Arts presents “The Cry of the Poor,” a conference about “worship, community, and mercy.” Hosted at various churches and cathedrals in downtown Philadelphia, the conference will explore the relationship between worship and obedience.

“Bifrost” is a word taken from Norse mythology that refers to a bridge between the gods and the earth. In this context, “bifrost” looks first to Jesus as a bridge to God, and then worship as a secondary connector. Started in 2007, Bifrost Arts equips churches for worship through songbooks, curriculum, records, and events.

The theme for this year’s conference arose out of a topic raised at the 2011 conference in St. Louis. “When we think about the things that God requires of us in worship, there is a steady stream of discourse from the prophets [explaining] that God’s not interested in the [Israelites’] worship because they’ve been disobedient in other ways,” Bifrost Arts co-founder Isaac Wardell explains. “What about this whole notion that when God receives our worship, the extent to which he receives it is the extent to which we’ve been obedient throughout the rest of the week?”

Particularly, obedient to care for the poor.

With this as the context, the conference will examine topics such as helping the disabled participate in worship, providing translation services for those who don’t speak English, helping the elderly get to worship, and incorporating themes into worship that equip people who minister to the prisoner and the foreigner.

Keynote speakers include world-renowned artist Makoto Fujimura, Christian philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff, musical artist Sandra McCracken, and gospel duo The Welcome Wagon.

Register for the conference at bifrostarts.com.