Category Archives: Webinar Events

March Webinar – Balancing sight and sound in heritage worship buildings

Buildings for traditional religious gathering and time-honored worship practice require a balance of highly-valued acoustical qualities such as reverberance for liturgical music, ensemble for choral singing, responsiveness for congregational participation, and clarity for intelligible speech. Geometry, dimensions, proportions, cubic volume and boundary materials are critical elements of acoustical success. Many old European worship buildings are admired for their particularly fine blending of these criteria, and often cited as benchmarks for how buildings in the United States should look and sound. Although many heritage US worship buildings look like their European precedents in terms of layout, shape and size, a critical design element was modified, upsetting the acoustical balance. Boundary materials became lighter and thinner, making construction easier, faster and less expensive.

Acoustical upgrade of these existing buildings in the context of historic preservation/restoration brings additional design complexity, requiring equal measures of compromise from owner, users, acoustician, architect and engineers. The acoustician’s dilemma becomes “what we see may not be what we hear,” as acquired acoustical expectations are upended by actual conditions. This paper will describe these differences and explore approaches to acoustical enhancement within limitations of the buildings themselves plus further constraints of contemporary preservation practice.

Dan Clayton

About the presenter: Dan Clayton has more than thirty-five years of experience in architectural acoustics, audio design, pipe organs, theatre and music, and is principal consultant for Clayton Acoustics Group. His firm has undertaken more than 400 projects, the majority for churches and synagogues. His design philosophy and practice are acoustics-centered and engineering-based, adhering to the theory that “acoustics is architecture.” Dan is a member of the ASA, AES & NCAC, and has chaired technical sessions on pipe organ acoustics for ASA meetings.

Please register for “Balancing sight and sound in heritage worship buildings” on Mar 21, 2017 1:00 PM EDT at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

2017 ACLS Biennial General Meeting

Please register for 2017 ACLS Biennial General Meeting on January 10, 2017 3:30 PM MST at:

For members of ACLS who are not able to join us in person please sign up to attend via the internet. Along with financial, membership and webinar reports you can learn about what is happening within our organization and get a sneak peak at some very exciting upcoming ventures.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

February 2017 Webinar – Designing Worship Spaces: The Advantages of a Central-plan Model

The Roman Catholic liturgical renewal, made manifest by Vatican II over 50 years ago, continues to generate a diversity of worship space designs. When the renewal was first underway most church worship spaces embraced an approach that sought to move the altar into closer contact with the assembly. However, over the past few years we have seen the return of older pre-Vatican II processional-plan models where the altar is being removed farther from the assembly. This webinar will explore the theological, liturgical, and physiological influences that each of these approaches has on a Faith Community.

For 40 years, Robert Habiger’s design methodology has advocated for the placement of the altar in the midst of the assembly. He has taken this approach because he believes it best exemplifies what the Church is requesting by their liturgical documents. Sometimes referred as a post-Vatican II central-plan, it is actually an ancient model in use since the fourth century to facilitate a faith communities desire to gather, pray and celebrate together. The presentation will explore three critical design themes – mystery, encounter, and environment. Not limited to a central-plan model, these three design themes also benefit the design of any worship space.

About the presenter: Robert Habiger specializes in the design of religious facilities and has provided liturgical design consulting services since 1991. His education background includes certification from the Institute of Liturgical Consulting by Catholic Theological Union – Chicago and a Master of Architecture degree from Kansas State University. A registered architect since 1975, his projects are known for their participatory design process and inspiring design resolutions. A commitment to dominant rituals and environmental psychology are central to his liturgical design approach. Robert is a long-standing member of ACLS, currently serving as Treasurer. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is married, the Father of six children and a Grandfather of five.

Please register for Designing Worship Spaces: The Advantages of a Central-plan Model on Feb 21, 2017 1:00 PM EST at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

January 2017 Webinar – Poisoning the Wells

We start off the New Year with an exciting and thought-provoking presentation by Fr. Dave Pettingill.  His presentation will discuss the following points:
1. The intent of the Second Vatican Council regarding Liturgy;
2. The “Reform of the Reform;”
3. The present state of the union;
4. Suggestions about how ACLS’s expertise can be employed to further the Second Vatican Council’s viewpoint, now that Pope Francis has terminated the Reform of the Reform.

fr-pettingillOur presenter,  Rev. David Pettingill, is a retired priest of the San Francisco archdiocese who is still active in retreat work and teaching courses on the council for lay ecclesial ministers. Ordained just months before the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Fr. Dave since spent 22 years in education, first at the high school level and later as Dean of Students and professor of Homiletics, Liturgical Celebration and Scripture at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park. He has since served in a variety of pastoral and leadership roles in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, including Director of the Deacon Formation Program for the last 5 years before retiring in 2007.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Please register for Poisoning the Wells – January 24, 2017 on Jan 24, 2017 1:00 PM EST at: