2015 Congregations Project Participants Announced

May 7, 2015

The ISM is pleased to announce that seven congregations from all over North America have been selected to attend the ISM Congregations Project Summer Seminar in June, 2015. Each congregation is working on a project related to the theme From Generation to Generation.

For the seminar, leadership teams from the congregations gather with ISM and guest faculty on the Yale campus for five days to form a diverse ecumenical community of ministers, musicians, scholars, and other church leaders. The curriculum is shaped by the theme and designed to support the congregations’ individual projects, which build on their particular strengths in worship, music, and the arts; to expand their capacity to serve the surrounding community; and to nurture ecumenical partnerships.

A list of the congregations follows, with the titles of their project proposals. More information about the congregations and their projects is at ismcongregations.yale.edu/congregations.

Catskill United Methodist Church has had a presence in the community of Catskill, New York since 1788; its congregation has about 300 members. Its mission is to be a transformative and inclusive community that ministers to the whole person through song, word, performance art, community engagement, while working toward social justice.  Their project is called Widening the Circle.

Druid Hills United Methodist Church in Atlanta, GA strives to be a congregation that embodies God’s radical love and radical hospitality, proclaiming Jesus as Savior and as the model of the ultimate embodiment of God’s love. Central to their call is  to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  Their project is entitled One Helluva Week.

Pine Street Church in Boulder, CO is an American Baptist congregation founded in 1872 that fully embraces the redeeming teachings of the Hebrew prophets, Jesus, and the Apostle Paul, while at the same time affirms the courageous leadership of those working for peace and justice outside the Christian tradition. Building on their experience with a nontraditional Good Friday concert series that in 2015 was based on Radiohead’s “Kid A,” the congregation’s project is Performing Before the Aeropagus.

Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) is an active multigenerational parish whose working mission statement is “Making Christ Visible through the Arts.”  Believing creativity and spirituality are closely related, the church has invited actors, painters, dancers, writers, filmmakers, and musicians to celebrate the arts in their annual arts festival. Centered on the role of sharing stories in identity formation, their project is Who Goes There? God’s Presence in Transitional Moments.

St. John’s Lutheran Church in Northfield, MN is a welcoming community in Christ whose mission is to celebrate in Word and Sacrament God’s gracious actions for all creation, cultivate growth in faith, encourage service and witness, and proclaim Christ as the hope of the world.  With a long history of involvement with music and the arts, their project is called Cross-shaped Generations.

The mission of St. Philothea Greek Orthodox Church in Watkinsville, GA is to be the living witness of Jesus Christ – keeping and proclaiming the Orthodox Christian Faith and sanctifying the faithful through God’s grace by celebrating the divine Liturgy and sacraments. The congregation is made up of forty-seven different families of American, Greek, Romanian, Eritrean, Russian, Bulgarian, Albanian, and African American descent.  Liturgy as Outreach: Traditional Worship and Contemporary Witness is their project.

Zion Korean United Methodist Church in Warwick, RI is the first and only Korean United Methodist congregation to practice the Holy Communion every Sunday. Since 2002 they have worked to cultivate the recovery of both the table of the word and the table of the meal, an inculturation of worship, the active participation of the laity, and a bridging of generations. Building on this tradition, their project is Culturally-Conscious Weekly Communion for Every Generation.

The Yale Institute of Sacred Music is an interdisciplinary graduate center that educates leaders who foster, explore, and study engagement with the sacred through music, worship, and the arts in Christian communities, diverse religious traditions, and public life. The ISM Congregations Project website, with information about its faculty, the congregations, themes, and application procedures is at ismcongregations.yale.edu.