Care Enough to Bring It to Church!

First Congregational fielded a team at the Congregations Project Conference offered mid-June by the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, Worship and the Arts.

Teams of clergy, musicians,and lay leaders from churches of many different denominations and regions came together to study, worship, sing, and share ideas for "Worshiping God in the Face of Violence." Whether violence is systemic, a single traumatic event, or that faced by the individual congregation member, we discovered that churches, individually and together, have more resources than we realized to respond helpfully. Churches also can prepare us to live Christianly together through everything and to remain resilient in a world where God's will is not yet done as it is in heaven.

Among the great resources enjoyed by an individual church shines the commitment of its members and friends to care for one another in all sorts of ways, joining us in a belonging beyond our individual families that prepares us to reach outside our doors, as Jesus would have us do. But we also were asked to consider what stories in our past have been "hidden" (a quiet heroism? a shameful silence?) and what "gaps" exist. That is, what happens in the lives of congregants (memory loss? miscarriage?) that our church does not yet address or embrace in its worship (including its hymns), education, or fellowship. So, what do YOU long to have your church bring before God and each other? As the Psalmists modeled for us, all our concerns are welcome! May your summer be blessed!

Deeny Bennett
Congregational Care Minister

(P.S. Check out Bev Barnard's Congregation Prepared report!)