Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spiritual Collective: The Yale Project

Robertson-Wesley is 1 of 7 churches from across North America that was chosen to attend the Yale Institute of Sacred Music Congregation Projects Summer Seminar in June 2013. Rev. Karen Bridges, Tammy-Jo Mortensen and Casey Edmunds will be heading to Yale where we will work together with the other chosen congregations and with faculty from ISM and guest faculty on the Yale campus for a week developing our proposed project. All the congregational projects are related to the theme "Hark, the Glad Sound: Inviting New and Returning Christians to Worship".
In The United Church of Canada one of our statements of faith says, "We believe in God who has created and is creating, who works in us and others by the Spirit." The collective process builds deep relationships and will be an accessible way for people to express themselves and see God's spirit at work. The collective is a process that allows a group of individuals to tell their stories using all forms of expression and gifts brought to the collective while exploring a specific issue, theme or question. The individuals who make up the collective utilize any resources available to them (such as facilitators, spaces available to them and anything else that might speak to the topic at hand). This process allows the participants to bring their whole selves: not just their minds, bodies, and creativity, but also their spirits. Through this collective process people become part of this ongoing creation and the work of the spirit. As a resource team, we want to provide an empowering safe place for participants to share their spiritual journey through storytelling,art, drama, dance, music, writing, com
munity initiatives or political commentaries. We will have 4 spiritual collective gatherings over a period of one year starting in September.

In addition to these spiritual collective gathering
every two months we will establish an
Artist-in-Residence program for four budding
artists from a variety of disciplines (i.e. a videographer, a painter, a dancer, a writer, a musician, a sculptor, etc.) who would commit to working with us for a minimum of 4 months, but preferably 8 months. Artists would be sought from Grant MacEwan College who have graduated or who are in their final year of studies. Our hope is that the artists will also help the congregations of Robertson-Wesley and our neighbouring church Christ Church in reflecting back to the people a sense of their identity and purpose through art. There would be opportunities for the artists to showcase their creations, to provide a series of 4 workshops for the community and the congregations and in return the artist would have space(free of charge) to create in, and a wide network of people to connect with while establishing their career.

The arts, and specifically music have always been a vital part of our congregation and the community in which we live. Mission and outreach has also been a vital part of our life at Robertson-Wesley. We see this project as an opportunity to bridge these two passions which will attract and engage people in the community in a new way. Casey Edmunds has been hired as the Program Curator, with Karen and Tammy-Jo providing musical and spiritual support and resources. It is time to create beauty amongst the people that will match the beauty of this building and the ministry and mission that it provides. http://www.yale.edu/ism/congregations/MeettheCongregations2013.html

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