How might a congregational team go about conceiving of a suitable project, developing a plan for its implementation, and writing a successful proposal?
We are relying on applicants to be creative and thoughtful as they consider what might be generative for themselves and the other congregations that would learn from their projects. At the same time, applicants should be sure to give close attention to the emphases and descriptions set forth in every section of this Web site. Please remember that projects need not be new endeavors, but can reflect work in which the congregation is already engaged.
We offer the following steps and questions as helps in this process. You can also view previous years’ projects online here.
In each congregation, the idea of applying to this program will probably originate with a specific leader or set of leaders. While a small group that is keenly interested will probably be crucial, it will also be important to involve a range of congregational leaders. Because successful projects will arise from the congregation’s specific character, setting, and mission and will be centered in the basic matters at the heart of the congregation's worship, clergy, musicians, educators, and lay leaders should participate in visioning and planning throughout the application process.
Projects may be, but need not be new endeavors. If your congregation is already doing something related to the theme, it would be quite appropriate to continue, expand, or enrich this work in ways that emphasize the theme and enhance your ministries in worship, music, and the arts.
Four concerns should focus your thinking as you conceive and develop a project:
We hope that the process of application will encourage good conversations about all of these questions. A good proposal should consider each of them in one way or another, in order to put your project in context. However, your proposal should emphasize your project—the specific and focused set of activities you would like to develop. Your proposal should describe what your project would do, explain how it is related to the theme and to the overall goals of the ISM Congregations Project, and show how it is grounded in your own congregation’s character, setting, and mission.
Download a PDF of the guidelines here.
Institute of Sacred Music