We are looking for projects that will be both generative for the congregations that propose them and instructive or inspiring to other congregations.
Projects may be, but need not be, new endeavors. If your congregation is already doing something related to the theme, it is quite appropriate to develop a proposal for continuing, expanding, or enriching this work. In such cases, please explain how what you are learning might also be helpful to other congregations.
You can view previous years’ projects online here.
Three concerns should focus your thinking as you conceive and develop a project:
We hope that the application process will encourage good conversations about all three 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.
The idea of applying to this program typically originates with a specific leader or set of leaders. While a small group that is keenly interested will be crucial, it is also important to involve a range of congregational leaders in your process. Successful projects emerge from a given congregation’s specific character and reflect the heart of its worship. It will be beneficial if musicians, clergy, educators, and lay leaders participate in visioning and planning throughout the application process.
To stir your imagination, we have come up a few questions related to this year’s theme. These are not project ideas but areas of concern that may prompt reflection on what you already do or what you might consider doing.
Download a PDF of the guidelines here.
Institute of Sacred Music