blog.sinden.org

Eastertide 2017

27 June 2013
Yale Congregations Project - Day 5

I was excited and honored to take part in the Yale Congregations Project in New Haven, Connecticut 21-26 June along with my colleague Melanie and my friend Brian. We comprised the team from St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Richmond, Virginia. I tweeted during the seminar, too, using the hashtag #YaleCP.

The day began with a very different kind of Morning Prayer service. The chairs were cleared away from the hard wood floor of Marquand Chapel at the Yale Divinity School, and in their place we found a large labyrinth, various prayer stations around the room, a smaller "chapel" area for meditation, and 17th century King James Bible (from the rare books library, on loan for our service).

There were various ways to present our prayer concerns in writing as part of the stations, there was a bowl of water, there was an image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Shells were available as tokens to carry on one's pilgrimage through the labyrinth. There was colored cloth. There were many candles. This was a very rich service, and there was much to engage with. This non-verbal approach to our daily prayer was a striking change from the other liturgies we celebrated together, and the music was also radically different.

Much of the music was provided by an iPad app that allowed all present to create the music that was heard in the chapel. A clarinetist skillfully wove long improvised lines into the texture of the sounds of the app, and gradually this acoustic improvisation came to the fore. It was a beautiful, seamless transition, one that embodied the kind of experience that the service created: a richness of image, symbol, and prayer finding a calm, collected (and collective) center.

We continued centering ourselves in four plenary sessions -- the most we had understaken in a single day -- that focused on Tyson House, St. Olaf, First UCC of Northfield, and Colbert Presbyterian.

Tyson House wants to -- without being anything but humble about it -- share their tremendous gifts in liturgy and music with their supporting Episcopal and Lutheran congregations and the wider church. This project is incredibly exciting to me given the very clear vision and intentionality of this community.

St. Olaf wants to focus on liminal architectural space outside their Chapel, and together we explored the myriad ways that this could be undertaken. The conversation flowed freely, and many specific suggestions were offered.

To add to the fun, Melanie, Brian, and I took part in a video interview about the Congregations Project during the lunch hour. We're going to be church rockstars, just you wait!

First United Church, Northfield is seeking, in Bach's words, a "well-regulated church music" for their congregation. They're identifying a certain tenor that works well, and they're striving for more of the same. This context is a bit challenging to me because the attention span of the children is, to some degree, used as a barometer of their success, and this kind of high-energy worship production would be exhausting to me after a while.

Colbert Presbyterian is also focused on students, but not as a campus ministry, so their challenges are somewhat different than that of a Tyson House or a St. Olaf. But there was a great desire to reach out and engage these students in their full life of liturgy, and together we explored how to move in this direction.

A potpourri of diverse music at Evening Prayer brought what was a very busy and very wordy day to a close.

A few more quick words, ones heard throughout the day:

I, for one, was glad for a leisurely dinner, a quick trip to the used bookstore, and then a quiet night in to recharge for Day 6, the final day of the seminar.

But I want to offer a word about that quick trip to the used bookstore, because it seems that in New Haven everything conspires to make you think all the time.

One of the plenaries this day, and I hate to admit that I can't remember which one, referenced a line from Thornton Wilder's Our Town, a play I'm crazy about. The line is from the end of the play when Emily Webb is recounting all the things that she loved about her life in Grover's Corners:

"Good-bye, Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover's Corners....Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking....and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths....and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth,you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every,every minute?"

Shelling out a few coins for a well-loved copy of this profound drama, and spending a bit of time with it before bed was the icing on the cake.

Labels: , , , , ,

 
 
Comments:

Post a Comment

The page you're reading is part of Sinden.org

©MMXVII Sinden.org: a site for fun and prophet

Organ and church music, esoteric liturgics, and a site that changes color with the liturgical year.

Archetypes

Looking for Carol Spreadsheets?

Hungry? Try the Liturgical Guide to Altoids Consumption

Thirsty? Try the Tibia Liquida

The Eric Harding Thiman Fan Page: The greatest composer you've never even heard of.

Infrequently Asked Questions

picture of a chicken

Questions? Problems? email the sexton.

Archon

The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celcius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.

about

contact

Archbishops

Anglicans Online
Alex Ross: The Rest is Noise
Book of Common Prayer
Brain Pickings
The Daily Office
The Lectionary Page
Sed Angli
Ship of Fools
The Sub-Dean's Stall
Vested Interest - Trinity Church in the City of Boston

Archenemies

Andrew Kotylo - Concert Organist
Aphaeresis
Anne Timberlake
Bonnie Whiting, percussion
conjectural navel gazing: jesus in lint form
Friday Night Organ Pump
Halbert Gober Organs, Inc.
in time of daffodils
Joby Bell, organist
Musical Perceptions
Musings of a Synesthete
My Life as Style, Condition, Commodity.
Nathan Medley, Countertenor
Notes on Music & Liturgy
The Parker Quartet
Roof Crashers & Hem Grabbers
Steven Rickards
That Which We Have Heard & Known
This Side of Lost
Wayward Sisters
Zachary Wadsworth | composer

Archenemies Aviary

@DanAhlgren
@dcrean
@ericthebell
@jwombat
@larrydeveney
@nmedley
@samanthaklein
@sopranist
@voxinferior

Arches

Advent (Medfield MA)
All Saints, Ashmont (Boston MA)
All Saints (Indianapolis IN)
Atonement (Bronx NY)
Broadway UMC (Indianapolis IN)
Cathedral of All Saints (Albany NY)
Christ Church (Bronxville NY)
Christ Church (Madison IN)
Christ Church (New Haven CT)
Christ Church Cathedral (Indianapolis IN)
Christ's Church (Rye NY)
Church of St. Stephen (Hamden CT)
Congregational (Belmont CA)
Coventry Cathedral (UK)
First UMC (Lancaster SC)
Gloria Dei ELCA (Iowa City IA)
Immanuel Lutheran (St Paul MN)
Immanuel Lutheran (Webster NY)
John Knox PCUSA (Houston TX)
St Andrew (Marblehead MA)
St Andrew's, Oregon Hill (Richmond VA)
St Bartholomew the Great, (London, England)
St James's (Lake Delaware NY)
St James's (Richmond VA)
St James Cathedral (Chicago IL)
St Mary's Cathedral (Memphis TN)
St Matthew and St Timothy (NYC)
St Paul's (Cleveland Heights OH)
St Paul's (Indianapolis IN)
St Paul's Cathedral (Buffalo NY)
St Paul's, K Street (Washington DC)
St Peter's (Lakewood OH)
St Peter's ELCA (NYC)
St Stephen's (Richmond VA
St Thomas (New Haven CT)
St Thomas ELCA (Bloomington IN)
Second PCUSA (Indianapolis IN)
Towson Presbyterian Church (MD)
Tremont Temple Baptist (Boston MA)
Trinity (Indianapolis IN)
Trinity on the Green (New Haven CT)

Auraling

BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong
New College (Oxford, England)
St John's College (Cambridge, England)
St Thomas (New York NY)

Argyle

Like the site? Buy the shirt.

Areyou . . .

selling diphthongs?
Yes, but they're not the kind you buy on Wheel of Fortune.

the owner of a bower at Bucklesfordberry?
Full daintily it is dight.

interested in touch lamps?
And fountain pens.

Archives
this site used to be better:

March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
March 2007
April 2007
May 2007
June 2007
July 2007
August 2007
September 2007
October 2007
November 2007
December 2007
January 2008
February 2008
March 2008
April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009
October 2009
November 2009
December 2009
January 2010
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010
June 2010
July 2010
August 2010
September 2010
October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
July 2011
August 2011
September 2011
October 2011
November 2011
December 2011
January 2012
February 2012
April 2012
May 2012
June 2012
July 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
December 2012
January 2013
March 2013
April 2013
May 2013
June 2013
July 2013
August 2013
September 2013
October 2013
November 2013
December 2013
January 2014
February 2014
March 2014
April 2014
May 2014
June 2014
August 2014
September 2014
October 2014
November 2014
December 2014
January 2015
February 2015
April 2015
May 2015
June 2015
July 2015
August 2015
September 2015
October 2015
November 2015
December 2015
January 2016
February 2016
March 2016
April 2016
June 2016
July 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
November 2016
December 2016
January 2017
February 2017
March 2017
April 2017