David's United Church of Christ

Canal Winchester, Ohio
2022

Project Director: Rev. James Semmelroth Darnell

To create sacred space by experimenting with seating arrangement, various forms of artwork, and sensory experiences in innovative and interactive ways, while being responsive to the needs of ministry during the pandemic.

Summarize your grant project and how it will address a need in your worshiping community. 

Creating Sacred Space in a Pandemic Context: Gifted with a flexible worship space, the Worship Planning Team of David's United Church of Christ, seeks to implement a project that fully utilizes sacred space in innovative and interactive ways, while being responsive to the needs of ministry during the pandemic.  Through this project, we seek to reengage and reinvigorate the desire to fully use our flexible worship space in innovative and interactive ways. 

What two questions might you ask about worship in the coming year that will generate theological reflection and shape your project? 

How do we more fully live into liturgy as the work of the people by providing interactive and sensory experiences in worship? 

How does God work with us in creating sacred space? 

How will your project impact the worship life and habits of the congregation?

    This project encourages active participation in worship beyond what much of our congregation has done in the past. We believe that this engagement will reach beyond worship, into areas such as Christian formation, outreach, evangelism, and mercy and justice activities. We believe that it has the potential to reengage those who do not participate outside of Sunday mornings. By allowing more interaction among worshipers during the worship experience, we believe that there will be a greater sense of community and connection both in worship and beyond. 

    What might be your greatest challenges (or challenging opportunities)?

    There may be challenges in terms of an appreciation for traditional liturgy and preferences for participating in worship in particular ways. We each have preferences for how we worship and ways we feel most connected to God. Innovation and enhanced interaction during the worship service will have to be balanced with the comfort and succor some experience from a more passive worship experience. 

    What do you hope to learn from the Grants Event and other grant recipients?

    We hope to learn what other worshiping communities are doing to provide engagement and full bodied experience in the worship of God. We look forward to learning about other projects and gaining wisdom from a wide variety of denominations, communities, and worship practices.