First Presbyterian Church of Holt

Holt, Michigan

Project Director: Cheryl Gamber

To invite worshipers into reflection on traditions of liturgical art that facilitates engagement with wonder and the beauty of God, culminating in the collaborative creation of paraments for the worship space.

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

Through a study on the liturgical year, our project incorporates artistic expression and the experience of faith within worship.  We will implement participatory projects that allow all to interact with our guest artist and explore meaningful ways to participate in worship through visual arts that will restore and remind us of our faith traditions and deepen our relationship with Jesus Christ.  The culmination of our project will be collaborative creation of paraments for worship spaces. 

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

How might traditional symbols within the worship spaces of our faith tradition be intentionally relevant and honored, yet made new, as we move through the liturgical year? 

How might we become more aware and more inclusive of the diversity within the Church in the paraments we design to hang within our own worship space?

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

The project will celebrate individual contributions as well as the contributions from the community collectively in a synergistic process that we hope transforms each individual as much as the congregation as a whole.  At the same time, because the project is shaped around the historical liturgical calendar of the church, we will be connected with our traditions.. The final products will call forth emotional, intellectual, and spiritual response as worshippers experience the magnitude and beauty of the art and seek meaning and understanding from it. 

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

One of our greatest challenges will be the flexibility to change plans as we may have to cope with the unknowns related to the commitment to an inclusive and collaborative project within a pandemic.  Our hope is to include as many of the congregation as are willing to participate.  As has been our tradition, we have encouraged on-line worshippers to create at-home worship spaces. One challenge will be to continue that connection to the worship space within our building with those still at home. 

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

We hope to take back more tools to be able to facilitate the project better.  We hope that seeing what others have done and are planning to do, that they might encourage and inspire us to create beauty to honor the Lord within our own sacred space back home.  As with other projects and previous "days of learning," we anticipate there will be unexpected blessings that we can't even imagine now.