Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 2022

St. Louis, Montana

Project Director: Christina Schempf

To deepen, enrich, and connect the individual and corporate worship life of congregants by drawing on the devotional practices of the saints throughout history in aesthetically rich and cohesive worship experiences that have corresponding practices which engage the senses and foster embodied devotional practices at home.

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

“For All the Saints” is an exploration of historical and contemporary devotional practices that aim to deepen, enrich, and connect the individual and corporate worship life of our community through an arts-integrated ‘feast service’ series. These services are intended to be a “foretaste of the feast to come,” weaving together visual arts, graphic design, music, devotional practices, and sermon writing to create an aesthetically and theologically rich worship experience. 

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

The first question we will ask is simply, “What types of devotional practices have ‘the saints’ throughout time and around the world used to deepen their relationship with God?” Another question we will engage is, “How can we meaningfully connect our private devotional life to the corporate expression of worship of our community?” 

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

Each feast service folder will include suggestions for devotional activities that congregants can engage in the weeks following the service. These will aim to engage the senses and foster embodied devotion. Many prompts will encourage congregants to revisit materials from the service, rereading biblical texts, quotes, or lyrics, meditating on an image, or listening to a recording of a piece of music. Prompts will include generative practices like journaling, coloring, and taking photos, reflective practices like meditation and prayer, and active practices like collecting leaves or taking a prayer walk. 

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

Change is often challenging for communities, but can afford new and exciting opportunities. We are planning to offer our feast services on Sunday afternoons this year, allowing members of other local congregations to attend and participate. We are deliberating about what type of worship opportunity to offer those who may find it meaningful to continue to gather at the usual time on feast service Sundays. 

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

We are excited to hear about the good work that God has been doing in the worshiping communities that are completing their projects and are looking forward to hearing about the diverse projects that are in the planning phase alongside us in the coming year!