Throughout history storytelling, image making, singing, music, dance and storytelling have been integral to our attempts at making sense of the world and our place in it. With the proper structure, conversation around art and art making allows spiritual exploration that includes a multiplicity of viewpoints and perspectives while breaking down defenses and presuppositions.
Below you will find examples of both art making and engaging with art created by others that Convergence has found meaningful in outreach and building Christian community. Our hope is that these examples will encourage you and spark ideas for use in your own context. We have provided links to downloads of orders of worship, articles, etc. which give more detail for each of these experiences.
Overview: CRAVE was a series of micro-granting dinners supporting creative projects for the greater good. From 2014-2016 Convergence partnered with the Torpedo Factory Arts Center, a well-established arts destination and studio space in Old Town Alexandria, to host a series of 5 micro-granting dinners that engaged community members, artists and funders in conversations about the … Continue reading CRAVE: How can a small congregation do fresh, meaningful, and effective outreach?
Overview: In 2013, Convergence partnered with DC-based public arts collective, Albus Cavus, to transform our Lab entrance with a 12’ x 20’ mural representing the creativity and diversity of the Convergence community while highlighting our shared values. The message: “You belong here!” Albus Cavus suggested finding a grant to support the project, so we approached … Continue reading MURAL PROJECT: How can physical space celebrate the shared values of a diverse community?
What happens in culture upstream can affect the whole river. -Makoto Fujimura. Overview: The LAB All Ages program invited an entire music community to take residence at Convergence free of charge. The volunteer led arts incubation program and all ages music venue became home to the local “DIY Punk community” of emerging artists and musicians. … Continue reading LAB ALL AGES: How can a church affect culture through the arts by “going upstream?”
Overview: Witnessing Worship: Connecting through the lens of faith used photographs to ask the question, “how can we live well together in difference?” The exhibit, by photographer Nina Tisara, featured images of over 70 local congregations of differing faiths engaged in worship from 1985- 1995; an online project where participants from around the world shared … Continue reading WITNESSING WORSHIP: How can the arts serve as a catalyst for community dialogue?
Overview: In 2016, Ed Knippers was invited to exhibit, Violent Grace, a collection of 9’x12’ oil paintings of biblical scenes in our gallery and sanctuary. The exhibit was designed to provoke the complex cultural and biblical perceptions we have of our bodies and explore how this impacts our understanding of The Incarnation. A controversial artist … Continue reading VIOLENT GRACE: How do we address controversial religious themes?
Overview: From 2012 – 2014 Fest Too was a highly successful annual two day art and music festival hosted by the volunteers of the Lab All Ages featuring over 75 volunteers, 40 musical performances, 30 bands, 17 artists and 7 workshops in the first year and expanding to a multi-site event in the second and … Continue reading FEST TOO DIY Art and Music Festival: How can we share our faith and invite others in when we are uncomfortable with evangelism as we know it?
Overview: For Easter 2016, we engaged in an immersive, interactive exploration of the book of Philemon using improvisation to turn our monthly communion dinner into an opportunity to challenge ourselves in our understanding of forgiveness, group decision making and what it means to be Christian community. The congregation met around the table and imagined … Continue reading Look Who’s Coming to Easter Dinner: Improvising the Book of Philemon
Overview: For Easter, 2018 Convergence celebrated by feasting with our friends and neighbors. During Lent, we focused on the practices of fasting and chose to explore “feasting” on all that is good for Easter. This banquet feast was our way of celebrating hope through an act of beauty with neighbors, arts partners, and friends. The … Continue reading Easter SunSET FEAST
Overview: Gather 2019 is a current Case Study asking how we might transform our worship at Convergence to meet a rising generation. Innovative and creative church leaders who recognize that change is necessary are invited to join us in our quest to gain insight into how Millennials are changing the way we gather and the opportunity for communities of faith to effectively meet the yearning for soulful community among rising generations.