ABOUT THE CONCERT FOR THE HUMAN FAMILY
Echoing beyond the Cathedral Walls
From its earliest days, the Church has drawn people together across boundaries in order to live into a dream bigger than any of us – the dream of God. Gathered in sacred spaces alive with creativity, awe, and wonder the Church has evoked, inspired, and even commissioned some of humanity’s greatest artistic works. Sacred spaces offer an invitation. Something that stirs within us as we gaze at the stories told through stained glass, marvel at architectural feats, or get lost in our own imaginations as beautiful music washes over us.
But the Church does not exist simply as a museum to display impressive pieces, nor is it merely a concert hall for inspired performances. When the Church is truly alive, her voice echoes far beyond the cathedral walls – spilling out and rippling through the community and the world. That strong, powerful and beautiful voice does not exist to sing the praises of the Church’s beauty nor of its power. Rather, the Church serves as a voice for the voiceless, mightily proclaiming the message of love, peace, welcome, sanctuary, and hope.
Unite us in bonds of love…
It is from this place of holy calling that the Church echoes, again and again, the poetic and powerful words of our common prayers – prayers to God, for each other and ourselves, and for all of creation. Indeed, prayers for our whole human family.
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Prayer for the Human Family from The Book of Common Prayer
A Concert for the Human Family
At this intersection – between great art and a powerful voice for all people – is the foundation of a new project we’re calling A Concert for the Human Family. We’ve been dreaming around the question, “What could happen, what movement could begin, what conversation could be started or amplified, if our churches and cathedral spaces once again rang out with the promise and hope and power of Good News?”
A team of musicians, artists, creatives, and church leaders gathered to begin dreaming about what such an initiative might look like. Working alongside The Episcopal Church’s Becoming Beloved Community program, which focuses on the work of racial reconciliation within and beyond the Church, we began to shape a musical journey intended to stir listeners, share sacred stories of human experience from many perspectives, and start powerful conversations around the reconciliation work that’s so needed within the communities our churches and cathedrals call home.
To bring this dream to life, The Episcopal Church has partnered with Kory Caudill, a Nashville recording artist, pianist, and composer. For much of the past year, Kory and his team of talented musicians, engineers, and producers have worked to create an album of original music to guide audiences in an exploration of the human experience. The concerts, designed to highlight a variety of musical and cultural traditions, stories, and reconciliation work, will serve as a centerpiece for deeper and more long-standing conversations around racial reconciliation “on the ground” in host communities.
Coming to a city near you…
Each concert is designed to expand and mold to the concert venue – making the venue itself a part of the story being told. In a literal sense, the Church becomes a vital piece of the work of reconciliation, giving voice to and creating space for all people who walk through the doors – and those who have not yet been welcomed in. While Kory and his team have crafted a powerful musical experience – the concert’s strong foundation – each movement is designed to be complete only when all voices are heard. The concerts become an invitation to more than a performance. Those in the audience are immersed in the cultures and creativity and talents of their own community – with the hope that while introductions are made through an evening of incredible performance, the real conversations continue long after the echoes of instruments have faded from the hall.