First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, was founded in 1912 in a small town along the Erie-Lackawanna railroad. Having recently celebrated our centennial year, we have discovered anew how we continue to live out of our origins. Begin by former missionaries and a women’s prayer group, we strive to be a mission-minded congregation with an inclusive embrace, a global reach, and a heart dedicated to God. Located now in a suburban community in the mountains near the city of Scranton, our church has 536 members, with an average of 185 attending weekly worship. The congregation is a bit more diverse than the region’s overwhelming Caucasian demographic majority. Although our membership reflects our surroundings, we have members of Hispanic, African, and Asian hritage. We work hard to welcome everybody and enjoy the richness of diversity that God provides.
Project: Mending the Soul, Tapping the Foot: An Exploration of Jazz and Healing
The Body of Christ bears wounds and bruises, just like its Lord. Our project will explore the varieties of human pain as we bear witness to the healing presence of the Risen Christ. We will seek to do this by developing a Christian liturgy of healing through a series of special and regular worship services within our congregation.
Our primary musical resource for these services will be jazz, a form of music that was birthed in expriences of oppression, deprivation, and brokenness. Jazz is deeply experiential, welcoming both the depths of human expression and the plenitude of God’s Spirit. We will draw upon our longtime experience of jazz as a liturgical music that, like the Psalter, refuses to shy away from neither lament nor praise.
The prophetic edge of this project will emerge as we confront the suburban milieu of denial and addiction with the grace and truth of Jesus. It is Christ who can heal us in the thick of our brokenness. We aspire to reach toward him with liturgy and music that promises to make us well.
300 School St.
Clarks Summit, PA
William G. Carter, Pastor
Dr. Susan Kelly, Director of Music
Connie Weiss, lay leader