Strategic Goals 2024—2029

Adopted by the Executive Committee
May 15, 2024

We believe that the holy act of singing together shapes faith, heals brokenness, transforms lives, and renews peace.

Responding to this belief, and in pursuit of our institutional mission to encourage, promote, and enliven congregational singing in the United States and Canada, we resolve that our strategic priorities in the next five years will be to:

1) Explore ways (including a potential name change) to make our identity and purpose clear to our own members and those who meet us, so that we can reach the full range of people who might benefit from our work. This exploration will consider how to fulfill our commitment to be a bi-national organization.

2) Develop groups of practitioners and scholars who will meet regularly through the year to facilitate research and professional development so that collaboration can take place more frequently and its results be shared more widely.

3) Experiment with alternative ways of gathering (either digitally or in person) so that more people will access the energy, renewal, and refreshment of these events.


In the summer of 2023, the Executive Committee undertook a process of discernment about the future of The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and The Center for Congregational Song. To help the Executive Committee do this, a Strategic Planning Steering Committee was formed and a consultant was hired to help guide the process.

A starting point for developing a new five-year plan was to recognize several strategic choices that had guided The Hymn Society and The Center for Congregational Song over the previous ten years:

  • Embrace as core values ecumenism, collegiality, non-competition, and mutual learning;
  • Act from a transformative vision of congregational song as a “holy act” that “shapes faith, heals brokenness, transforms lives, and renews peace”;
  • Expand the diversity of membership, leadership, scholarship, programming, and singing;
  • Reach out to an ever-widening circle of dialogue partners reflecting a diversity of races, religious traditions, and musical orientations. As we look ahead to the next five years, we are now reflecting on how to live more faithfully and robustly into the strategic choices that have been made in the past few years.

In order to receive input from a cross-section of the Society membership, six diverse focus groups were gathered to offer data on three key questions:

  1. How do we live into the strategic choices we have made over the past few years?
  2. In what ways will our work transform lives, communities, and society?
  3. Who are our next members?

The Strategic Planning Steering Committee used the focus group findings to identify themes and develop concrete goals that were presented to and approved by the Executive Committee on May 15, 2024.