Aged--Religious life

Developing a Senior Ministry Strategy for Atlanta Bethany United Methodist Church, Sugar Hill, Georgia

Author
Chin Sul Chang
Abstract
This project aimed to develop a senior ministry strategy for Atlanta Bethany United Methodist Church. Driven by low birth rate, worldwide population aging is expected to accelerate in the future. Churches are also faced with a crisis in which the number of children and the younger generation going to church is falling and growth stalled. Strengthening the senior ministry, which is demanded by the world we live in today, is a mission Churches must take upon themselves and a way to change this crisis into an opportunity. The project director first conducted extensive research on materials related to senior ministry and based on vigorously researched theories, set specific directions for the senior ministry of a church to take. Then, through research and analysis of the unique environment of Atlanta Bethany United Methodist Church, the project director carried out the process of developing an effective senior ministry strategy.

The strategy was developed through a process of establishing a strategy development team within the Church and, through four meetings, building common understanding and gathering opinions, and conducting surveys. The finalized strategy was presented to the Church’s official committee and received approval. The outcomes of each state were sent three times to outside specialists, and the strategy was completed after making revisions based on their assessments. In this process, it was assessed that the ministerial goal of developing a senior ministry strategy as well as personal career development goal of enhancing knowledge of senior ministry and improving strategy development skills were sufficiently achieved. It is hoped that the developed senior ministry strategy is effectively practiced at Atlanta Bethany United Methodist Church and provides much help the Church and its congregation.

The impact of aging upon the attitudes older church members have about their congregations

Author
Leon W White
Abstract
This study reports findings based upon reading, Part I, and research, Part II, which describe how the experiences of aging can affect the attitudes older church members have about their congregations.

The opening chapter of Part I examines how the theology, leadership style, and training of clergy can influence attitudes of the elderly. This is followed by an examination of personal and social forces capable of affecting how older persons feel about life and themselves as well as their congregations. Also discussed is the discovery and the stewardship of those special gifts God gives the Christian in later life.

Part II describes a research project conducted among 451 active church members fifty-five years of age or older. Using a 103-item questionnaire distributed among members willing to participate from a number of churches, the study sought to determine, define, and measure the religiosity of these members using factor analysis. The items loaded into five factors named Orthodoxy, Personal Faith, Treatment, Satisfaction with Life, and Dissatisfaction with Life. By comparison and correlation of these factors, and of items within and between the factors, it was found that this population of older church members has a positive attitude about life and more so about their congregations. The attitudes of men and women were similar regarding life, but regarding their congregations women felt more positive. Men want to feel more useful to their congregations. Retirement in the past year appears to have a more negative influence upon attitudes than any other loss mentioned.

Spiritual Practices in Finding Meaning in Suffering Among Tamil Sri-Lankan Refugees

Author
Stanley Alex Augustine OFMCap D.Min.
Abstract
Man’s search for meaning is the primary motivation in his life and not a secondary rationalization.”1 This is one of the quotes which well fits into my research. Life is complete with meaning, and seeking meaning should be the primary motivation of everyone. This thesis project is concerned with understanding how Sri-Lankan Tamil refugees find meaning in suffering and might be helped by to find meaning in their suffering through the spiritual practices of pastors. “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.”2 Though there is meaning, the simple people, like refugees, are often unable to find the meaning for their suffering.

A new model of senior adult ministry in an aged society : focused on the Korean-American context

Author
Sunpil Kim
Abstract
"The rapid aging of Korean and American society . . . has presented many significant challenges and opportunities for Korean churches and Korean-American churches alike. Many of existing church programs for older adults are no longer adequate or relevant for our graying congregations; consequently, there has been a growing need for a new model of senior adult ministry that can meet the diverse needs and expectations of older adults in an aged society. Inspired by the Rev. Dr. Gentzler's 'intentional ministry by, with, and for older adults,' and based on A. Maslow's theory of Hierarchy of Needs, the present paper has suggested a model of senior adult ministry shaped with the following three dimensions: ministry that provides a sense of belonging (community-oriented ministry), ministry that promotes a sense of usefulness (mission-and-service-oriented ministry), ministry that guides discovery of meaning and purpose (spirituality-oriented ministry). By applying this model of senior adult ministry, the present study has designed and implemented a project for boosting the integration of senior newcomers to the life of Korean Church of Atlanta UMC. The project consists of three programs: promoting senior newcomers' participation in small groups, 'Bible Stories with Hamuni & Habuji,' and spiritual life review/spiritual autobiography writing group." -- Leaf [2].

Building up a practical education program for the aged Christians : designing and carrying out senior worldview training retreat

Author
Do Hyung Kim
Abstract
"The purpose of this project was to equip aged Christians with a Christian Worldview in order to overcome diverse issues that exist in their senescent life. The author proceeded the project as follows. The groundwork of the preparation of an educational program for the aged Christians and the methods of this paper were described in Introduction. In chapter 1, the author explained roughly the concept and history of Christians worldview. In chapter 2, the author explored the definition of 'aging' from social, biological, and psychological aspects while describing the existing issues of senescent life. The author tried to seek the potential meanings of 'aging' from a Christian perspective based on the Bible. Paul Stevens' understating of aging, Erikson's theory of development stage, John Westerhoff's theory of education, and Christian worldview rooted in Reformed theology were theoretical grounds used for the educational program of the aged Christians. Specially, four factors of Christians worldview - creation, fall, redemption, and consummation - became the main stages of the suggested educational program, 'Senior Worldview Training Retreat.' In Chapter 3, the author described the content and flow of the 'Senor Worldview Training Retreat' and through chapters 4 and 5, the evaluation of the project and conclusion were explained." -- Leaf [2].

"Been there, done that" : tangible, leading-edge ministry by and for military retirees and veterans

Author
Dwayne W. Keener
Abstract
The objective of this project was to develop a military retiree ministry plan which empowers retirees for ministry to military members and their families. The author led two 16 member, retiree focus groups leading to the creation of a relevant ministry action plan, inclusive of retirees. The author also interviewed 6 senior and installation chaplains who all agreed that military retirees can be a value added resource for ministry. The analysis suggests that many military retirees and chaplains agree that a tangible ministry plan, which empowers retirees, and meets the needs of our active duty military, is relevant and necessary.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

The calls of caring project of Masan Central Methodist Church for personal and social holiness in Wesleyan tradition

Author
Jinkyo Chung
Abstract
This paper studied on the process of individual and social holiness through the ‘Calls of Caring’ project of Masan Central Methodist Church. The author examines how both the counseling volunteer and counselee grows throughout the service, and whether it can be a model of Wesley's Social sanctification. The author conducts paper surveys and face to face interviews, thus finding the possibility of becoming a model of social ministry to contemporary churches.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Apostolic Women Religious in the United States and Their Legacy

Author
Janice J Brown O.P. D.Min.
Abstract
The legacy of Jesus has manifested itself among different populations, within different cultures, and during different times. This thesis-project looks at this manifestation as it unfolds as the legacy of apostolic women religious in the United States. The legacy of each participating congregation was described as a mission or more specifically as the mission of Jesus. It has also been the experience of these women religious that legacy is most tangible in the relationships and trust they built with their students, coworkers, and community members with whom they worked and partnered.
The legacy of apostolic women religious is a witness to the gospel message that took root as Christianity two thousand years ago. The thesis-project begins by exploring the legacy of Jesus, as well as the historical context that furthers God’s mission through the lives of three historical women – Hildegard of Bingen, Catherine of Siena, and Angela Merici. The research then flows into the brief history of the Ursuline Sisters in the United States. Reviewing the pre and post-Vatican II eras and their influence on religious life helps lay a foundation upon which apostolic women today have been formed.
The primary data was gathered through focus group discussions involving seven congregations consisting of thirty-five apostolic women religious. Their comments are summarized first by congregation in order to maintain the richness within each discussion, then by main themes, and concluded with a reflection on the legacy of these women as it finds meaning through the Gospel of John.
Legacy has many definitions, but what surfaced most prominently was legacy as ministry, and the ministries are what define the women. Legacy efforts included developing relationships, education, healing, inclusivity, and service. All of these works could be imagined as the ongoing narrative of the Gospels, epitomized in the Beloved Disciple.

Road to "Yuan Mun" Aging (Fulfilling Aging): Transforming Retirees to Active Volunteers

Author
Sin Kian Tan
Abstract
Aging is a world trend and global issue. It is important to provide a relevant equipping program to transform the young-old from retiree to an active servant of God, thus to live their life fruitfully and meaningfully and accomplish the task given by God which serves to bless the middle old and old-old generation. This paper focuses on two main areas: the transformation principles through the study of the life of Moses from shepherd of the flock to the leader of the Israelite crowd, and a study of the equipping program of the Golden Army of Heaven (GAOH) and modifications of it to suit the Singapore context. A survey of the young-old about their satisfaction and meaning found in life helps to determine the real-life condition of the young-old, and the evaluation of the Golden Army of Heaven (GAOH) conducted by the author examines the effectiveness and usefulness of the equipping program.

Inspiring a passion for service ministry in seniors at McKenzie Road Baptist Church

Author
Shirley Louise Cunningham
Abstract
Senior believers must stay active in service to continue their spiritual growth and passion for the Lord. Through this project, the candidate recruited, trained, and coordinated five teams of senior members in providing spiritual services in four community older adult residential facilities. The thirteen participating senior believers ministering to other seniors overcame common challenges older adults face and found a renewed passion for service. The participant's testimonies inspired the other senior members of McKenzie Road baptist for service.
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