Anglican Communion/Episcopalian Churches

THE BINARY CHURCH: THE IMPACT OF GIFT REJECTION ON THE BASIS OF PATRIARCHAL GENDER IDEOLOGY

Author
Vanessa Bickle D.Min.
Abstract
Refusal of gifts as a result of stereotypical gender biases based on patriarchal ideologies negatively impacts women and men in the service of the church. Through qualitative and quantitative methods, it was recognized that ecclesial practices like role limitations, gender-based ministry, and forced identities contribute to experiences of exclusion, shame, and potentially gender incongruence. The failure of church leaders to recognize and eliminate these practices leads to the estrangement of women from the church and from God. Rigid gender normativity and the false association of non-stereotypical gender behaviors with the morality of sexuality prevents the church from being a community pointed toward God with its doors open to all those seeking refuge. Ecclesiastical essentialism is proposed as a transformative model that allows men and women to fully engage in the life of the church today without concern for unyielding gender binaries, serving the church as God intended when male and female were created in the image of God. Accompanying methods for reconciling detrimental ecclesial practices are provided.

Encouragement for the small church: Equipping rectors for fruitfulness in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney

Author
Stephen Anderson D.Min.
Abstract
Of itself, church smallness is neither an anomaly, a mistake, nor a virtue. In God’s providence and design, small is normal, and may in fact bring significant strengths. However, no prior research has investigated the distinctive dynamics and challenges faced by rectors of smaller parishes in the Anglican Diocese of Sydney, and despite extensive training pathways there is very little leadership development that focuses specifically upon the small church. This mixed-methods research project integrates theological and sociological insights and discoveries in order to equip and encourage these servants of Christ to persevere in fruitful ministry over the long term.

This dissertation presents a complete biblical theology of fruitfulness. Coupling this to the “Robinson-Knox” ecclesiology imbibed by nearly all Sydney Anglican rectors, a “purpose-of-churching” scale is derived to help stimulate theologically consistent models of ministry. At the heart of this project, the Nominal Group Technique is used to generate a list of the Top 7 challenges encountered by a pool of experienced small-church rectors. In light of this robust list along with critical insights from the secondary literature, four follow-up interviews are conducted on location.

This pilot research project includes major findings in three key areas. The full, biblical definition of ministry fruitfulness protects and encourages the small-church pastor, especially when tied to the proper purposes of churching. A perceptive analysis of typical small-church culture arising from the secondary literature equips the rector to lead in ways indigenous to actual church size. At the heart, the Top 7 list of small-church challenges renders a “thick” diagnosis widely applicable by such rectors to their ministry settings. As this project concludes, a fresh, rigorous, semi-linear coaching framework for emerging and established rectors serving in small Anglican parishes is proposed for initial implementation.

International Seminary Students As Potential Mission Partners: A Case Study For Trinity School For Ministry, SAMS and Diocese of Kirinyaga, Kenya

Author
Deborah L. Carr
Abstract
This thesis was the record of Trinity students who worked together to lead conferences for Sunday school teachers in Kirinyaga, Kenya. It was a review of the challenges and opportunities we faced as Anglicans trying a new way to develop an international partnership. Five adaptations to the typical short-term missions of Society of Anglican Missionary and Senders were: 1) seminary friends served as hosts, 2) joint leadership, 3) use of locally available materials, 4) shared funding, and 5) singular focus on making disciples. It concluded with 12 common sense methods toward better mission practices.
This thesis was the record of Trinity students who worked together to lead conferences for Sunday school teachers in Kirinyaga, Kenya.

The Baptized Community: Community Formation as Seen through Anglican Baptismal Ecclesiology
and the Liturgical Practice of Morning Prayer

Author
Kyle Norman D.Min.
Abstract
Beginning with The Book of Common Prayer, the first version of which was published in 1549, Anglicans have mediated their spirituality through participation in a common spiritual life. This is to say, formation toward Christlikeness is not to be understood as an individualized process whereby the individual grows in Christlikeness in an isolated and privatized manner. Rather, formation toward Christlikeness is a Spirit-led process that primarily occurs within the community of faith. The baptismal community is the very context of Christlike formation. This portfolio looks at communal formation through three, integrated components. Firstly, communal formation, along with its various components and nuances, will be described through an appeal to the Anglican baptismal liturgy. Secondly, scenes from the author’s own autobiography will serve to illustrate how communal formation may be practically experienced. Lastly, the author’s own research into the practice of Morning Prayer will highlight the importance of shared liturgy within communal formation. The portfolio argues that one is not formed individually, rather one is called to participate in the formation of the community. This is seen as occurring through immersion in shared liturgy, embodied action, and evangelistic mission.

Confirmation, Community, and Commitment: Evaluating Church Attendance at the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Author
James W. Hunter D.Min.
Abstract
his work studies the phenomenon of individuals dropping out of active church membership after confirmation. The positive approach adopted to examine this issue is through Appreciative Inquiry. Rather than trying to "fix" a problem, this paper studies what is good in the current confirmation preparation program, discovering how those good elements can be improved, and the importance of community in retaining members. The problem is analyzed through Holy Scripture, the Great Tradition of Christianity, and the experiences of eleven parishioners who have matriculated through the confirmation process and remained active in the life of the Episcopal Church of St. Mary, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Study of the Ministry of Re-Parenting (Parenting) of Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Jos, Nigeria

Author
Gloria Ladi Kwashi D.Min.
Abstract
Re-parenting of orphans and vulnerable children in Jos, Nigeria has proven to be the best way of bringing up children in place of orphanages. Using ethnographic tools and Proactive research methods, and a survey of the Old and New Testament, scholars in this field as well as field studies, the author has discovered that both the Christian community and society have clung onto the stereotype of side stepping responsibilities and keeping the vulnerable and orphaned children in institutions. Zambiri has proven the felt need of orphans is to have parents primarily. Re-parenting has therefore provided that need.
Re-parenting of orphans and vulnerable children in Jos, Nigeria has proven to be the best way of bringing up children in place of orphanages.

Forgiveness: The Heart of God

Author
Marcia C. King D.Min.
Abstract
Painful forgiveness issues often exist within families, even within the church. To understand what the Bible, theologians, and social scientists say about forgiveness, the story of Joseph and the Parable of the Prodigal Son were exegeted. The pastoral aspects of forgiveness were explored utilizing an ethnographic approach of, observations, a survey, and one-on-one interviews. The results of this project is a five-hour course, "Forgiveness: The Heart of God," which emphasizes the transformational power of Christ in forgiveness. The last class concludes with a Eucharistic prayer retreat for generational and inner healing.
Painful forgiveness issues often exist within families, even within the church.

A STUDY OF THE SUNDAY ATTENDANCE PATTERNS OF COMMITTED SYDNEY ANGLICAN CHRISTIANS

Author
Antony Barraclough D.Min.
Abstract
This project researches the present-day Sunday church attendance patterns of committed Christians within the Sydney Anglican context. The project seeks to establish the veracity of anecdotal comments by pastors that the regular member of the church attends church either two in four to three in four Sundays a month. From there it seeks to determine the reasons this group of believers give for absenteeism and thereafter to respond biblically and pastorally to those reasons. A tool by the way of a short paper with the main findings of the project will be made available to laity and clergy alike to assist them in dealing with this issue.

News That Changes Everything:
Enhancing Believers’ Understanding of the Gospel
At Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama

Author
Michael Robert Weeks D.Min.
Abstract
Cathedral Church of the Advent, Birmingham, Alabama, is a church that has a living, daring confidence in God’s grace through the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is a church that is saturated in the Word of God. However, congregation members often have an anemic understanding of what the gospel is, some struggling to understand how it applies to their lives. The praxis director undertook a six-week class, teaching about the gospel and its implications for life. The results demonstrate members of the Cathedral Church of the Advent gained a greater understanding of the gospel and were better able to connect it to their lives.

Joining the conversation : toward a synthetic approach to media formation among Christian homeschool students

Author
Brian Jacob Barry
Abstract
My local ministry context is a theologically conservative Anglican congregation, in which a substantial proportion of youth and children are or have been enrolled in home-based education. I designed and ran a pilot workshop for high-school students in home-based education, with a goal of offering training in boundaries, skills, and habits that allow for positive interaction with popular electronic media. A study of the biblical motif of sojourners and exiles provides a theological framework against which different models of Church and Culture are compared. It is found that Christians, as sojourners and exiles, embrace an alternative identity as the People of God, yet function as bona fide participants in their broader cultures, through which the missio dei is advanced. A robust eschatology prepares the Christian to navigate the inherent tensions and difficulties. A study of many efforts at formation around media identify three strategic categories into which these efforts fit, namely cultural abstinence, cultural conversation, and faith-formative practices performed within the Christian community. An eight-week media workshop was designed as a synthesis of these different practices, with focus on a Media Rule of Life, five skills of cultural conversation, and five corresponding spiritual practices. From the results of this pilot course, recommendations are made for development of future media formation approaches.
Subscribe to Anglican Communion/Episcopalian Churches