Church and social problems

Congregational and Nonprofit Social Service Agency Partnership to Move Families Experiencing Intergenerational Poverty Toward Self-Sufficiency Using a Two-Generation Approach

Author
Kendra R Grams
Abstract
The author researched how a congregation could partner with a social service agency to empower families experiencing intergenerational poverty toward economic self-sufficiency using a two-generation approach. The author led a three-year pilot partnership, evaluating program effectiveness using both quantitative and qualitative metrics, and incorporating lessons learned throughout program implementation. Client families built skills and achieved numerous goals while engaged with the program. Program evaluation suggests the following elements advance program effectiveness: clear expectations of client families from the outset, focus on support practices that empower client families, and robust coordination of support provided to client families by all partners.

Preaching for Prophetic Witness Inspiring a Black Middle-Class Congregation to Engage its Marginalized Community

Author
Richard D Shaw
Abstract
Following the Civil Rights movements of the sixties, many Black preachers turned their away from prophetic preaching, and despite the critical need, chose not to preach sermons addressing social injustice during Sunday morning worship services. As a result, the Black church, in many cases, has become irrelevant on social issues that affect the communities where they are located. This thesis project addresses the requirements for preaching prophetically during Sunday morning worship to a Black, middle-class congregation, and aims to show that preaching for prophetic witness can be used as a means of inspiring a congregation that identifies itself as Black middle-class to reach out fully to its marginalized community.

Proclaim The Message (NRSV, II Timothy 4:2a: Preaching A Sermon Series on The Nicene Creed Taking into Consideration the Seasons and the Scripture Lessons of the Church Year

Author
Andrew H Zeman
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to present to the author's congregation the content of the Nicene Creed by means of a series of Sunday sermons. This project was based on the premise that theology is critically important in dealing with life's problems and in dealing with the universality of death. The project consisted of twenty-eight sermons preached over six months. The author's hope was that by hearing these sermons, his parishioners would have a deeper appreciation of the Nicene Creed. He believes that he did achieve his main purpose, but he was not completely successful in accomplishing all that he had hoped to do in the parish.

Connecting Church and Community The Ministry of Presence as a Community Pastor

Author
Cynthia R Bolden
Abstract
This ministry project assisted a local church in going outside its walls into the neighborhood in order to connect with the community. A primary objective was to embody sacred presence in the community. Another objective was to discover principles, practices, language, and metrics for the ministry of presence. The project was rooted in the practices of table fellowship, spiritual formation, and engagement with the Other through invitational conversation, acts of charity, and hospitality. The project offers insight for implementing and measuring relational and community ministry, particularly with millennials; it also explores the role of community pastor.

African American churches and green ministry: African American church and community empowered through resolution of climate change and environmental racism

Author
Janelle J Thompson
Abstract
The central theme of this project is grounded in the assumption that prophetic preaching forms a Christian body with a prophetic consciousness and identity. In order for preaching to be profoundly transformational in the shaping of a faith community's identity, the prophetic preacher must recover an eschatological awareness and urgency. The goal of this project is to explore the matter at hand from the rich African American preaching tradition which has been a conduit of life to a community encircled by life-negating forces.

Kingdom outposts: a church-based theology of relief and development with a demonstration project in Haiti

Author
Dru A Dodson
Abstract
Relief and development (R & D) is best understood as a forgotten part of Jesus' gospel of the kingdom. A storied, church-based biblical theology of R & D traces the themes of God, His people, and His land through the scripture. The thesis is developed that the kingdom advances over the earth through the apostolic establishment of new kingdom communities, who function with a kingdom economics, i.e., kingdom outposts. Kingdom outposts are the locus of R & D. Haiti suffers extreme poverty in spite of decades of evangelism and conventional R & D. A R & D project in Haiti is assessed in light of the theology of kingdom outposts.

A word fitly spoken: lifting the veil of sacred silence around sexual violence thru prophetic preaching

Author
Damali Najuma Smith-Pollard
Abstract
The project hypothesis is training equipping clergy with the tools and knowledge to address issues of sexual violence through the preaching and teaching will lift the veil of "sacred silence" for many survivors of sexual violence, and certain to foster healing, reconciliation and transformation. Working with clergy and churches in my region of South Los Angeles, the methodology included: congregational surveys, clergy interviews, sermon series, an online training course, and post-training follow-up. The findings show that this focused training sparks new conversations and interest for implementing sexual violence preaching, teaching and awareness campaigns.

Intentional Christians in a consumptive society

Author
Diane Janssen Hemmen
Abstract
The age in which American Christians find themselves presents an ever-growing number of challenges to the task of integrating faith into all parts of life. Our society suggests an endlessness of both desire and consumption--which some now question more boldly in the public sphere. Though the proposed problems and related solutions are diverse, some current, broad themes can be found. Using a participatory action research method, this project focuses on the approach of one community of faith to interacting with those themes and to the particular challenges of discerning the use of their individual and corporate financial resources.

Collaborative ministry: a model for the church and community

Author
Gerald F Richardson
Abstract
This project proposes that collaborative ministry is an effective way of addressing social problems such as homelessness and hunger in the community. The literature review and the case study reveal that collaboration is possible when ministries have a supporting entity that requires them to work together. This project concludes that a collaboration of churches can create a council, which will provide resources as an incentive to collaborate. Decatur Cooperative Ministry (DCM) is suggested as a model that has brought churches together to address homelessness in the community, and it certainly could take a lead in bringing about a collaborative ministry that would develop the council.

The spiritual education of the black diaspora in the North American context: the task of the black church with spiritual, familial, economic, political and cultural implications for the black church, the black family and all of humanity

Author
Samuel D Lynch
Abstract
Ths project details past and present economic, political, familial and cultural conditions in the United States that have been and continue to be oppressive to the black family and the black disillusionment that has resulted. The author posits that the Black Church must develop and implement education courses that have spiritual, familial, economic and political implications for the black family and humanity. This can be accomplished with a three-tier ministry model that (1) promotes teaching, preaching, (2) praxis that uplifts the imago Dei and critical social analysis, and (3) the creation of nonprofit, for profit, or co-operative ventures.
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