Church work with the bereaved

Developing a Pastoral Care Manual to Raise Awareness of Multicultural Death and Dying Rituals at Gwinnett Medical Center, Lawrenceville, Georgia

Author
Ytu Thi Tran
Abstract
The purpose of this Doctor of Ministry project was to research the field of pastoral care related to multicultural death and dying rituals in order to identify best practices and develop a manual for the chaplaincy department at Gwinnett Medical Center (GMC), Lawrenceville, Georgia. Among the pastoral care services offered at GMC, an examination of many hospital manuals showed a lack of information and resources on death and dying rituals and faith practices, especially for those with focus on the four leading religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. A manual that centered on these four religious groups, along with providing information on religious death and dying rituals, would not only be helpful for new intern Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) chaplains and staff chaplains, but would also benefit the interdisciplinary medical staff in helping them treat patients and families with respect and dignity.

In order to complete this project, the project director examined research in the field of pastoral care on the beliefs and rituals of four leading religions: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism. She also investigated significant time studying how to design and write a manual. The result was a comprehensive, but not exhaustive, manual about these four religions that focused on their history, beliefs, teachings, practices, and death and dying rituals. Furthermore, the project director personally interviewed a spiritual leader representing each of the four major religions presented in this document for their review and evaluation of the accuracy of its contents.

Pastoral care for the bereaved through the first memorial service

Author
Woan Suak Cho
Abstract
"The purpose of the study is to provide pastoral care to help the children recover from the loss and grief suffering after the death of their beloved parents. The author designed a particular form of the first memorial service to heal the wounded hearts of the bereaved. First, the author asked the bereaved families to prepare articles left by the deceased, which would allow them to remember their beloved parents, and then had the first memorial service in a chapel with the small group members to which the bereaved families belonged. The bereaved experienced the recovery of their wounded hearts by participating in the first memorial service, confirming that they were not completely separated from their parents, but still connected. The author conducted interviews and observations on two aspects - the daily life and the church life before and after the first memorial service - to track how the loss and grief of the bereaved families had been changed through the service. The author determined through the assessments that the first memorial service helped heal the wounded hearts of the bereaved and that they could play a positive role as members of the church community." -- Leaf [2].

"Sing, O Barren One" : writing hymns to transform and to be transformed

Author
Lindsay Louise Biddle
Abstract
Biblical and spiritual ancestors dialogued with the Divine in order to come to terms with reallife circumstances. In a church in Glasgow, Scotland, the author-pastor encouraged worshippers each week for three months to record their personal well-being, reflect on scripture, and use parts of worship based on the reflections. Their situations dramatically transformed, and they experienced transformation, not so much as a direct result of this project, but rather, this experiment of writing hymns that illuminate or dialogue with scripture gave them time and space to express, listen, respond, and realize the transformation happening in and around them.

[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.]

Equipping selected adults of Bethel Baptist Church, Citronelle, Alabama, with bereavement ministry skills

Author
Marvin Otto Robinson D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected adults of Bethel Baptist Church, Citronelle, Alabama, with bereavement ministry skills. The project director completed the project by meeting three main goals: (1) researching the fields of bereavement care and grief ministry to identify essential skills for bereavement ministry; (2) developing a training curriculum in order to equip selected adults of Bethel Baptist Church, Citronelle, Alabama, with bereavement ministry skills; and (3) equipping selected adult members of Bethel Baptist Church, Citronelle, Alabama, with bereavement ministry skills. To measure achievement goals, the project director used several evaluation methods and tools, including expert evaluators, literary research, and ministerial reflection. The evaluation tools and methods validated the goals and achieved the purpose of the project.

Equipping selected adults of Lowrey Memorial Baptist Church, Blue Mountain, Mississippi, in grief ministry skills

Author
Michael Baker
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to equip selected adults of Lowrey Memorial Baptist Church, Blue Mountain, Mississippi, in grief ministry skills. The project director seeks to fulfill three goals for this project. First, to determine the skills necessary for effective grief ministry, he plans to research the field of grief ministry as it applies to ministering to families that have experienced the loss of a loved one. The second goal is to develop a workshop that will equip selected adults of Lowrey Memorial Baptist Church with grief ministry skills. The third goal is to present the workshop to the selected adults so that they will be better equipped to minister effectively to grieving families.

The teaching methodology to implement the project included lectures, multimedia presentations, group sessions, and case studies. The project director evaluated the selected adult in the three domains of learning: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Using a post-workshop evaluation, the participants evaluated the project director’s instructional skills.

Non-death related grief: The church's responsibility to assist in the healing process

Author
Nickol K Calhoun
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to discover to what degree a select group of people within the Fusion Church of Lexington, Ohio understood the influences ungrieved losses have upon their lives. The project design incorporated a twenty-four-question survey used to measure their responses. The most prominent finding was found in goal one: Majority of the participants felt they were tolerant of grievers during their time of loss. However, they felt they were not accepted when they grieved their losses. The unexpected outcome was participants of this survey realized they were not aware of their own personal biases toward grieving.

Mission and stewardship: loving God and neighbor with our heart and our treasure

Author
Brandi Richelle Casto-Waters
Abstract
When asked which commandment in the law was the greatest, Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (Matt. 22:36-38). This report explores the relationship of mission and stewardship. It is focused on the life of a particular congregation where increased involvement in hands-on mission has led to a deepened understanding of stewardship. Engaging in ministry with people who are hurting, grieving, lonely, poor, and oppressed, and working together for justice, peace, and reconciliation has directly affected how members of the community are faithful stewards of all that God has entrusted to their care. Jesus also said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matt. 6:21). This research indicates that the inverse is also true. When people invest their hearts in the mission of the church it is very likely their treasure will follow.

Equipping selected adults of Stonelake Church, Cleburne, Texas, in bereavement ministry skills

Author
Jason C Erb
Abstract
The author desired to research the field of grief ministry to discovering key skills helpful for ministering to families experiencing the loss of a loved one for the purpose of creating a grief seminar/workshop to present in the local church. The author researched several types of resources. He researched published research from Faith-based researchers, and the works of non-faith based researchers. The author discovered several key skills. He assimilated his findings into a six hour workshop and presented his findings in a local church.

A Connecticut Yankee at the gates of Heaven: a study of the rites surrounding the death of a Christian in the Connecticut conference, United Church of Christ, at the beginning of the twenty-first century

Author
Karen B Westerfield Tucker
Abstract
This dissertation examines the rites that members and churches of the Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ perform when a member of the community dies. A distinction between a "funeral" and "memorial service" is established, with a funeral defined as a rite provided by the Church at the death of a Christian that is both a rite of passage for the dead and a service of the worship of God for the living, and a memorial service identified as a communal gathering that focuses more on eulogizing and remembering the deceased and less on the overt worship of God. By examining the difference between the two, and by looking at historic liturgical sources, it is clear that in the Connecticut Conference at this time, most rites are memorial services rather than funerals. Assessment was made by means of a qualitative analysis of worship bulletins for rites at the time of death that were submitted by seventy-two of the Connecticut Conference churches, in which worship patterns, hymns and scriptures were identified in order to construct a "moment-in-time" snapshot of commonalities among churches in a tradition that cherishes individual expression and resists standard liturgies imposed from the denomination. In conclusion, a new set of death rites based on the findings of the research is offered.

Using social work ethics as a guide to implement grief ministry

Author
Harold Evans
Abstract
This project, states the case for using a social work ethic as a guide for doing ministry. This work takes Bereavement as an example of how that ethic could be used in a congregational setting to increase the community response to loss to a member or family in that community context. It demonstrates how that ethical formula works in an environment where although everyone does not have the full training, it identifies what can be shared through training. It allows those from the community to offer their gifts and skills while being supportive of both the pastor and those who are more intimately involved in direct service to the family or member.
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