Church work with the poor

Bicultural liberative education : educating the non-poor in an urban work-study program

Author
George D Beukema
Abstract
Bicultural Liberative Education (BLE), developed primarily for college students in an urban work-study program, seeks to empower the non-poor to liberate themselves from the ways their culture is oppressive both to them and the poor.

Chapter One presents a description of, and a biblical foundation for, liberative education of which BLE is a part.

Chapter Two provides a description of the development of BLE and its pedagogical components: 1) "cultural awakening" which "conscientizes" the learners to their "myths" concerning the poor, ideologies, and worldview through engaging the culture of the poor, 2) "reflexive examination" which examines their "myths," ideologies, and worldview through engaging the culture of the non-poor, and 3) "bicultural reconstruction" which facilitates a response to more just ways of living. These components are rendered most effective as the educator creates a trusting atmosphere of "safe containment" which enables the learner to engage more deeply in cultural critique.

Chapter Three describes how an "experiential" seminar with the urban poor and a course on modern work combine to provide a specific context for BLE within a work-study program in Chicago.

Chapter Four concludes the project by providing suggestive hints toward applications of BLE for the non-poor congregation, the seminary, and the poor congregation.

Beyond trying harder and before giving up : the story of a missional church in Canada

Author
Carson W. Culp
Abstract
Somewhere beyond trying harder, and just before giving up, there is a sacred place of grace to be discovered, personally and corporately. God called me homeward, near to the place of my birth and upbringing, to find it. Located among the marginalized of society on the southeast side of the city of Welland, Ontario, Canada, is 36-year-old Christ Community Church. In the aftermath of successive short-term pastorates which ended badly and included an exodus of members in 2005, amid the further economic decline of a once prosperous manufacturing city of 50,000 people, the ministry then 26-years-old was in crisis. With the support of Classis Ontario a specialized Interim Minister was hired for the purpose of discerning whether the church could be revitalized. I accepted the “Call” to serve as its Pastor in June of 2006. It was then that a journey of transformation began. This is a story of dependency on the grace of God. The Apostle Paul describes it in 2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he (the Lord) said to me ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’”1 It is a story that affirms and challenges traditional ecclesiology. It affirms the importance of learning from others in our family of churches through documents such as Transformed and Transforming. 2 Yet, this story challenges traditional ecclesiology with regard to the expectation of self-sufficiency and self-sustainability. It is a story of a small Canadian Church in a hurting place that is being transformed by and with the marginalized people in its context, all the while being dependent upon the grace of God and all of the partners God provides for its own existence.

Know their suffering : facilitating a deeper understanding for the local church of the plight of the working poor

Author
Weatherly Overall Weatherly
Abstract
"Many middle-class church members are devoted to acts of mission. Despite good intentions they suffer from insufficient poverty intellect for understanding the circumstances of those they serve. This project encourages a deeper understanding of the working poor, thus increasing the practical and relational efficiency of outreach. A six-week small group experience combines biblical, theological, and Wesleyan foundations, with emerging trends and efforts to increase the awareness and knowledge necessary to have more authentic relationships with those in poverty. The results are that greater poverty intellect can reduce inaccurate assumptions and increase the depth of mutual understanding and engaged interaction between the classes." -- Leaf [2].

Moving from doing ministry for people to do ministry with people : a model developed for ministry approach

Author
Braulio Torres
Abstract
How can we intentionally move from doing ministry for people, to doing ministry with the people? This project presents an analytical process of a model developed as a way to help local churches focus their efforts on doing ministry with people. The model asks us to consider the activities of the local church using three components: biblical foundation, contextual focus, and practical application. The reader will discover that this model can be applied to any ministry endeavor.

[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.]

Strategic partnerships as a model for developing effective after-school programs in urban ministry settings

Author
Paul W. Johnson
Abstract
Institutional racism is a root cause of inequity in education. Poverty, food and housing insecurity, illiteracy and rampant violence are just some of the factors that negatively impact the academic performance of the children who live in under resourced urban areas. Churches can play a vital role in improving the holistic health of the children in those communities by developing effective after-school programs with the assistance of strategic partners. The author, the lead pastor of a church in Ward 7 of Washington, DC used qualitative research to identify key characteristics of strategic partners.

[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.]

"Why Are People Hungry?"

Author
Kenneth W Cox
Abstract
This project paper seeks to answer the question,"Why are people hungry?" through a deeper biblical understanding of bread and hunger. It outlines a replicable process which identified local causes of hunger through a series of interviews and coaching with local food pantry participants. These participants were then connected with available community resources that could help alleviate their cause of hunger leading to transformed lives. The process was replicated or considered at different levels in five additional local church settings. The results revealed that relationships formed between the volunteers and participants was the most transformative aspect of this project.

Developing holistic mission for the tranformation of community

Author
Dipak Raj Rai
Abstract
This study on "Developing Holistic Mission for the Transformation of the Community" presents an analysis of the church based holistic mission for the transformation of the community undertaken in Nepal. Chapter one introduces the project paper and chapter two presents the brief history of holistic Christian mission in Nepal. Chapters three and four are theological chapters that deal with poverty, Christian call for the holistic ministry and various models of the transformational development. Chapter five discusses the application, outcome and learning of the applied model of holistic mission for the transformation of the community as undertaken in four communities in Nepal, and final chapter summarizes the project.

Faith formation for discipleship in Basic Ecclesial Communites the praxis of shaping a Catholic identity and an evangelizing community in the Diocese of Surabaya, Indonesia

Author
Tomas Lastari Halmoko
Abstract
The lifelong faith struggle of Christians who live as a minroty group, as well as a concern for the preferential option for the poor, constitute significant issues in Indonesia. When encountering such challenges, faith formation becomes an important instrument by which one may integrate the characteristics of Catholic faith in individuals and encourage concrete services within the local Christian community. For effective faith formation, Basic Ecclesial Communities (BECs) are a primary means of formative activity. To respond to ministerial needs within the INdonesian context, this thesis proposes a program of adult faith formation for BECs. The "program" refers to the praxis of process of developing faith formation based on contextual needs. This process will enable the Church to play a significant role in shaping Christian identity for disciples and in forming evangelizing communities thorugh diakonia or service for the poor.

Exploring a possible Christian education for the children of poor families in the Bethel local children's center

Author
Gun-Su Kang
Abstract
In this project, the author showed an alternative caring model for the poor children of Bethel Local Children's Center. He pointed out that caring for both physical and spiritual needs should be considered together. He prepared two types of questionnaires and divided the children into two groups in order to find basic information about them and their concerns. Then he ran the 'Hope Gilijabi' program during weekends to let them know and experience cring through Christian values. He believes that this program will be a good model that transforms the children who participate in it, enabling them to overcome their personal hardships by spiritual renewal and biblical values.
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