Church work with the sick

How long? : using lament to restore hope in the dying process

Author
Michael C. Hoppe
Abstract
It is not uncommon to find people at end-of-life who feel stuck; they are neither healthy nor progressing toward death rapidly. The literature identifies this state of “stuckness” as a condition called “persistent liminality.” This condition often involves a sense of being in a suspended state, lacking a sense of time and space, and feeling dislocated from God and the self. This researcher desires to provide understanding about existential loss due to persistent liminality at end-of-life and a strategy for assisting people to regain meaning and realize agency once again by connecting to God through lament. This study explores how pastoral counselors use lament to restore hope to people in a state of persistent liminality at end-of-life.
This study employed a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with seven pastoral counselors who have served as hospice chaplains for three years or longer. Three research questions guided this qualitative study: 1) How do pastoral counselors understand the purpose of lament? 2) In what ways do pastoral counselors use lament to minister to people in a state of persistent liminality at end-of-life? And 3) How do pastoral counselors evaluate the effectiveness of using lament to restore hope to people in a state of persistent liminality at end-of-life?
The literature review focused on three key areas central to this study: 1) understanding persistent liminality at end-of-life, 2) examining approaches currently used to address persistent liminality at end-of-life and their effectiveness, and 3) exploring how lament addresses persistent liminality at end-of-life.
The findings of this study reveal that lament can contribute to restoring hope to those suffering from persistent liminality at end-of-life. Finally, several recommendations are offered for how believers can reclaim the practice of lament in public and private worship.

People with aids : a hospice chaplain uses story as a means of education for spiritual care

Author
Linda J Bos
Abstract
This project is designed for use by clergy, pastoral care teams, hospice workers, or clinical pastoral education groups, who provide spiritual care for people with AIDS. Stories of real people with AIDS, who utilized hospice care at the end of life, were gathered by a hospice chaplain, and can be used for individual growth or in a group setting.

Ten stories are given in chapter format. The stories reflect the diversity within the AIDS population: injection drug users, gay men, heterosexual individuals, transsexuals, and those who care for people with AIDS.

Each chapter consists of the primary story of the person with AIDS, followed by theological reflections, concluding with a page of reflection questions.

Theological themes include, but are not limited to: the role and scope of the church; creation; death and its impact on family, children, caregivers; healing; sin; inherited brokenness; angels unaware; forgiveness; heaven; presence of God; community; rejection/acceptance; disease; eternal life; grief and loss; evangelism; rituals of inclusion; and, resurrection.

Reflection questions are based upon the author's long experience with small groups. The questions build from chapter one to ten as the group is first introduced to the subject matter of AIDS and to each other, closing with termination of the group at the conclusion of the ten sessions.

An annotated bibliography on AIDS literature is included as a resource, as are appendices on an overview of spiritual care to the person with AIDS, and small group guidelines.

The project shows that by using story, a person or a small group can learn about providing spiritual care to the person with AIDS.

Ministering to adolescents in an institutional setting

Author
Cleo Vandermolen Ludwick
Abstract
This project is a descriptive design of ministry to adolescents who are institutionalized for treatment of emotional and behavioral problems that illustrate how a particular kind of ministry facilitates faith development and spiritual formation.

The first section discusses the theological, biblical, and ministerial context of the project. Paul's letter to the Ephesians, chapter 4:7-13, is a challenge in this project.

Being human is a gift of God. It is good. It is rich and satisfying, not in spite of the hurt and pain of separation and difficulty, but because in those times, one experiences the awesome, holy presence of God when there is a significant other there to sustain and to guide. It is in those times that faith is born, and the process of healing begins.

The chaplain is a vehicle through whom God works the process of healing, sustaining, guiding, and reconciling. The goal: healthy, whole humanity living in community.

The second section discusses pastoral care in the Christian tradition and how that tradition helps define the role of chaplain in a 20th century institutional setting.

The three sub-divisions of the second section discuss the role of spiritual physician in counseling, Christian education arid spiritual life activities, and worship.

Section three discusses chaplaincy in the modern psychiatric hospital where the clinical model is foremost in treatment; yet, the need for pastoral availability and theological resources are recognized as important dimensions of basic physical and mental health.

The three sub-sections discuss the role of spiritual guide in working with the multidisciplinary treatment team as it designs the treatment for each adolescent, with staff in areas of relationship and spiritual growth, and with the community as it struggles to understand adolescent developmental issues.

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.

Strength through elevating sacred acts of kindness : supporting individuals living with sickle cell

Author
Yvonne Williams Boyd
Abstract
"Living with sickle cell is daunting. It is diagnosed in childhood. The disease is increasingly challenging during young adult years. Broadening the knowledge base of healthcare professionals who provide care to this patient population is the emphasis of the project. The foci of this project were the Kaiser Permanente Southern California regional chaplains. Additionally, and in collaboration with the Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles adult sickle cell team, the author, [currently serving as a clinical chaplain], facilitated a design for a transitional program [to address the spiritual and emotional needs] for [teen] individuals with sickle cell, ages 16-18." -- Leaf [2].

The voice of the African American Church on mental Illness : schizophrenia

Author
Emma J. Valentine
Abstract
This project addresses the need for the Northern Virginia Baptist Association to become a resource center on mental illness to assist its congregations. The researcher did a qualitative review of literature on the impact of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia; facilitated focus groups and interviews with professionals from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and religion, as well as lay people; and examined a case study of a family with a mentally ill son. Results of the study suggest that pastors and leaders can work collaboratively within the Association to provide a user-friendly resource center for those seeking help with mental health issues.

[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.]

Transformative hospitality : a guide to welcome the persons with mental health issues in the local church

Author
Millie L. Kim
Abstract
After the closure of the Northwestern Hospital, Rome (GA) has borne the brunt of care for the mentally ill. The author assessed the needs of Second Avenue UMC by interviewing its members and the mentally ill. She took on the task of studying mental health issues, and how the church can be a part of multidimensional support for them. The author preached, led workshops, and hosted community events to bring awareness and solicit support. She created vision of transformative hospitality and protocols to help the church welcome and include persons with mental health issues in the life of the church.

[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.]

Developing a special-needs ministry strategy for Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, Woodland, Mississippi

Author
Terry Wade Mathis II D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a special-needs ministry strategy for Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Woodland, Mississippi. The project director identified the accessibility needs of Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church and the surrounding community with the help of church members and experts who serve people with special needs. At the same time, the project director researched and created a strategy planning process for Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church. Then the project director enlisted church leaders to serve on a strategy development team. the project director led the team to develop a special-needs ministry strategy designed to serve the church and reach the community. Next, the project director prepared a strategy presentation for the church with the help of the team. Finally, he presented the team's special-needs ministry strategy to Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church for their adoption in regularly scheduled business meeting. The church voted unanimously to adopt and implement the special-needs ministry strategy.

Improving Accompaniment Practices by Roman Catholic Chaplains for Native Americans in a Health Care Setting

Author
Kathleen M. Van Duser D.Min.
Abstract
The project seeks to improve accompaniment practices by chaplains in the health care setting for those ministering to Indigenous people. A brief history of Indigenous people in North America and seven major beliefs common to all North American Indigenous people are offered that are meaningful to chaplains. Interviews are provided with Indigenous people, medical personnel, and chaplains to learn how to improve the accompaniment of Indigenous people. Multicultural, cross-cultural, and intercultural relationships, as well as how to learn to cross over from one culture to another are discussed. Plural spiritualities are also addressed. Steps are provided to distribute this information to medical personnel and chaplains.

Does providing small group worship to the homebound and chronically ill congregant reconnect them to their faith community?

Author
Steven J Masters
Abstract
The author, working with two congregations, visited with chronically ill and home parishioners and their family members, providing personalized small group worship services. The author measured the effectiveness of the process by conducting spiritual assessments throughout the study to see if the congregant felt that the visits improved their connection to their congregation and as a result of these visits felt better about life in general. What the author concluded is that the persons being visited were extremely grateful, welcoming, and encouraging to the persons visiting them.
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