Liturgy

Mystagogy: A Mode of Theological Reflection in the Formation of Parish Leadership

Author
Silas Shawn Henderson SDS D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores the place and value of mystagogy within a model of comprehensive faith formation and its usefulness for the ongoing formation of parish leadership, particularly in the formation of Roman Catholic catechetical and liturgical leaders. Using Thomas Groome's Shared Christian Praxis and Jane Regan's image of "Communities of Practice" as guides, this thesis-project proposes a view of mystagogical reflection that parish leaders (paid staff members and lay volunteers, with their pastors) could use to develop a vision or plan of ongoing formation, specific to their context, grounded in and inspired by the encounter with Divine Mystery that is at the heart of liturgy.

Educating Calvary Baptist Church, Asheville, NC, on the Value of Following the Christian Year as a Means for Spiritual Renewal Through Worship

Author
Jeffrey C. Hayes
Abstract
This project introduced the spiritual value of following the Christian year in worship. Through a series of sermons and study lessons that focused on eight major seasons (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time), participants were exposed to the history and spiritual purpose of each, respectively. Two surveys were administered, along with weekly evaluations, and interviews, to measure the project’s effectiveness. The desired outcome was a greater degree of knowledge and interest in worshipping through the Christian year. According to the final analysis, increased understanding, spiritual growth, and desire to worship through the Christian year did occur.

Learning to Pray Without Ceasing: Instilling the Importance of Prayer and its Connection to Social Justice in Youth

Author
Wesley Brian Jamison D.Min.
Abstract
Progressive churches continue to struggle with retaining youth, who often seen little merit in the church's traditions and rituals. These spiritual practices are essential to nurturing the strength and vision necessary to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This project offers a model for integrating these practices into the regular activities of youth ministry as a way of reconnecting them to the struggle for justice. It was tested by adding the observance of the daily offices of prayer to a youth mission trip and examining the views of participants concerning prayer and its connection to justice before, during, and after the trip. Noticeable changes were measured during and after the trip, indicating that youth came to see spiritual practices are more important to the work of justice. These findings suggest that the church would do well to look to its own history of monasticism as a model for youth ministry in the post-Christian era.

Training manual on the Lutheran divine service : a response to Pentecostalism in the ELCT, South East of Lake Victoria Diocese Agape parish

Author
Daniel Henry Mono
Abstract
The project was conducted in Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, South East of Lake Victoria Diocese, Agape Kahama Parish (ELCT-SELVD). Pentecostalism has been seriously penetrating among the Lutheran members to the extent that some of them do not value the Lutheran Divine Service. They claim that the Lutheran Divine Service is not spiritual because it is guided by the book or written materials and therefore, not spiritual.

The study made a survey of the use of the ELCT hymn book for worship called Tumwabudu Mungu Wetu (TMW) which has biblical contents. The project results proved that many Lutheran members in ELCT did not fully understand and believe what is contained in the book.

The study developed a training manual for the Divine Service for pastors use so that they are well equipped to teach their members so that they remain faithful Lutherans.

Lectio divina: bridging the gap between preachers and adolescents

Author
Brendan Moss
Abstract
Lectio Divina: Bridging the Gap between Preachers and Adolescents suggests that preachers employ the monastic practice of Lectio Divina (holy reading) with youth to engage them in the preaching event. In the first chapter the author explores contemporary adolescence. In the second chapter he explores the characteristics of adolescent spirituality. In chapter three he introduces the practice of Lectio Divina. Finally, in chapter four, the author describes a workshop he created and facilitated to help preachers learn how to use Lectio Divina with youth, enhance the preacher's preparation process, and the youths' experience of the preached Word.

Liturgy as pastoral care: congregational worship as self-interpretive response to transition

Author
Thomas R Steagald
Abstract
This "reflective" dissertation explores the ways in which liturgy functions as corporate pastoral care within a changing community. Trading on the insights of narrative theology, and examining specifically the program of hermeneutical pastoral care as developed by Charles V. Gerkin as it came to be utilized in a parish setting, this dissertation models an interdisciplinary approach to pastoral leadership which involves all of the primary taks of ordained ministry. Of particular interest are the ways in which the dynamics of ego psychology can be applied generally to groups, and more specifically to the on-going narrative life of a faith community.

Identity and evangelical style

Author
David W Schulte
Abstract
This study investigates a growing trend among ELCA and other liturgical churches. The trend involves a move away from traditional liturgical worship to a contemporary style. I sought to enhance my understandings of both this new approach and of the essential elements of Christian worship. A conference on "Worship as Evangelism" at Prince of Peace Lutheran in Burnsville, Minnesota, and extensive readings from both sides of the issue were the basis of the project. I then analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of each approach and came to a decision regarding limits in cultural adaptation in worship.

Liturgy during periods of war: response in worship to human need

Author
Laura D Rains
Abstract
This study encourages the involvement of ministers and laity in the consideration of liturgical structure and content during periods of war. Pastors and laity review liturgy from the historical bulletins of their own congregations. They are supported in the formation of new skills in the creation of liturgy. Believers come to recognize connections between periods of history, shared emotions and their participation in the biblical narrative. This supports the formation of further materials for teaching and reflection which import the significance of international conflict on the way they worship and their expectations.

Providing pastoral care through liturgy

Author
Donna L Knight
Abstract
The purpose of this project is to assist pastors to minister in ways which address the entirety of an individual's life experience through the presence of Christ's church in worship. Chapter 1 includes an exploration of the use of liturgy and pastoral care. Chapters 2-4 report the psychological, sociological, and theological needs of individuals who have experienced the crisis of terminal illness, rape, or abortion, respectively. Liturgies designed to alleviate the suffering and facilitate the healing processes of such individuals were developed and are included in corresponding chapters.
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