Methodist Churches

Wellsprings in the wilderness : forming shared ministries as a United Methodist renewal strategy

Author
Kevin R. Conrad
Abstract
In our current situation, named an ecclesial and cultural wilderness, a return to the wellsprings of theology as a source of ecclesial renewal is essential. In the tradition of Wesleyan practical divinity, the project focuses on formation of cooperative parishes as a theologically sound means of reordering the life of the church with the hope of missional renewal. The outcome of the project demonstrates how ecclesial and theological renewal complement each other. The author researched how formation of intentional Christian community can unleash new missional connection and capacity in a rural setting.

[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.]

Mystic sweet communion : holy conversation and the sanctification of the church

Author
Carol T. Cavin-Dillon
Abstract
The United Methodist Church is in crisis. For nearly fifty years its members have struggled to find consensus around the inclusion of LGBTQ persons in the life of the church. When congregations, Annual and General Conferences are tasked with voting, polarization deepens. However, when Christians gather for holy conversation, where there is genuine listening and open sharing, the result is often an awareness of deeper unity. This paper explores how holy conversation affected two different congregations. The author offers this model in the hope that it will help other congregations to remain committed to one another and to 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.]

Preaching APEST: Observing a sermon series, based on Ephesians 4, as a means of beginning to plant a vision in a local congregation

Author
David Taylor Averill D.Min.
Abstract
A prior study of a congregation in Winter Haven, Florida revealed an overlap in perceived, ideal qualities of clergy and lay leaders of the church. However, these qualities were limited to exclusively shepherding and teaching roles. Through preaching a 5-week sermon series, this project began to shape a vision of shared ministry and leadership in this local church among clergy and laity alike. The series used the APEST model of Ephesians 4, taken from the missional hermeneutic of Alan Hirsch. The project assessed the emergence of an inchoate understanding of the missional imperative through ethnographic data, gathered in a sermon roundtable, and surveys collected congregationally.

Attitudes Toward African American Female Clergy in the C.M.E. Church

Author
Sheree L Winn
Abstract
Attitudes Toward African American Female Clergy in the C.M.E. Church by Sheree L. Winn (Ashland Theological Seminary)
This project was to discover how the attitudes of the members of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church toward African American female clergy affect their positions in leading first churches (major charges or large congregations) and serving as Presiding Elders and Bishops. There were thirty-three (330 participants who completed a 5-point Likert scale survey in January 2018 at a pastor's conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The results of revealed: some attitudes prevent it, disbelief that sexism exists and congregants resist African American female clergy in leadership positions.

The district superintendent as catalyst for prophetic ministries

Author
Martha V Morrison
Abstract
This project demonstrates a way the district superintendent may be a catalyst for prophetic ministries. The specific focus is the "crying needs of children." In worship services, charge conferences, cluster meetings and newsletters, the superintendent shared timely information and challenged the district to address the suffering of children. She also collaborated with the DCOM and district program coordinator to initiate at the annual district gathering a project to involve local churches, both adults and children. The project was both service and advocacy oriented; it provided opportunities for hands-on ministries as well as for addressing the root causes of children's victimization.

Seeds of vitality: potential for the small membership church

Author
Harlan E Wilson
Abstract
This model provides a planning process to unlock the potential for ministry of small membership churches. It also demonstrates the value of a district plan to provide planning consultations as a resource to the churches. The judicatory executive, in this case the district superintendent, is a catalyst in bringing small membership churches to use a planning process to direct their ministry. The churches in the project planned new ministries for the coming year. The district developed a plan to use the potentiality planning model in all churches having less than 200 members.

The district superintendency, bond of denominational renewal: a mission statement as a catalyst for church renewal and vitalization

Author
Eugene W Matthews
Abstract
The district superintendent is a key catalyst for vitalization in the United Methodist Church. This document is part of a larger design in which it is demonstrated that the district superintendent is the bonding agent of denominational renewal and vitalization. This model designed a three-year process whereby the District Council on Ministries and local congregation on the Frederick District were assisted by the superintendent in developing a mission statement. Results show that the District Council on Ministries and thirty-eight churches developed mission statements. Early indications give evidence of enthusiasm, excitement, motivation, and vitalization on the Frederick District.

A praxis credo: a practical evangelism model from a comparative study of the Korean Methodist Church and the United Methodist Church

Author
Sang Eui Chun
Abstract
What are the causes of phenomenal growth of the Korean Methodist Church and the continuous membership decline of the United Methodist Church? What can we learn from this comparative study? Historical background, cultural factors, points of emphasis of each church has a lot to do with growth or decline. However, many local churches of both denominations are growing, if there is the dedication of an able, visionary, and spiritual pastor, committed laity, and ministries which meet the physical and spiritual needs of people in the community. A practical personal evangelism training model is suggested for both churches.

What does the Lord require? Churches as partners in parish ministry

Author
Jean S Holmes
Abstract
Given the historic reality of the multiple charge, this project suggests a way that two United Methodist churches of a multiple charge, under the leadership of one pastor, have been able to work together in cooperation in a model called partnering. Two churches, while maintaining their independence, have been drawn together in mission to the community through joint programs of nurture and outreach, and administratively through the organization of a parish council. The purpose is to develop a strong unified ministry to serve others, so that the church may be the Body of Christ in that community.
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