Social change and church

Reframing our narratives : using the "Curse of Ham" and the arts to reframe the narrative of inferiority and otherness for African Americans

Author
Freda L. Briggman
Abstract
"The misinterpretation of what became known as the "Curse of Ham" played a formidable role in creating a narrative of inferiority and otherness for African Americans. For centuries, African Americans have been reframing that narrative. This project assists those reframing efforts in demonstrating how the arts can expose the racist usage of the "Curse of Ham." The researcher performs a theological and historical review of the "Curse of Ham" and then uses the data to create and implement a live theater performance. The results suggest that the performance provides a perspective not otherwise known and empowers the community to reframe the narrative." -- Leaf [2].

A call to action : identifying and actualizing the social justice voice of the First Baptist Church of Highland Park

Author
Rachel McPhail Boyd
Abstract
"The voice of the black church sounds the clarion call for community uplift by nurturing personal piety and fighting for communal liberation. This project is a framework for the design, implementation, and evaluation of a Social Justice Ministry (SJM) in the black church. The study utilizes a review of church literature, ethnographic interviews, pre-intervention survey, communications, community forums, training, and preaching to develop a social justice ministry. This study offers an approach to SJM composition and leadership that engages the voices of church and community to inform the work of, ignite energy regarding, and invite activism to eradicate injustice." -- Leaf [2].

A processional of hope : developing cross-sector collaborations between local churches and public schools as an act of social justice

Author
Chad B. Anglemyer
Abstract
"The author researched public school and local church collaborations as a means of vitalizing and improving community life. The author conducted [on site] investigations, [which included] interviews with school administrators and clergy involved in collaboration. [The author used] scholarly resources [related to] Christian spirituality [and] community organizing . . . [Additionally, the author relied upon] biblical studies focused on Ezra-Nehemiah and the return of the exiles to Jerusalem during the Persian Period. Research shows that post-exilic Jerusalem was an imperfect community as are the present-day communities hosting church and public-school collaborations. Nonetheless, churches grow and behavioral and academic climates of schools improve when in healthy collaboration." -- Leaf [2].

Prophetic Activism: Increasing the Academic Achievement Among Low Performing African-American Male Students at Mary B. Martin School

Author
Danny Anthony Everett D.Min.
Abstract
University Circle United Methodist Church in Cleveland, Ohio partnered with Mary B. Martin School to address academic achievement disparities for low performing African-American males. If students participate in faith and culturally based extended school programs, then their academic performance improves. Explorations from qualitative research during a church led after school program were expounded. The approach incorporated prophetic activism based on themes of spirituality, educational inequity, and social learning and critical race theories. The data suggests partnerships between churches and schools improve outcomes for African-American male students. A final project was submitted to the Doctoral Studies Committee at United Theological Seminary in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Ministry.

CONGREGATIONAL DIVERSITY AS A SPIRITUAL STRENGTH: RECOGNIZING OUR COMMON IDENTITY IN CHRIST IN THE BIBLICAL METANARRATIVE

Author
David Kosobucki D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to gauge the appreciation for diversity in the congregation of Horizon Christian Fellowship Central as a spiritual strength, based upon a common identity in Christ as expressed through the biblical metanarrative. The church in question is based near downtown Indianapolis. It is diverse from the standpoint of ethnicity or race as well as socioeconomically, meaning a full spectrum of class, income and educational levels are represented. It is also multigenerational, displaying an age range from high school students that come from the neighborhood without their parents to the elderly. Nonetheless, there are under 100 adults that attend on a typical Sunday, meaning this variety of people interacts on a constant basis.

The author delivered a fourteen-part series of teachings that went through the Bible from beginning to end. Seven messages came from the Old Testament and seven more from the New. These messages explored the themes of unity, diversity and our identity in Christ. The author concurrently led three rounds of focus groups consisting of three groups each, which met in homes to discuss the above themes as they appear throughout the Bible. Groups met before, during and after the teaching series.

In the focus groups, the church displayed an appreciation for the theme of diversity as it appears in the Bible. They seemed reluctant to speak in terms of the biblical metanarrative, though they saw the metanarrative as the foundation for their identity in Christ. They accepted this as their primary personal identity and something they shared with one another. Further, this congregation valued its own diversity, believing that it equipped them to relate and reach out to a greater variety of people. These views were reinforced rather than initiated by the teaching series, meaning people already held the views.

Shuttered factories, scattered faithful : a third generation study of Gastonia and the confluence of faith, poverty, race, class, textile manufacturing, and union organizing in the new South

Author
Laura Alexander-Elliott
Abstract
Following on from Millhands & Preachers (Yale Divinity) and Spindles & Spires (Union Seminary), two religious academic works that studied Gastonia, N.C., in previous sequential generations, the author examines the relationship between the faith community and disappearing textile industry through the lens of her hometown, which once boasted the largest concentration of Southern cotton mills--businesses that built and sustained churches. She incorporates issues of economics, labor, class, and race, and--utilizing dozens of local interviews and surveys--documents the missions role congregations and faith-based nonprofits play today when both manufacturing and the mainline church have been in decline.

[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.]

Using Social Media Effectively in Minstry

Author
Robert A Peterson D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis is titled, "Using Social Media Effectively in Ministry." The researcher taught participants to introduce focus into their use of social media by applying the wisdom of Proverbs and making a correlation to social media. Participants helped form a set of guidelines to focus and inform their online behavior. Comments from participants were studied by the researcher and qualitative analysis was conducted in order to see if participants were affected in a positive way. The research demonstrates participants were affected in a positive way. Social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc has established a firm place in church life. According to a study conducted by the Barna group, Facebook usage by people in churches has jumped from just over half (57%) to a full seven in tne in the past two years.

Cultivating missional leadership through adapting the class meetings (centered on the Jeju JungAng Korean Methodist Church)

Author
Lewis A Parks
Abstract
Jeju JungAng Korean Methodist Church confronted with the challenges in the transformation of the church related to rapid changes of society. These challenges created many conflicts within the congregation. In order to solve the problem at hand, the author researched the implications of missional ecclesiology for leadership through adapting the Wesleyan class meetings. The author formed and led a six weeks "Class Leadership Training (CLT)" for the leadership that rose up in them would be able to move the entire congregation toward a more a missional response to its changing context. The author conducted surveys before and after CLT for understanding how the CLT helped the leadership change their mind.

Under old management: a biblical guide to leading change in the church

Author
Alex L Cobb
Abstract
How do we honor our unchanging God and His unchanging word in an ever-changing world requiring ever-changing methodologies? This project equips leaders to employ biblical principles and practices for affecting Spirit-driven change. It offers a complete New Testament theology on leading change in the church, and a guide for leading change. It details the training of leaders in its teachings and operation. This project includes an exhaustive critique of the relevant church and business literature. It concludes with ideas for development of the project. This project offers help and hope to those who wish to lead God's church through change.

A change process for West Waynesboro Church of Christ

Author
Jonathan W Feathers
Abstract
The purpose of this thesis-project is to develop a change process for West Waynesboro Church of Christ. This thesis-project explains how WWCC underwent a change process by understanding the biblical mission of the church and reviewing resources that address change. This thesis-project uncovers seven lessons learned from a change process for WWCC to assist any minister beginning a ministry at an established church.
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