Spiritual life

Liturgies of the Lutheran Book of Worship as experiential means to a caring and loving God

Author
Alfred J Lewensten
Abstract
The liturgies of the Lutheran Book of Worship are a means to experience God and should be given full implementation in the congregations of the church. The LBW offers rich opportunity for church renewal in the mission of its loving God. The influences which have minimized liturgy in the church should be rejected and resistance to the historic liturgies removed by persistant and loving shepherding. Congregational projects and a questionnaire provide research resources. Evaluation of ten years use of the LBW in the congregation concludes that success is measured by effectiveness of the process rather than by an end product.

Imagination, transformation, and writing in Christian education

Author
John R Seraphine
Abstract
This project proposes a model for Christian education that brings together recent research on the vital roles of language, metaphor, imagination, and story. Emphases on praxis and the nurturing role of the faith community also are highlighted. The project then demonstrates that students involved in a well-designed program of writing strategies can begin to foster life-long Christian education. The project leads students to exercise critical and controlled religious imagination. Practical guidance and an appendix of selected strategies and examples of student writing is provided for those who wish to implement writing activities in the church.

Singing in the key of love: a journey to the Jesus in me for others

Author
Jaime Potter-Miller
Abstract
This document is based on the premise that an individual's "being" and "doing" must be held in creative tension by a band of spiritual energy that is in continual movement. Six notes of spiritual discipline are sounded and investigated by fifteen project associates. By using the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory to gauge personality, the Houts Questionnaire to discover spiritual gifts, a faith journey interview and other exercises, three approaches to spiritual development are identified: faith-as-belief, which initially views disciplines in literal terms; faith-as-relationship, which seeks symbolic values of traditional and non-traditional information; and faith-as-image, which establishes its own symbols.

How "Groups With Purpose" stimulate spiritual formation in a local church

Author
Virgil L Stauffer
Abstract
This project assumes that small groups are more effective when they are formed in response to a clearly defined need. Each group should be unique in method and format. This work refutes the concept that there exists any one "right group" that is capable of ministering to all people and to every type of need. The author finds the basis for his thesis in the biblical record. He determines that small group ministry would be more effective if it used the principles and methods of modern schools of therapy. John Wesley's theology and methodology that concern the class meeting and the society guide this project. The author updates this method to coincide with the needs of a twentieth century society. The paper includes a description of a "Groups With Purpose" project in one local church and a design for establishing and maintaining such a ministry in a body of believers. The paper concludes with a discussion of unresolved questions. It conjectures that "Groups With Purpose" could be a viable ministry in a church of any size if the philosophy is carefully understood and applied.

An evaluation of the hermeneutic and style of Frederick Buechner

Author
Daniel S Clark
Abstract
The project assumes that study of Frederick Buechner's hermeneutic, or the hermeneutic of any other effective communicator of the gospel, can enhance a pastor's preaching and the spiritual growth of the congregation. The author tests this thesis in three ways: by using The Sacred Journey to teach in the church, sending out a survey on hermeneutics to the ministers of Shenandoah Presbytery and leading a workshop to prepare ministers to use and evaluate Buechner's hermeneutic in an imaginary conversation with Harry Emerson Fosdick, Paul Scherer and James A Sanders.

The deeper life conference: an Adventist adaptation of the spiritual retreat concept

Author
Norman A Yeager
Abstract
One of the pastor's responsibilities is to teach parishioners how to maintain a deep personal relationship with God. The Seventh-day Adventist church has not developed tools that enable the pastor to meet this responsibility. The Deeper Life Conference is designed to fill this gap through the adaptation of the spiritual retreat concept. During the weekend long conference, the participants receive instruction in meditation, prayer, healthfulness, and fasting, and are given time to practice meditation and prayer. Three surveys taken before, at the close of the Conference, and six months after the conference determine the growth in the participants' spiritual life. Growth in the relationship with God seems to take place across all age groups and lengths of church membership.

Uniquely yours: a seminar of faith-sharing tailored to individual uniqueness

Author
Judith G Hadley
Abstract
The goal of this seminar was to help people design their own styles of sharing faith. The project developed six different models for the telling of: 1) each person's pilgrimage of faith and 2) the Christ story. The participants experienced each method and selected those sections that applied to their own experience, theology and conversational style. With these selections each person designed his or her own method of faith-sharing. The goal was to develop a way of sharing the faith that was natural and comfortable for each person. The project includes a teaching manual and student workbook for this seminar.

Sanctification and responsible witness: a program of intentionality for mainline Christians

Author
Norman E Dunkle
Abstract
This project addresses the religious reticence of most mainline Christians which contrasts to the assertiveness of both popular culture and the religious sects. The author believes faithful Christian witness is linked in a bilateral relationship to spiritual growth. He explores the themes of sanctification and witness primarily from the perspective of his Wesleyan heritage. The paper describes an eight week course, a many faceted, several month program and a network of small groups within a 700 member congregation. The evidence of change among participants is convincing although difficult to meassure objectively.

Including God: applying feminist perspectives and programs on spirituality to religious life at Moravian College to foster renewal

Author
Willard R Harstine
Abstract
This project describes and evaluates feminist insights and programs introduced to the Moravian College campus in 1985-86 by its chaplain. Campus attitudes are surveyed through questionnaires, discussions and private interviews. The programs presented include a chapel series, bible studies with religious groups and three all-college events. Feminist perspectives from six area chaplains are included. Writings of current authors in the areas of feminism and spirituality inform the project. Recommendations for campus planning are made in three areas: worship, religious group life, campus-wide concerns. Extensive appendixes and bibliography are provided.

A model for negotiation of United Church of Christ pastors' spiritual needs

Author
Neal A Brown
Abstract
The model integrates theories on temperament, spirituality and negotiation to offer a wholistic approach for negotiating spiritual needs. The negotiating method is adapted from the Harvard Research Project. Pastors and lay leaders in three congregations are involved in testing the model. They meet with a facilitator for five sessions and use two test instruments, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and World View Test Instrument, to facilitate negotiations. The project concludes that the model offers opportunities for persons to understand how their temperaments and spiritualities interact within the body of Christ and the impact of this interaction on daily negotiations.
Subscribe to Spiritual life