Spiritual life

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.

A structural approach to meditation and spirituality for Unitarians and Universalists

Author
Eugene Richard Widrick
Abstract
This project provides an introduction to spiritual discipline, focused on meditation, through a behavioral or structural approach, for Unitarians and Universalists. It includes a brief look at some earlier Unitarian and Universalist spiritualities, current attitudes, and how they relate to the religious milieu in which they are set. The project concludes with a consideration for the necessity to have meaning in life as well as religious behavior, even though consensus about meaning is lacking in Unitarian Universalist circles.

Ministering toward congregational maturity: a reformed perspective

Author
Thomas P Eggebeen
Abstract
The purpose of the thesis is to provide: 1) insights into the relevance of the Reformed tradition for congregational life; 2) examples and analysis of programs useful in creating a Reformed consciousness; and 3) a critique of fundamentalism. The focus of each chapter is as follows: 1) the theology and practice of infant baptism as the beginning point of a Reformed ministry; 2) spiritual confidence as the chief result of living within the Reformed tradition; 3) the reality and function of doubt within the believer's life; and 4) basic thoughts for Reformed spirituality.
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