Worship

Enriching the black worship experience at the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church (Nashville, Tenn)

Author
David B Groves
Abstract
The purpose of this ministry research project was to enrich the Black worship experience at the Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Nashville, Tenn, by reclaiming its worship heritage. Cultural terms such as "Black" and "celebrative" were defined along with the direction the project would take. Biblical, theological, and historical research were presented as foundations for Black worship enrichment in chapter 2. Chapter 3 analyzed the congregation for the need of the project using social research. A program of worship enrichment stressing heritage awareness was presented. Chapter 4 evaluated the project as needed and successful. Projections for future research and ministry concluded the study.

Lex orandi lex credendi

Author
Erwin M Smuda
Abstract
The author asserts that the form, content, and practice of liturgy is what determines the belief of the church. He examines the development of liturgical practices and finds evidence to support this thesis. He also considers the role of the teaching magisterium and discovers instances where doctrinal authority serves as a corrective to those worship patterns which may lead to false belief. He concludes that both the worship practices and teaching authority of the church are important elements in determining doctrine. However, it is worship that carries more influence in the end.

The role of preaching and worship in evangelism

Author
Walter E Middlebrooks
Abstract
The primary mission of the local church is evangelism. Vital biblical preaching and Christian worship can fuel the renewal of a ministry of evangelism within the local church. The administrative council was apprised of the project thesis. Covenant group(s) were organized. A church-wide retreat was held at Solomons, Maryland. The group was introduced to the "Twelve Keys to Effective Church Growth" by Kenneth L Callahan. The project concluded that preaching and worship are the keys that feed all other keys. Effective preaching and worship can bring the church alive, foster discipleship, and call others to serve.

A theology of inclusive language and the use of inclusive language in the sacramentary prayers of the Roman rite

Author
Joseph J Arackal
Abstract
This project defends that inclusive language in worship is essential to nourish, strengthen, and express faith. The project provides guidelines for the translation or revision of existing worship materials into inclusive language at all levels in worship and explains the method of introduction of inclusive language into community worship. In addition the author also proposes a theology for inclusive language at all levels of worship with sufficient documentation to support this theology of inclusive language.

Ministering to the afflicted through combining the spiritual resources of the church and Alcoholics Anonymous

Author
Stuart C Brush
Abstract
This project opens the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous. It uncovers a spiritual fellowship which ministers to afflicted people. The Christian church and Alcoholics Anonymous are parallel rehabilitative and regenerative agencies for helping hurting people. They each can become more effective through building bridges which combine their spiritual resources in a local congregational setting. This dissertation includes a four-session Bible study on "substance abuse in the Bible", a section on inclusive church, Alcoholics Anonymous worship resources, and a detailed report on a church leaders' retreat which implanted many of the caring tools of Alcoholics Anonymous into the day-by-day program of the parish.

Marking the meaning of the Lord's Supper: six celebrations in worship

Author
Peter C Kelder
Abstract
This project innovatively develops key theological themes for worship services including the Lord's Supper. Six themes were chosen: remembrance, proclamation, fellowship, self-examination, expectation, and thanksgiving. The celebration of these themes in worship was intended to be for the edification and inspiration of the worshipper. An evaluation form was used to determine (on a scale of 1-10) the result of the worship service to an individual's life. The results of the project were very positive and confirmed the strong preference of the lay person for the approach taken in the Lord's Supper celebration.

Dialogic preaching: utilizing contributions from a weekly lay Bible study-seminar to inform the sermon and to enrich worship/preaching

Author
Layne E Smith
Abstract
The thesis is that if laypersons are involved in a pre-sermon Bible study-seminar worship and preaching will be enriched. Seven persons participated in the nine-week study, the first two being didactic sessions that covered worship and preaching. They then participated in a Lenten Bible study-seminar of the New Common Lectionary texts. From the study, the author gained insights for the sermon. Utilizing a control group, the author conducted a pre-test and post-test. Additionally, the study used a final evaluation instrument and meeting to determine that a pre-sermon Bible study does enrich worship and preaching.

Growing a church, growing a faith: evaluating the role of the sermon in context of liturgy in forming the spiritual life of the congregation

Author
Janice Riggle Huie
Abstract
This project takes as its thesis the premise that members of a congregation grow significantly in spiritual formation as a result of regular participation in the Sunday morning worship of a church. The method which this project follows is experiential and mystagogical. The project concludes that significant growth in spiritual formation can and does take place in the worship service. Second, initial responses of long-time members differed significantly from initial resonses of "beginners in faith". Third, lay leaders often carry leadership burdens which sometimes hinder their ability to participate fully in worship. Fourth, the person of the pastor plays a large role in the spiritual formation of the congregation. Finally, the project points to the ways in which traditional community memory can be evoked from individual memories.

Enhancing worship as a dialogical region

Author
Norman J Schouten
Abstract
Worship is dialogical in nature. In dialogical worship the individual encounters God and one's neighbor and shares his or her being with God and ones neighbor. When this worship occurs, the encounter becomes "the communion of the saints". The thesis is affirmed by examining worship from phenomenological, biblical, historical and theological points of view. The study examines a particular congregation in which special attention was paid to what phenomenologists call the "dialogical region". The study concludes that identifying the dialogical region helps provide an atmosphere in which worship as dynamic encounter is more likely to take place.

Worship in the "post-industrial"/"rust-belt" urban church

Author
Deborah K Cronin
Abstract
The worship practices of downtown "post-industrial"/"rust-belt" urban churches which are exhibiting signs of spiritual and physical revitalization can be studied in such a way as to identify characteristics helpful for developing worship at a church in a similar demographic situation. Using material gathered from interviews with nine pastors of churches which match the description outlined in the thesis, this project culminates in a worship study offered to a similar congregation. The worship study results in enthusiastic planning of Advent worship services by the participants and the creation of a worship committee.
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