Virginia

HOLY LISTENING: CREATING NEW PRACTICES OF MISSION BY EXTENDING PASTORAL CARE BEYOND THE WALLS OF THE CHURCH

Author
Caitlin Thomas Deyerle D.Min.
Abstract
With a goal of developing a new practice of mission to address the disconnect between a congregation and its surrounding community and engage the historical and ongoing limitations of mission practices, this project sought to engage the skills of pastoral care to create a relational focused practice of holy listening. A five-week Lenten Listening program was developed to cultivate this practice and use it to create a deeper partnership with local educators. The evaluation methods used were a survey of the congregational participants before and after the program, and in-person interviews with the educators following the program. The project addresses racial and socioeconomic differences between church and community as a primary barrier to mission partnership.

The Legacy of Hope - Moving Beyond Boundaries

Author
Temaki Carr D.Min.
Abstract
The Legacy of Hope stares into the future, a future that seems riddled with change and transition, and ponders how best to serve a transforming community. Mt. Hope Baptist Church is a historically African American church nestled in a moderately rural Virginia community, which is in the midst of an enormous population, socioeconomic, and demographic transition. How will this community transition impact Mt. Hope? The purpose of the research was to determine what effect, if any, a relational meeting campaign and two multicultural, multiracial Christian education classes would have on incorporating multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist Church. The research determined that the threshold to incorporate multicultural, nonblack attendees into the life of Mt. Hope Baptist church has been traversed. The formal and informal relational meeting campaign with key leaders and nonblack worship attendees as well as two Christian education classes influenced the five measurement protocols towards a propensity of acceptance to multicultural ministry.

The voice of the African American Church on mental Illness : schizophrenia

Author
Emma J. Valentine
Abstract
This project addresses the need for the Northern Virginia Baptist Association to become a resource center on mental illness to assist its congregations. The researcher did a qualitative review of literature on the impact of mental illness, particularly schizophrenia; facilitated focus groups and interviews with professionals from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, and religion, as well as lay people; and examined a case study of a family with a mentally ill son. Results of the study suggest that pastors and leaders can work collaboratively within the Association to provide a user-friendly resource center for those seeking help with mental health issues.

[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.]

Learning to Pray Without Ceasing: Instilling the Importance of Prayer and its Connection to Social Justice in Youth

Author
Wesley Brian Jamison D.Min.
Abstract
Progressive churches continue to struggle with retaining youth, who often seen little merit in the church's traditions and rituals. These spiritual practices are essential to nurturing the strength and vision necessary to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This project offers a model for integrating these practices into the regular activities of youth ministry as a way of reconnecting them to the struggle for justice. It was tested by adding the observance of the daily offices of prayer to a youth mission trip and examining the views of participants concerning prayer and its connection to justice before, during, and after the trip. Noticeable changes were measured during and after the trip, indicating that youth came to see spiritual practices are more important to the work of justice. These findings suggest that the church would do well to look to its own history of monasticism as a model for youth ministry in the post-Christian era.

Developing a tool for matching church planting strategies to church planting models in Virginia

Author
Jeffrey W Meyer
Abstract
This project involved designing a systematized and flexible church planting tool for maximum church planting effectiveness. The Church Planting Location and Model Guide was developed for demonstrating linkages between the church planter, the focus area, and the church model. New and veteran church planters throughout Virginia field-tested the tool by gathering demographic and psychographic information. Each resulting data profile was analyzed to confirm that the selected church model matched the church planter and his mission field context. The resulting readiness tool guides planters in church planting preparation as they choose a church model that maximizes Gospel contextualization and cultural relevance.
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