Bible--Psalms

Awana Together: Empowering Parents as Spiritual Mentors for Their Children

Author
Sara-Jane Heacox Sosa D.Min.
Abstract
The post-Christian culture in the United States presents a significant challenge to the spiritual growth of adults and children. At Plymouth Covenant Church, ministry leaders recognized that young parents often lacked a biblical foundation. Many did not feel competent to lead their children spiritually. These parents needed a vibrant personal faith as well as good role models. As a result, ministry leaders designed a more effective way to empower parents as spiritual mentors for their children. They created a new ministry that would provide personal faith development for parents, a supportive faith community, family-focused programming, and solid biblical teaching. This new ministry was a family version of Awana that they called Awana Together.

The problem that this project addressed was the need for a family ministry model at Plymouth Covenant Church that fostered a partnership between the church and families that empowered parents as spiritual mentors for their children. It used an intrinsic case study approach to evaluate Plymouth Covenant’s unique ministry, Awana Together, to determine if it provided a pathway for a better partnership between the home and the church in empowering parents as spiritual mentors. The research included evaluations of biblical passages and current scholarship, surveys of past and present Awana Together participants, focus group discussions with ministry leaders, and in-depth questionnaire responses from three different families. The research revealed that Awana Together was successfully designed to meet the goal of empowering parents as spiritual mentors for their children.

Preaching Post-Disaster: An Examination of Preaching and Preachers in the Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey

Author
Trent Henderson D.Min.
Abstract
Preaching in a post-disaster context is one of the most challenging assignments for a pastor. Throughout the Scriptures and history, there are multiple examples of those who were called to that challenging and lonely task. This project developed a framework for preaching in the post-disaster context, based on analysis of sermons preached on the Sunday following the 2017 landfall of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and interviews of the pastors who preached those sermons. This project also includes analysis and synthesis of data from surveys. As part of the framework constructed, suggested sermon outlines are included for preachers facing this daunting task.

A STUDY OF SERMON APPLICATION ACROSS BIBLICAL GENRES AT FAITH BIBLE CHURCH

Author
Trevor Nunn D.Min.
Abstract
This project developed strategies to sermon application across the biblical genres of poetry, narrative, parables and epistles. The strategies had two goals: (1) enhance the congregants’ biblical understanding of the text while growing them in Christ; (2) improve the quality of sermon applications in the project writer’s preaching. To achieve these goals, this project reviewed hermeneutical topics to create a definition of expository preaching. Based on the definition, a questionnaire evaluated the success of the strategies through a pre/post format of the project writer’s sermons. Conclusions to their success were based upon positive or negative changes within the data.


Developing Christlike Disciples with the Fourfold Spiritual Journey Model at Westwood Alliance Church

Author
Wai Fung Chow D.Min.
Abstract
In this research portfolio, the author explores spiritual formation as a deeper life journey to imitate Jesus Christ. The key question the research addressed is how Jesus’ followers in Westwood Alliance Church (hereafter called WAC) can walk into a deeper life journey with Jesus Christ. Four aspects of Jesus’ life on earth have been identified for the sake of living out the life modelled by Jesus Christ (Discipline, Surrender, Testimony, and Community). The author examined the question through four separate yet related dimensions: (i) the author’s spiritual autobiography into the Life of Discipline, in which the author confirmed his vocational calling from God; (ii) the process of recovering from grief into the Life of Surrender, in which the author realized the valuable transformation in his life after his wife’s passing; (iii) the Fourfold Spiritual Journey model into the Life of Testimony, in which the author tried to formulate a deeper life practice in WAC; (iv) and the field research project into the Life of Community, in which the author practised early morning prayer with a small group of people. The conclusion is that walking a spiritual journey with Jesus Christ in WAC is practical and achievable through practising spiritual disciplines to achieve the awareness of God’s presence in one’s daily life, abiding in Christ to achieve a lifestyle of surrender, sharing one’s testimony to equip other disciples, and reaching out the community of faith to serve one another.

Promoting the Psalms as prayer through Bible classes and preaching

Author
David H. Petersen
Abstract
The goal of the project was to increase the Redeemer Lutheran Church congregation's knowledge and appreciation of the Psalms and of their use of the Psalms as prayer. Research was conducted on a Lutheran definition of prayer for the Psalms, the use and role of imagination in interpreting the psalms, and on homiletic strategies tailored to the Psalms as prayer. The research method was to take surveys and observation notes throughout an intensive period of Bible classes and sermons and then again at a later date. The results were positive but most pronounced in those for whom the concepts were new.

The Psalms "The standard liturgy and grand magazine of devotion for the Church in all ages" [Dr Robert Lee 1857]

Author
Lezley J Stewart
Abstract
This project consists of the re-imagination of a historic book of liturgy inspired by the Psalms. The author takes the original publication of Prayers for Public Worship (1857) by Dr Robert Lee, Greyfriars Kirk, Edinburgh, Scotland and re-imagines it for use today under the title Let everyone find their voice [Psalm 150:6]. The author's thesis is that the Psalms continue to inspire new psalms of praise. Re-imagining the Psalms for liturgical use the author applies the lens of liturgical theology, employs ethnographic research, and evaluates qualitative data; the results of which show that Psalms continue to inspire devotion and praise today.

The pulpit suitability of selected English Bible versions according to the text-driven model

Author
Pierre G Rosa
Abstract
This dissertation demonstrates that Formal Equivelence English Bible versions are better suited for preaching according to the text-driven model. This paper evaluates the renditions of Psalms 1 and 2, Timothy 2:17 in the GNB, NIV, NLT, NKJV, NASB, and ESV. The introduction determines the ministry need for such a project. Chapter 1 defines concepts and introduces the Pulpit Suitability test, the measure by which the sample passages are evaluated. Chapter 2 determines the substance, structure, and spirit of the sample passages. The remaining chapters assign a suitability value to each version. The highest ranking versions receive a more favorable degree of adequacy for preaching.

Permission to lament: divorce in midlife women

Author
Mary Ann Gantt Carter
Abstract
The psalms of lament are not well represented in The United Methodist Church liturgy and sermons. This project focuses on how permission to lament found in these psalms can help midlife women as they move past divorce. An overview of literature related to psalms of lament and divorce in midlife women is provided. The project introduces psalms of lament to women who are divorced at midlife. After studying psalms of lament, women write their personal psalms of lament.

Preaching the experience of hope: from lament to celebration

Author
Kristopher Scott Hewitt
Abstract
We live in an age that thirsts for good news, but without lament there is only shallow praise. Preaching a lament opens listeners to deal with the real issues that burden them. This thesis proposes specifically the reclaiming of the psalms of lament in preaching following the homiletic design for celebration of Frank Thomas. With this integration the preacher is both the leader of lament and celebrant of God's presence. Through personal experience, along with feedback from the congregation, I have found that the movement from lament to celebration enables an authentic encounter with God, our source of hope.

Preaching the Psalms ith passion: the justification and development of a new model for preaching the Psalms with an eye to implementing its emotional content and intent

Author
Darren Craig Roorda
Abstract
The content of this project revolves around a hypothesis which can only be understood in light of the trepidation that modern preachers feel in opening up to the book of Psalms and not knowing how to handle its poetry for the purpose of producing a well crafted and affectual sermon. It is my hope that through an evaluation of historical sources a preaching method will be developed which matches the Psalms as "the history of every heart in which has burned the love of God." This method will incorporate tools of modern exegesis and also add an emotional dimension which has remained underemphasized. Following the development of the model, the implementation of preaching various psalms will allow a panel of people to critique its effectiveness.
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