Wesley Theological Seminary

Leading a congregation to spiritual rest through a ministry of daily devotions and journaling

Author
Samuel Park
Abstract
This project sought to bring an ethic of spiritual rest based on biblical concepts of Sabbath and abiding in Jesus to a busy, overworked congregation in the suburbs of New York City through the practical exercise of daily devotions and reflective journal writing. Various teams were organized to produce a forty-day devotional and use it as the basis for journaling throughout Lent. Survey responses and interviews show that the experience of a majority of people who were on this contemplative journey found a sense of rest, peace and God’s purpose in their lives.

[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.]

Religious support in special operations

Author
Kelly L. O'Lear
Abstract
The author, a six-year veteran of the Special Operations community, researched the religious support needs of the United States Special Operations community and their dependents. This was accomplished by collecting and analyzing data within the author's unit as well as data made available by the United States Special Operations Command. The analysis provided recommendations for Religious support Teams in identifying the religious and spiritual needs of the Special Operations community in addition to how Religious Support Teams can adapt to the Special Operations culture.

[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.]

Practicing faith together : Messy Church and disciple formation

Author
Johannah G. Myers
Abstract
How can the foundation of Messy Church be used to create discipleship groups where all ages practice faith together at Aldersgate United Methodist Church? In order to make disciples, churches must create space for all ages to apprentice faith together. The author engaged educational theories and Jesus' own example, specifically researching apprenticeship as a model for learning faith. The author developed intergenerational small groups using the values and model of Messy Church. The project suggests that Messy Church provides a solid foundation for creating space for all ages to practice faith together.

[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.]

Empowering churches to assist certain ex-offenders through the expungements of criminal records

Author
Leslie Evette Moody
Abstract
This project focused on how the local church can be empowered to assist ex-offenders in filing a petition for expungement. The author attempted to engage four churches in two communities to become trained to begin establishing churches with the necessary tools to help their congregations and communities. This project concluded that it is possible for any church with proper training and guidance to be empowered to assist ex-offenders in filing a petition for expungement.

[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.]

The Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist (TIIMS) and the spiritual growth of the congregation

Author
Mary Catherine Miller
Abstract
The Transitional Intentional Interim Minister Specialist(TIIMS) process should include actively assessing the spiritual well-being of and the taking of intentional steps to impact the spiritual climate/system of churches served by TIIMS. This project intentionally used Lectio Davina, Bible studies, and a sermon series based upon sermons by John Wesley to nurture the spiritual well-being of the TIIMM’s church. The TIIMS recommends adding the question, “How goes it with their soul?” to the Analyze the System section of the TIIMSA Process Tasks. It will take time to see if this project impacts the system/climate.

[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.]

Empowerment through storytelling : the story of the patriarch Jacob as a life-transforming experience for women

Author
Elena Melnikova
Abstract
The project responds to women’s hesitance to accept leadership in church regardless of numerous examples found in Methodist heritage. Data analyses indicated that women need empowerment coming from a Bible story interpretation, its personal appropriation and self-awareness gained through sharing stories. The author wrote from the pluralistic ministry perspective and used feminist theology and the Old Testament story of the patriarch Jacob to empower women through storytelling to take on leadership in ministry. The project curriculum addressed questions of calling, promise, growth, conversion and maturation, and could be widely applied in the church and seminary education.

[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.]

Lesson plan for stability : an examination of the long-term pastorate

Author
John M. McCay III
Abstract
The author examined how long-term tenures can be beneficial in the United Methodist Church's itinerant system. He reflected on the works from theologians such as Scott Jones, Henry Rack, Laceye Warner, Ted Campbell and Lovett Weems, along with The Rule of St. Benedict. Through the interviews of twelve church members from a variety of congregations, seven long-term tenured clergy members and two District Superintendents gained input from the pew to the pulpit on the advantages and disadvantages of long-term pastorates. The author then produced a lesson plan for pastors who find themselves or desire to be in a long-term pastorate.

[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.]

Reconciliation, unity, and peace through contextual Bible studies for a healthy multiethnic church in Africa

Author
Jean Claude Masuka Maleka
Abstract
This research project investigates social and spiritual concepts such as reconciliation, peace, and unity, which are crucial elements to create a healthy multiethnic church. Drawing from participants' interviews and Contextual Bible Studies methodology, the author designed a framework that can consolidate Christian identity and Christian unity through a process of dialogue, conversation, and participation, so that everyone might bring wisdom to the church’s contriteness and transformation. As a result, the author brought positive change in a local church of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire where members shifted from exclusion to acceptance of everyone in the church, regardless their identities and origins.

[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.]

Held together and sent out in grace : the interplay between prevenient grace and evangelism

Author
Kent A. Lundy
Abstract
Nationally, the average United Methodist invites one person to Church every 38 years (www.um-insight.net)! In what way can we leverage our understanding of Prevenient Grace to increase the number of invitations the congregants of Churubusco UMC extend to others? The author researched how differing emphasis of invitations helped persons invite others to church. Individuals were placed into small groups for this study period. The analysis suggested that a full understanding of Prevenient Grace is best expressed within small group accountability.

[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.]

Spirit-led design : creating a congregational model for innovation

Author
Beth Ludlum
Abstract
The author led a research team that created a pilot program to test how human-centered design thinking can be adapted and applied in congregational settings. The team repurposed and supplemented existing resources to create a year-long curriculum for five congregations to experiment with new approaches to engage young adults. The team monitored effectiveness by soliciting reports at three junctures during the year; conducting individual interviews with participants; and collecting data through surveys. The program analysis suggests that a defined process, effective tools, and regular accountability are essential for congregations to be truly innovative rather than slipping into “quick fixes” or familiar programming.

[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.]
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