Wesley Theological Seminary

Praying the Church Beyond the Walls

Author
Redonia M Thomas
Abstract
What kind of intercessory prayer ignites and energizes a church to become more engaged in the community? Research shows there is a consistent decline in people attending church. The two congregations I serve are experiencing this decline. They were more inward focused and less missional minded. At one time, the four walls of the church were sufficient for ministry, because people came to the house of God. However, there has been a shift in the demographics, the attitudes and behaviors of the community. This project focuses on how intercessory prayer helps congregations seek the welfare of the city.

Road to "Yuan Mun" Aging (Fulfilling Aging): Transforming Retirees to Active Volunteers

Author
Sin Kian Tan
Abstract
Aging is a world trend and global issue. It is important to provide a relevant equipping program to transform the young-old from retiree to an active servant of God, thus to live their life fruitfully and meaningfully and accomplish the task given by God which serves to bless the middle old and old-old generation. This paper focuses on two main areas: the transformation principles through the study of the life of Moses from shepherd of the flock to the leader of the Israelite crowd, and a study of the equipping program of the Golden Army of Heaven (GAOH) and modifications of it to suit the Singapore context. A survey of the young-old about their satisfaction and meaning found in life helps to determine the real-life condition of the young-old, and the evaluation of the Golden Army of Heaven (GAOH) conducted by the author examines the effectiveness and usefulness of the equipping program.

Reclaiming Mission and Evangelism as Wesleyan Christians in Our Church and Neighborhoods for the Transformation of Lives and Communities

Author
Deborah C Suddarth
Abstract
How can Collierville United Methodist Church wholistically address the spiritual yearnings of mind, body, and soul of those in the church's immediate neighborhoods by sharing God's incarnational love through community development, while at the same time revitalizing the intentional discipleship of the congregation? The author embarked on a community development project, bringing together the congregation, neighborhood and community churches, and four targeted neighborhoods in Collierville, TN, creating a coalition: Collierville Connected. Spiritual and leadership development were emphasized in every team meeting. Surveys conducted determined possible goals for the coalition, the first resulting in the opening of a Neighborhood Resource Center.

Statistics and Story: Understanding Congregational and Pastoral Story through Statistical Data

Author
Adam B Snell
Abstract
The statistical data congregations collect can be a beginning point for learning the stories of those congregations and their pastoral leadership. Statistical data was collected for over 600 churches in the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church for the years 1974 to 2014. Graphs were generated that plotted average worship attendance for that range of years for each of those churches and, concurrently, the pastoral leadership of those churches. This project found a decrease in average worship attendance for the Conference, but also found evidence of vitality in many congregations and pastors. It also discovered a few good stories.

Fostering Revival and Growth in an Urban Blighted Area through Community Stakeholders

Author
Ronald L Slaughter
Abstract
How can community stakeholders partnering with Saint James Church address urban blight? The author researched how a partnership between the church and community stakeholders can lead to creative financing of a new church building and the revitalization of an urban blighted area. He studied how Nehemiah's strategy for redeveloping urban Jerusalem, can become a model for the 21st century urban church. He presents insights from interviews with community stakeholders along with creative marketing strategies to launch a capital campaign to keep members excited. Lastly, the author shares relevant strategies for building a new church in an urban blighted community.

Steal Away: Reclaiming Wholistic Health and Well-Being Clergywomen's Health Initiative

Author
Paula B Smith
Abstract
Clergy health matters. Clergy health is considered critically threatened in various dimensions of health and well-being when compared to a representative sample of the general population. The Reclaiming Wholistic Health and Well-Being Clergy Women's Health Initiative utilized a covenant peer group model, an overnight retreat, health professional/spiritual director consultations, and an online and in person communication forums to facilitate theological reflection and engagement in spiritual disciplines to cultivate healthy habits in five dimensions of health: spiritual, physical, emotional, social, and financial. The participants demonstrated improvement in all dimensions.

Enhancing Religious Services at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center through the Protestant Chapel Service

Author
Daniel T Braswell
Abstract
This project involves exploring ways to enhance religious services at a military hospital through the Protestant chapel congregation. The author implemented ways to raise awareness of the services through the hospital. He also conducted a survey among the current chapel congregation. Next, he did a series of interviews of chapel congregants using narrative analysis to gain a picture of the meaning and purpose of the service for the current attendees to provide insights for enhancing the service. The results lead to conclusions and suggestions for further enhancement of the services.

Breaking In Community Engagement through Intercessory Prayer

Author
Susan E Boehl
Abstract
To the unchurched, the local church is largely absent and nominally relevant to their circumstances. This fundamental disconnect threatens to leave the church impotent to walk alongside and impact its unchurched neighbors. This author proposes a common denominator for the community and the Gathered Church, namely, Intercessory Prayer. Through planning and implementation of five public Intercessory Prayer activities with internal complements, the author details the re-introduction of relationship-building, mutual vulnerability, and authentic connection between those inside and outside the walls of the church. Interviews and first-person narratives reveal the journey toward collaboration with, and transformation of all, through sacred encounter.

Fostering Hope Covenant Discipleship as a Vehicle to Connect Congregations and Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care

Author
Bryan L Brooks
Abstract
Christian congregations can use small groups to build mutually nourishing connections among young adults aging out of foster care and church members. Working with a nearby foster care organization, the author adapted a traditional Wesleyan small group approach, Covenant Discipleship, to establish a cohort of congregants from his local church and young adults aging out of foster care, a population often overlooked by communities of faith. By flexibly applying Covenant Discipleship techniques and engaging the foster care residents as adults with power to shape the experience, a new model for connecting congregations and young adults transitioning from foster care emerged.

"Why Are People Hungry?"

Author
Kenneth W Cox
Abstract
This project paper seeks to answer the question,"Why are people hungry?" through a deeper biblical understanding of bread and hunger. It outlines a replicable process which identified local causes of hunger through a series of interviews and coaching with local food pantry participants. These participants were then connected with available community resources that could help alleviate their cause of hunger leading to transformed lives. The process was replicated or considered at different levels in five additional local church settings. The results revealed that relationships formed between the volunteers and participants was the most transformative aspect of this project.
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