Wesley Theological Seminary

Coming to the rainbow: a study of cross-racial, cross-cultural appointments in the United methodist Church of the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference

Author
Jeanne Harvey Duncan
Abstract
God loves color. Color is more than red, blue, green; it is different creatures, languages, climates, geographies; it is diversity. God has continually challenged humanity to understand that diversity produces the rainbow of peace and harmony. The writer concludes that coming to the rainbow, that is coming to the fullness of diversity in which God has created all, requires a slow and intentional process with multi-faceted approaches. Through the skill of listening and reflecting, participating and reflecting, the writer shares the findings of pastors, congregations, and consultants as they struggle to become a more inclusive Annual Conference.

The African American funeral and its potential for evangelism

Author
Mae E Harrison
Abstract
The author has examined some of the characteristics of the African American funeral and how it functions to bring together the African American community in the midst of grief. The main parts of the funeral event such as the service, wake, the committal service, and the repast, are examined as powerful tools of evangelism. In addition, the importance of preaching, singing, and praying during the funeral event have been explored as additional spiritual tools for evangelism. The role of the pastor and laity are explored as care givers offering an open door of opportunity for being evangelists. The author's research and interviews have concluded that the ethos of the funeral events provides a new window in which the church may look at new models for its evangelism ministry.

Plight to Plow Ministry: a new paradigm in church starting

Author
Thomas H Hagin
Abstract
Plight to Plow Ministry is a new paradigm in church starting for underserved communities experiencing plight. This ministry is designed to energize and mobilize communities for change, and it was established in response to the plight of urban communiites all too often plagued with social ills such as substance abuse, unemployment, and crime.

Recovering Anglican spirituality: reflections on a diocesan program to promote spiritual formation in congregations

Author
Robert T Gribbon
Abstract
This ethnographic study documents how one judicatory nutured spirituality in congregations using Alban Institute resources, and critiques the process and content of the project with attention to Anglican sources. As a participant-observer, the author reviews the details of the process, the development of Anglicanism, the history of the Diocese of Easton, and theories of the Alban Institute in the process of a friendly critique. The document includes reflections on Anglican spirituality, handouts from the workshops on "Shepherding the Spiritual Life of Congregations," and an annotated bibliography.

Paradigm shifts and spiritual gifts: rediscovering god's design for the ministry of the body of Christ

Author
Jeffrey E Greenway
Abstract
This project chronicles the shift one pastor and congregation has made from the traditional, organizational structure of a United Methodist Church to an organic system flowing out of the spiritual gifts of the congregation. The author combines the disciplines of biblical/theological reflection on spiritual gifts (charismata), change theory, leadership theory, and systems theory in an integrated approach to leading the Christ United Methodist Church of Erie, PA through this shift. The project concludes with nine practical lessons learned in the process, which will provide helpful insights to other church leaders.

Counseling youth in the United Methodist Church on military enlistment: a step toward world peace

Author
Craig A Goff
Abstract
This project addresses pastoral counseling young persons regarding military service and its alternatives in the United Methodist Church as prescribed in The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. Basic foundations of Wesleyan theological investigation are set forth so that such counseling can be grounded in the United Methodist theological tradition. Both current and historical Christian views toward war, including those of John Wesley, are presented with biblical and theological reflections. The nature of military activity is examined as well as practical matters relating to the actual counseling process.

Dangerous opportunities: bereavement and theology for young adult women

Author
Jan F Fuller Carruthers
Abstract
Grief creates spiritual crisis. Participants responded spiritually in four representative types: confirmation, affirmation with change, radical newness, and radical disorder. Theological reflection increased emotional resolution and spiritual growth in bereavement. Those engaging the pain and confusion of spiritual transformation asserted new meaning, perspective, and strength as a result of grief. This qualitative case study demonstrated thematic dconsistency in the way young adult women bereaved during college years engage or do not engage questions of God's character, justice and their own identities during bereavement. This study demonstrates grief's outcome as spiritual transdformatin and calls or theological engagement by chaplains and religious professionals.

We discern together: group spiritual guidance in the Reformed tradition

Author
Cheryl Ann Elfond
Abstract
The author researched the effects of participating in a small group for spiritual guidance by eight lay women over a four-month period. Participants provided extensive data before and throughout the project in quantitative and narrative forms. All participants benefited from the interactions and felt nurtured in their faith, but each responded to the experience in individual ways. Narrative material proved more revealing than quantitative responses. Participants affirmed group spiritual guidance as the standard form of guidance in the Christian tradition, not a process that can be controlled or manipulated, but rather the gift of God to the people of God.

Equipping pastors and church leaders to train caregivers to help the unemployed and persons in job transition

Author
Joseph I DeLong
Abstract
The purpose of the project was to conduct a pilot study assessing the readiness of church pastors, church leaders, and congregational members to be trained as caregivers to first time job seekers and the working poor. Three non-denominational, multi-racial churches and one para-church ministry were identified as groups interested in receiving training for future church-based support programs for first time job seeker and the working poor. It was hoped that this project would stimulate ongoing relationships between church pastors, church leaders and congregational members, the working poor and first time job seekers. The results indicated that three of the church groups were ready to receive caregiver training.

A study of transcending suffering

Author
Josephine Daspro
Abstract
The following document is about transcending suffering. It presents an experience of group spiritual direction. In group spiritual direction a small group comes together to share life's journey, and to understand more deeply the place God has in life. A homogeneous group of adult children of Alzheimers's victims met for six weeks. The focus of the sharing was based on the third week of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The third week exercises draw the person's attention to the Passion of Christ. Being united with the suffering of Christ gave meaning to our own suffering with Alzheimer's Disease. Our parents were good people: why did they have to suffer so heinous a disease? The literature informing the dissertation project centered on the disease of Alzheimer's the scriptures prayed in the third week, and the question of suffering. The role of the caregiver is essential. Being aware of the needs of the patient is only part of the knowledge needed to live with Alzheimer's Disease; caregivers must be in touch with their own needs. The caregivers must be keenly aware of the importance of balance in their own lives in order to take proper care of the patient. Transcending suffering occurred when the group united their sufferings with the sufferings of Christ.
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