Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Measuring local congregations' community outreach as a result of participating in the Healthy Church Initiative in the Iowa Conference of the United Methodist Church

Author
Eric Z Sayonkon
Abstract
The Iowa Conference of The United Methodist Church took a bold step by adopting the Healthy Church Initiative (HCI) to help churches focus their mission by engaging communities in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. God is leading us "beyond the walls" to be the "light and salt" in our world. According to the Conference, the HCI will help churches rediscover God's mission for them to be witnesses in their communities. When churches have a holistic view of the gospel; it transforms lives and communities by God's grace. I will demonstrate the need for evangelism in the form of community outreach.

A study of critical care nurses' listening behavior through the application of the quality listening model

Author
D Clare Biedenharn
Abstract
Listening is a quality indicator in patient-centered care. Working within the paradigm of the Quaker listening model, as described by activist and educator Parker J. palmer and others, the intentional use of a spiritually based therapeutic listening model is an effective tool used by the Registered Nurse (RN) in working with patients and their families in making decisions in critical care settings. This project seeks to gauge the outcome of intentional use of this model by the RN as both a tool for improving patient care as well as personal spiritual awareness measured through the Daily Religious Experience Scale.

The local church discerning faithful and effective mission partners

Author
Corey A Nelson
Abstract
Given the enormous number of options facing a congregation seeking to choose mission partners for outreach and service, how does the local church decide where to invest its resources (time, talent, treasure)? Members of the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest will be surveyed through an online questionnaire and focus groups regarding their own values and practices in philanthropy and where they believe their local church should be involved in mission. The research demonstrates that through an exploration of philanthropic best practices, theological study, and awareness-raising dialogue among its members, the local church can enrich discipleship, compel greater charitable generosity and service and make a bigger impact on its community through strategic mission partnerships.

Group spiritual direction among emerging adults

Author
David E MacDonald
Abstract
A field research report describing Merge, a group spiritual direction process among first year students at Ohio Northern, a United Methodist-related university. Merge sought to help emerging adults grow in faith, utilizing conversation, silence, reflection, and creative arts. Participants took part in nine weekly group sessions and a culminating retreat, during which they helped in planning for the future of Merge as a program of the religious life office at Ohio Northern. Growth was measured utilizing the Faith Maturity Scale. Merge was found to attract spiritually aware emerging adults who were seeking an outlet for spiritual growth in college.

"Our sons and daughters shall prophesy": p(r)eaching with millennials

Author
Karen E Mosby
Abstract
This project addresses the need for a more intentional ministry with 18-26 years old Millennials at Second Baptist Church Evanston, an older, predominantly African American congregation. A group of 18-26 year olds will partner with a fifty-something pastor in sermon preparation for three months. The group will reflect on selected biblical texts and provide insights for sermon development. Data from the group, the preached sermons, sermon evaluations, and interviews with key stakeholders will inform recommendations for next steps. Hopefully, this model can resource other congregations seeking to be in ministry with this generation of emerging young adults.

Toward creating a congregational culture of generosity in a Filipino-American context

Author
Jose P Nacionales
Abstract
The works of God can be seen through the history, culture and the growth of the Filipino people. However, throughout their history, there have been influences that tried to undermine the work of God. Subjugation from foreign powers, poverty and abject living conditions caused the people to live in a survival mode and "get whatever you can" mentality. But the plan of God has been for the people to be recipients of His grace and be channels of His grace. This project will attempt to develop the attitude of generosity that God has been working on with the Filipino people.

Advancing congregational discipleship through extended sermon conversations as reimagines call and response

Author
Martin Childs
Abstract
Call and response between the preacher and the congregation is a common feature in many African American churches. In this project, the author proposes that reimagining call and response in preaching as an ongoing sermon conversation advances discipleship in the congregation. The congregation begins the dialogue with the preacher prior to the development of the sermon; participates in traditional call and response during the sermon, and continues the conversation after the sermon is preached. Consequently, the depth of these conversations helps to advance the congregation in the area of discipleship.

The art of conflict transformation: a way to healing and peace

Author
Karla M Kincannon
Abstract
"The Art of Conflict Transformation: A Way to Healing and Peace" addresses the ministry of reconciliation, discussing an approach to peacemaking that heals the wounds of personal and social conflict by transforming the hearts of individuals. Through a retreat, individuals engage in contemplative creative expression as a tool for spiritual formation and transformation. Working in collaboration with JustPeace, the United Methodist's Center for Mediation and Conflict Transformation, the retreat model was reviewed by the organization for use in the work of transforming congregational conflict. The research shows that inner transformation has positive effects the transformation of conflict in the world.

Experience matters: preaching and generation me

Author
Tyler J Christiansen
Abstract
Preaching to the people known as Generation Me (those born between 1970-1999) presents a special challenge. Through sermons, congregational feedback, and the study of marketing and generational trends, this thesis holds that for Generation Me, preaching that focuses on the primacy of experience meets them where they are and opens the door to greater engagement in their faith.

Measuring vital congregations: exploring a missing piece in the United Methodist Church's current metric of measuring vitality

Author
Sheryl L Palmer
Abstract
The purpose of The United Methodist Church is "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." As we seek to live out this mission as a denomination and measure our effectiveness in doing so, the denomination has focused on local congregation vitality and its measurement. However, many across the leadership of the church increasingly agree that because of the decline of mainline protestant churches for well over fifty years, we still use an old paradigm that focuses too much on counting people in the pews and money in the offering plates and rather than the whole panoply of the aspects of disciple-making. This project seeks to explore whether missional church movement patterns could expand our understanding of vitality and align the measurements we use more closely with the full mission of the church we profess in order to empower the administration and leadership of the church for more effective witness.
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