Episcopal Church

A feasibility study of multi-site structures for Episcopal Church growth in the twenty-first century

Author
Clay A Lein
Abstract
Many churches are using multi-site structures for kingdom growth. Could a multi-site approach enable Episcopal parishes to start new communities of faith? Multi-site structures, defines as one church in multiple locations, have strong biblical and ecclesiological support. Several examples can be found in Anglican history, and the canons fully support this approach. Five parishes were found to have implemented multi-sites in suburban contexts. Their experience was explored and documented as a qualitative multiple case study. Their multi-site approaches proved successful. Analysis of these cases, coupled with in-depth study of multi-site literature, yielded 20 specific recommendations for possible future implementation.

A budding young adult ministry: tending God's garden at Washington National Cathedral

Author
Jeannette Naylor Cope
Abstract
Mainline denominations, including my own Episcopal Church, are declining in both membership and relevance in the United States today, and the Church now faces a stark choice: proactively reach out to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ to young adults and show the Gospel of God already-at-work in the world in their lives or preside over a truly dying Church. This thesis suggests several approaches to equipping and empowering young adults to have confidence in their own faith narratives, and then to share those stories with others. Over a period of four months, this thesis project engaged young adults in a workshop, retreat, and diocesan gathering to focus on evangelism with and through young adults, the possibilities for intergenerational transformation, and the role of Washington National Cathedral as a diocesan resource and convener for young adult ministry.

Preaching a new vision: a vision based on Benedictine values

Author
David A Drebert
Abstract
This thesis argues that preaching about Benedictine spiritual values can influence the desire for a new vision in the church and the content of its vision statement. Benedictine values of stability, obedience and conversion are interpreted for a church community. The context is a small suburban Episcopal church beginning a new ministry with their recently arrived priest. In various group feedback sessions, listeners expressed their understanding of how Benedictine values can shape the spiritual life of the church community and become part of its vision. The thesis offers a framework for spiritual renewal of a faith community through preaching.

The search for identity in a small urban church

Author
Pamela J Redding
Abstract
This ethnographic study explored the use of visual media in defining congregational identity and call in a small urban Episcopal congregation. Eleven study participants photographed common parish events to communicate self-selected themes. These elements were grounded in everyday life, conveying the integration of traditional Anglican values with challenges of multicultural life in a northwest Detroit neighborhood. Through discussion and group process, a congregational mission statement evolved as "Christian community spreading out into secular community." This statement provided focus for parish leaders to move forward with unified and divine purpose.

Ecumenical formation in denominational theological seminaries

Author
Mitzi J Budde
Abstract
Ecumenical formation in denominational theological seminaries is an ethnographic study of four denominational seminaries (the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Roman Catholic Church). The author describes the current American context for ecumenism and identifies and compares the four schools' approaches to ecumenical education and formation. The effect of ecumenical dialogues and full communion agreements on theological education is analyzed. The thesis describes how an intentional and transformative ecumenical component might be incorporated into theological education in the denominational seminary context for the preparation of ecumenically literate ordained and lay ministers.

Mission implications in the Episcopal baptismal liturgy: a study guide for adults

Author
Walter L Ellis
Abstract
This project explores mission in the world for lay Episcopalians. A literature review shows the laity's basic role in mission at the beginning of the twentieth century was to provide resources for church expansion. During the twentieth century social and political crises forced the Episcopal Church to include social service in its mission understanding. The 1979 Prayer Book provides a clear statement for lay mission. In the project a clergy-lay team produced a study guide of the baptismal service for adult use. The study guide questions engage the participant in theological reflection about personal mission. Additional research projects are proposed.

Perceptions of ministerial roles in relationship to three primary functions of ministry

Author
Edwin M Leidel
Abstract
This project investigates the interplay that takes place between the functions and roles of clergy and lay leaders within the Episcopal Church. The data from one hundred clergy and lay leaders reveals that both clergy and lay participate fully in three primary functions of ministry. Priest's tend to emphasize the ordering and meaning giving functions, while laity emphasize the serving function. Clergy exercise leadership in the ministries of worship, education, and pastoral care. Laity lead in the ministries of stewardship, evangelism, and service. Priests and laity are most differentiated in the functions of worship and in carrying out social justice.

Trinity Church: a sesquicentennial history of the Episcopal Church in Yazoo County, Mississippi

Author
Robert G Certain
Abstract
This project is intended to be a reasonably comprehensive record of the Episcopal Church's work in Yazoo County, Mississippi from the first service of worship in 1834 through the following 150 years. The historical research conducted to develop this paper included review of the documents of the Episcopal Church, the Diocese of Mississippi, the parish, the state of Mississippi, and the town of Yazoo City. Interviews, both oral and written, were conducted with residents, former residents, and clergy in order to learn additional stories and to aid in the interpretation of other information. The purpose of the project was to provide a permanent collection of stories about the history of God's people in the Episcopal Church in Yazoo County. In telling and hearing the story of the past, each new generation becomes one with the saints of God who have gone before.

A study of a parish catechumenal process and its impact on the National Episcopal Church (Church of the Transfiguration, Derry, NH)

Author
Kendrick H Child
Abstract
The author became interested in the catechumenal process used in the early years of the Christian church as preparation for baptism and confirmation. This interest led to the development and implementation of a specific nine month adaptation of the catechumenal process to the life of the Church of the Transfiguration (Derry, NH). This process was used in three consecutive years, evaluated after each year and modified accordingly. The thesis also includes an evaluation of the impact of this three year effort on the national Episcopal Church catechumenal program.

Catechetical and pastoral implications of a prayer book spirituality of anamnesis

Author
Gregory C Frazier
Abstract
The thesis of this work is that the church has lost its memory of the tradition, separating itself from the praxis of a distinctive Christian lifestyle. The author builds a spirituality of anamnesis (remembrance) from which grows models for Christian education, pastoral care and piety. He presents research based on the documents of the Episcopal Church, the patristics, and contemporary sacramental and liturgical theology. His conclusion is that a return to the tradition is needed for the Episcopal Church, which he describes as "an emerging church.".
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