Anxiety

Anxiety, Mindfulness, and Spiritual Practices

Author
Charlene E Wilson
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to impact the level of present moment awareness of a group of Christian women who struggled with anxiety through the embrace of spiritual practices. The goal to impact the participant's experience of God's love gained the highest mean change and showed that women were able to be in the present moment and therefore less anxious through involvement with spiritual practices.

The effects of a guided Sabbath-rest on increasing emotional maturity and decreasing anxiety caused by pastors internalizing extraneous demands

Author
Craig H Carr
Abstract
This study addressed the anxiety and distress in ministry caused by pastors internalizing the many expectations of the congregation. Systems theory provides the necessary tools to navigate the anxious swells of the ministry environment. Focusing on healthy individuality and positive engagement with others, the resulting data showed an increase of 17% in emotional maturity and a decrease of 54% in self-reported symptoms of anxiety.

Intrapersonal intelligence mediated by self-reflective adaptive practice that manages anxiety: learning to lead by giving space

Author
William C Thomas
Abstract
This thesis explores the importance of intrapersonal intelligence (Gardner) when mediated by self-reflective adaptive practice (Heifetz) on clergy anxiety. Intrapersonal intelligence is active self-awareness: the capacity to learn and adapt to the factors of one's own reality. A reflection-in-action (Schön) method evolved built on Argyris' double-loop learning using the work of Bowen, Friedman, and Steinke. The outcome is increased non-anxious ordained leadership capacity through change and development in leadership style and skills. The research method is autoenthnographic, includes a 360∞ study of the author's conflict management styles (Leas), and is grounded in the theological questions raised in Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32.

The impact of death anxiety

Author
Llewellyn M Drumbor
Abstract
Death anxiety and the fear of death are often intertwined in the human psyche, presenting the potential for a broad array of destructive forces unless courage is found to address and manage both death anxiety and the fear of death. The first section of this project addresses death. It explores such authorities as psychiatrist Irvin Yalom who wrote regarding the momentous importance of death and its role in shaping one's life perspective. The focus of quoted sources and of the author is that death needs to be confronted as a life-empowering change; especially the lives and death competence of chaplains and clergy. Only through such change will chaplains and clergy be unfettered to teach, model, and assist others, in confronting the destructive forces of death anxiety and fear of death. Exploring death anxiety and fear of death, defines death anxiety while discussing the relationship between death anxiety and fear. Fear of death has a focus, a primary concern. Most scholars conclude that three primary concerns comprise fear of death: Thoughts of a punishing afterlife; dread of annihilation; and the physical pain that may be felt while dying. The project explains how an integration of knowledge, skills, and competences is critical to preparing the chaplain/clergy for effective ministry. The professional caregiver will need to come to terms with her/his own mortality before building the trust that transcends the fear and death anxiety inherent with end-of-life patients.

Seminar in family and congregation relationship process: formation practices for ministry in chaotic times

Author
Kenton T Derstine
Abstract
The author of this project developed and conducted a seminar for pastors motivated to deepen their understanding and application of the concepts of Bowen family systems theory. The thesis of this paper is that Bowen theory can be a valuable formational resource to pastors for growing in the ability to minister faithfully in the face of the intense anxiety manifesting in congregations. The seminar met one day each month for eight months. This paper offers a theological foundation for pastoral formation, an introduction to the essential elements of Bowen theory, and draws correlations between theology and the theory. The paper includes a description of the curriculum components and learning methodologies used in the seminar. The formational journey of each of the participants is documented with concluding observations.

From text to sermon: the creative process

Author
Mia Ödmark
Abstract
The project's context is its author's ongoing struggle with creating sermons. She decided to look more closely at the process that takes place between reading the text and up to the point of delivering the sermon. She read the literature to look for different methods to increase and release creativity. She gathered a group of respondents to listen to and afterwards discuss three of her sermons which she was to prepare using these methods. Her goal was to see if they could tell any difference in her way of preaching before and after the usage of these methods. After applying the different methods to her sermon preparation, the focus group could not see any difference, and the author still had her anxiety. She discovered that her problem was perfectionism combined with low self-esteem and a struggle to make meaning of her life experience in light of the biblical text interpreted in her specific church tradition.

When the pastor leaves: a manual for presbytery intervention during the early interim period

Author
Daniel M Saperstein
Abstract
The "early interim" period between the departure of a pastor and the arrival of an interim minister is characterized by elevated congregational anxiety, individual and collective grief, and greater reliance on denominational leaders. Drawing on organizational theory, congregational systems theory, grief and transition research, and interim ministry practice, the author identifies six goals for presbyteries of the PC(USA) to assist congregations during this period. A manual was developed, featuring training modules in Appreciative Inquiry, and other resources to reframe the crisis and to empower lay leadership. Structural strategies include transition teams and temporary supply ministers. Congregational field testing was conducted.

From fear to freedom: self differentiated preaching in an age of anxiety

Author
Joe Clifford
Abstract
American culture is caught in a state of chronic anxiety. Such a state is toxic for leadership. How can preachers function in a way that is faithful in the midst of such anxiety so that all may experience the liberating message of the gospel? When preachers demonstrate the courage to be themselves in the pulpit in a way that connects with the congregation and regulates their own anxiety, what family systems theory calls "Self Differentiation," preachers can move from fear to freedom, opening the possibility for the congregation to experience the liberating gospel.
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