Presbyterian Church in Ireland

How kirk sessions in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland approach and provide pastoral care for their congregations

Author
Ivan Neish
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand how Kirk Sessions of in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland provided pastoral care. This study utilized a qualitative design using interviews with elders of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The literature review focused on four aspects of pastoral care: strategies used by Sessions, personal involvement of elders, elements affecting elders' individual engagement, and assessment by elders of the pastoral care. This study concluded that it is possible to transition from a district visitation strategy to one that includes a more corporate approach.

Understanding the challenges facing urban congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland who are seeking to develop effective mission in their local community

Author
John Coulter
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to understand the challenges facing urban congregations of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland who are seeking to develop effective mission in their local community. This study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with nine ministers from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. The review of literature and analysis of the nine interviews identified three key areas which have a significant impact on a congregation's mission in their local community: the nature of the mission of the church, the leadership of the mission of the church and the practice of the mission of the church. This study concluded that these congregations should develop a fully orbed, biblical understanding of the nature of the mission of the church expressed in words and deeds. They should also develop the kind of visionary leadership which enables the congregation to face up to the reality of its changing context and make the necessary changes wh ich will enable it to fulfill its God given mandate for mission. Finally they should benefit from the experience of others and avoid those practices which hinder effective mission.

Self-care in ministers in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland: a critical incident study

Author
David Allen
Abstract
Ministers in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) are facing increased levels of stress with a significant number taking an absence from work due to stress-related illnesses. The assumption of this study was that such an absence from work would act as a critical incident in the lives of ministers; as a result, ministers who had endured such a period of sick-leave would have considered their practice of self-care at a deep level and improved their self-care practices; such consideration and practice would be instructive to other ministers in the PCI and elsewhere. This study utilized a qualitative design using semi-structured interviews with six pastors in the PCI. The review of literature and analysis of the six interviews focused on three key areas: stress in clergy; self-care in leaders; self-care in clergy. The study found that an absence from work due to a stress related illness is a critical incident in the lives of pastors, that it did cause them to practi ce self-care, and consequently is instructive to other pastors. The study concluded that in order for pastors to exercise ministries that are as refreshed and renewed as possible, they must increase their level of well-being and maintain this over time.

An exploration of the factors which encourage ministers of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland to take sabbaticals

Author
Stephen D Williamson
Abstract
Although the literature suggests that taking sabbatical leave is important in enabling ministers to engage in long and sustained ministries, only a minority of ministers in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland actually take a sabbatical. A qualitative study was carried out to explore the factors which encourage ministers to take sabbatical leave. This study suggests that the denomination needs to work at explaining the need for and benefits of sabbatical leave and to be more proactive in encouraging ministers. Style of ministry was identified as being an important factor in deciding whether or not a minister took a sabbatical.
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