Becoming a Transformative Community: Intra-Connecting the Parish Church and the Community it Serves through the Principles of Sacred Hospitality

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Title: Becoming a Transformative Community: Intra-Connecting the Parish Church and the Community it Serves through the Principles of Sacred Hospitality
Authors: Martin, Jonathon
Abstract: The breakdown in relationship between rural parish churches and the wider communities in which they serve is one contributor to the high level of decline within the Anglican Church of Canada. While many emphasize that parish churches must change if they are to be relevant within their context, so too must transforming parishes retain their unique Christian identity. The issue is not if this should happen, but rather how parish leaders might encourage rural parish churches to become more open to change, without giving up their Christian identity. The purpose of this thesis was to propose revised practices that would enable rural parish churches to become more open to change and transformation so they might find ways to reconnect with the wider community in which they exist, while maintaining an authentic Christian identity. The methodology was based on Richard Osmer’s four-task hermeneutical spiral for practical theology and research. A qualitative, phenomenological approach was used to explore the clergy and lay leaders’ experiences of leadership interventions for addressing the issue of parish decline within the Stormont Deanery of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa. Data was gathered through focus groups, semi-structured interviews, as well as parish documents detailing parish histories and community consultations. The results showed that the introduction of Sacred Hospitality principles within the life and leadership of the parish can be effective in helping parish churches become more open to change and transformation in ways that are faithful, and enable them to move towards becoming Transformative Community. Included in the final recommendations are considerations for clergy formation, pastoral and theological implications, as well as a resource for parish leaders.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/42164
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-26386
CollectionThèses Saint-Paul // Saint Paul Theses
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