Date of Award
Dr. Fredrick Aquino
Dr. Stephen Johnson
Dr. Mark Hamilton
This thesis project equipped the elders to function as a community of men called and authorized by God to bless and send his people into the world for the sake of the world. They were equipped through seven sessions of theological reflection on Scripture and reflection on narratives of those who have offered pastoral blessings. The sessions also included an examination of templates and the opportunity to practice writing and speaking blessings. The elders have been speaking a shepherd’s blessing as the last liturgical act of the Sunday assembly. In this project, missional and textual focus was given to the words our elders use in the shepherd’s blessing. Through this project, our elders were encouraged to speak on God’s behalf and with God’s authority, sending the church into the world to function as the salt of the earth and the light of the world. The project demonstrated that true words spoken with authority have the capacity to function as deeds. The project also revealed that words well spoken need to be repeated creatively over a long period of time in order to fund people’s imagination effectively. Words spoken this way can shape the world we inhabit. The intention of this project was to bless the congregation, reminding the community that they depart from the assembly with the presence and power of God that will enable them to carry out God’s mission in the world for the sake of the world.
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Harbour, Michael, "Blessing and Sending the Church into the World for the Sake of the World, Using Congregational Blessings as a Missional Enterprise" (2006). Doctor of Ministry Theses. 8.
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