The goal of this project is to facilitate members of a local church in action reflection exercises incorporating missional practices, reflecting on Scripture, and sharing stories of hospitality with neighbors. It is believed that engaging in these practices would spark a fresh imagination within the members of what it means to be the people of God within today’s postmodern American setting. The thesis was tested at Cascades Presbyterian Church in Vancouver, Washington.
Mainline Protestantism faces great decline as she no longer stands confidently at the center of American culture. Eric Jacobsen, in Sidewalks of the Kingdom, suggests that the Church might re-imagine a fresh future by turning members’ attentions to the ordinary activities of neighborhoods in which they dwell (for example walking). This paper tests and documents a process by which CPC took initial steps toward engaging its immediate neighborhoods. This occurred through an action-learning process involving many exercises that took place at a variety of settings: leadership meetings, neighborhood prayer walks, Sunday school classes, and all-church retreats.
This study concludes that while the journeying toward a more missional future is long, initial steps were indeed taken. This was documented not only by the research and exercises conducted among the members in the previously mentioned settings, but also by the recorded stories of neighborhood engagement that were shared during worship by experimenters. Additional research and experimentation are needed to further instill this thinking throughout the entire congregation with the hope that a new missional future will be realized at CPC.
Content Reader: Alan J. Roxburgh
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Montovino, Joseph C., "Communal Study, Scripture Reflection, and Hospitality as Practices to Encourage Greater Neighborhood Engagement" (2016). Doctor of Ministry Projects. 246.