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Publication Date

Summer 8-29-2017


The purpose of this project is to reimagine the Reformed theology of Sonrise Christian Reformed Church, to encourage members to embrace a more integrated faith and life perspective through reclaiming a covenantal community identity, such that they will be better equipped to love neighbor and self as they represent Christ in the twenty–first century world. The project was developed and implemented in 2016–2017, with the congregation in Ponoka, Alberta.

The project began out of pastoral concerns. The edges of Reformed theology and practice have changed. Traditional structures that helped shape identity have collapsed or been subverted by competing Protestant theologies. The context for ministry has also changed in conjunction with the demise of Christendom. This congregation, like many others, needs a renewed faith formation theology and focus, to resist the pressures it faces.

The first stage of the project was to accurately evaluate the current theological and sociological ethos of the congregation. A discernment process ensued, summarizing common themes, traits and doctrinal understandings that still have traction in the congregation. The results specified the two primary themes, which are worship and covenant community, that ought to be the focus of the project. So, to address these themes, a home group program was begun. A year later, a series of messages on the two themes was presented. Closely followed by matching home group material that augments the sermon topics and instigates follow–up discussion.

The project concludes that congregation members recognize the need for change and accept the twin focus of the project. Change, however, is a difficult and slow process. Therefore, although the preliminary results are promising, realizing the goal of the project, which was to inspire a desire for change in these areas, will take more time.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Rowland, Randy

Document Type





integrated faith, community, identity




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November 2018

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