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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53234
Doc. No:TL23188
Call number:‭3214886‬
Main Entry:Morar Macfarlane Murray-Hayes
Title & Author:As Christ has welcomed you: Hospitality and the movement from stranger to member at Maple Grove United ChurchMorar Macfarlane Murray-Hayes
College:Princeton Theological Seminary
Date:2006
Degree:D.Min.
student score:2006
Page No:119
Abstract:How can churches can welcome and integrate newcomers more effectively? Why do visitors come? What do they experience? How can the church support them? The principal theological theme of this research is hospitality. Study of this theme in the Bible reveals consistent emphasis upon openness to the stranger throughout the history of Israel. Hospitality, linked by Jesus with the coming of God's kingdom, becomes an essential watermark for the Christian in the primitive church. The biblical and theological tradition suggests that host and guest in the congregation enter a partnership. Sub-themes of the research are evangelism, sociology of religion and social psychology. The research describes how newcomers entered the congregation: why they came, what they experienced, how they were received. Three specific findings are highlighted. (1) Newcomers typically came seeking the satisfaction of communal needs. Their communal values, with the golden rule and concern for family at the core, connected closely with Nancy Ammerman's description of 'Golden Rule Christians.' (2) The reason these persons stayed, however, was that they came to feel that the church satisfied spiritual needs of which they might not have been initially aware. Characteristic spiritual values were the teachings of Christ and the support for spiritual exploration and questioning. Reports of the research confirmed Reginald Bibby's description of 'Spiritual Questers.' (3) The research describes newcomers identifying with the community's values and the community's identity being influenced by the newcomer. This correlates with social identity theory, which explains how assimilating newcomers into the community impacts the identities of newcomer and community. This research will inform mentors why visitors come, stay, and what they experience along the way, and will provide resources to reflect on that experience. It will help the church exercise its ministry of hospitality more effectively, and may be an instrument of church growth.
Subject:Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Psychology; Church growth; Community values; Evangelism; Hospitality; Maple Grove United Church; Ontario; Theology; Social psychology; Sociology; 0626:Sociology; 0469:Theology; 0451:Social psychology
Added Entry:H. D. Fearon, III; Lapsley, Jacqueline
Added Entry:Princeton Theological Seminary