VIVIENNE MOUNTAIN

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MA 2014 Theology 

Children and the Church – Jesus brings the child to a place in the middle

Abstract

The Child Theology Movement does not exist as one authoritative teaching but is a developing inquiry, now engaging theologians and Churches in five continents. It is based in the report of Jesus placing a child in the midst recorded in Matt. 18:3. The “child in the midst” can be considered as a correction to the theological discussion of the disciples.
The aim of this thesis is to investigate the relevance of aspects of the Child Theology Movement from interviews with Children’s Pastors and Ministers in selected Churches in Melbourne, Australia. The research pays due regard to the extensive writing in various theologies of the child from which this new movement has grown. The Child Theology Movement is considered as part of the evolving nature of theological thought that can have an impact on the whole church in a similar way to the impact of Liberation Theology and Feminist Theology.

 

IJCS 2005 – Prayer is a positive activity for children

Key words: prayer, children, spirituality, meaning, function, coping

Abstract - This article reports on Australian research investigating the meaning and function of prayer for children. Semi structured interviews were conducted with 60 primary school participants, selected from six different schools in Melbourne, reflecting some of the diverse philosophical and religious traditions found in Australian society. The three sources of data were analysed qualitatively using the method of Grounded Theory.  Considerable agreement was observed through the data. In the multicultural Australian community, prayer for these children has been shown as a valued aspect of life. All participants perceived prayer to function as an aid to life and it was used at significant moments in life. The words and thought of prayer helped to clarify and articulate deep feelings. The research presents recommendations for professionals engaged in religious education, child welfare and the nurturing of children’s spirituality.

CRA 2009- Responding to need -Research into church-based counselling services in Melbourne.

The increasing provision of counselling in contemporary Australian society can be seen as a response to general social change.  Among these changes have been an increase in individualism and diminished involvement in the wider family and community life.  Many writers have identified these changes as having  a significant negative impact on mental health and wellbeing.

Some churches have responded to the perceived need in setting up low cost couselling services. This study aims to show the differences in formation and vision of these centres and the wide variety of  service being offered.  As well as the difference many common characteristics were recognised. Twelve counselling centres have been investigated in Melbourne’s inner city, suburban and outer suburban areas. 

Major finding:  Counselling is at affordable prices.  Policy and procedure documents are in place.  Confidentiality is part of policy. An emphasis on profession training in psychology. Ongoing professional development and supervision of counsellors.  Each client is respected as an individual with their own world view.  Holistic care, healing and client empowerment are central. The centres are related to, but separate from the sponsoring church.  Some counsellors are practicing Christians some are not.

www.cra.org.au

MA 2008Creative arts therapy

Windows to the soul  -How analysis of experiences in a time of transition can extend awareness of major life themes

Abstract - As I considered the ending of a teaching and school chaplaincy career it seemed that four moments of the leaving and re-ordering of my life became infused with special meaning.  Four moment of time and experience were identified as the primary data for this research:  there was an experience in a school worship service where the sense of connection with the students felt real and precious. There was an experience of understanding myself as I sorted the books in my bookcase.  The third experience happened as I was painting my study, the need to keep the computer wires connected became symbolic of a larger life issue.  The final experience was a time of looking forward to a different future as I had business cards printed.

The secondary data of my exploration comprised multimodal forms of creative amplification and re-experiencing . Central to this form of inquiry method is the reflective and intersubjective responses offered by a companion.

As the new understanding emerged the ideas of life themes and approximations of meaning were explored further though literature.

www.miecat.org.au 

The early years are vital . . . with loving care, helpful and calming hormones are released, more receptors for these hormones develop, and a template for future emotional experiences is set up.   Graham Music