For the Allan S. Meck and Robert V. Moss Awards
2011 Infusing New Life into Faith Communities
2010 Ministering to Military Personnel and their Families
Going Green: God's Stewards of the Earth
Nominations may reflect a pastor or lay person's engagement in bringing about an awareness, program, or practice of environmental concerns in his or her congregation or ministry. This may include but is not limited to:
Motivating congregations and/or ministries to community action on environmental issues.
Building a connection between spiritual practie and environmental consciousness.
Building an awareness of and addressing environmental injustices or challenges.
Adopting "green" practices for his or her church or area of ministry.
Beyond the Walls: Creative Ministries Which Connect the Local Church to the Wider Church.
The Allan S. Meck Award: A pastor who involves the congregation in issues and events which speak to the work of the whole church throughout the world. Criteria for consideration include participating in judicatories, national church, and ecumenical work; developing creative ministries which involve the local congregation and encourage participation in the wider church; and creatively enlisting the support and cooperation of the congregation and individual members in the local church and in its many settings.
The Robert V. Moss Award: A person who is engaged in specialized settings of ministry, including institutions, judicatories, conferences, chaplaincy, or other agencies who makes special efforts to connect this ministry with the local church and the wider church. Criteria for consideration include being personally involved in the wider church, creatively encouraging others to participate in the mission and message of the whole church, and being actively involved in a local congregation.
Ministry to older adults (60 and older) is the theme for this year's awards. Each nominee must be a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary who has demonstrated, in creative, measurable, and meaningful ways, ministry to older adults in congregations, institutional settings, and the general community.
As the members of our congregations and the population of our society age, ministry to older adults is increasingly important. In a society where the average age is increasing, medical technology is extending life, and financial resources are strained because people are living longer, caring and compassionate ministry for seniors is critical. This award will recognize persons who minister to the numerous and growing needs of older adults as they face the issues associated with the aging process and quality of life.
Ministry that encourages, equips, and supports lay persons for ministry in the church and beyond is the theme for this year’s awards. Nominees must be graduates of Lancaster Theological Seminary. Nominees need not be ordained. Laypersons represent the church's core ministers, whether through their service to local congregations and denominational or ecumenical organizations or by their vocational and community service.
The awards will recognize effective and creative support of lay persons in these various endeavors by means of encouragement, promotion, training, education, organization, or facilitation of lay ministry. The encouragement of lay ministers occurs in a variety of settings, including local congregations, church judicatories, church-sponsored organizations, medical and mental health institutions, educational institutions, the corporate world, government, and the military.
Ministry that acknowledges and affirms diversity is the theme for this year’s awards. Each nominee must be a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary who has demonstrated an understanding of issues of diversity and who has engaged those issues in the practice of leadership in the local congregation and community. The nominee need not be ordained.
This theme seeks to honor those persons who have addressed the challenges facing contemporary Christians in dealing with peoples and ideas of differing or conflicting world views or religious perspectives or of differing racial/ethnic/economic heritages. This award would lift up those individuals whose response to “radical plurality” shows creative perspective and actions/reactions based upon the core peace and justice mission of the church and fostering progress in healing and reconciliation.
Ministry that promotes, identifies, nurtures, and encourages gifts for ordained ministry is the theme for this year's awards. Each nominee must be a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary who has demonstrated the capacity for recognizing and inspiring gifts for ministry in others and calling them forth. The nominee need not be ordained.
This theme seeks to honor those persons who have met the challenge of raising up the next generation of ordained leaders. This award would lift up those individuals who recognize giftedness in others and find joy in encouraging others to embrace “a double portion of their master’s spirit.”
Ministry that maintains its integrity during times of public crisis is the theme for this year’s awards. Each nominee must be a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary whose ministry has demonstrated excellence in the face of a changing cultural, political, economic, and/or religious landscape. The nominee need not be ordained and may be someone working outside the context of the parish who embodies the presence and love of God with faithfulness in the changing world.
While change is an ever-present challenge to be met in life, the past year has seemingly been one of those watershed moments of history that demand extraordinary response by those in positions of leadership in the faith community. We are thinking of the way people feel when national and personal security are threatened as well as the crisis that occurs in religious communities because of the violations of trust. Seldom has Christianity faced such daunting challenges as those confronting us now as individuals and as a community.
This theme seeks to honor those who have experienced the changing panorama of our world and yet have not abandoned the covenant with God and each other that we have spiritually and historically claimed. This award would lift up those persons whose ministries have creatively and faithfully met such challenges through ecumenical cooperation, interweaving of religious traditions, worship and preaching, pastoral care, teaching, and public witness.
Ministry that takes place in and with small churches, defined as those with 200 or fewer members, is the theme for this year’s awards. Each nominee must be a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary whose ministry is focused upon the small congregation as defined above. The nominee need not be ordained and may be someone working in a supportive role such as judicatory staff or in specialized ministry with small churches.
Too often, Christian ministry may lapse into the assumption that “bigger is better” but ignore or devalue the discipleship of those working in less prominent or more isolated settings. While not intending to cast aspersions upon highly visible or recognized ministries, this theme lifts up the idea of faithfulness before numbers and ingenuity despite lack of resources. Recognizing that more often than not the Christian experience is lived out in small groups and intimate settings, this award would honor those persons in the trenches who manifest loyalty of service even when material success may not be readily apparent. Enhancement of individualized Christian gifts, empowerment of small groups, creative use of limited resources, and improvement of congregational self-esteem may be among–but not limited to–the qualities the nominee would evidence.
Ministry that lifts up education in its fullest dimension is the theme for this year’s awards. Each nominee must be a graduate of Lancaster Theological Seminary whose ministry embodies the teaching/learning role of the church. The nominee need not be ordained and may be someone in the teaching profession (e.g. a professor in a seminary or college).
The ministry of Christian Education may include teaching classes or other groups, motivating and equipping others to teach, developing and using resources for a variety of settings, and being aware of teaching moments in the lives of individuals and the church. Ways of mentoring, providing spiritual direction, and nurturing spiritual growth are aspects to be considered. The theme may best be expressed in the phrase, “Christian education by all means.”
Worship is the focus for the awards to be presented in 2000. Nominees must be graduates of Lancaster Theological Seminary whose ministry witnesses to the love of God through preaching, teaching and administering the sacraments. Such ministry, whether in the setting of a local church or in the wider church through specialized ministries, is rooted in a life of worship.
The ministry of worship might include planning and leading corporate worship, proclaiming the Word through preaching and other means, using music and a variety of art forms. Aspects of worship also include gathering God’s people for prayer, and services of healing and reconciliation. We recognize that worship takes place in different ways. Certainly a life cultivated in the worship of God brings forth the fruit of the Spirit in fullness.
Ministry that demonstrates pastoral care is the focus for this year's awards. Nominees must be graduates of Lancaster Theological Seminary whose ministry embodies the presence and love of God through preaching, teaching and administering the sacraments. Such ministry, whether in the context of caring for individuals in the setting of a local congregation or caring for the concerns of the wider church in institutional settings, is characterized by special faithfulness in attending to the needs of others. Aspects of effective ministries of pastoral care might include shepherding others on their spiritual journeys, “equipping the saints” for ministry, serving as a mentor or compassionately sharing another’s suffering or pain. Effective ministries of pastoral care bring joy to both the care-giver and those receiving care, as they experience together the grace of God made real through special relationships of trust and love.
This year, the Committee will make awards to a panel of graduates of the Seminary whose pastoral or specialized ministry demonstrates and nurtures faithful stewardship. Nominees must be graduates of Lancaster Theological Seminary whose ministry reflects a particular concern for the faithful use of one’s money, time and talents. Of particular significance for this year’s awards is ministry that models personal stewardship, reflects a concern for the stewardship of global resources, encourages faithful stewardship through preaching and teaching, and promotes effective stewardship development. Such ministry demonstrates that faithful stewardship is more a way of life than a special activity and embodies the scriptural truth that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
Ministries of Wholeness is the broad theme for this year’s awards. Particular consideration will be given to service which embodies pioneering work in areas of peace and justice. Nominees must be graduates of the Seminary who reflect this theme in their setting of ministry. Specific attention will focus on the empowerment of powerless voices within the larger society; the use of arts in ministry as creative expressions that foster healing in human relationships; the development of peace and justice programs/ministries that are integrated throughout various age levels; and, the development and support of ministries that have proven to open new and healthy opportunities for growth for individuals and families throughout society. From housing concerns to educational programming, legislation to community action, Ministries of Wholeness may be embodied in expressions of peace and justice particular to a nominee’s individual situation and setting.
Ministry with Young People is the broad theme for this year’s awards. Nominees must be graduates of the Seminary and should reflect this theme in their setting of ministry. Particular attention will be given to the following considerations: how the nominee models ministry with young people in relationship to the issues surrounding youth and violence, the strengthening of family structures, the building of networks in unity with other churches and the larger society, the empowering and equipping of today's young people to reach their goals of tomorrow.
Prior to 1996, faithfulness in ministry was the theme for each year's awards.