Find tips and resources for self-care, material to assist you in providing pastoral care, and general information to help you in your practice of ministry. Information will be updated every two weeks concurrent with the East Ohio E-news.
January 23, 2017 Edition
Seven Martin Luther King, Jr Quotes that will Inspire You
Feminism And The Women's March On Washington
by Joshua Johnson
The feminist movement has always been about equality for all women, but there are many paths to that goal. One of them is this weekend's Women's March on Washington which began with a rallying cry on social media. But will the march follow a path toward more inclusiveness, toward equal pay, and to greater equality between men and women? And just what does it mean to be a feminist?
The Seventh Sense
by Joshua Cooper Ramo
Endless terror. Refugee waves. An unfixable global economy. Surprising election results. New billion-dollar fortunes. Miracle medical advances. What if they were all connected? What if you could understand why? The Seventh Sense examines the historic force now shaking our world--and explains how our leaders, our businesses, and each of us can master it.
All around us now we are surrounded by events that are difficult to understand. But every day, new figures and forces emerge that seem to have mastered this tumultuous age. Sometimes these are the leaders of the most earthshaking companies of our time, accumulating billion-dollar fortunes. Or they are successful investors or our best generals. Other times, however, quick success is going to terrorists, rebels, and figures intent on chaos. What if we could know the secret of those who can make sense of this age? What if we could apply it to the questions that worry us most?
In this groundbreaking new book, Joshua Cooper Ramo, author of the international bestseller The Age of the Unthinkable, introduces a powerful way of seeing the world. The Seventh Sense is the story of what all of today's successful figures see and feel--forces that are invisible to most of us but explain everything from explosive technological change to uneasy political ripples. The secret to power now is understanding our new age of networks--not merely the Internet but also networks of trade and DNA and finance. Based on his years of advising generals, CEOs, and politicians, Ramo takes us into the opaque heart of our world's rapidly connected systems and teaches us what the victors of this age know--and what the losers are not yet seeing.
But The Seventh Sense won't merely change the way you see the world. It will also give you the power to change it. "Connection changes the nature of an object."
Developing a 'Seventh Sense' for Christian Leadership and Institutions
by L. Gregory Jones
The changing dynamics of the world require Christian leaders to see that all people, and all problems, are deeply interconnected -- and that we have wisdom to offer in this age of networked power. L. Gregory Jones, Baylor University
“Our era is one of connected crises.” Joshua Cooper Ramo argues that we are entering a profoundly new era of connected crises that are both caused by and can only be resolved by networks of networks. Ramo calls this era the “Age of Network Power,” and in his view, we will only be able to address its crises and to discover generative solutions if we recognize that we are facing (in our language) “wicked” problems -- problems that are deeply interconnected.
Just as Nietzsche, at the turn of the last century, suggested that people needed a “sixth sense” to navigate the “madness” of the Industrial Revolution, so Ramo argues that we need a “seventh sense” to get to the essence of the new age of constant connection. The seventh sense, he says, is “the ability to look at any object and see the way in which it is changed by connection.” With this sense, people can discern in objects potential that is invisible to the rest of us.
Ramo says, seeing how fundamentally the dynamics of our world have changed will entail a “rewiring of our minds.”
As Christians we need to rediscover the power of networks and ecosystems in our own traditions and to discover afresh how technological and other trends are transforming our world; we need to rediscover what it means to cultivate innovation as an intrinsic part of our institutions and their roles in ecosystems; and Christian leaders and institutions can point to the centrality of trust and the virtues and practices that nurture that trust.Read article online ...
It’s never too late to begin a practice of deepening your relationship with God. We as clergy and active laity may be steeped in “religious practice,” an external exercise of doing church, but what about our interior life? How are we setting our intentions toward growth of Spirit? If you are interested in tending to your interior space and adding a practice that boost your connection to the divine (which by the way is perhaps most dynamic in the still, quiet chambers of your heart) you might consider setting aside time, maybe first thing of the day, to read Father Richard Rohr’s online daily meditation followed by a period of silence. I know many of you have spoken to me about your daily practice with Rohr. It is so encouraging to note that you are caring for your souls. What a great gift you are giving to yourselves, your families, your churches, to our Conference, and to our world. Here is a link to sign up for Rohr’s daily emailed reflections and his “Gateway to Silence” for the day.
Making Christianity Relevant Again
by Fr. Richard Rohr
What will make a difference to the future is awakening to a faith that fully communicates God’s love—a love that transforms how we believe, what we do, and who we are in the world. —Diana Butler Bass 
Our religion is not working well. Another year has ended—a new year begins—in which suffering, fear, violence, injustice, greed, and meaninglessness still abound. This is not even close to the reign of God that Jesus taught. And we must be frank: in their behavior and impact upon the world, Christians are not much different than other people.
The majority of Christians are not highly transformed people, but tend to reflect their own culture more than they operate as any kind of leaven within it. I speak especially of American Christians, because I am one. But if you are from another country, look at the Christians where you live and see if the same is true there.
Let’s be honest: religion has probably never had such a bad name. Christianity is now seen as “irrelevant” by many and often as part of the problem more than any kind of solution. Some of us are almost embarrassed to say we are Christian because of the negative images that word conjures in others’ minds. Young people especially are turned off by how judgmental, exclusionary, impractical, and ineffective Christian culture seems to be. The church seems hostile toward most science (the objective outer world) and thus unable to talk about its inner dimensions with any authority. As we saw in the recent U.S. election, Christians overall showed little prophetic or compassionate presence.
Most Christians have not been taught how to plug into the “mind of Christ;” thus they often reflect the common mind of power, greed, and war instead. The dualistic mind reads reality in simple binaries—good and bad, right and wrong—and thinks itself smart because it chooses one side. This is getting us nowhere.
Throughout the history of Christianity, it would seem Jesus’ teaching has had little impact, except among people who surrendered to great love and great suffering. Could this be the real core of the Gospel? Such people experience God rather than merely having disconnected ideas about God. We need the mind of mystics now to offer any kind of alternative—contemplative or nondual—consciousness. We need practice-based religion that teaches us how to connect with the Infinite in ways that actually change us from our finite perspectives.
We must rediscover what St. Francis called the “marrow of the Gospel.” It’s time to rebuild from the bottom up. If the foundation is not solid and sure, everything we try to build on top of it is weak and ineffective. Perhaps it’s a blessing in disguise that so much is tumbling down around us. It’s time to begin again. This will be our new Daily Meditation theme: rebuilding from the bottom up. Auspiciously, this year is the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s important attempts at reform.
In the year 1205, Jesus spoke to Francis through the San Damiano cross: “Francis, rebuild my church, for you see it is falling into ruin.” If Jesus himself says the church is falling into ruin, I guess we can admit it also without being accused of being negative or unbelieving. Maybe we have to admit it for anything new and good to happen.
Through these daily reflections I will delve into the meaning of Christianity’s powerful “first principles,” or essential elements, in this order: God as Trinity, the Cosmic Christ, the life and teaching of Jesus, and other teachings of Incarnational and Mystical Christianity. Even if you aren’t Christian, I hope you will find universal principles here that you can apply to your own spiritual journey.
Gateway to Silence:
Create in me a new heart, O God.
Meet: monthly 1 ½ hours
Where and when:
Ashland Christ UMC, 1140 Claremont Ave. – Second Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
Canton Faith UMC, 00 9th St. NW—Second Thursdays, 10:30 AM
Sandusky Trinity UMC, 214 E. Jefferson St. – Second Thursdays, 2:00 PM
Cleveland Hts Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road – Third Thursdays, 1:30 PM
Medina Granger UMC, 1235 Granger Rd. – Third Wednesdays, 1:30 PM
If you are interested in being part of one of these groups, it would be helpful if you let us know for planning purposes. For questions and to receive information about a particular group, please call our office 330-456-0486 or email us at email@example.com
The Program in Pastoral Care and Counseling encourages the spiritual formation of our pastors believing a strong spiritual base is the greatest resource a church leader can possess. It helps us weather the many storms of ministry and deepens the incredible joys ministry provides. Following is a list of Spiritual Directors in our area. We encourage you to take advantage of this rich resource. This listing will appear in each edition of our bi-monthly webpage updates and new names and contact information will be provided as we learn of them and have permission to include them. If you are a director or know of a director that is not included here please let us know.
Debbie Baker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Batchlor-Glader – email@example.com
Harry Finkbone - Finkbone1@gmail.com
Joyce Gordon – firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Hollingsworth – email@example.com
Liz Nau – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – email@example.com
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Stultz - email@example.com
Carol Topping - firstname.lastname@example.org
Small Move, Big Change
by Caroline L. Arnold
A Wall Street tech leader explains how small behavioral changes lead to major self-improvement.
Whether trying to lose weight, save money, or get organized, we’re always setting goals and making resolutions but rarely following through on them. Determination and willpower aren’t strong enough to defeat our mass of ingrained habits; to succeed we have to learn how to focus our self-control on precise behavioral targets and overwhelm them, according to longtime Wall Street technology strategist Caroline Arnold.
Small Move, Big Change is Arnold’s guide to turning broad personal goals into meaningful and discrete behavioral changes that lead to permanent improvement. A microresolution is easily kept and designed to nail a self-improvement target exactly and deliver benefits immediately. While the traditional resolution promises rewards on a distant “someday,” a microresolution rewards us today by instantly altering our routines and, ultimately, ourselves.
A wife, mother, and business innovator, Arnold uses her own successes and failures as case studies. Contrasting her career success with her personal resolution failures, Arnold recounts how by analyzing her own behavior she was able to reengineer her resolutions so that they were guaranteed to succeed every time, from losing weight to improving key relationships. Providing scores of engaging examples from the wide circle of colleagues and friends who practice her microresolution method, Arnold also shows how her system is supported by new willpower and habit science.
Are You Addicted to Doing?
by Rasmus Hougaard and Jacqueline Carter
Running around getting things done is always better, right? Wrong. Have you tried lowering your speed limit?
Perhaps you’re familiar with this experience: After a long week of work, the weekend finally arrives. It’s time to wind down, relax, and do nothing. However, before 9 a.m. Saturday morning you’ve organized three social appointments, ordered a new IKEA closet, and set in motion four other plans that will keep you active for the rest of the weekend.
Or something like this has happened to you: It’s 8 a.m. and you’re in the office. On your desk is a clear list of the four important priorities of the day. Your phone rings, you answer it, and, before you know it, it’s 5 p.m. and time to go home. Your list is still there, untouched and unfulfilled.
Both cases are examples of action addiction, a deep-rooted human condition caused by imbalances in the chemicals of our brain. The hormone dopamine is the key player. Dopamine is a highly addictive, naturally produced reward-drug that, when released in the brain, provides us a short-term sense of enjoyment, relaxation, and gratification. Dopamine is a main driver behind our constant busyness. When organizing the three social appointments, ordering the new IKEA closet, or checking our Facebook page, dopamine is released. We feel good. For a moment. Then the brain craves another kick. More actions. And over time we are caught in a vicious circle of action and reward. Action addiction is in the making.
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address or would like to get email alerts when new resources have been posted please contact Howard Humphress at email@example.com or use our quick contact form.
Or contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 330-456-0486.
The East Ohio Conference Pastoral Care Office:
1445 Harrison Avenue NW · Suite 301
Canton, Ohio 44708
Toll Free: 866-456-3600
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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