April 17, 2017
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. Archives Here ...
Women in ministry find shoulders to stand on
by Linda Bloom
Women in The United Methodist Church often draw inspiration from those who have helped pave the way for them. Featuring Bishop Malone, president of the Commission on the Status and Role of Women, said she found personal inspiration from three women along her journey to ministry.
Her Truth: COSROW North Alabama Conference
The Rev. Stephanie York Arnold, a United Methodist pastor, discusses the important roles of women in the Bible in an online video entitled #HerTruth. Arnold created the video and resource materials for the North Alabama Conference’s Commission on the Status and Role of Women as an educational tool related to ongoing discrimination against women in the church.
The stories are hard to hear, but even more difficult for those who experience them, she says in the video. “I can tell you from personal experience it can leave you vulnerable, isolated and ashamed. You can even begin to question your own identity.”
#HerTruth cites support of women’s equality in The United Methodist Book of Discipline, but Arnold also offers a pastoral message about the biblical roles of women and their prominence “within the encounters and healings of Jesus.” Despite an “oppressive first-century culture, she says, “Jesus elevates the role of women and he invites the disciples and the church to do likewise.” –Linda Bloom
Three Urgent Leadership Questions for Thriving in a Connected World
by Hayim Herring and Terri Martinson Elton
Many congregational and nonprofit leaders are still setting annual organizational goals. Good goals (the “what we want to accomplish”) begin with good questions (“why is it important for us to accomplish this work?”). We therefore offer a few crucial questions for your organization or congregation to ask as you assess your hoped-for impact this year and beyond. We know that these questions are important, for they flow from for our fresh research on both “start-up” and established congregations across Jewish and Protestant denominations, and nonprofits with historic ties to faith communities, which you can read about in Leading Congregations in a Connected World: Platform, People and Purpose.
What would it mean to make “engagement” an organizing principle and not just a series of activities?
What will it require for congregations and nonprofits to hold together diverse communities when social media make them so fragile?
What would it mean for congregations and nonprofits to reorganize more like “platforms” instead of being structured as “top down” hierarchies?
Practice: Caring for Creation
by Richard Rohr
We naturally move from the concrete to the universal, and so it makes sense to begin loving Earth, caring for God’s creation, with what is closest to us. Becoming intimate with God’s presence in one aspect of creation—be it a pet, birdsong, garden, or favorite wild space—can move us toward loving our forgotten brothers and sisters, human or otherwise, through compassionate actions.
Let yourself be drawn today and in the coming week to a particular created thing. Spend time observing and coming to know it better. Use all your physical senses and your heart as well. Study this creature to learn more about its characteristics, how it evolved, the niche it fills in an ecosystem, its various needs and contributions to the balance of life-death-life. Recognize Christ’s indwelling presence.
As you come to love this unique creation, let your embrace widen to include all it touches—water, air, minerals, plants, animals, humans, and the rest of the “great chain of being.” You might feel called to a specific, tangible way of loving this being and its community, perhaps through one of these practices:
Introduce someone else, especially a child, to your beloved creation. (Take a walk in the woods together; share a picture or a story that makes this creation special; invite them to join you in a caring act.
Being with Flowers
by Anthony Ward
A story of a sculptor of floral art who reflects on his spiritual practice:
"When I first began my career in floral design, I was an apprentice at My Son the Florist, in Los Angeles in the 1990s. My job was to prepare the flowers for the designers and clean up after them when they were finished. I would often hear them say, “Let’s use roses in that arrangement,” or “Let’s use orchids in that centerpiece,” and so on. The word use never sat well with me, and I decided early on that when I opened my own establishment, I would say, “Let’s work with roses in that arrangement” and “Let’s work with orchids in that centerpiece.” With our words we establish relationships. So let’s work with flowers, not use them.
The first time I taught my workshop, “Being with Flowers: Floral Art as Spiritual Practice,” I had a student who had been a florist for many years. She told me that she felt like she had an entirely new job because she had made that simple change in her vocabulary. If you don’t like the verb work, how about play? Find a word that is comfortable for you—anything but use. It is the intention behind the things we do that really makes the difference, so let’s start with the intention to co-create with the flowers."Read full article ...
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 - email@example.com
Bruce Batchlor-Glader – firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry Finkbone - Finkbone1@gmail.com
Joy Gordon – email@example.com
Karen Hollingsworth – firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Nau – email@example.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
Valerie Stultz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Topping - email@example.com
Tuning In: Tips on how to be a good listener to yourself so you can be a better listener to others
by David Rome
How often do you feel really listened to? How often do you really listen to others? (Be honest.)
We know we’re in the presence of a good listener when we get that sweet, affirming feeling of really being heard. But sadly, it occurs all too rarely. We can’t force others to listen, but we can improve our own listening, and perhaps inspire others by doing so.
Good listening means mindful listening. Like mindfulness itself, listening takes a combination of intention and attention. The intention part is having a genuine interest in the other person—their experiences, views, feelings, and needs. The attention part is being able to stay present, open, and unbiased as we receive the other’s words—even when they don’t line up with our own ideas or desires.
Paradoxically, being good at listening to others requires the ability to listen to yourself. If you can’t recognize your own beliefs and opinions, needs and fears, you won’t have enough inner space to really hear anyone else. So, the foundation for mindful listening is self-awareness.
Here are some tips to be a good listener to yourself so you can be a good listener for others.
Love Your Body, Free Your Mind
11 ways to snap out of autopilot and get back in touch with your body.
by Elisha Goldstein and Stephanie Goldstein
Often we get so caught up in planning and daydreaming and constructing stories that we forget we even have a body. What’s happening in our bodies is as here-and-now as it gets, so take some time to check in and notice your body. It’ll help you pop out of autopilot, develop more awareness, and make better choices.
View online ...
1. Know your body
A simple body scan is a great way to tap into the power of your body. Lay down, close your eyes, and get curious about the sensations you’re feeling—like tingling, warmth, coolness, tension—and become intimate with them as they shift and change from your feet to your head.
2. Cut stress with regular check-ins
Throughout the day our bodies tend to accumulate stress. Do hourly checkins, taking a deep breath and noticing where tension arises—maybe in the brow, jaw, shoulders, or abdomen. Allow the tense places to soften as you breathe, then stretch and adjust your posture.
3. Savor the good
We often feel our emotions, both positive and negative, in our bodies. The next time you feel good, notice how this manifests physically. Does your body feel relaxed? Is there warmth in your chest, or a slight smile across your face? Becoming aware of positive emotions allows us to broaden our momentary perspective and spark positive reactions, like the urge to savor and appreciate beautiful scenery or the impulse to play. Inevitably this builds greater personal resources. This process is what researcher Barbara Frederickson has coined “The Broaden and Build Theory.”
4. Raise your emotional intelligence
Listen to the moment-to-moment clues your body gives you about how you’re feeling. By simply noticing these clues, you’ll gradually increase your emotional intelligence—which is your ability to understand and manage your emotions.
5. Be like Superman!
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s research shows us that certain poses can actually increase confidence and reduce stress. Try standing like Superman, with your back straight, chest upright, heart open, and hands at your waist—then hold for two minutes.
6. Revel in daily tasks
Our brains are wired to make daily tasks into routine actions so we can focus on novel activities. But when we bring curiosity and awareness to simple tasks, like washing dishes or taking a shower, the mundane comes alive again. Next time you shower, for example, notice how the water feels on your skin, the sweet smell of the shampoo, the sound of droplets falling. It might just be the best shower you’ve ever taken!
7. Tune your heart
An essential component of well-being is nurturing a loving heart, and we can use the body to do this. Take one or two hands and place them on your heart, think of someone who makes you smile, and in your mind wish them well.
8. Feel your center
The abdomen is often called “the core” of the body and we can use it for strength and grounding. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, take one or two hands and place them on your belly. Then take a few slow deep breaths, noticing how they ground you.
9. Move your body
Most us spend too much of the day sitting, so naturally our bodies get stiff. This encourages tension, stress, and stuckness. By moving your body—changing your posture, opening up your chest, doing gentle twists, or sun salutations—you become more present.
10. Laugh it out
A study out of Loma Linda University showed that laughing for short periods of time can help us reduce stress and increase short-term memory. Another study out of the University of Maryland showed that laughter can protect against heart disease. Spend more time with people who make you laugh and doing things that make you laugh. Plus, laughter is contagious, so when you laugh, you are positively impacting the world.
11. Smile wide
Like laughter, a half-smile sends a signal to the brain that something good is happening. Experiment with gently smiling throughout the day and see how it feels.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or use our quick contact form.
Or contact our office at email@example.com 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.
©2016 EAST OHIO CONFERENCE. All Rights Reserved.