Edition: May 11, 2015
Bring Awareness to Addiction
by Echart Tolle
Eckhart Tolle talks about addiction and how to investigate the feelings beneath the urge towards a behavior that you know is destructive. He suggests bringing your awareness to the feelings that drive you to the substance.
The Athena Doctrine: How Women, And The Men Who Think Like Them, Will Rule The Future
by Michael D’Antonio, and John Gerzema
Mark Crowley blogs:
The skills required to thrive in today’s world – such as honesty, empathy, communication, appreciation and collaboration – are widely regarded as being on the feminine side of human nature. Consequently, we’ve reached the end of the hyper-masculine era in leadership as these and many other feminine qualities have become more highly valued.
“More important, the responses show that we collectively seek a more expressive style of manager, one who shares feelings and emotions more openly and honestly. We want our leaders to be more intuitive, more understanding of other people’s feelings, and more able to assess various angles of a problem – or consequences of an action – before taking action.”
“More inclusive construct, rather than a zero sum game. In a highly connected and interdependent economy, masculine traits like aggression and control are considered less effective than the feminine values of collaboration and sharing credit.”
“Patience, sensitivity, and the ability to understand others are extremely valuable traits in a fast-paced and interconnected world. Seventy-eight percent of people surveyed said that today’s times require people to be more kind and empathetic; another 78% affirmed a successful career today requires collaborating and sharing credit with others.” These are all feminine values.
Regardless of whether you’re a woman or man reading this, please don’t draw the conclusion that the authors are radicals wanting men removed from leadership roles, or that they believe male leaders need to be neutered in any way. Instead, what their research now proves is that leaders are far more effective and successful – and will be in the future – when they leverage a greater balance of traditional male & feminine traits. Leaders must be hard charging and caring. They must be nurturing to people while maintaining very high expectations of performance. At the end of the day, leaders must recognize that the human beings they manage need to be developed, encouraged, praised, valued and respected. Women leaders instinctively tend to do these things better – and that now must change.
The Athena Doctrine: How Women, And The Men Who Think Like Them, Will Rule The Future
by Michael D’Antonio, and John Gerzema
Among 64,000 people surveyed in thirteen nations, two thirds feel the world would be a better place if men thought more like women. This marks a global trend away from the winner-takes-all, masculine approach to getting things done. Drawing from interviews at innovative organizations in eighteen nations and at Fortune 500 boardrooms, the authors reveal how men and women alike are recognizing significant value in traits commonly associated with women, such as nurturing, cooperation, communication, and sharing. The Athena Doctrine shows why femininity is the operating system of 21st century prosperity.
Response to the Death of Freddie Gray
by Bishop Peggy Johnson, Eastern PA Conference
“A riot is the language of the unheard,” said the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was addressing a growing trend of urban violence that challenged his own non-violent civil rights movement in the late 1960s. He cited worsening poverty and unmet promises of freedom and justice for far too many African Americans.
“Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots,” said King in a 1968 speech. “As long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.” --Martin Luther King
“This week we have painfully witnessed the voices of the unheard rioting in the streets of Baltimore, our neighboring metropolis. In dismay we have watched real-time images of businesses being burned, property being looted and destroyed, communities torn asunder, attacks on police, and a proud city and its leaders feeling the burning shame of intense media exposure and widespread public judgment.
“All of these actions were ignited by the senseless death of Freddie Gray, yet another young African American man whose encounter with local police led to a tragic, mysterious, unnecessary death. Gray was arrested for running from police and carrying a switchblade. But he died after suffering severe spinal cord injuries while in police custody.
“Reports of long-standing patterns of police brutality in predominantly black, poor, neglected urban communities, like Baltimore and elsewhere, suggest that Dr. King’s unsettling analysis may be as relevant as ever. Angry victims who feel not only oppressed but also unheard and ignored can go from being protesters to perpetrators. And a single incident of oppressive brutality, when publicized but not reconciled, can ignite their seething anger into public violence.
“There is still hope that prevails"
“Yes, there is much despair, anger and unrest in many cities due to broken relationships and frustration from years of suffering from poverty, crime, neglect and injustice. But there is still hope that prevails among those who know they are “persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:9).
“The church’s mission is to remind the people of that great, resilient hope and from whence it comes, to remind them that their voices are indeed heard by Christ’s passionate disciples and by the all-knowing, all-seeing Savior we serve. We the church must open the eyes and ears of our hearts to feel their pain, use our calmest voices to quell their anger, and offer our best minds to help them seek solutions to their sufferings.
“Christ wept over the city that knew not the promise of peace or the hope of deliverance. And yet, he died selflessly to offer all people that promise and that hope for abundant life. We must do the same by courageously sharing his loving, liberating gospel on the front lines, “always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.” (2 Corinthians 4:10)
“May we hear the concerns of people of goodwill who wish to protect their city, to build it up and to achieve better conditions. May we find creative ways to improve relations between communities and law enforcement officers. May we commit to listening to one another so that no one goes unheard, and commit to learning what we can do personally to wage a vigilant peace in our cities and in all our communities.”
Race, Class and Neglect
by Paul Krugman, New York Times Op-ed
“Every time you’re tempted to say that America is moving forward on race—that prejudice is no longer as important as it used to be—along comes an atrocity to puncture your complacency. Almost everyone realizes, I hope, that the Freddie Gray affair wasn’t an isolated incident, that it’s unique only to the extent that for once there seems to be a real possibility that justice may be done.
“And the riots in Baltimore, destructive as they are, have served at least one useful purpose: drawing attention to the grotesque inequalities that poison the lives of too many Americans.”
Rabbi Rami: How Do I Make My Space More Holy?
by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Rabbi Rami: For starters let me suggest two things from my own tradition. First, attach mezuzot (plural of mezuzah) to the doorposts of your house, inside and out. Noticing these decorative containers reminds you to “do justly, act kindly, and walk humbly” (Micah 6:8) in every room of your home. While Jews fill the mezuzah with Torah passages (Deuteronomy 6:4–9; and 11:13–21), you might choose texts you find more meaningful.
Second, place a tzedakah box in your house, and at the end of each day put loose change into the box to celebrate joys, mark concerns, or give thanks for another day of life. Tzedakah (from tzedek, “justice”) reminds you to use your finances justly. When the box is full, donate the money to a favorite charity or cause.
Annual Conference Spiritual Formation Gathering and Luncheon
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 - Noon
Upper Room of the Dock Pavilion
Free Lunch, Fellowship and a Time of Meditation
Meet: monthly 1 ½ hours
Where and when:
Alliance: Christ UMC, 470 E. Broadway – Third Thursdays, 1:00 PM
Ashland: Christ UMC, 1140 Claremont Ave. – Second Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
Cleveland: East Shore UMC, 23002 Lakeshore Blvd., Euclid – First Thursdays, 1:00 PM
Medina: Granger UMC, 1235 Granger Rd. – Third Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
New Philadelphia: First UMC, 201 W. High St. – Second Thursdays, 9:00 AM
Sandusky: Trinity UMC, 214 E. Jefferson St. – Second Thursdays, 2:00 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 Batchler-Glader – firstname.lastname@example.org
Harry Finkbone - Finkbone1@gmail.com
Liz Nau – email@example.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
Paul as a Contemplative Practitioner
by Fr. Richard Rohr
”As a teacher of the contemplative mind, Philippians is probably my favorite of Paul's letters, because it describes how we need to work with the mind. Paul writes his letter to the Philippians during one of his many imprisonments. He even speaks of being "in chains," and yet ironically this is the most positive and joy-filled of all of his letters. The very fact that he can be so happy during such hardship tells us he had learned what to do with the rebellious and angry mind. We have had no training in that for centuries, and we see the sad results on the streets and in the Congress of America.
In a most succinct and perfect summary, Paul says that you should "Pray with gratitude, and the peace of God which is beyond all knowledge, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7). First, you must begin with the positive, with gratitude (which might take your whole prayer time). Second, you need to pray however long it takes you to get to a place beyond agitation, or to find "peace" (whether five minutes or five hours or five days). Third, note that he says this is a place beyond "knowledge," beyond processing information or ideas. Fourthly, you must learn how to stand guard, which is what many call "creating the inner witness" or the witnessing presence that calmly watches your flow of thoughts (mind) and feelings (heart). Finally, you must know what the goal is: your egoic thoughts can actually be replaced with living inside the very mind of Christ (en Cristo). This is not self-generated knowing, but knowing by participation--consciousness itself (con-scire, to know with). This is major surgery, and Paul says it all in one condensed verse!
“Paul then goes on to suggest that we fill our minds "with everything that is true, everything that is noble, everything that is good, everything that we love and honor, everything that can be thought virtuous or worthy of praise" (Philippians 4:8). Norman Vincent Peal calls this "the power of positive thinking." I call it "replacement therapy." If you don't choose love and compassion, the human mind naturally goes in the other direction, and a vast majority of people live their later years trapped in a sense of victimhood, entitlement, and bitterness.
“We are not free until we are free from our own compulsiveness, our own resentments, our own complaining, and our own obsessive patterns of thinking. We have to catch these patterns early in their development and nip them in the bud. And where's the bud? It's in the mind. That's the primary place where we sin, as Jesus himself says (Matthew 5:21-48). Any later behaviors are just a response to the way our mind works. We can't walk around all day writing negative, hateful commentaries about other people in our mind, or we will become hate itself!”
Adapted from In the Footsteps of St. Paul (published by Franciscan Media, 2015)
Gut Health and Mental Health
Changing eating habits is turning out to be a vital, perhaps even an irreplaceable skill for both general physicians and for mental health specialists.
In a fairly recent study from New Zealand, eating at least 6 to 7 helpings of vegetables and dark or colorful fruits (strawberries and blueberries, for example) boosts mood at least as well and perhaps better than taking an antidepressant.
In yet another study, a diet rich in Omega 3 PUFAs (Polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially the long-chain omega 3s) clearly reduce your risk of developing depression.
Avocadoes: So Much from So Little
by Dr. Robert Murray
Loaded with vitamins, fiber and rich fats that can actually help lower your risk for heart disease, these beautiful fruits can boost your next meal.
Gardening? Warm Up, Cool Down to Avoid Injury
Performing simple stretches will help alleviate injuries, pain and stiffness.
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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