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.
May 16, 2016 Edition
Annual Conference Spiritual Formation Luncheon and Gathering
Our Annual Conference Spiritual Formation Gathering and FREE lunch will be held again this year on Tuesday after the morning session has concluded. We will meet in the Upper Room of the Pavilion at the dock. This will be a time of fellowship and an opportunity to quiet your mind and heart in the midst of the busyness of the week. A light lunch of finger foods will be provided at no cost. Reservations are not necessary but if you have questions or would like to contact us you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Suffering and the Quest for Wisdom: A Therapist Shares the Story of His Battle with Chronic Pain
by Kevin Anderson
There’s something about healing from the deep emotional suffering that feels like death and rebirth—not the quick kind that some claim to receive in religious conversion. It’s the kind that asks us to be open to changing our contract with life. . . .
After what I thought would be a routine surgery in late 2000, I developed chronic pain so intense that I couldn’t focus my energy on anything else. . . .
A Tale of Two Stories
I can tell two stories about my plunge into darkness 12 years ago. One is about a seemingly functional husband, father, and mental health professional humiliated by his own inability to cope with chronic pain. I could continue that he had difficulty seeing that what began as physical pain persisted far longer than it needed to because of intense fear and shame. I could say he thought he knew what a conversion disorder was, but really didn’t until he’d lived through one.
But there’s another story I can tell, one that’s been more helpful to my healing. That’s the monomyth described by mythologist Joseph Campbell as “the hero’s journey.” In my version of this ancient, archetypal narrative, a person entering a comfortable middle age---who believes that his years trying to help troubled people have thoroughly acquainted him with the full range of human experience---suddenly finds himself confronting a level of suffering more personal and intense than he imagined possible. My journey is to be with and learn from my suffering. According to Campbell, those who can manage the full journey and return to their lives discover a boon, the gifts of wisdom and deep knowledge that come from surviving existential hardships that take us beyond our comfort zone.
In entertaining this second story of my time of darkness, the question becomes: what’s the boon I brought back? Phrased more pragmatically, how am I different now, wiser perhaps, as a person and a therapist, for having been through my own dark night?
The Boon. . .
My experience of my own darkness hasn’t transformed me into an exalted wisdom figure with answers for all forms of human suffering, but it’s changed how I sit with clients today. I no longer approach them as the expert with the Ph.D., but as a fellow human being, more fully aware of my own vulnerability. I know the territory of mental illness differently from how I once did because life took me on a tour of it.
U.S. getting happier, but Scandinavians have lock on good cheer
by Sewell Chan
You may be happy to hear that the United States is inching its way up on the world happiness scale. But Denmark is still "smiles" above us as the happiest nation.
The UN's World Happiness Report 2016 Update lists the U.S. as the 13th happiest country. That's two spots ahead of last year. Holding steady in the top five are:
The researchers found people are happier in places where folks spread good cheer evenly. So despite the cold, Scandinavians have warmed up to sharing their happiness. Their societies boast strong safety nets, which seem to boost happiness.
Happiness measures may mean better public policy - Though the topic may seem lighthearted, it's no joke. Societies worldwide are paying attention to data on happiness and well-being. It helps them embrace policies that support better lives. And researchers say measuring happiness tells them more about how well a society lives than other factors, such as income and education.
Opioid Overdose Prevention TOOLKIT
by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Opioid overdose continues to be a major public health problem in the United States. It has contributed significantly to accidental deaths among those who use or misuse illicit and prescription opioids. In fact, U.S. overdose deaths involving prescription opioid analgesics increased to about 19,000 deaths in 2014 more than three times the number in 2001. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for painkillers in 2012, enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills.
Becoming Pure in Heart
by Richard Rohr
True religion is radical; it cuts to the root (radix is Latin for root). It moves us beyond our "private I" and into full reality. Jesus seems to be saying in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) that our inner attitudes and states are the real sources of our problems. We need to root out the problems at that level. Jesus says not only that you must not kill, but that you must not even harbor hateful anger. He clearly begins with the necessity of a "pure heart" (Matthew 5:8) and knows that the outer behavior will follow. Too often we force the outer and the inner remains like a cancer.
In Matthew 5:44, Jesus insists that we love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. For Jesus, prayer seems to be a matter of waiting in love, returning to love, trusting that love is the unceasing stream of reality. Prayer isn't primarily words; it's a place, an attitude, a stance. That's why Paul could say, "Pray unceasingly" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If we think of prayer as requiring words, it is surely impossible to pray always. Once we recognize that whatever we do in conscious, loving union with Reality is prayer, we can better understand what Paul means.
Francis: The Journey and the Dream
by Murray Bodo
"Francis: The Journey and the Dream depicted a Francis who 'sang' to me. I felt that I had found a teacher to lead me home. I had no idea where this was going to lead, but I was ready to follow."—John Michael Talbot
Francis: The Journey and the Dream continues to inspire people of all ages with its lyrical prose and depth of love for the Poor Man of Assisi. This beautiful anniversary edition includes Fr. Bodo's story of writing the book and its worldwide influence, a reader's guide for book clubs and discussion groups, and a list of Fr. Bodo's favorite Franciscan resources, culled over three decades of research on Francis and his followers.
“To Francis everything in him and around him was a gift from his Father in Heaven. He expected nothing, so he was grateful for everything. Even a piece of earth was cause for rejoicing, and he thanked God always for everything that was. He held everything to his heart with the enthusiasm of a child surprised by some unexpected joy...Nothing was evil, for everything came from God, and evil came only from a heart that chose not to love.”
Our groups will be on recess June-August.
Meet: monthly 1 ½ hours
Where and when:
Cleveland Heights: Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road – Third Thursdays, 1:30 PM
Medina: Granger UMC, 1235 Granger Rd. – Third Wednesdays, 1:30 PM
Painesville: UMC, 71 North Park Pl. – TBD
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 Batchler-Glader – email@example.com
Harry Finkbone - Finkbone1@gmail.com
Karen Hollingsworth – firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Nau – email@example.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sue Palmer - email@example.com
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Stultz - email@example.com
Carol Topping - firstname.lastname@example.org
8 Things Physical Therapists Wish Women Knew
by Jeannette Moninger
PTs aren't only concerned with achy muscles and creaky bones; they help cure a whole mess of things. Here, they spill the secrets they share with their closest friends. Consider this your co-pay-free consult!
A Basic Meditation to Tame Your Inner Critic
by Mark Bertin
An in-the-moment exercise for confronting the nagging voice in your head.
Over the next several weeks practice noting your Inner Critic as you go about your daily life. Give this voice a nickname if you’d like.
Healing Your Inner Critic: An Internal Family Systems Approach
by Conor McMillen
Discovering the protective nature of your inner critic and free yourself from its grip.
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address or would like to get email alerts when new reources have been posted please contact Howard Humphress at email@example.com or use our quick contact form.
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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