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.
June 20, 2016 Edition
“Listening to the Heartbeat of God—The Celtic Journey”
Jesuit Retreat Center, Parma, OH
Can Congregations Continue to Fund Middle Class Clergy Salaries?
by Gary Peluso-Verdend
Bi-vocational ministry can mean many things, but for my purpose here I am referring to a ministry that—regardless of scope of duties, and passion and education brought by the minister—pays less than a middle-class living wage.
So, a few perspectives:
It is clear that anyone going into ministry these days will be forging paths rather than walking on roads built by others, to an extent not seen in generations. What all this means in terms of educating and supporting called persons deserves a great deal more attention.
Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation
by Carol Howard Merritt
Much has been written about the changing landscape the church finds itself in, and even more about the church's waning influence in our culture. From her vantage point as an under-40 pastor, Carol Howard Merritt, author of Tribal Church, moves away from the handwringing toward a discovery of what ministry in, with, and by a new generation might look like. What does the substance of hope look like right now? What does hope look like when it is framed in a new generation? Motivated by these questions, Merritt writes Reframing Hope with the understanding that we are not creating from nothing the vital ministry of the next generation. Instead, we are working through what we have, sorting out the best parts, acknowledging and healing from the worst, and reframing it all.Find out more ...
The Greatest Commandment Matthew 22:37-40
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
In 1969 Tom Harris published famous book “I’m OK, You’re OK. It topped the New York Times best seller list for two full years and has sold over 15 million copies. Why was this title so popular? Because we don’t feel OK, we’re not enough and not good enough. From the messages we received from our parents and other adults and sadly the message we even heard from the church: “you’re not OK.”
Donald Hands and Wayne Fehr in their book “Spiritual Wholeness for Clergy: A New Psychology of Intimacy with God, Self and Others,” tell us the key reason we do such a poor job at self-care is because we lack genuine self-appreciation. Many, if not most of us at times do our best to be good for others as an unconscious way to earn favor and gain self-esteem. But no amount of admirable and successful ministry to others manages to fill the gaping void within us. They go on to say our isolation from peers where affirmation and appreciation can take place leave us more vulnerable to self-hatred. We need community, trusting relationships with peers, for our health and well-being.
Tara Brach is the new prophetess of self-esteem says that for most of us our self-care is based in anxiety and fear, what we should do to improve ourselves rather than self-acceptance. All our self-improvement measures are expressions of how we see ourselves as lacking, not good enough, being unacceptable, not OK. Authentic self-care grows out of appreciation, openness, tenderness toward oneself, and is accompanied by a sense of expansiveness. In this place of tender presence, we offer kindness to our own selves. We do this by pausing and listening inward, paying attention to ourselves; as the Sufi prophet Rumi instructed: “make regular visits with yourself.” As children, we all needed to be seen and loved. This is what we give to ourselves with self-compassion. And self-compassion is a prerequisite to having compassion toward others and the world. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”
Rabbi Rami Shapiro 10 Years of Roadside Assistance
With this issue of Spirituality & Health, Rabbi Rami turns 65, so let’s wish him a very happy birthday! For the past 10 years he’s been answering our spiritual questions, doing his best to avoid personal questions and focusing instead on more universal issues. But for this “birthday edition” of Roadside Assistance, he wanted to share and respond to more personal questions regarding getting older. As he explains, “Many of these questions focus on my death, which to the best of my knowledge is not impending. Nevertheless, I have included them. You never know….”
Look forward to seeing everyone in September. Watch for notice.
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
Karen Hollingsworth – email@example.com
Liz Nau – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – email@example.com
Sue Palmer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
Valerie Stultz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Topping - email@example.com
The Crazy Way Complaining Alters Your Brain
by Thrive Market
I’m sitting at my favorite local diner on a warm and sunny Saturday in February, with my boyfriend across from me—so many things to be grateful for. Only, I’m starving. One-by-one, I watch every table around get served their burgers and sundaes—nada for us. Then, the waitress drops the bomb that she forgot to put our order in.
All of a sudden, anger surges through me—literally. According to basic neuroscience, each thought triggers the brain to shoot neurotransmitters across synapses, where signals pass from one nerve cell to another. And every time a certain type of thought occurs, the brain allows the synapses associated with that thought to grow closer together to make it easier for them to communicate. Translation: The more often a person engages a negative thought, the easier it is for it to occur regularly, since it has a shorter distance to travel in order to be processed. So frequent complaintive behavior (read: lamenting over “Mondays” week after week) can hardwire the brain for chronic negativity. . . .
Often all it takes to get out of a black hole of displeasure is to consciously reframe your thinking. If you can’t help the words from coming out of your mouth, then at least think about how you can follow it up on a positive note. Not saying you need to fake the funk, but when you start to feel all worked up about the presidential candidates, remember that you get a vote in it. How cool is that?
Part 1: Physiology of Breathing: Why Does Deep Breathing Work? by David Altman
Research shows that just 20 minutes of deep breathing reduces negative feelings, releases serotonin, and turns on the parasympathetic nervous system affecting wellness and aging.
Part 2: Physiology of Breathing: 5 Postures to Help Us Deepen Our Breath, by David Altman
Hands locked behind the back at the waist.
Hands on the sides just below the rib cage.
Hands behind the head elbows spread wide.
Hands as bellows—begin with hands in prayer position in front of the chest; as breath in open hands/arms at shoulder height; hold; and exhale slowly bringing hands back into prayer position.
Butterfly Breathing: lace fingers under chin; breathing in raise arms/wings; breathing out lower arms/wings.View ...
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