Edition: July 06, 2015
“The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire. White Christians, let’s listen to our African-American brothers and sisters.” - Russell Moore, head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
Moore is a different kind of evangelical. He takes atypical stands on many social issues.
And Moore has denounced as “severely counterproductive” the therapies that some Christians claim can “cure” gay people of their sexual orientation. He is not afraid to speak out about political and cultural issues and has the following of young adults inside and outside the church.
When God Talks Back
by Tanya Marie Luhrmann
A bold approach to understanding the American evangelical experience from an anthropological and psychological perspective by one of the country's most prominent anthropologists.
Through a series of intimate, illuminating interviews with various members of the Vineyard, an evangelical church with hundreds of congregations across the country, Tanya Luhrmann leaps into the heart of evangelical faith. Combined with scientific research that studies the effect that intensely practiced prayer can have on the mind, When God Talks Back examines how normal, sensible people—from college students to accountants to housewives, all functioning perfectly well within our society—can attest to having the signs and wonders of the supernatural become as quotidian and as ordinary as laundry. Astute, sensitive, and extraordinarily measured in its approach to the interface between science and religion, Luhrmann's book is sure to generate as much conversation as it will praise.
Spiritual Formation/Meditation Groups
Our Spiritual Formation/Meditation Groups will not be meeting at our regular time this summer and will resume in September. Please take note and plan to take part in the upcoming Second Annual Summer Spiritual Formation Retreat. See details below.
Seeking the Face of God
Summer Spiritual Formation Retreat
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Wooster First UMC
SACRED SILENCE 101 - a 24-hour silent retreat
July 10-11 or October 4-5, 2015
Jesuit Retreat House in Parma, Ohio
Gift yourself with time and space to rest, renew and reconnect with God. Do you long for a sense of stillness amidst the perpetual motion of your daily life? Take the first step and join us for a gentle and meaningful introduction to sacred silence.
This is offered by Belly of the Whale Ministries with Sharon Seyfarth Garner, Spiritual Director.
Finding the “Space Between” Through Meditation
by Bill Stump
Quiet reflection is good for your brain and can lead to better choices. One of the most powerful effects of meditation isn’t scientific; it’s a minuscule shift in an aspect of daily experience you otherwise may not notice. I had never given much thought to the thickness of my cerebral cortex or the volume of my brain, nor had I considered how increasing them would help regulate my attention span and emotions.
But this, experts tell us, is what can happen when we meditate regularly. It's the science behind the fad that makes mindfulness — observing and accepting our thoughts as they occur in the present moment without judgment — an antidote to our ADHD way of life. It's why seemingly everyone you meet has tried meditating or plans to.
Meditation has worked for me, but on the rare occasions when I talk about it, I find myself focusing on the one result I haven't read or heard much about. Sitting in silence, aware of my thoughts, has lengthened the space of time between a stimulus — a thought provoked by something I see or hear — and my reaction to it.
Until I began my meditation practice, I hadn't realized that this space existed and that what I did with it determined so much in my life. That sliver of time between a comment from a friend or spouse, or getting cut off in traffic, and my reaction to it is where opportunity lies. Through practice, I'm aware that I can choose whether to take a comment personally and react in kind, or take a moment and respond more thoughtfully.
Pico Iyer on Leonard Cohen and Meditation
In his 2015 commencement address at the University of Southern California, author Pico Iyer recalls his singular meeting with Leonard Cohen, on the grounds of Mt. Baldy Zen Center in Los Angeles.
“It took me a while to realize that this ragged monk was my hero since boyhood,” Iyer says, adding, “I have met a lot of interesting people in my thirty-two years as a journalist, and I have never met anybody so gracious, so humble, so articulate.” He then goes on to talk quite personally about his work, his travels, technology, and the relationship between meditation and happiness.
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
Liz Nau – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – email@example.com
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jump-Start Your Fitness
Check out the best ways to get started, keep going and form a lifelong fitness habit. You may have heard that the hardest step in a new fitness program is the first one. But we now know the first step is the easiest — we've taken that one step dozens of times, and we bet you have, too. No, it's the 10th, 11th or 53rd step that's really tough. Stumble here, we've found, and you're even less likely to start again, because life is full of obstacles to our best intentions. Catch the flu, take a cruise or deal with a few weeks of crazy at work — and we find ourselves heading for the lattes instead of the Pilates.
Breast Cancer: A Soul Journey
by Patricia Greer
Breast cancer can interrupt a life and demand that we pay more attention to the way we live. In this lyrical and inviting account, Patricia Greer explores associations and images that surround her experience of the disease. A Jungian analyst, she works with metaphors and meanings related to the illness and uses her dreams, inner journeys, and poetry to deepen into and under the reality of cancer. She shares her exploration with the hope that it may help others reflect on their experiences and find insights from understanding cancer as a source of wisdom. For all those who have been touched by the disease and for those who love them, care about them, care for them, breast cancer can be a soul journey.
"Women diagnosed with breast cancer often describe the experience as having many layers-physical, emotional, psychological, relational, social, spiritual, and even financial. Considering the experience as a journey of the soul is an opportunity to move beyond the effects of breast cancer and into a more expansive, meaning-making exploration. Patricia's story is a generous gift to all who have experienced breast cancer and felt drawn to a deeper understanding of the point where one's essence and illness intersect. This is definitely a trip you'll be glad you took."
-Jeannie Cella, MS, LCPC, executive director of Wellness House
"With compassion and intelligence, Patricia Greer offers a readable and generous personal exploration of the potential meanings of breast cancer. Embracing the symbolic attitude of Jungian methods, which activate and engage unconscious layers of psyche, she focuses on cancer as teacher, a metaphoric guide to deeper self-awareness and self-knowledge. This soulful meditation on the healing power of image is a rich, sensitive contribution full of embodied wisdom, evocative language, and transcendent depth. An inspirational book for therapists, patients, and for all women and their families and friends whose lives have been touched by cancer and illness."
-Judith Cooper, PsyD, clinical psychologist and Jungian analyst
"Patricia Greer creates a profound pathway for those with cancer and their loved ones. She intimately shares the sacred healing capacity of dream and image that she personally experienced during her long journey with cancer. Her image of the single redbud tree resonated for me long after I put the book down. Joining Patricia on her underworld journey with cancer, I too was immersed in a deep experience of navigating the darkest nights of the soul. I am deeply touched by Patricia's work and feel her offering is tending the soul in and of the world."
-Stephen Aizenstat, PhD, chancellor and founding president, Pacifica Graduate Institute
Patricia Greer, MA, PhD, is a psychotherapist and Jungian analyst who has been seeing clients for more than thirty years. She has used her experience of breast cancer to deepen her ability to accompany her clients on their journeys of individuation and is especially interested in helping women identify and speak in their authentic voices and attend to and honor the wisdom of soul.
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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