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.
July 18, 2016 Edition
Wednesday, August 17, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
“Listening to the Heartbeat of God—The Celtic Journey”
Jesuit Retreat Center, Parma, OH
View brochure for more information.
by Leslie Salizillo
Depression can affect anyone at any time and is often very misunderstood — especially by those who’ve never experienced it. People often say to a friend or family member going through depression, “Snap out of it!” or “Go out—have some fun—think happy thoughts!” But depression is not something you can think away when it hits. According to the World Health Organization, 350 million people around the world suffer from depression with 14.8 million here in the United States. There are different types of depression caused by genetics, biological factors, physical illness, great loss … there are many triggers and many treatments.
In this video, poet Sabrina Benaim with Button Poetry performs “Explaining Depression To My Mom” and it’s heart-wrenching.
What You Don’t Know About Depression
by Daniel Amen
Nearly 7 percent of, or approximately 15.7 million, American adults are affected by depression. Many of us are no longer shocked by that statistic as we may have loved ones who have struggled with depression or had encounters with it ourselves.
However, many of us would be shocked if we understood the extent to which depression can affect us. It can have an effect on our personalities, relationships, careers, hobbies, and even our brains. Much in the same way our good habits can change our brain for the better, the sadness and isolation of depression can change our brains for the worse.
Necessary Falling Apart
by Richard Rohr
Most religion is highly "legitimating religion." It is used for social control and public order both by the powers that be and by people who want to be in control. This limited use of religion has allowed much of Christian history to participate in a toxic and unjust environment--just as long as we have "a personal relationship with Jesus." This will not work anymore; in fact, it never did.
If Jesus is indeed "the Savior of the world" (John 4:42), we must not, we cannot, continue to think of salvation as merely a private matter. We are wasting our time trying to convert individuals without also challenging corporate sin and institutionalized evil. Otherwise, we send momentarily changed people back into the world; now they think they are godly, but they are the opposite of godly, and the disguise is perfect. As Jesus says, "the last state of the house is worse than the first" (Matthew 12:45).
Truly transformed people change the world; while fundamentally unchanged people soon conform to the world (see Romans 12:2). Culture will win out every time, if it is not also critiqued. Politicians normally prefer an unaware and superficial populace.
Most of us need to have the status quo shaken now and then, leaving us off balance and askew, feeling alienated for a while from our usual unquestioned loyalties. In this uncomfortable space, we can finally recognize the much larger kingdom of God. Many churches don't seem to understand this, even flying the national flag in the sanctuary. After authentic conversion, our old "country" no longer holds any ultimate position. We can't worship it as we were once trained to do.
This pattern of temporary falling apart precedes every transition to a new level of faith, hope, and love. If one is not prepared to live in temporary chaos and to hold the necessary anxiety that chaos entails, one never moves into a Bigger World. Notice that almost every theophany (revelation of God) begins with the same warning: "Do not be afraid." Fear is an entirely predictable response to any God encounter, because any authentic experience of the Absolute relativizes everything else. God is actually quite wild and dangerous, but we domesticated divine experience so much that a vast majority of people have left the search entirely, finding most religious people to be fearful conformists instead of adventurous seekers of Love and Mystery.
Spiritual Formation Groups on Summer Recess. 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 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Bruce Batchlor-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
Here and Now with Hugh Byrne
with Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Rabbi Rami talks to Hugh Byrne about switching from fast thinking to slow thinking, the beauty of silence, and his book The Here and Now Habit: How Mindfulness Can Help You Break Unhealthy Habits Once and for All . An interview appears in the July/August 2016 issue of Spirituality & Health magazine.
Hugh G. Byrne, PhD, is a mindfulness meditation teacher and counselor, and a senior teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington—a meditation community founded by Tara Brach. He has trained for four years with founding Western Insight/Mindfulness meditation teachers, including Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein, and has practiced meditation for 25 years.
How Mindfulness Helps You Find Your Way Through Difficulty
by Ed Halliwell
If you take up the practice of meditation, the journey will go far beyond stress reduction, writes Ed Halliwell. Here are some of the qualities you’ll discover and explore as you travel.
It was about a dozen years ago and I was going through a rough bout of depression. I convinced myself there must be some ready cure I could find, and I embarked on a frantic tour of the therapeutic merry-go-round to relieve my pain. I desperately reached for any doctor, therapist, or support group. I gobbled up whatever advice or pills they offered, but nothing changed. I was still in pain.
Eventually I came to mindfulness. At first, I approached it with the same demand for instant relief. But then something unexpected happened. I saw that it was impossible to really follow the instructions for mindfulness meditation—gently paying attention to the flow of breath, allowing things to be just as they are—and strive for results at the same time. So I stopped looking for cures and results, and to my surprise, some helpful openness and clarity began to arise in my mind. I came to know my depression differently. I began to notice its textures and contours, its causes and its effects. I became familiar with its landscape.
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