July 24, 2017
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. Archives Here ...
River’s Edge Center for Reflection and Action, Rocky River, OH
Gospel-Driven Communities: Being a Church with the Biblical Vision of Justice
by Jack Jezreel
Is it possible to truly worship God and not care about our vulnerable sisters and brothers and the gift of the earth we all share?
Is it possible to follow Jesus and not find ourselves linked and in the company of sisters and brothers who are hungry, homeless, hopeless, slaves, lepers, and prostitutes?
Is it possible to read the Bible carefully and not be convinced of God’s vision of human dignity, well-being, and wholeness?
All too often, the answer is yes. To the extent that God’s people are not reaching out to those who struggle, not advocating for justice, not seeking peace nor caring for creation is the extent to which congregations and parishes have yet to become Gospel-driven communities. The biblical vision of justice, Jesus’ proclamation of the Reign of God, his life journey of compassion and integrity outlined in the Gospels are absolutely central, critical ingredients of our mission, our purpose, our vision, indeed our humanity. If our churches are not forming, not even trying to form, compassionate human beings, real life saints, prophets, heroines/heroes and martyrs in Christ’s name, why not? And what needs to change?
The Gift of Constraints
by James K.A. Smith
Jesus said, “I have not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it.”
Instead of a “completely free hand,” maybe what we need are good constraints and the imagination to receive them as gifts for innovation. A Calvin College professor finds important lessons in Philadelphia’s newest art museum.
Let’s face it: all of us inhabit institutions that we would have built differently. We inherited policies and procedures and even physical plants with aspects that we’d happily do without. Sometimes we bristle under the constraints put upon us by founders and historical bodies that could know nothing of our contemporary challenges.
Many of us have probably daydreamed what it would be like to be free of such constraints -- to “re-imagine” the institution from scratch. Then, we tell ourselves, we’d really be free to push forward our mission and vision. But now, in the real world, these constraints are like millstones, anchors dragging on the bottom as we try to steer the ship forward into new waters.
Could we ever imagine receiving such constraints as gifts? Indeed, is it possible that the constraints of handed-down traditions could be catalysts for creativity and imagination?
Rebuilding on a Contemplative Foundation: A Creed for Rebuilders
by Fr. Richard Rohr
Let us, as St. Francis said, begin again. Allow the following creed to inspire your efforts to rebuild from the bottom up. I invite you to read it as lectio divina. With the first reading, listen with your heart’s ear for a phrase or word that stands out for you. During the second reading, reflect on what touches you, perhaps speaking that response aloud or writing in a journal. After reading the passage a third time, respond with a prayer or expression of what you have experienced and what it calls you to. Finally, rest in silence after a fourth reading.
We believe in one Triune God. “There is one Body, one Spirit, one and the same hope . . . one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God who is Father of all, over all, through all, and within all” (Ephesians 4:4-6).
We believe that we are, first of all, a people, God’s movement in history.
We believe that our individual lives and our personal growth are for the sake of the generations to come after and built on the faith and the bones of those who have gone ahead of us.
We believe that we must build on the positive, on what we love. Creative and life energies come from belief and from commitment. Critics must first be believers who have learned how to say an ultimate yes.
We agree to bear the burden and the grace of our past. We agree to honor what is, including even the broken things of life: ourselves, church, state, and all institutions. Their dark side is a necessary teacher.
We are committed to building a world of meaning and hope. We recognize the clear need for prophetic deconstruction of all idolatries that make the worship of God impossible. True rebuilding must follow this temporary but necessary un-building.
We believe in a personal universe where the divine image shines through all created things. It is therefore an “enchanted universe” where we can always live in reverence and even adoration before the good, the true, and the beautiful.
Along with St. Paul in Colossians (1:15-20), as Christians, we believe that Jesus Christ is the clearest image of the unseen God. In him all things cohere, all opposites are overcome. He is the head of the living body, the One in whom all things are reconciled and overcome.
The Science and Practice of Staying Present Through Difficult Times
by Ed Halliway
Research suggests that as we turn towards pain and discomfort, we can experience less of it. Plus — a guided meditation for being mindful when things get tough.
One study suggested that setting oneself the goal of avoiding stress increases the long-term risk of depression. By contrast, if we view stress as a normal, helpful indicator—something we can handle and from which we can learn—rather than as something to eliminate, we are more likely to experience good health and emotional well-being.
Audio: 15-Minute Guided Mindfulness Meditation: Investigating DifficultyListen here ...
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
Joy Gordon - firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Hollingsworth - email@example.com
Liz Nau – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazel Partington – lakehavenministries.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – email@example.com
Judy Ringler -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
Valerie Stultz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Topping - email@example.com
Laura Tradowsky -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Tucker - email@example.com
A Yoga Story Straight from the Heart
by Lorrie Lynch
YOGA HAS SAVED my life, twice.
The first time was after a physical trauma — a quadruple coronary bypass operation. Literally, a broken heart.
The second was after a psychological trauma — a job layoff that devastated my ego.
Ironically, my physical body needed the more cerebral aspects of yoga to heal, and my psychological trauma demanded a physical practice.
The cool thing about yoga, I have discovered in 20 years of practice and study, is that it offers both.
Yoga is a workout, for sure. But the asanas — or poses — are just part of it. Yoga is movement and breath and meditation: a three-legged stool.
FREE 6 Minute Yoga Lesson
by Lorrie Lynch
It’s never too late to start your yoga practice. Join AARP Features Director Lorrie Lynch, who is a certified yoga instructor, for a free lesson geared toward beginners in their 50s and 60s. She will walk you through some basic poses while explaining how each pose benefits your mind, body and spirit. Yoga improves balance and bone density, strengthen and tone muscles, extend your spine, and help you de-stress.More about the video ...
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