Edition: August 17, 2015
Bishops’ Strategy Endangering Religious Freedom
by Fr. Thomas Reese
"Religious liberty in America is at risk," he concludes. "The fight over sexual morality has greatly endangered and undermined it. Maybe things will calm down after the sexual issues are resolved, and maybe cooler heads will prevail on less emotional issues, or maybe not." If not, being on the losing side of the sexual revolution may endanger religious liberty across the board.
What It Takes to Revitalize the Mainline
by Bishop Bruce Ough and Rev. Susan Mienaber
It is possible to revitalize our mainline congregations and denominational structures. And it is happening all around us, in spite of the numerous challenges we are still facing. It’s true that we are still challenged by an aging population in our mainline churches, fewer younger clergy, seasoned clergy who are struggling to learn new skills and ways of being because what worked at the beginning of their ministries is not working now and recovering from several decades of despair and exhaustion. Despite these challenges, we are bold to say that we now know what works.
They begin their eight guideline list with prayer and end with gratitude. Read about it here.
Three Conscious Breaths
by Pema Chödrön
Pema Chödrön teaches us a simple technique we can use anytime we need a break from our habitual patterns.
Our habits are strong, so a certain discipline is required to step outside our cocoon and receive the magic of our surroundings. Pause practice—taking three conscious breaths at any moment when we notice that we are stuck—is a simple but powerful practice that each of us can do at any given moment.
Pause practice can transform each day of your life. It creates an open doorway to the sacredness of the place in which you find yourself. The vastness, stillness, and magic of the place will dawn upon you, if you let your mind relax and drop for just a few breaths the story line you are working so hard to maintain. If you pause just long enough, you can reconnect with exactly where you are, with the immediacy of your experience.
It’s Not Mindfulness Without Kindness,
by Shamash Alidina
Here’s one thing that might be missing from your definition of mindfulness.
The term mindfulness has been mentioned everywhere from front cover TIME Magazine to speeches at the United Nations. But some people are asking…what’s next?
Earlier this year I attended a talk by my favourite monk, Ajahn Brahm. He was speaking at Google Headquarters in Mountain View, California—a cool place for a forest monk to hang out. Brahm expressed the problem of separating mindfulness and compassion—they work far better together.
Mindfulness on it’s own is simply a present moment non-judgmental awareness, as researchers say. But to develop the beautiful peace, gentleness, and stillness of meditation, a kindly awareness is required.
So Brahm developed a new term—kindfulness. And I like it!
Mindfulness and kindness are the two wings to help you soar to the dizzy heights of insightful wisdom, unconditional joy, and deep peace.
Our Spiritual Formation/Meditation Groups will not be meeting at our regular time this summer and will resume in September.
SACRED SILENCE 101, a 24-hour silent retreat
October 4-5, 2015 at the 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.More information ...
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
Choose the Life You Want: The Mindful Way to Happiness
by Tal Ben-Shahar
“What kind of life do you want for yourself? What choices will create this kind of life?
“In his New York Times bestseller Happier, positive psychology expert Tal Ben-Shahar taught us how to become happier through simple exercises.
“Now, in Choose the Life You Want, he has a new, life-changing lesson to share: Drawing on the latest psychological research, Ben-Shahar shows how making the right choices—not the big, once-in-a-lifetime choices, but the countless small choices we make every day almost without noticing—has a direct, long-lasting impact on our happiness.
“Every single moment is an opportunity to make a conscious choice for a happy and fulfilled life. Choose the Life You Want covers 101 such choices, complete with real-life stories, to help you identify and act on opportunities large and small.”
5 Unusual Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight
Weight loss can be tricky. We all know we need to consume fewer calories than we burn to lose weight, but sometimes—even when you’re doing all the right things—that weight loss can come to a screeching halt.
This can happen for a number of reasons, but, more often than not, it’s comes down to something that requires a serious lifestyle change to fix. Here are 5 of the most common, yet not-so-obvious reasons you’re not losing weight, plus some tried-and-true.
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