Edition: August 3, 2015
Letting Go of Hate: How to Help Clients Change Unconscious Responses
by Steve Andreas
“Hate isn’t a tangible object: it’s an internal feeling, which arises as a spontaneous response to internal images, thoughts, or other triggers [that are inherently unconscious and are changed by unconscious processes].” Pastors may find this article helpful in understanding change in both their parishioners and themselves.
What is IFS (Internal Family Systems) Therapy
by Bruce Hersey
“What if you knew everyone has many parts inside like pieces of a puzzle, each with its own unique qualities? What if you could be mindful and curious and focus on thoughts, images, and feelings without judgment, anger or fear? What if when you were blended or absorbed by a sad part you could separate or unblend and experience a sense of Self and feel amazing qualities like calm, curious, compassion? [What if you could live in a state of peace and calm?] This is IFS!
Grateful: A Love Song to the World
by Nimo Patel and Daniel Nahmod
All that I am
All that I see
All that I’ve been
All that I’ll ever be
Is a blessing
And I’m grateful for it all!
Everything is a gift
And I’m grateful for it all!
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.
Summer Spiritual Formation Retreat
With Liz Nau, Spiritual Director
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Wooster First UMC
As we look forward to the Fall and the starting up of fall programing, EOC’s Program in Pastoral Care has set aside a time and place for pastors to spend a day to refresh, renew and spend time with God.
Our retreat is based on Psalm 27:8-9 “‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek God’s face!’ Your face, Lord, do I seek. Do not hide your face from me.” In many ways this song of David speaks to our own lives as we seek to lead and live our lives centered in God’s hope and promises. During our retreat, we will explore some scriptures that speak to seeking God’s face, we will pray, and we will have some time to share our experiences. There will be ample time for silent reflection and silent prayer. Come away to a quiet place and be refreshed.
To Register or for More Information Call 866.456.3600 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please register by August 10, 2015 so we can plan for meals and materials.
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
Liz Nau – email@example.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD
An excerpt from Choose the Life You Want by Tal Ben-Shahar, PhD
“Noise has become such a part of our life that we crave it when it is absent. Silence during a business meeting is considered unproductive, a waste of time. Silence in a classroom discussion is viewed as a sign of disengaged students and an uninspiring teacher. Silence during a get together proclaims the party a flop.
“A growing body of research points to the high price we pay for this constant aural stimulation. Silence is necessary to increase creativity, deeper connection to our environment and ourselves, healthier physical and mental development, and higher levels of happiness.”
By Howard Humphress, D. Min
Over my 24 years in East Ohio I (Howard Humphress) have taken a few renewal leaves. They have mostly been a combination of study, travel, and relaxation. I am currently coming off of my most recent leave. It has been a bit of a protracted time over the last year. In October 2014 I enrolled in a Contemplative Clinical Practice Certificate program through the Smith College School of Social Work that began on Smith’s campus in Northampton, MA for a four day retreat with monthly phone case consultation and spiritual direction, and concluded with a four day retreat in April. That was the study portion of my renewal that I found quite stimulating and engaging for both my clinical practice, spiritual formation programming done through Pastoral Care, and my own spiritual practice. The relaxation and off-line work-wise portion began early July with a 24 hour retreat at the Jesuit Retreat Center in Parma. My leave proceeded with some physical work: first with a barn makeover job on my son’s horse farm in KY, a kitchen renovation project at a friend’s house, and reclamation of a rental house with my brother and step-dad and a week of tree trimming and grounds reclamation at my house in Canton. All of which have taken me out of my normal routine of psychotherapy and ministry for just a short time, and renewed me spiritually, emotionally and physically. I am now back in the office, mentally rested applying my craft of ministry.
This is but one example of a renewal leave that was tailored to this pastor’s need at the time. As pastors, we are encouraged to practice self-care and warned of the results of its neglect. Anthony Headley in his article for Catalyst Resources, “Self-Care in Ministry” says, [The] failure in self-care often carries devastating consequences. It contributes to unmanageable stress, spiritual and emotional exhaustion, and even premature exit from ministry. Physical consequences also abound as ministers find themselves at risk for many ailments. Brian Sixbey recently completed a study among United Methodist Clergy that uncovered physical problems such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. Emotional problems such as depression also appeared in this group (“Clergy Peer Groups: Do They Make a Difference for Clergy Health?” [DMin diss., Asbury Theological Seminary, 2014]). In nearly all cases, the rates for these ailments exceeded those in the general population. But the consequences do not end at the minister’s door; they tend to produce a trickle-down effect in families and congregations. (emphasis mine)
How does one cultivate appropriate self-care? To those unaccustomed to its validity, relevance, or importance, it starts with shedding the notion that a neglect of self (and in some cases, a hatred of the self) represents good spirituality. Instead, in line with Matt 22:39, one should see love of others as grounded in an appropriate love for the self. One also needs to get beyond seeing self-care as selfish and something to be avoided. Rather, accepting God’s call to care for the good body he has created, one should feel free to engage in self-care without great reservation or guilt. http://www.catalystresources.org/self-care-in-ministry/
I strongly recommend pastors to take a renewal leave when they have gone through a stressful siege of ministry or heavy challenges in their personal life but ideally one should not be waiting to the point of burn-out to take time away. Our 2012 Book of Discipline encourages elders, deacons, and local pastors to take continuing education and spiritual growth leave of one week per year and a full month every four years (Par. 351.2). It also makes provisions for longer sabbaticals for our clergy (Par. 351.3).
Many models for a sabbatical [and renewal leave] exist, any one of which can fit the needs of the pastor. Some use this as an opportunity to engage in disciplined study. Others have combined study with travel. Whatever choice, a sabbatical [renewal leave] may benefit the pastor with a change of scenery and pace, a rediscovery of the gifts and graces by which God called the pastor into ministry, and renewed energy for the tasks of ministry. https://www.ministrymagazine.org/archive/2007/05/renewal-time-planning-your-sabbatical.html
I encourage you to consider a renewal leave as part of your plan for caring for the instrument of ministry God has endowed you with: YOU!
As you look ahead for the coming year and your annual consultation you may want to talk with your District Superintendent and SRPC about a renewal leave for yourself. Many have taken advantage of your Pastoral Care Office in planning and processing their renewal leaves.
Here are some resources that you may find helpful in planning your renewal leave:
Some New (And Better) Rules for Your Next Vacation
by Carey Nieuwhof
“Anyone who’s ever taken a vacation knows that you can come back replenished or exhausted, excited or defeated, or restored or depleted. It all depends on how you use the time you have.”
“So [these] are my current new vacation rules.
Pretty simple, but for me at least, very effective.”Read details of these vacation rules ...
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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