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.
August 29, 2016 Edition
As September approaches we are gearing up for our Spiritual Formation Groups. These are groups of pastors and religious leaders meeting monthly across East Conference to explore a variety of spiritual experiences, spend time in meditation and discussion of our practices and encourage one another along our journey.
We will have our initial meetings as follows:
Thursday, September 8, 2016, 10:30-12:00, Faith UMC, 300 9th St. NW, North Canton, OH
Thursday, September 8, 2016, 2:00-3:30, Trinity UMC, 214 E. Jefferson St., Sandusky, OH
Wednesday, September 14, 2016, 1:00-2:30, Christ UMC, 1140 Claremont Ave., Ashland, OH
Thursday, September 15, 2016, 1:30-3:00, Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Rd., Cleveland,OH
Wednesday, September 21, 2016, 1:30-3:00, Granger UMC, 1235 Granger Rd., Medina, OH
Please take a moment in the next few days and let me know which group you would be interested in attending. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
2 Myths about Adult ADD
by Daniel Amen
There are many people who feel anxious, depressed, impulsive, or prone to anger, and they think the problem is “all in their head” or purely psychological. However, one of the clearest things we at Amen Clinics have found in our research is that these problems often do have a biological basis in the brain.
We are talking, of course, about adult attention deficit disorder (ADD), which is also known as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Although ADD is a large umbrella of symptoms that can be most often noticed in those children bouncing off the wall in the doctor’s office, we often forget that hyperactivity is just the most visible effect of a much more complicated disorder. There are many different types of ADD, and they aren’t all quite as obvious as the screaming child running laps in the parking lot. In fact, at Amen Clinics, we prefer the name ADD, as ADHD highlights the hyperactive component of the disorder (H) and discards half the people who have it, particularly females, who are typically not hyperactive.
Myth #1: Children outgrow their ADD problem by adulthood
Fact: While ADD is most often diagnosed in children, for two-thirds of them the disorder persists into adulthood. Over the past few decades, the conversation on mental health has grown and more adults with the disorder are now being diagnosed.
ADD is highly heritable, and adults often are diagnosed for the first time when they bring their child in seeking help. However, there is no such thing as adult-onset ADD. These adults have often been living their entire lives unaware, but with the constant feeling that their brains worked a little differently.
Just because these adults haven’t been identified as ADD until later in life, doesn’t mean they haven’t been living with the disorder’s effects. Treating adult ADD starts by understanding the disorder itself and the effects it has on you and those around you, in order to begin succeeding with ADD, not in spite of it.
Myth #2: ADD is just an excuse for the habitually distracted and disorganized
Fact: There is a difference between an excuse and explanation. Just like anyone else, ADD adults have to hold themselves accountable; they are skilled and often incredibly creative people who are capable of great things. However, they cannot deny the effects the disorder can have on their lives.
We have scanned tens of thousands of brains and seen the clear differences in brain function between an adult with ADD and an adult without it. Among the many signs, lower blood flow to key areas like the prefrontal cortex (the brain’s decision maker) and lower levels of adrenaline are often seen in ADD adults, causing them to sometimes be impulsive or craving excitement. Knowing this can help you understand this complicated disorder, and act to explain rather than make excuses, taking steps to minimize the challenges adult ADD presents.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and You
ADHD stands for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It is a neurobehavioral disorder that is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity/impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development. People with ADHD may have difficulty paying attention, may be hyperactive or restless, and may act impulsively. These symptoms of ADHD occur in 2 or more settings, such as at work, at school, and/or in social settings. ADHD starts in childhood, but can continue in adolescence and adulthood.
An estimated 11% (6.4 million) of US school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD in their lifetime. Additionally, an estimated 4.4% of adults have ADHD in the US. When applied to the full US adult population aged 18 and over, approximately 10.5 million adults are estimated to have ADHD in the US. Only a qualified health care professional can accurately diagnose ADHD.
When It’s Time to Burn Your Map
by Mark Nepo
At some point we will come to the end of a path and no longer know our way. Hard as this is, this is where the inner journey begins, when all we’ve carried has served its purpose and now we must burn our expectations to light our way. This is when we assume our full stature in order to see what’s ahead. This is when the soul shows itself, if we pay attention.
My group and I were discussing this when I asked them to describe a time when their hard work led to an unexpected outcome and what that experience taught them. Mark spoke first. He told us that, from an early age, he had an uncanny ability to hit the center of a target with a gun. His father was an avid hunter and competitive marksman. Delighted to discover his son’s gift of accuracy, he steered him and trained him to excel at target shooting. Mark was a prodigy. His young life revolved around marksman competitions and his father’s approval. For more than 10 years, Mark set records in competitions. His father was pleased and had him train harder. Mark was even invited to join the Olympic team.
When he was 28, Mark was at a competition, waiting his turn. He was videotaping the others when a missed shot ricocheted into his right wrist, his trigger hand. As Mark was telling this, he began to well up. I was surprised by what he shared next. Mark said that the injury prevented him from competing any further. And while his father was devastated and everyone thought the whole episode was a tragedy, he secretly felt relieved to be free of his father’s dream. He felt liberated to have an unknown path laid out freshly before him, and grateful that he could walk away from his life of shooting without having to disappoint his father. Quite unexpectedly, beyond all his years of work to find the center of the target, it was an errant shot that let him fly like a tiny bird through the hole in the target into the rest of his life.
Patty spoke next. An executive working in a man’s world, she had earned a black belt in karate and became obsessed with the art of breaking boards. Once she was breaking two boards, she immediately began training to break three. She kept training harder and harder, out of a fear of failing. She felt a momentary satisfaction in breaking the boards, but her fear of failing made her keep going. Finally, she reached the board that couldn’t be broken, no matter how she tried. In fact, that final board broke her hand. The pain of the final board also broke her trance of ignoring limits. It was as if she were running in a tunnel and couldn’t stop, though it wasn’t clear what she was running from or running to. She’d come to know she was alive by the sound of her steps in the tunnel, but the pain of the final board shattered the tunnel. She realized that, while she needed to inhabit her strength to be treated fairly in an unfair world, she’d become a prisoner of her own strength training.
Like Mark, all her effort had led her, unexpectedly, to an unknown path that was the rest of her life. Effort itself is a blessing, but when effort races ahead of our love for what we’re doing it becomes destructive.
Each of us is called by others to work our way to the center of the target. Each of us is challenged by circumstance to break the next board. But sometimes it’s the gift of limitations that returns us to the pace of what we love. It’s the gift of limitations that frees us to find our own dream. It’s the pain of the final board that breaks the trance of protecting ourselves from life with the armor of accomplishment.
There’s nothing wrong with mastering any skill or accomplishing any task, as long as that mastery or accomplishment is born of our love, as long as we can remember it is we who are being created and shaped by our immense effort. What we often perceive as failure is an unexpected opening in our lives. Nothing is wasted. Sometimes the map we work so hard to chart and follow needs to be burned in order for us to live our own life.
Seeds to Water - In your journal, describe an inheritance of values or goals that no longer works for you. Describe your history with this inheritance: how it came to you, how it worked for you, and when it stopped being relevant. Describe how you’re finding your way beyond what others dreamed for you. In conversation with a friend or loved one, describe an expectation you had for yourself that didn’t come true. What happened when you reached the end of your expectation? What did you discover at the end of your pre-imagined path? How do you hold this unfolding?
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
Three gatekeepers of the Tongue
The words of the tongue should have three gatekeepers. –Arab Proverb From Blue Mountain Center of Meditation by Eknath Easwaran
Before words get past the lips, the first gatekeeper asks, “Is this true?” That stops a lot of traffic immediately. But if the words get past the first gatekeeper, there is a second who asks, “Is it kind?” And for those words that qualify here too, the last gatekeeper asks, “Is it necessary?”
With these three on guard, most of us would find very little to say. Here I think it is necessary to make exceptions in the interests of good company and let the third gatekeeper look the other way now and then. After all, a certain amount of pleasant conversation is part of the artistry of living. But the first two gatekeepers should always be on duty.
It is so easy to say something at the expense of another for the purpose of enhancing our own image. But such remarks – irresistible as they may be – serve only to fatten our egos and agitate others. We should be so fearful of hurting people that even if a clever remark is rushing off our tongue, we can barricade the gate. We should be able to swallow our cleverness rather than hurt someone. Better to say something banal but harmless than to be clever at someone else’s expense.View article online ...
If you have any questions or issues you would like for us to address or would like to get email alerts when new resources have been posted please contact Howard Humphress at email@example.com or use our quick contact form.
Or contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 330-456-0486.
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.
©2016 EAST OHIO CONFERENCE. All Rights Reserved.