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.
September 26, 2016 Edition
Don't wait until you need a leader to find one
by A. Trevor Sutton
Developing a leadership pathway for people in his congregation helped an associate pastor avoid the last-minute scramble to fill open positions. The six-month process includes prayer, reading, discussion and discernment.
It started when I needed Bible class teachers in the Lutheran congregation I serve as an associate pastor.
The most obvious candidates had already declined. I opened the church directory to the first page and browsed through the names. I called a handful of people I thought might be a good fit. Once I had called my first choices, I went back to the beginning of the directory and started on my second choices.
It hit me somewhere around the letter M: there must be a better way to find leaders.
That moment of desperation inspired me to develop a better way. My idea was to put in place a process for identifying leaders before there is a need. I share it in the hope that it will help others identify, develop and dispatch leaders.
The key to this system is that it is person-based rather than need-based.
7 Traits Of Positive Audacity
by Joel Bennett
Audacity, by its nature, breeds polarized responses. Here’s how you can judge whether your next audacious act will be a catalyst for good.
I ranted about what I call “McMindfulness,” a psychologized, pop spirituality approach that overemphasizes individual practice and forgets its roots in spiritual friendship. I emphasized that spiritual friendship—rather than stress relief or health promotion—is a traditional cornerstone of mindfulness as a deep mystical journey.
The teachings of the Buddha and Jesus and the Declaration of Independence are audacious in the extreme. But so was Adolf Hitler. How can we discern positive from negative audacity?
How can you cultivate a more positive orientation toward your own audacity? How can you discern whether your next audacious act is deliberate, thoughtful, and virtue-inspired or spontaneous, off-the-cuff, and capricious? Is there some abiding value, some higher meaning to your audacity? Or are you being irreverent just to get attention.
Interview: The Mysticism of Prayer
by Aaron Cline Hanbury
How Friar Richard Rohr is leading many to rethink connecting with God.
Some 30 years ago, Rohr founded the Center for Action and Contemplation. Today, he trains people from all kinds of backgrounds and traditions—Rohr explains that of these students “a third of them are evangelical, a third are mainline Protestant, several are unbelievers and the rest are Catholic”—in his unique brand of spirituality and prayer.
He’s a widely read author and an increasingly popular conference speaker. But he's not about pop-faith. Rohr is a man of deep tradition—he’s a friar within the Franciscan tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. And since the 1970s, he’s written and taught about prayer and mystic spirituality.
Raising the World’s Vibration
by Eve Hogan
I find myself feeling despair, grief, and fear as I listen to the news of shootings, racism, hate crimes, discrimination and innocent lives lost. In my silent moments I question God. What are you up to? Why is this happening? Are you watching this? Are you allowing this?
Then I remember, I have always been a firm believer that everything that happens holds a blessing if we look a little harder and deeper. Sometimes it requires some time and perspective for the blessing to be revealed, but eventually it becomes clear. I try to figure out what the blessing is when innocent people get killed over and over and over again.
When 9/11 attacks happened in New York City, one of the most horrible moments in my lifetime, I saw as a result an outpouring of love, a rise in a sense of community, a return to values that had been lacking. Our entire country united with the rest of the world in the aftermath.
While the recent events are all so recent we haven’t had time to discover the blessings, I remain hopeful that these tragedies are waking us up to some serious wrongs so that we can fix them. And, rather than “an eye for an eye,” we realize that we are being asked to raise the bar, to make some big changes. But just like trying to turn your car around in a tight space, you may have to make a five point turn, moving forward and backward in the wrong direction before you get it going the right direction. Maybe we are just uncomfortable in the midst of the tight turn.
The truth as I see it is that we cannot contribute to world peace if we are not, ourselves, peaceful. We cannot expect blacks or whites or police or gays or Muslims or…whoever…to get along if we are not getting along with our own spouses, families and neighbors. We cannot get along with our loved ones if we are not valuing and respecting ourselves.
As the world seems to be getting crazier by the moment, we need to amp up our personal practices of peacefulness, love, compassion, understanding and responsibility.
Here are some possibilities for restoring your own inner peace and love:
If each of us aligns with peace, love and kindness individually, we raise the vibration of the world at large. This may actually be the point and the very thing that will lead to the blessing we seek—the emergence in the emergency.
What are your solutions?
Meet: monthly 1 ½ hours
Where and when:
Ashland: Christ UMC, 1140 Claremont Ave. – Second Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
Canton: Faith UMC, 300 9th St. NW—Second Thursdays, 10:30 AM
Sandusky: Trinity UMC, 214 E. Jefferson St. – Second Thursdays, 2:00 PM
Cleveland Heights: Church of the Saviour, 2537 Lee Road – Third Thursdays, 1:30 PM
Medina: Granger UMC, 1235 Granger Rd. – Third Wednesdays, 1:30 PM
If you are interested in being part of one of these groups, it would be helpful if you let us know for planning purposes. For questions and to receive information about a particular group, please call our office 330-456-0486 or email us at email@example.com
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 United Methodist Spiritual Directors in our area. Their bios and description of Spiritual Direction can be accessed here. 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
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
Valerie Stultz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Topping - email@example.com
Diabetes diagnosis step by step: helpful tips for patients and caregivers
by Rachel Head & Joanne Rinker
A diabetes diagnosis from your doctor can be daunting and overwhelming. No matter the patient’s age or the type of diabetes, the reality of a chronic disease that you and your loved ones will now have to supervise daily can be shocking.
The majority of those diagnosed with diabetes are forced to learn a large amount of information quickly. People with diabetes must start learning self-management and survival skills all at once. But, upon initial diagnosis, processing and coping with the diagnosis is crucial before moving forward with self-care.
Help! I’m Being Threatened with Hell
by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
I’m being hounded by someone calling me a sinner and threatening me with Hell. How can I make them stop?
Rabbi Rami: If you politely ask them to leave you alone, and they persist, I suggest deepening the conversation by asking them questions like these: “The God I know loves unconditionally, but yours loves only those who agree with you. Why would I believe in a God who is nothing more than an extension of your ego?” and “For all your insistence that God is love, all your talk is about eternal damnation and Hell. Why do you believe in a God who scares you so?” Tell them the best way to interest you in their faith is to live a life so filled with compassion and love that you are compelled to ask how they achieve it. Living their faith well is more powerful than talking about it endlessly.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or use our quick contact form.
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