October 30, 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 ...
by Sharon Seyfarth-Garner
"Spiritual direction is the historic practice of sacred, one-on-one conversation that nurtures awareness of and response to God’s presence in your everyday life. As companions on the journey of faith, a trained spiritual director and their directee turn their attention toward the presence of God, the ultimate spiritual director of our lives. Through honest conversation and moments of silent reflection, they seek to understand more deeply where one is drawing closer to or farther away from God in their daily living. A spiritual director does not offer solutions to problems, but rather helps the directee to nurture spiritual practices that are most meaningful to them as they work toward a more balanced and meaningful spiritual life.
Folks often meet on a monthly basis with their spiritual director. However, if one is engaging in a more concentrated practice of prayer such as the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius, more frequent meetings are possible. In order to learn more about spiritual direction in East Ohio (including a listing of Certified Spiritual Directors), check out the East Ohio Pastoral Care page. Or, to learn more about spiritual direction in general, check out the web page for Spiritual Directors International or the Fellowship of UM Spiritual Directors & Retreat Leaders. Consider the sacred gift of spiritual direction as a way of drawing closer to God in your daily life. “
You can access a listing of Spiritual Directors and other information through a link on the sidebar of this page.
The Ministry of Justice Work: What does it mean for clergy to "stay in their lane?"
by Greg Jarrell
Pastors seeking to support justice movements should let people on the front lines lead. This means clergy are going to have to get used to being uncomfortable, writes a pastor from Charlotte, North Carolina.
Clergy -- I'm speaking here primarily about white pastors -- need to show up as clergy, and to bring with them the resources and gifts of their training and their networks.
What does that mean? Staying in our lane means first listening to those voices who are close to the ground. Our lane includes marching and chanting in the streets as a beginning point, but it only starts there.
Those who are suffering the most direct harm are asking us to live into our prophetic vocation by preaching with Isaiah from our pulpits that “every valley will be lifted up and every high place brought low.”
The influence of religious leaders is needed to hold powerful people and institutions accountable for violence against marginalized communities.
The lane of clergy is to grow the imaginations of our congregations, and then to mobilize our people to create imaginative solutions and perform acts of solidarity and liberation, both in the sanctuary and in the public commons.Read the article ...
Faith and Science: Openess to Change
by Richard Rohr
God comes into the world in always-surprising ways so that the sincere seeker will always find. Is sincere seeking perhaps the real meaning of walking in darkness and faith? It seems to me that many scientists today are very sincere seekers. In fact, today’s scientists often seem to have more in common with the mystics than do many religious folks who do not seek truth but only assert their dogmas and pre-emptively deny the very possibility of other people’s God-experience.
The common scientific method relies on hypothesis, experiment, trial, and error. We might even call this “practice,” just like many of us have prayer practices. Yes, much of science is limited to the material, but at least the method is more open-ended and sincere than the many religious people who do no living experiments with faith, hope, and love, but just hang on to quotes and doctrines. They lack the personal practices whereby they can test the faithfulness of divine presence and the power of divine love.
Most scientists are willing to move forward with some degree of not-knowing; in fact, this is what calls them forward and motivates them. As new discoveries are affirmed, they remain open to new evidence that would tweak or even change the previous “belief.” Many religious folks insist upon complete “knowing” at the very beginning and then being certain every step of the way, which actually keeps them more “rational” and controlling than most scientists. This is the dead end of most fundamentalist religion, and why it cannot deal with thorny issues in any creative or compassionate way. Now I know why Paul dared to speak of “the curse of the law” (Galatians 3:13). Law reigns and discernment is unnecessary, which means there is little growth or change in such people. When you do not grow, you remain an infant.
Change Can Only Happen as We Release Beliefs: Yoga of Poitive Thought
by The Twelve
October 22, 2017
Beliefs are the structure around which your experience is formed. There is no amount of data-gathering or scientific “proof” that will convince you otherwise unless you are willing to let go of a belief that you hold. Others who may try to convince you to jump ship and join them in their beliefs will be equally unsuccessful unless you first become willing to release what you currently believe. It’s not that their beliefs are right and that yours are wrong or that yours are right and theirs are wrong; the Universe will always back you up in your beliefs. The Universe will always provide you with evidence that supports what you currently believe, what you currently expect. The Universe always matches your vibration.
So how does anyone ever change anything, ever? If my beliefs are fully supported by the Universe, why would I ever want to change?
It is because each of you is much more than you imagine yourselves to be. You are not your beliefs. Your current set of beliefs are simply a structure that you have imposed upon your present frame of existence. They are much more like a costume that you wear. Many of you will enjoy a good round of dressing up and pretending to be some kind of gruesome character or fantasy being for Halloween. Some of you will really get into it. Some of you can knock that character out of the park and really get some great reactions out of people.
But you won’t forget who you are, not permanently anyway. In the next day or so you will slip back into your old “character,” what everyone expects you to be, the one that you expect you to be. But that character is no more the real you than the fantasy being you were playing for a day. The real you goes far beyond the limiting kinds of beliefs and expectations you have for yourself. And it is the process of letting go—taking off the costumes—that allows you to expand and become more.
Monthly Live Online Spiritual Practice Groups are being provided by East Ohio United Methodist Program in Pastoral Care and Counseling using ZOOM. The ZOOM format is very easily used by just responding to an invitation email and following the links; no subscription or downloads needed. These groups will be limited to 8-10 participates and will be added as they are populated. Current groups are meeting 1st Thursdays at 1:00 p.m. and 2nd Thursdays at 2:00 p.m.
The purpose of these groups is to create space for our souls to be nurtured by exploring a variety of spiritual experiences, spending time in meditation and through the fellowship and encouragement of other sojourners. We use the term “Practice” to indicate that these are groups engaged in the practice of spiritual formation.
Please contact the Office of Pastoral Care for any questions and to be added to one of the groups. Phone: 330-456-0486. Email: 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 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
9 Things you Might Assume Are Your Fault, But Aren't
by Anneli Rufus
[In the face of any mishap] my first impulse was to blame myself because self-loathing has some nasty siblings such as self-doubt, self-harm, self-blame and self-sabotage who love to egg each other on.
The most resourceful of them is self-blame. In any circumstances, even apparently golden ones, it will find something to attack.
What Is Psychological First Aid?
by Kathryn Drury Wagner
Several weeks before Hurricane Harvey, I happened to be at my daughter’s school learning about disaster preparedness. As the principal went through all the things our Southern California school has ready—such as food and water in case students are stranded by an earthquake—he mentioned a tent for a psychological first aid area. I’d never heard of psychological first aid (PFA) before, though it’s a term you probably know if you are a teacher, social worker or in the medical field. The World Health Organization notes PFA “involves humane, supportive and practical assistance for people who are distressed, in ways that respect their dignity, culture, and abilities.”
Now that Harvey has wrought such destruction, it felt more urgent to learn about PFA. For this week’s Healthy Habit, let’s look at some of the concepts of PFA so that even if we aren’t formally trained, we can offer a tiny bit of comfort when disaster strikes.
At the core of psychological first aid, there are three principals: Listen, Protect and Connect (source: ready.gov).
Listen: If you’re talking with someone who has been through a traumatic incident, be there to listen, and also listen for risk factors. These include losing a pet, losing a friend, loss of a home, getting hurt or sick as a result of the event, or observing death. If so, this person may professional help from a counselor, doctor or psychologist. Are there ways you can support them in that?
Protect. Rather than brushing away someone’s concerns or fears, as “that’s all over now,” validate their experiences. Stay calm and compassionate. Know that sometimes, silence is okay—you don’t have to keep prattling on. Just be with them.
Connect. Check in with the person on a regular basis to listen, provide resources or do shared activities.
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.
Or contact our office at email@example.com 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.
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