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.
November 7, 2016 Edition
We are excited to announce that beginning in November our EO United Methodist Spiritual Directors (as listed below and on the sidebar) will begin leading in the Spiritual Formation Groups around the Conference. This will add depth and variety to these experiences. Your spiritual well-being is a crucial element to your self-care as a pastor. So if you are finding your spiritual practice lacking or in need of a boost, one of these groups just might be what you have been looking for. See group listing below.
Meet: monthly 1 ½ hours
Where and when:
Ashland Christ UMC, 1140 Claremont Ave. – Second Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
Canton Faith UMC, 00 9th St. NW—Second Thursdays, 10:30 AM
Sandusky Trinity UMC, 214 E. Jefferson St. – Second Thursdays, 2:00 PM
Cleveland Hts 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
We're Not Having Normal Church Anymore
Frederick D. Haynes III
After the police shootings in Dallas and incidents of police violence against African-Americans, the church can no longer afford to conduct business as usual, a prominent African-American pastor says in this interview. The church must radically return to what it means to be people of faith.
Q: You’d also been at the church for many years. What’s your advice for young pastors starting off about how to do prophetic ministry?
For me, it’s going to always go back to, as Dr. Taylor would say, sitting silently before God. That intimate time with God is where a lot of your growth, your sense of what God is doing, your inspiration, comes from.
I’m often asked, “How did your church grow?” It really began to grow when my prayer life began to grow.
Video Interview: Taking Jesus Seriously: A conversation with Liam Miller on Racism, a Whitened Jesus, and the Subversive Character of the Kingdom of God,
by Drew G. I. Hart
I periodically get interviewed on a range of subjects. Sometimes its in relation to my blogging or doctoral studies research, but increasingly the invitations come in response to my book, Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism. I'm grateful to have a platform that provides me with ample opportunities to address how white supremacy has entangled itself deeply into American theology in general, and the life of white churches in particular. For too long this reality has been avoided and sidestepped. I'm committed to the church and believe that with our God, who is able, we can become something new.
Well I recently had the pleasure of conversing about some of these things with Liam Miller who lives over in Australia. Since white supremacy is also a global reality, many like Liam have found deep overlaps between the experiences of black people in the United States with those of aboriginals in Australia. I was able to sit and have a brief conversation with him about racism, a whitened Jesus, and the reign of God. I thought you might appreciate the conversation as well. Let me know what you think.
Meditation Video: Mandala Meditation: Active Coloring Meditation
by Jason Stephenson
Simply being present in the moment while coloring in. Finding peace in the moment. Allowing yourself to be absorbed in the activity. Not being spaced out more intense concentration. Allowing intrusive thoughts to come and go.
All-Inclusive, All-Pervading (All Saints' Day)
by Richard Rohr
Human beings are programmed to love all other living beings. We fall in love with persons and creatures, not so much with concepts or energies. We need “interface.” And so the Word or the Blueprint became flesh—one humble human, a Jewish Nazarene, called Jesus. Though it seems he was not particularly attractive, and many people despised and rejected him (see Isaiah 53:2-3 or Mark 3:21), Jesus in his full humanity was still alluring. We can relate to his suffering, his kindness, his friendship, his constant inclusivity.
Jesus is the microcosmic moment of the macrocosm, the Christ. Whatever we say about the Christ pertains to the whole universe. Christ holds everything together. He is the ultimate transcendence brought to earth and the ultimate inclusion of everything in God’s plan. In Christ everything is reconciled in heaven and on earth (see Colossians 1:15-20).
Christ is the name for the very shape and meaning of the universe. Jesus reveals this wonderful message in human form, showing us the full meaning of our own lives—in a way that we could love and admire.
By recognizing and honoring the Christ, I'm not downplaying Jesus. Quite the contrary, Jesus Christ is Jesus a hundred times over! But now Jesus can no longer be used as the mascot for our little club or to justify racism, imperialism, punitive behavior, or any form of shaming and exclusion. When we say that we believe in both Jesus and Christ, we are precisely including everything: the historical Jesus, plus all of creation, and ourselves too. “He is everything and he is in everything” (Colossians 3:11 JB), and “when he is fully revealed—and he is your life—you too will be revealed in all your glory with him” (3:4 JB).
When we understand this, matter itself becomes a holy thing. We worship God by walking with love and respect on this planet and with all other creatures. What a simple, universal, and wholehearted religion this would be! If this sounds like “the two great commandments” to you (see Mark 12:30-31), you’re right. This is truly “All Saints’ Day”!
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
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
Valerie Stultz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Topping - email@example.com
Audiobook: Zen Habits: Handbook for Life
by Leo Babauta
The Zen Habits Handbook for Life is a compilation of Leo Babauta's best articles on living from a Zen Habits perspective. What will this book teach you to do? Basically the same things that Zen Habits aims for overall: how to simplify your life, how to live a happier life, how to be more productive with less stress, how to achieve your dreams. The book includes chapters on decluttering, single-tasking, eliminating nonessentials, planning your day, clearing your inbox, getting motivated, cultivating compassion, boosting self-confidence, living consciously, and much more! Think of it as a little handbook for a better life.
10 Ways to Find Time for Your Passion
by Kathryn Drury Wagner
Whatever your passion, for this week’s Healthy Habit, here are 10 approaches to carving out time to follow your bliss.
We’ve been carving pumpkins, and soon, we’ll be carving turkeys (or hacking into a Tofurky). But during this crazy fall season, are you carving any time out of your schedule for what matters most to you? I’m talking about passions, those things that truly define us internally. How is it that what we most love, so often takes the back burner? Why is it we can’t seem to regularly find an hour to devote to our passion?
It’s that yoga we mean to do. That painting habit that’s been languishing since high school. The novel that isn’t writing itself. Whatever your passion, for this week’s Healthy Habit, here are 10 approaches to carving out time to follow your bliss:
The Art of Letting Go
by Kalia Kelmenson
Whether it’s your inbox, your phone or your own mind, right now you are probably juggling more in your day than you are comfortable with. Messages of learning to relax, practicing mindfulness, and managing stress sometimes feel like added stressors, but with a shift in perspective, there is another way to approach your overloaded life.
One of the internal practices I have connected with over the years is qigong. My favorite yoga teachers integrates it into class, and I resonate with the internal flow of energy. I had been trying to connect with Kurt Miyajima, a local teacher, to take a qigong class for a few years, and finally the class he was offering fit into my schedule. It was a “back to basics” class, which felt perfect for me.
I walked into the first class and sat in a chair in a semi-circle with the rest of the students. We mostly sat for the next hour, exploring the spaces in our bodies, using our breath to direct the flow of energy, and as Kurt explained, practicing letting go. Letting go, he describes, is different than relaxing. Relaxing infers an active state, doing something. Letting go is really about not doing anything, and releasing the need for it.
The difference between relaxing and letting go felt profound in that moment. It was a relief to simply let things drop away. Kurt offered a metaphor his teacher had told him of the Chinese acrobat who spins plates on top of sticks. Running back and forth between the plates and sticks, he tries to keep the plates spinning so they don’t fall off the sticks. With this practice, he asks us, ‘see how many plates you can let drop’. This idea came with such a sense of peace. Imagining that I could simply let some of the plates drop, and indeed, in that moment, I could let them all drop, released something in me that was continuing to ‘run back and forth, keeping the plates spinning.’
Within that concept of letting go, letting go, and letting go some more, we were instructed to maintain integrity in key parts of our body, feeling the space in our waist, between our hip bones and our ribs, in the back of our neck, along the back of our ankles. Bit by bit, he helped us create an internal structure, while maintaining and continuing this practice of letting go. It’s this dynamic that remained with me when I left the class.
As we walk through our lives, there is an art to nurturing the structure of ourselves, of maintaining our balance and our equilibrium, but doing so with a light touch. Can we find those key places that help us stay in our integrity without gripping to everything so intensely? I am learning to let go within that structure, to see and feel what plates can be dropped without losing all shape and form and substance. Indeed, there is effortlessness when the sense of lightness keeps the shape, rather than the sense of busyness. I vote for more broken plates.
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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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