November 27, 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 ...
Sexual misconduct at church: What every member should know
by Joe Iovino
It is despicable.
News stories appear of a prominent Christian accused of fondling children. A denomination reports their historic mishandling of sexual misconduct cases. A pastor in town resigns and whispers circulate about an “affair.”
Sadly, that is not the case.
United Methodists have committed acts of sexual misconduct. Adults have been sexually harassed by their pastor. Children in our care have been abused. Staff members have viewed pornographic material on their church computers.
Eradication of Sexual Harassment in The United Methodist Church and Society
Social Principles Para. 1611
Since the mid 1970s when the term "sexual harassment" was first recognized, the world has seen an evolution in awareness, laws and litigation, policies, advocacy, and international collaboration to eradicate sexual harassment in the workplace. In our own communities we have moved from debating whether or not sexual harassment is even a problem to witnessing women and men join together across national boundaries to address it in global settings, churches and ministries, and multinational workplaces.
Since the 1990s, sexual harassment is a recognized form of sexual violence and misconduct in our societies and in The United Methodist Church. The Church declared sexual harassment a sin against individuals and communities, and a chargeable offense against our clergy or laity. Critical to our understanding of the impact of harassment is the recognition that it is certainly an abuse of power over another, not only inappropriate sexual or gender-directed conduct.
New Hampshire Rep. On 'Me Too' Bill Addressing Sexual Harassment
NPR's Elise Hu speaks with Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster of New Hampshire about the "Me Too" bill she is co-sponsoring. It is one of many bills responding to sexual harassment in Congress.
Living in the Now: One Thing
by Richard Rohr
Martha, Martha, you worry about “the ten thousand things.” So few are necessary. Indeed, only one. —Luke 10:42 (paraphrase)
These well-known words come from Jesus to his dear friend, Martha. He is the house-guest of siblings Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Martha is doing the reasonable, hospitable thing—rushing around, fixing, preparing, and as the text brilliantly says, “distracted with all the serving.”
Martha was everything good and right, but one thing she was not. She was not present—most likely, not present to herself, her own feelings of resentment, perhaps her own martyr complex, her need to be needed. This is the kind of goodness that does no good! If she was not present to herself, Martha could not be present to her guests in any healing way, and spiritually speaking, she could not even be present to God. Presence is of one piece. How you are present to anything is how you can be present to God, loved ones, strangers, those who are suffering.
Jesus taught Martha at the mundane, ordinary level because that would reflect her same pattern at the divine level. For Martha—and for us—such naked presence was indeed “the one thing necessary.” So much of religion involves teaching people this and that, an accumulation of facts and imperatives that is somehow supposed to add up to salvation. The great wisdom teachers know that one major change is needed: how we do the moment. Then all the this-and-that’s will fall into line. This is so important that Jesus was willing to challenge and upset his hostess and make use of a teachable moment—in the very moment.
Jesus affirms Mary, “who sat at his feet listening to him speak” (Luke 10: 39), in precisely the same way: how she is doing the moment. Mary knows how to be present to him and, presumably, to herself. She understands the one thing that makes all other things happen at a deeper and healing level.
“Only one thing is necessary,” Jesus says. If you are present, you will be able to know what you need to know. These are the seers! Truly seeing is both that simple and that hard.
Gateway to Silence: God is right here right now.
Aligning Yourself With Self
by Deborah Kremins
Most people find themselves moving faster and faster through their lives unable to differentiate from the thoughts, feelings, and energies around them. This state of depletion and emotional overwhelm taxes our nervous systems and our emotional and physical bodies. When we are at the effect of everything around us, we are caught up in our own imagining mind racing to do what we think we have to do.
To establish certainty and trust within yourself you must first be able to establish a relationship with the Earth. This is the foundation of everything and the first step in what I call Earth Warrior Training.
The Earth is our greatest source of strength and healing and learning to tap into the power of the Earth calms, centers, empowers and enables you to drop into yourself. Most significantly, it begins to bring you in touch with what is really going on—not what you are imagining. It enables you to connect to who you are. From here you are able to access the unprecedented and unlimited trust and certainty of navigating from your own truth.Find medition here ...
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
Joyce Gordon - email@example.com
Karen Hollingsworth - firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Nau – email@example.com
Hazel Partington – lakehavenministries.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Ringler -- email@example.com
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Stultz - email@example.com
Carol Topping - firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Tradowsky -- email@example.com
Laurie Tucker - firstname.lastname@example.org
Navigating the Holidays When You Have Depression
by Margarita Tartakovsky
For people with depression, the holidays can be a challenging time. People with the illness “tend to have a negative view of themselves and their lives,” said Selena C. Snow, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who specializes in treating depression in Rockville, Md. “If they have overly idealized beliefs about what the holidays should look like, the resulting discrepancy can be very difficult.”
They may feel inadequate or like their lives are lacking, she said. Receiving others’ holiday cards and family newsletters — where people share only their happy news — can contribute to these feelings and erroneous beliefs that others are doing much better, she said.
Therese Borchard, who writes the blog “Sanity Break,” [says] self-care is key during the holidays. She continues to exercise regularly and prioritize sleep. She also reaches out to her online support group, and to others who might need support. “[H]elping someone who is in pain helps me.”
Whether the holidays are emotionally intense or extra hectic for you, these tips may help.
Keep up your routine. “You need structure and routine during the holidays more than ever,” Borchard said. For instance, keep eating nutrient-rich foods and getting restful sleep. . .
Keep active. “No matter how cold or how snowy it is, a nice walk on a crisp winter day can keep depression at bay and gives you a sense of peace, calm and accomplishment (at getting exercise).”
Keep a mood journal. “Writing down your exercise, diet, sleep and mood helps you become more responsible for it,” said Borchard. . .
Prioritize. “Examine what aspects [of the holidays] are truly important and meaningful to you and prioritize accordingly,” Snow said. That helps you in simplifying the holidays and minimizing stress. For instance, if spending time in the kitchen with your kids is important, consider decorating store-bought cookies rather than baking from scratch, she said. If spending time with your extended family is tough, consider cutting down the time of your visit (which you might tolerate better), she said. . .
Find reasons to celebrate. “All year long depression pulls you down. Let the holidays give you a reason to be lifted up,” Cootey said. For instance, he suggested everything from decorating your home to listening to music to finding things to be joyous about. . .
Focus on the theme. Similarly, Douglas Cootey, [author of A Splintered Mind] suggested finding the theme of the holiday you observe and turning it into a coping strategy that works for you. . .
Rethink gifts. Instead of buying gifts – which spikes financial stress – give your loved ones the gift of time or service. . .
Help others. “There is so much sadness and loneliness out there,” Borchard said. “Despite all the gifts on your to-do list, stopping for a moment to talk to a lonely neighbor can boost your mood. Taking the time to write someone a holiday card from the heart can have surprise benefits.”
Try an activity you enjoy. Borchard suggested doing one holiday activity you enjoy, such as seeing the “Nutcracker” or the “Messiah” opera or going to a train exhibit. Also, “try to make it as magical as possible for kids: Elf on the Shelf, stockings, Advent calendars, etc.”
If the holidays are especially tough for you, reach out. Seek support. (For instance, the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance offers in-person and online support groups for people with mood disorders, Snow said.)
Keep prioritizing self-care, focus on your values and engage in holiday activities you enjoy.
Quest for a Good Night's Sleep
By David Dudley
Experts say Americans get an hour or two less shut-eye every night than we once did. What's keeping us up, and is there a way to make a restless nation go to bed?
Awake in America
For millions of us, the pursuit of a good night's rest has become a kind of dark obsession. We're getting an hour less sleep per night, on average, than our forebears did a few generations ago. In 1942, only 11 percent of Americans slept six hours or less a night. By 2013, 40 percent did. Older adults are more vulnerable to sleep disorders, particularly obstructive sleep apnea, an intermittent breathing problem that causes serious health issues.
So many seem to be getting so little shut-eye that in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared the sorry state of the nation's slumber a public health problem: Some 80 million adult Americans aren't getting enough sleep, the latest CDC study says. The National Institutes of Health states that 70 million adults suffer from sleep difficulties. In a 2015 survey of the top health complaints, sleep issues have climbed to No. 2. "It didn't use to be in the top five," says Mayo Clinic pulmonologist Timothy Morgenthaler, former president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "Is there a sleep crisis? Well, define 'crisis.' These problems have definitely increased radically in the past few years."
The secret, such as it is, is boringly fundamental: Get some exercise, ban bedroom electronics, lay off the booze and drugs, and don't stress out when roused mid-sleep. "We all want to go for the magic whatever. But the best starting place is basic healthy habits," Morgenthaler adds. Most critically: duration, duration, duration. It takes time for the little cellular-repair crews to do their jobs, and no app or sleep hack can truly substitute. "You can't cram seven hours of sleep into five hours," he says. "If you go below seven hours, bad things start to happen."
This is the rule I hear in my head every evening now, nagging me upstairs. Put down the book; snap the laptop. Life being what it is, bad things will happen anyway. No need to give them a hand. Go to bed. It's time to get some sleep.
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