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.
December 21, 2015 Edition
Heal the Healer – A Day of Renewal for You
with psychologist Tom Holmes of Winged Heart
Friday, February 19, 2016
North Canton Faith UMC
Confronting Racism As A Social Disease
by Deborah Peterson
When you talk about mental health and racism, bear two things in mind. One is the obvious harm that racism causes to the black and brown people who are the objects of racial discriminatory behavior, but the other part—never really talked about—is the harm that comes to white people from living in a racist society and the way in which it distorts their perspectives of themselves. Knowing that the conversation you have about yourself is inconsistent with what’s true, and feeling a constant need to preserve that image by obfuscation, projection, and denial, generate a permanent inner sense of shame. Our national narrative is that we’re a country established by people fleeing religious persecution in their home countries, people who came here to experience freedom and generate prosperity. But that’s only slightly true: many colonists who came early to the land that came to be called America were religious fundamentalists whose intolerance of others caused them to become personae non gratae in their home countries. It didn’t take long after their arrival for them to begin imposing their beliefs on others and severely punishing those who refused to cooperate.
As a country, we’ve been doing that for a long time. One of the major contributions that the psychotherapeutic community [and the Church] could make now is to begin to engage with racism as a social disease that affects everybody in the society. From that frame, it doesn’t matter so much how people acquired the condition of racism. Instead, the relevant questions are how we contain it and how we prevent it from being passed on to the next generation.
United Methodist bishop shares stories of Syrian refugees
by Kathy L. Gilbert and Linda Bloom
In the midst of calls to cast out refugees, United Methodist Bishop Sally Dyck traveled to Capitol Hill to add her voice to those of other national faith leaders and three U.S. senators calling for lawmakers to show mercy.
by Frederick Buechner
The lovely old carols played and replayed till their effect is like a dentist's drill or a jackhammer, the bathetic banalities of the pulpit and the chilling commercialism of almost everything else, people spending money they can't afford on presents you neither need nor want, "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer," the plastic tree, the cornball creche, the Hallmark Virgin. Yet for all our efforts, we've never quite managed to ruin it. That in itself is part of the miracle, a part you can see. Most of the miracle you can't see, or don't.
37 Seconds with Stephanie Arnold, Interview
by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
Rabbi Rami talks to author Stehanie Arnold about her book 37 Seconds: Dying Revealed Heaven's Help–A Mother’s Story.
Stephanie Arnold was a producer creating and directing TV shows, music videos, and documentaries until she met the love of her life, from which point the only thing she wanted to produce was a family. During the birth of her second child, Stephanie suffered a rare, but often fatal, condition called an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE). Everything she does now is a direct result of her survival. Stephanie currently serves on the board of directors for the AFE Foundation, speaks on patient advocacy to organizations like the American Society of Anesthesiology and has raised money for Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Prentice Women’s Hospital. www.stephaniearnold.net
Levels of Development - We Do Grow, Change, and Evolve
Sunday, December 6, 2015
by Richard Rohr
Learning about levels of development can give us understanding and compassion for ourselves and for others. It can also give us hope, especially during the dark times when things seem to be falling apart, personally or globally.
In the next section of my lineage, I will be discussing one of the most helpful and clarifying elements for the modern mind: understanding things in terms of developmental stages. As a preacher and teacher, I know that I can say one thing and it will be heard on as many as ten different levels, depending upon the inner psychological and spiritual maturity of the listener. Thomas Aquinas said the same in one of his foundational principles of philosophy: "Whatever is received is received according to the mode of the receiver." We now call this "developmental psychology."
I can give what I think is a lousy sermon, yet a humble woman will come to me after mass in tears of gratitude for the beauty of something that spoke to her deeply. She may not be highly educated, but she is spiritually evolved. Another "smart" but cognitively rigid person will hear the same sermon and is only convinced that I am a heretic. Mature people can make lemonade out of lemons. Immature people can turn the sweetest lemonade tart and sour. It's always interesting after Mass to hear what people heard me say, and how different it is from what I thought I said. I've learned just to accept their understanding as a sign of where they are on the spiritual/human journey.  I am quite sure this is what the evangelists are referring to when they frequently say Jesus "knew their thoughts" (Luke 6:8; 9:47). You can actually be trained in "reading souls" and recognizing where people are coming from and headed toward. I doubt if you can be a good spiritual director or educator without some foundational knowledge of stages of consciousness and development.
Jesus clearly recognized levels of development in his parable about the four kinds of soil (Matthew 13:1-23; Mark 4:1-20; Luke 8:4-15) and how they each received the same seed differently.
Meet: monthly 1 ½ hours
Where and when:
Alliance: Christ UMC, 470 E. Broadway – Second Tuesdays, 2:00 PM
Ashland: Christ UMC, 1140 Claremont Ave. – Second Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
Medina: Granger UMC, 1235 Granger Rd. – Third Wednesdays, 1:00 PM
Painesville: Painesville UMC, 71 North Park Pl. – Third Thursdays, 12:30 PM
Sandusky: Trinity UMC, 214 E. Jefferson St. – Second Thursdays, 2:30 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
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
Exchanging Worry for Wonder
by Daniel Medina
As a Catholic priest I resisted—and I encouraged others to desist from—practicing Eastern meditative disciplines. A few years ago, however, I began to read—to my chagrin—how several Roman and Anglican priests encountered in Zen meditation an affirmation of God and the certainty of planes and realities beyond those of our senses. For them, Zen was not theology; it was community. It wasn’t a theory, but an evolutionary process where the encounter with God occurred within oneself and not without.
It’s often assumed by clergy and lay folk alike that what ministers impart through preaching and other methods of instruction makes utter and complete sense to them. Divesting expectations about having to know it all has afforded me the opportunity to come clean before God and myself. I now realize that it may not make sense to me, either—deep within. I am free to be me and not to have to know everything as a prerequisite to receiving God’s grace. I have often told others that faith isn’t about having all the answers, but living with the questions. I wasn’t as forgiving with myself, though. Now I see that in my ignorance I discover the opportunity to empty myself of theory and invite authentic community with the Light.Read more ...
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