March 19, 2018
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 ...
How can the church achieve a true, biblical unity?
The Bible underscores the importance of “unity” and “oneness.” Unity with others is “good” and “pleasant” (Psalm 133:1). Unity is absolutely essential because the church is the “body of Christ” (1 Corinthians 12:27), and a body cannot be in disunity or disharmony with itself. If disunity occurs, it essentially ceases to be a body and becomes a disjointed group of individuals. Jesus’ plan for His church is people unified in the faith.
The secret to unity begins with how we view ourselves within the body and how we view others. The key verse that addresses this is Philippians 2:3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” All disunity in a church can be traced back to the simple truth that too often we act selfishly and consider ourselves better than others. Paul goes on to explain further in the following verse: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
A Hospice Counselor’s Compassion
by Frank Ostaseski
A lesson in the power of love and simple human presence.
On his first night in our small hospice residence, Jake got into an argument with his roommate’s daughter. “Honoring your father” was a lesson that had been drilled into him as a boy in Louisiana. His sense of street justice had been offended by what he felt was a daughter’s disrespect of her dying father. I intervened and brought Jake back to his side of the room explaining that it was up to that family to work out their business. Jake lifted up his pant leg to show me a bayonet in his boot implying that he knew how to settle arguments. . . .
. . . I never cease to be amazed by the power of love and simple human presence.
We can learn to be a compassionate presence. We can sharpen our attention, learn to listen generously, and become instruments of healing. We can learn to trust our good hearts to be reliable guides. We can become an environment of trust by providing genuine openness, acceptance and empathy. We can offer what the great humanistic psychologist Carl Rogers called unconditional positive regard. In fact, Carl’s words have been my guide for many years. He once wrote:
“Before every session, I take a moment to remember my humanity. There is no experience that this man has that I cannot share with him, no fear that I cannot understand, no suffering that I cannot care about, because I too am human. No matter how deep his wound, he does not need to be ashamed in front of me. I too am vulnerable. And because of this, I am enough. Whatever his story, he no longer needs to be alone with it. This is what will allow his healing to begin.”
by James Tolles
Life inside the awakening is a whole other beast. Many people focus on the singular point of awakening, that amazing "Ah-ha!" moment. However, while that is a critical piece of the awakening process, so is the transition from unconsciousness to consciousness. The awakening ushers in a time of transition that is unsettled, unstable, and unique. It is a time of embracing new and amazing parts of you and then trying to crawl right back into bed. It is a time of expansion and contraction as you grow and then shrink back to the core issues that are still unresolved and holding you back.
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: 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
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
by Karyn Hall
One of the four options you have for any problem is "radical acceptance" (Linehan, 1993). Radical acceptance is about accepting life on life’s terms and not resisting what you cannot or choose not to change. Radical acceptance is about saying yes to life, just as it is. . . .
You may feel sad and hurt. Suffering is what you do with that pain and the interpretation you put on the pain. Suffering is optional; pain is not. . . .
It’s difficult to accept what you don’t want to be true. And it’s more difficult to not accept. Not accepting pain brings suffering.
People often say, “I can’t stand this,” “This isn’t fair,” “This can’t be true,” and “It shouldn’t be this way.” It’s almost as if we think refusing to accept the truth will keep it from being true, or that accepting means agreeing. Accepting doesn’t mean agreeing. . .
Accepting reality is difficult when life is painful. No one wants to experience pain, disappointment, sadness, or loss. But those experiences are a part of life. When you attempt to avoid or resist those emotions, you add suffering to your pain. You may build the emotion bigger with your thoughts or create more misery by attempting to avoid the painful emotions. You can stop suffering by practicing acceptance.
Acceptance means that you can turn your resistant ruminating into accepting thoughts like, “I’m in this situation. I don’t approve of it. I don’t think it’s OK, but it is what it is, and I can’t change that it happened.”
Radical acceptance is a skill that requires practice. The ability to accept . . . is important for coping well and living a more contented life. When you practice acceptance, you are still disappointed, sad, and perhaps fearful in such situations, but you don’t add the pain of non-acceptance to those emotions and make things worse.
veryone experiences losing someone they love. The death of a parent, child, spouse, or dear friend is particularly difficult. Your first reaction may be to say something like “No, it can’t be!” even though you know it's true.
The death of a loved one will always be difficult and painful. Acceptance means that you can begin to heal. Resisting reality delays healing and adds suffering to your pain. When you practice acceptance every day, you may be more prepared when the most difficult experiences in life occur. So accepting the heavy traffic is about easing your suffering in that moment — and also about being able to decrease your suffering in more difficult situations that may come. . . .
Sometimes people behave as if they believe not accepting something will change the situation. It’s like accepting painful situations or emotions is being passive or giving in. That’s not it. It’s allowing reality to be as it is.
Other times, people don't want to feel the pain. There are many life situations that are painful and are not in our control. We can't avoid that pain, but we can control how much we suffer over the experience. Suffering is the part we can control.
We can't avoid that pain, but we can control how much we suffer over the experience. Suffering is the part we can control.
A Place to Begin Life gives us lots of opportunities to practice acceptance. If you have a problem that you can solve, then that is the first option. If you can’t solve it, but can change your perception of it, then do that. If you can’t solve it or change your perception of an issue, then practice radical acceptance.
Begin by focusing on your breath. Just notice thoughts you might have, such as the situation isn’t fair, or you can’t stand what happened. Let those thoughts pass. Give yourself an accepting statement, such as “It is what it is.” Practice it over and over again. Acceptance often requires many repetitions.
10 Yin Yoga Poses to Embrace Spring’s Spirit of Renewal
by Danielle March
Just as nature enters a cycle of renewal, growth and expansion in spring—so does the energy within us. Embrace the opportunity to shed old unwanted layers and make a conscious choice to begin again.
In spring, those aspects of us that have been dormant over the winter months begin to awaken. Just as nature enters a cycle of renewal, growth and expansion—so does the energy within us.
The following yin yoga sequence focuses on the Liver and Gallbladder Meridians, which support the body’s natural digestive and detoxification functions. This practice is all about embracing the opportunity to shed old unwanted layers and making a conscious choice to begin again. With each passing exhalation, invite a sense of softening in order to let go of mental and physical tension. As you inhale, take in the warmth and nourishment, embodying an overall sense of vibrancy.View the practice here.
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 email@example.com or use our quick contact form.
Or contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 330-456-0486.
The East Ohio Conference Pastoral Care Office:
1445 Harrison Avenue NW · Suite 301
Canton, Ohio 44708
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Office Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
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