February 4, 2019
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 ...
A Way Forward:
by Fr. Richard Rohr
The dynamic union of opposites (humanity and divinity) that the Christ Mystery is surpasses, undercuts, and has the power to resolve so many levels of denominational argument and partisanship that have divided Christianity over the centuries. We [have] not realize how large and reconciling our own Christ [is], despite being told that “God wanted all fullness to be found in Christ, and all things to be reconciled through him and for him” (Colossians 1:19-20). Instead of the Great Reconciler, we made Jesus into a clannish god who then had to compete with. . . with our very humanity—which [has] made humanity hard to sanctify or liberate.
Try Some Smile Therapy
by Karen Kleiman
Can faking a smile really make a difference in the way you feel in a bad moment? This notion may take some getting used to, especially if you are feeling extraordinarily cranky or worse, consumed by depressive thinking. You might be surprised how easy it is and how good it feels.
An episode of The Good Doctor had Shaun researching the effects of smiling. A number of real research projects have shown remarkable benefits of smiling. Mark Stibich of Columbia University sites 10 reasons you should smile every day. See his research here.
So when you smile at someone else and they smile in return - you are helping to create physiological changes in their bodies that may benefit them, as well as yourself. With this practice you are changing the world one smile at a time!
by Ryan Howes
February 14 has been cynically referred to by some as “Singles Awareness Day.” But in this interview, Bella DePaulo, Ph.D. Social Psychologist author dispels the myth that marrieds are happier and healthier than singles.
Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped Stigmatized, and Ignored and Still Live Happily Ever After
by Bella DePaulo
People who are single are changing the face of America. Did you know that:
Many of today's single people have engaging jobs, homes that they own, and a network of friends. This is not the 1950s---singles can have sex without marrying, and they can raise smart, successful, and happy children. It should be a great time to be single. Yet too often single people are still asked to defend their single status by an onslaught of judgmental peers and fretful relatives.
Prominent people in politics, the popular press, and the intelligentsia have all taken turns peddling myths about marriage and singlehood. Marry, they promise, and you will live a long, happy, and healthy life, and you will never be lonely again.
Drawing from decades of scientific research and stacks of stories from the front lines of singlehood, Bella DePaulo debunks the myths of singledom---and shows that just about everything you've heard about the benefits of getting married and the perils of staying single are grossly exaggerated or just plain wrong. Although singles are singled out for unfair treatment by the workplace, the marketplace, and the federal tax structure, they are not simply victims of this singlism. Single people really are living happily ever after.
Filled with bracing bursts of truth and dazzling dashes of humor, Singled Out is a spirited and provocative read for the single, the married, and everyone in between.
You will never think about singlehood or marriage the same way again.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I Love You, I Love You
from Fr. Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations (2-25-17)
James Finley offers a simple guided meditation to awaken us to our oneness with Love.
When you sit in meditation, your breathing naturally slows. Quietly focusing your attention on your breathing is a way of slowing down and settling into a deep meditative awareness of oneness with God. Breathing out, be quietly aware of breathing out. Breathing in, be quietly aware of breathing in. Each time you realize you have drifted off into thoughts, memories, sensations, and other ego-based modes of being, simply return to your breathing as your anchoring place in present-moment attentiveness.
Your efforts in following the path of breath awareness might be enhanced by repeating a word or phrase with each breath. A practice I have found particularly helpful is to pair breath awareness with the phrase “I love you.”
As you inhale, listen to the incoming breath so intently that you can hear in it God’s silent “I love you.” In this moment, God is flowing into you as the source and reality of your very being. As you exhale, breathe out a silent “I love you” back to God. As you inhale, be aware of the air as being God flowing into you, as the divine gift of your very being. As you exhale, allow your silent “I love you” to be your very being, flowing back into the depths of God.
Simply sit, open to God breathing divine love into the depths of your being, as you breathe your whole being, as a gift of love, back into God.
This one practice alone, engaged in with heartfelt sincerity and devotion, can awaken you to God’s total and complete oneness with you as the giver, the sustainer, and the reality of the sheer miracle of your very being. As this realization of God’s oneness with you grows, you will begin to realize how foolish it is to imagine that God is, in any way, distant from you. You discover how foolish it is to imagine that you could in any way hide from God, who is wholly one with all that is within your mind and heart, your very being.
Adapted from James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (HarperSanFrancisco: 2004), 30, 242-244.
by Jon Kabat-Zinn
As the pace of our lives continues to accelerate, driven by a host of forces seemingly beyond our control, more and more of us are finding ourselves drawn to engage in meditation, in this radical act of being. We are moving in the direction of meditative awareness for many reasons, not the least of which may be to maintain our individual and collective sanity, or recover our perspective and sense of meaning, or simply to deal with the outrageous stress and insecurity of this age. . . It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself.
Here is a loving-kindness meditation for deep healing of ourselves and others:
“Loving-Kindness Heartscape Meditation”
Focus of the Year: “Being Peace"
Considering the conflict and lack of civility in our world and communities, our churches and families, and within ourselves, the focus for the year is: “Being Peace.” Following Jesus’ practice of going into a quiet place to spend time alone with Abba, we will seek to find our center and listen for what God is calling us to, so that we may emerge as agents of transformation in the world.
Ashland—2nd Wednesdays, 1:00-2:30
Canton—3rd Thursdays, 1:30-3:00
Solon—2nd Thursday, 1:00-2:30
Vermilion—3rd Friday, 11:00-12:30
Please indicate your interest, including location preference, by email: email@example.com, or call the Office of Pastoral Care: (330) 456-0486.
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
Joyce Gordon - firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Hollingsworth - email@example.com
Liz Nau – firstname.lastname@example.org
Hazel Partington – email@example.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – firstname.lastname@example.org
Judy Ringler - email@example.com
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Topping - email@example.com
Laura Tradowsky -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Tucker - email@example.com
by Bob Stahl PhD, Florence Meleo-Meyer MS, MA, and Lynn Koerbel MPH
Anxiety often involves feelings of separation and isolation, making it nearly impossible to be at ease and feel safe within your own flesh and being.
Reconciliation is the path to making peace with yourself and the world. Truly, to live and to die with a heart free of resentment, grudges, and ill will would be a crowning accomplishment in life. By practicing reconciliation meditation, you open the door to this possibility.
This is a three-faceted practice. The first aspect is to direct reconciliation toward yourself, making peace with all of the ways in which you’ve felt deficient or inadequate. . . Reconciliation practice can build a bridge to truly experiencing that you’re enough just as you are. The second aspect is reconciliation toward those you’ve hurt. The third is reconciliation toward those who have hurt you. . . .
By choosing to tune in to how you perceive yourself and your interpersonal interactions, you’re breaking free from fixed ideas of who you are and what you can be.
This article has been adapted from A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook for Anxiety.
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.
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