December 11, 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 ...
I have been drawn to the living heart of every spiritual tradition I have encountered. . . What I found irresistible was the essential unity at the core of all that diversity; each faith tradition was singing the same song in a deliciously different voice: God is love. —Mirabai Starr
As Thomas Merton reflected, “We are already one.” We just need to start becoming what we already are. —James Finley
A Way Forward and The Emerging Church
Adapted from Fr. Richard Rohr
Fr. Rohr spent a week in his daily devotions looking at the emerging church. It seemed as though he could have been speaking to our United Methodist struggle of A Way Forward. See his summary of the week and select each days’ meditation to read a powerful reflection on how we might move ahead into our future.
Reformation is the perpetual process of conversion that is needed by all individuals and institutions. (Sunday)
I believe the “emerging church” is a movement of the Holy Spirit. Movements are the energy-building stages of things, before they become monuments, museums, or machines. (Monday)
The emerging church, a convergence of hopeful and liberating Christian themes, is happening on all continents, in all denominations, at all levels—and at a rather quick pace. (Tuesday)
Emerging Christianity is both longing for and moving toward a way of following Jesus that has much more to do with lifestyle than with belief. (Wednesday)
We cannot keep avoiding what Jesus actually emphasized and mandated. In this most urgent time, “it is the very love of Christ that now urges us” (2 Corinthians 5:14). (Thursday)
“If Christianity’s prime contribution to humanity can be shifted from teaching correct beliefs to practicing the way of love as Jesus taught, then our whole understanding and experience of the church could be transformed . . . [into] a school of love.” —Brian McLaren (Friday)
As we process our pain, manage our idealism, do what’s doable, and celebrate the small and beautiful, we discover that all around us, new forms and expressions of Christian faith are emerging. Through a better how, a better where is possible.
by James Finley
CAC core faculty member James Finley offers a short Advent meditation in this video. What does the story of Jesus’ birth teach us about how God is present in our lives? “God is unexplainably born in our hearts moment by moment, breath by breath. In order to discover that, we must leave the noise and business of the inn, finding our way in the dark back to the stable. We have to enter into the humility, simplicity, patience, and delicate nature of what’s unfolding in our hearts to discovr how God is being born in our lives. We are asked to bring this delicate simplicity out into the world.”
How to Get a Good Pause
by Ted Meissner
Taking a step back from the rush of activity held demonstrable value giving a bit of breathing room to make more deliberate and well-thought-out choices. This fit well as a counter to my misguided identification as a busy person when the realities of being constantly on the go had solidified into a self identification I was proud of, and even craved…
Although formal mindfulness meditation practice can have a profound effect on one’s health, outlook, and performance, it can be tricky to follow through if every time you try to meditate the thought arises: “I should be accomplishing something, right now!” That can be a quite visceral de-motivator, too, as both physical sensations and emotional states may come along for the ride and build pressure to not meditate unless conditions are just right.
How often do you feel you have plenty of time to “just sit” during your busy day, without a laundry list of tasks to pull you away? If you’re like me, not very often, and you may notice that as you complete three tasks, five more fill the void…
The Solution? Mindful Moments v. Meditating
My solution had been to introduce a simple pause many times throughout the day. Rather than having an “inflexible” 30 minutes for a formal meditation session — and then not keeping it because of other priorities — just taking a few moments to pause, and liberally sprinkling those moments throughout my day, was the perfect solution.
Until it wasn’t.
Though pausing did stop the flow of busyness, after that pause I jumped right back into the maelstrom. Pausing was like stepping off a moving train for a few moments and then jumping right back on it again. The pause helped in those brief moments after, sometimes just for a few beats of my heart and mindful breaths, before I was lost again to my Busy Person identity. There were some positive effects reverberating from the pause, but much of the stability gained was lost in mere moments.
Rather than inviting pauses into my day to refresh and re-energize what was happening around and inside, I was using them to take a break and distance myself from it. This is completely the opposite of what mindfulness practice is for.
3 Ways to Boost Your Mindful Pauses:
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 – lakehavenministries.com
Jennifer Olin-Hitt – email@example.com
Judy Ringler -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Sharon Seyfarth Garner – email@example.com
Valerie Stultz - firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Topping - email@example.com
Laura Tradowsky -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Laurie Tucker - email@example.com
by Mindful Staff
Put down your to-do list so you can get down to what you'd really like to do: inject some joy back into the holiday season.
It’s time to rest up for the holidays.
We are often so busy at this time of year that we can’t do what we’d really like to do: appreciate one another, give thanks, celebrate. Instead, we’ve got a long to-do list, our usual routines are disrupted, and we get less sleep than usual.
It’s a perfect recipe for boosted stress levels. So here are three suggestions to help keep you on an even keel over the holidays:
1. For five minutes, four times a day, stop briefly. It’s a simple way to practice just being instead of doing (or buying). Bring your attention to your own breath and body in the moment, just as they are. And no need to think about your to-do list—guaranteed, it will be there when you’re done.
2. Try passing on a few invitations this year. And don’t be shy about ducking out of parties early. You might be surprised at the extra time you’ll find for yourself, not to mention feeling like you’re securely in the driver’s seat of your own life.
3. Spread compassion around liberally this season (and all other times of the year), but direct a bit of that holiday spirit your own way, too. Especially if you overcook the turkey or don’t get someone the “perfect” gift.
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