August 13, 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 ...
“Listening and feeling heard are absolutely intrinsic to awakening our hearts and cultivating an open awareness in ourselves and in our world. …The only answer to polarization, the only way we can interrupt the cycles of violence, is to listen deeply and, out of care, seek to understand, seek to build the bridge.”
- Tara Brach
"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand."
- Karl A. Menniger
Why Listening Matters for Mission and Ministry Today
by Lynne Baab
For my research on listening, I interviewed 63 church leaders – lay and ordained – about the role of listening in their congregational life and mission. A Presbyterian minister told me, “We’re failing in the wider church to listen to each other well. It’s our central failing right now.” Daniel, a theological college lecturer who teaches evangelism, said, “We’re coming to understand the centrality of listening. The danger is to think it’s a part only of the beginning of the process, but the need for it continues.” He advocated a repeating cycle in all forms of ministry and mission: listen-reflect-act-listen-reflect-act.
Why You Need Excellent Listening Skills
by Dawn Rosenberg McKay
Many years ago there was a public service announcement that talked about the importance of good listening skills. It sought to explain the difference between hearing and listening. While hearing is a physical ability—actually one of our five senses—listening is a skill. It is possible to have one but not the other. Someone who is hearing impaired can be a great listener if he or she pays attention to the information someone conveys despite the fact that they can't use their sense of hearing to receive the message. Likewise, someone with very sharp hearing can be a poor listener.
Listening with an Awake Heart – Part 1
by Tara Brach
Deep listening – to our inner life, each other and our world – is an intrinsic expression of our awakened heart. Yet because we have strong conditioning to be caught in wants and fears, there is often much interference in the field of communications. These two talks are an opportunity to intentionally deepen your capacity to listen in a way that leads to increased understanding and connection. You’ll have the opportunity to investigate what gets between you and deep listening, and to practice the key elements that nurture receptive presence.
Video: Listening with an Awake Heart – Part 2
by Tara Brach
The second talk includes questions and responses that focus on having an agenda instead of listening, the feeling that we don’t have enough time, listening when we feel reactive (hurt, defensive, intimidated, angry) and the need to feel heard.
Listening For God: A Minister’s Journey Through Silence And Doubt
by Renita Weems
Throughout the past two decades, Renita J. Weems has been noted and praised for her writing, galvanizing national speaking, and pioneering scholarship in the field of Old Testament studies. Yet in the midst of her celebrated work, she was experiencing a profound spiritual crisis permeated by a hollow, painful silence that seemed, at times, to mark an irreparable rupture in her communication with God.
In this deeply affecting book, Weems addresses the believer's yearning for God through periods of inconstancy, vacillation, and disenchantment. Her own spiritual disquietude will be familiar to all who struggle to maintain faith while the details of daily life -- negotiating with children and spouses, caring for ailing parents, living up to professional expectations, developing hobbies, managing finances, and planning for the future -- compete for energy with one's relationship with God. In sharing her own strategies for redefining mundane rituals so that they contribute to reverence and devotion, Weems offers a beacon of light for all believers struggling to listen for God amidst the din of worldly demands and distractions.Find book here ...
Listening: Be Still and Know that I Am God
Mindful Listening: Awakening to the World Around You
by Christopher Lloyd Clarke
These mindful listening exercises will help you to come to a better understanding of what mindfulness actually is, and they'll help you to experience mindfulness right here and now!
When was the last time you REALLY listened to the sounds that are taking place around you?
Most of the time you are surrounded by a whole range of environmental noises and most of them barely register in your awareness.
Much like the noise inside your mind, external noises often go unnoticed. The noise in your mind and the noises in the world around you both form an invisible backdrop to your entire life.
A Practice in Loving
by Stephen Warrilow: Zen Tools for Tough Times
You are engaged in the practice of mindful listening firstly when you remain fully present whilst the other person is speaking, and secondly when you are not thinking either about what they are saying or about what you are going to say next.
There are many occasions in the course of daily life, at home and at work, when talking is an exchange of information, and this is entirely appropriate as is a thought-based response in this type of interaction.
But we are emotional and spiritual beings and we need to express what we are feeling as well as what we are thinking.
In my experience, mindful listening is a powerful mindfulness practice that benefits both the person speaking and the person listening.
The speaker feels listened to and knows that they have been listened to, and the listener gains far deeper insight into what the speaker really means.
I have also found that rather than thinking about what to say I can often communicate more appropriately and more directly by looking within myself for a mindful response.
Mindful listening is ...
Watch for notice of other spiritual formation opportunities.
Debbie Baker - firstname.lastname@example.org
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“You can make more friends in two months by becoming genuinely interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” - Dale Carnegie
The Importance of Listening: Marriage Today
by Jimmy and Karen Evans
Every family deals with conflict—between husbands and wives, or parents and children. Dysfunctional families tend to suffer from increased conflict because they don’t deal with problems as they arise, or they deal with them ineffectively.
Unresolved problems can fester into major family issues, and I’ve counseled many couples who divorced because they were unable to recover from these buried tensions and suppressed anger.
Don’t make that mistake. Deal with conflicts when they develop! One of the best ways to handle conflict between family members is by learning to listen.
James 1:19 provides excellent advice: “So then, my beloved, let everyone be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”
The Digital Age: The First Duty of Love is to Listen
by Ellie Lisitsa
As we promised in Monday’s post on The Gottman Relationship Blog, today we bring you a short and sweet overview of Dr. Gottman’s skills for Active Listening*. For much more on the subject, make sure to get your hands on a copy of his highly acclaimed book, The Relationship Cure: A 5 Step Guide to Strengthening Your Marriage, Family, and Friendships.
Whether or not you consider yourself to already be a skilled active listener, tune in to the tips below. Though they seem very easy to implement in theory, in reality they are almost impossible to implement simultaneously. We don’t expect you to. However, making an effort to keep them in mind is of tantamount importance in a Digital Age whose distractions make it far too easy to lose touch. Regardless of your current level of proficiency in active listening, being conscious of your role in conversations in the context of the following skills can turn your relationships around.
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