February 18, 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 ...
Pastoral Care Day Apart: May 16, 2019
Wellington Reservation, Lorain Co. Metro Parks
“Be Peace: A Retreat”
Watch for details
A Way Forward
“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!”—Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, Washington, D.C., March 4, 1933
Perspectives on a Way Forward
UM News Service]
A panel discussion, moderated by Vicki Brown of UM News, streamed on February 6, featured speakers for each of the major plans proposed to the 2019 General Conference.
Freedom from Fear
by David Myer
In light of what’s been happening on the border, I wanted to share an article from the Southwest Kansas Catholic written by the editor, Dave Myers. It may be hard for some of us to imagine this happening but this is why so many good people will walk thousands of miles for peace and safety.
Honduran family journeys to Kansas seeking Freedom from Fear, Posted on November 6, 2018
For 10 minutes, Ana felt the cold steel of a gun held to her head. For 10 minutes, the mother of three children knew she would die at any moment, and when that moment never came, it was nothing short of a milagro (miracle). When the Register spoke with the diminutive woman from Honduras, she was only six days in the United States and living with family members. The relief she felt was palpable. She and her two sons were safe, and she soon would be reunited with her husband and seven-year-old daughter, from whom they separated before crossing the border. She was at peace. Finally. And she no longer had to face the inevitability of her two sons being forcefully indoctrinated into a gang or cartel. . . .
Soon they will have to report to the immigration office in Wichita where they will have the difficult task of proving that “the fear; the absolute fear” of staying in their homeland is real. If they are unable to do so, the family faces the very real possibility of being deported back to the violence they left behind.
Freedom from Fear: A Study of Fear
by Phillip Moffit
Being mindful of your fear allows it to become your teacher and gives purpose to what is otherwise meaningless suffering.
Living in a fear-based culture inevitably affects your state of mind and the decisions you make. As a citizen you may become more compliant, more willing to surrender your rights for vague promises of safety. As an employee you are less demanding, less willing to take risks. And in your personal life you are more security oriented, and thus less open to new possibilities-all because you see the future through the lens of fear. Viewing life in this manner is not skillful. It is not that such concerns lack legitimacy -this is undeniably a time of danger and instability in our society, and unwise actions and indifference could destroy the future for our children. The problem is that the lens of fear distorts what you see. It focuses primarily on the negative, exaggerates the potentially threatening, filters out alternative views, and causes you to compromise your core values out of the urgent need to survive. Fear when not named narrows your vision, shuts down intuition as well as common-sense reflection, and promotes violent actions. Stated more simply, fear that is not recognized and tended to with mindfulness takes the life out of life. Your life energy is lost to dread as the body braces and the heart closes in anticipation of what is to come.
It is difficult living in a time of fear, but here you are, and the challenge becomes finding a way not to be consumed by it. This is best accomplished by first observing your responses to the culture of fear that surrounds you. You can then use this knowledge to work with your personal fears. Your reaction to dread and to uncertainty about yourself, your abilities, and what may happen to you imprison your spirit. Learning to work skillfully with fear is essential to your finding freedom and happiness.
As you deepen your spiritual practice, you will inevitably encounter all your fears, some of which you may not even know are within you. Being alert and curious about your fear allows it to become your teacher as well as to serve your growth. This gives purpose to what is otherwise meaningless suffering.
Finding Peace in Lent
by James E. Adams
“The aim of his Lenten booklet is to help you revive personal prayer and commitment to gospel living through a greater appreciation of the Peace Prayer that is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (1182–1226).
“Francis was noted for the joy and selflessness with which he embraced other fellow creatures and all reality, including death. “Welcome, Sister Death!” he proclaimed shortly before he died.
“A prayer that is so close to the gentle self-giving of the gospel and one that calls us to transformation makes an ideal Lenten prayer. But why reflect on and analyze a simple prayer steeped in self-giving love and concern for others? How helpful can it be to take a heart-centered prayer and move it phrase by phrase through our heads? We do so with the hope this effort will help us pray it more generously, more wisely.” James E. Adams
Join us at Creative Communications for the Parish as we continue to celebrate our 40th anniversary by republishing this work authored by former Living Faith creative editor James E. Adams in 2001. Finding Peace in Lent gives readers the opportunity to enliven their prayer life by reflecting upon and praying the St. Francis Peace Prayer. Readers will also be prepared to put their prayer into action each day of Lent, bringing themselves and others closer to the peace of Christ.
Meditative Practice: I Love You, I Love You
by James Finley through Richard Rohr
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.
Gateway to Silence:
Rest in God resting in me.
Adapted from James Finley, Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God (HarperSanFrancisco: 2004), 30, 242-244.
by Elizabeth Lesser
Meditation is about awareness. Elizabeth Lesser in The Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual Adventure tells of Ram Das’ encouragement to her during yet another anxious time (“eternal repetitions”) when tasked with producing yet another schedule of events and unable yet again to get the presenters to respond to her plea for information, “Only awareness is at peace with these eternal repetitions.”
“The starkness and strength of the word awareness, balanced by the oceanic rhythm of ‘at peace with these eternal repetitions,’ creates a picture in my mind’s eye: I am sitting snugly in a small boat, the boat of awareness. Surrounding me in an immensity of water, stretching in all directions. Small ripples, gentle waves, choppy water, enormous crests move the boat, rocking it at one moment, crashing over it at another.
“And so it is with my life. The periods of peace or joy come and go, flowing into and out of the times of struggle and sadness. Holding on to the sweetness only makes the bitter feel like a betrayal of some promise that was never made. Rejecting the bitter makes the sweetness seem less sweet, more fleeting. Sitting upright in the sturdy boat of awareness is my only salvation—watching the waves move through my life, instead of believing that each one is the full picture of reality, brings me peace, humor wisdom. . . Meditation is a way of promoting this kind of awareness. It is the snug boat—the boat of awareness. It shows us how to avoid getting flustered by the changeable weather of the mind. It gives us tools to access the mind’s brilliance, and the patience to yield to its confusion without losing ground.”
The Seeker’s Guide: Making Your Life a Spiritual
by Elizabeth Lesser
In 1977, Elizabeth Lesser cofounded the Omega Institute, now America's largest adult-education center focusing on wellness and spirituality. Working with many of the eminent thinkers of our times, including Zen masters, rabbis, Christian monks, psychologists, scientists, and an array of noted American figures--from L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson to author Maya Angelou--Lesser found that by combining a variety of religious, psychological, and healing traditions, each of us has the unique ability to satisfy our spiritual hunger.
In The Seeker's Guide, Lesser synthesizes the lessons learned from an immersion into the world's wisdom traditions and intertwines them with illuminating stories from her daily life. Recounting her own trials and errors and offering meditative exercises, she shows the reader how to create a personal practice, gauge one's progress, and choose effective spiritual teachers and habits. Warm, accessible, and wise, this book provides directions through the four landscapes of the spiritual journey:
THE MIND: learning meditation to ease stress and anxiety
THE HEART: dealing with grief, loss, and pain; opening the heart and becoming fully alive
THE BODY: returning the body to the spiritual fold to heal and overcome the fear of aging and death
THE SOUL: experiencing daily life as an adventure of meaning and mystery
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
Finding Peace Beneath Fear, Anxiety, Overwhelm, Uncertainty and Doubt
by Leah Marjorie Cox
A flurry of fine, soft snowflakes are falling as I write this morning, a thin layer of white already on the ground. It doesn't snow often where I live but when it does, I fall in love all over again with that still silence that always accompanies this white magic.
If you've ever experienced snow, I think you'll know what I mean? It seems to make everything fall quiet. There's such a feeling of calm that wraps itself like a blanket around me, almost like all the things that had been bothering me have been sucked out of time and space with a giant vacuum cleaner, leaving only peace and clarity...
Life can look quite terrifying at times. Stories made of clouds can look very, very real. Anxiety feels like a forever thing. Fear seems so tangible it might come and get you in the night. And yet beneath all that disturbance lies an invitation that will never fade - to sink beneath the surface to a space where everything is soft and open and welcoming.
The snow is a happy reminder, but we don't have to wait until it snows to journey to this place. In truth, there's no journey to take. There's no space between here and there. It's ever present in every moment. It's who we are and it's available, always.
And yet whilst we're waiting for that realisation to dawn, the reminders are plenty and everywhere: a mindful breath, a bird on a branch, a stolen minute of eyes closed, a sunset or sunrise, a poem filled with truth, the smell of your favourite fresh herbs growing outside, real eye contact with a loved one or stranger, a child at play, an honest conversation, the touch of another. They all serve the same purpose - a calling into true presence.
And true presence, well, that's just another word for this soft, still place. It's what happens when past and future disappear and we find ourselves here, now.
Find out more ...
Freedom from Fear
by David Johnson
The Freedom From Fear Recovery Group is run by anxiety and ex-anxiety sufferers. We run it on a not for profit basis and offer our members a practical program for recovery from anxiety, depression and associated anxiety based symptoms.
Our mission is simply to provide as many people as possible with the resources that they need to free themselves from the devastating effects of anxiety, depression, obsessions, panic attacks, agoraphobia and nervous fatigue. Our program and support forum provide members with the tools to recover and stay recovered.
If you identify with the conditions and symptoms described through this website then our message to you is simple. The suffering that you are experiencing, no matter how severe it is currently, is not permanent or serious. In fact, given the right help and your participation, it will fade away for good.
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.
Or contact our office at email@example.com or call (330) 456-0486.
The East Ohio Conference Pastoral Care Office:
1445 Harrison Ave. NW., Suite 301
Canton, OH 44708
Local: (330) 456-0486
Toll Free: (866) 456-3600
Fax: (330) 456-6421
Monday through Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
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