By Sue Magrath, MC Many clergy have shared issues on this page that require a great deal...
"Why is chronic pain my superpower?" writes Rev. Jenny Smith, lead pastor at Marysville United Methodist Church. Smith explains that living with chronic pain has forced her to take seriously things like Sabbath and helpful boundaries. It has also given her empathy for many others who struggle in similar ways.
The Rev. Dr. Joanne Carlson Brown offers her insights on the unique challenges faced by queer clergy in The United Methodist Church when it comes to wellness. She speaks to the value of sacred community and love in providing necessary support.
In her post for the Clergy Wellness Corner, Rev. Lara Bolger talks about the importance of finding support for the hard work of ministry. Especially "during this tumultuous time in the life of our denomination," she argues that clergy "can really hold each other up."
While there is no one right way to navigate clergy wellness, times like these do require intentionality according to the Rev. Laura Baumgartner. Laura shares how the practice of Yoga has helped her to listen deeply to the messages her body is sending her.
"Some people strive for a “work-life balance.” I’m not sure it exists... Accepting that as a reality is a big help." Rev. Debbie Sperry offers some wisdom earned the hard way in the latest post on the Clergy Wellness blog.
In a post for the Clergy Wellness column, Rev. Katie Stickney shares how a recent bout of back pain revealed a new truth. While self-care offers all sorts of logistical challenges, the "biggest barriers" are often harder to see and tied into our beliefs about ourselves and our value.
"Grief is a journey. I can’t just hammer away at it one day and expect it to be gone the next. It needs my attention." In a post for the Clergy Wellness Corner, Moscow First UMC Pastor Debbie Sperry shares how leaders must allow themselves to grieve as they help those they serve to do the same.
"In our hierarchical church system, there are plenty of ways we marginalize people called to ministry," writes Rev. Jenny Partch. On the Clergy Wellness blog, she reflects on the challenges of serving as a licensed local pastor in a system designed to give preference those who are ordained.
For the final installment of a 3-part series on burnout, Rev. Lisa Talbott offers four key strategies that have helped her to recover from a ministry "stall." While acknowledging that recovery can be a slow process, she argues that "burnout doe not get the last word."