"I’m not going to say everything went perfectly. I’m not going to say it was easy. But about two years ago I asked my District Superintendent for help with my anxiety disorder, and I’m glad I did." Rev. Austin Adkinson, pastor at Haller Lake UMC in Seattle, shares his story of asking for and receiving help as a means of encouraging clergy colleagues in need to do the same.
The Rev. Cheryl Fear speaks to the importance for pastors of cultivating relationships outside the Church. "Friends who are not involved in ministry will help you maintain your emotional balance, stretch your heart," she says, and they can also "help diminish the occupational loneliness that comes with the calling."
For this month’s installment of the Clergy Wellness Corner, Sue Magrath gets some insight on renewal leave from the Rev. Derek McGuckin, pastor at Riverview United Methodist Church in Pasco, Washington. McGuckin, who took a renewal leave recently, describes them as essential and offers some practical pointers from his experience.
"Far from viewing our bodies as sacred, we either view our bodies with disgust, or at best, indifference," writes Sue Magrath for the Clergy Wellness Corner. She continues on to share suggestions busy clergy (and others) can incorporate as we seek to "befriend" bodies we sometimes treat with indifference or even disgust.
Rev. Susan Boegli, pastor of Battleground Community UMC, has been sober for ten months. In this post for the Clergy Wellness Corner, she shares how her journey to sobriety started last year on Good Friday, the fear she took on in stepping into the light, and the support she has received along the way.
In the first installment of the Clergy Wellness Corner of the new year, pastoral counselor and #UMC deacon Denise McGuiness shares a meditative practice called Lovingkindness. She writes that "this practice has been a life changer for me, especially in the current state of the world that is full of divisiveness and hate."
"I’m not ashamed of my illness. But I am still grappling with what it means to work within a church culture that exacerbates the very illnesses we are called to help heal." The Rev. Meredith Dodd shares from her experience with mental illness, the support that has worked, and a challenge for us all to recognize what we can do to transform the Church to better express God's love and concern.
"We spoke for over an hour and in that time she asked me what spiritual direction meant to me. That’s when I said these words: “spiritual direction is a spiritual practice.”" In a post for the Clergy Wellness Corner, the Rev. Lara Bolger shares her experiences with spiritual direction and encourages colleagues to consider it as a spiritual practice of their own.