Those are my hopes for my own Thanksgiving, anyway. My wife and daughters and I are heading to West Virginia to visit my extended family over the Thanksgiving weekend. Weather permitting, I hope we can toss a football with the kids on my uncle's lawn, in addition to enjoying some football on TV.
Concerned about the price of health care? You're not alone. The New York Times reports that:
According to a recent survey by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Samhsa, pronounced SAM-suh), the leading reason that people with mental health issues don’t seek treatment is cost. They fear the fees.
Here is a link about an important if somber topic, and one that is sadly familiar to parish clergy.
Greg Warner of Religion News Service has written a good article on depression and suicide among pastors. (We spotted it just yesterday in the latest issue of Christian Century but it appeared in USA Today three weeks ago, as well as in many denominational outlets.) It discusses the suicide in September of Baptist pastor David Treadway in Hickory, NC. One of the experts quoted in the piece is Steven Scoggin of CareNet, a pastoral counselor based in Winston-Salem and a friend of the Clergy Health Initiative.
At least several times a year we read that whales have run aground on a beach somewhere and died. Though groundings have happened in many places around the world, there appears to be a correlation between this sad behavior and underwater sonar testing by some nation's navy.
This morning, the news media reported new screening guidelines for breast cancer, revising long-standing recommendations about when women should begin receiving mammograms. This shift is aimed at reducing the risks that may be associated with a very broad screening guideline.
Our health coaches at Davidson Clergy Center are beginning to advise us that we should talk about “The Wall” – that phenomenon that occurs about three months into making a planned behavior change. Suddenly, the great plan doesn’t seem so great and workable any more, and with the change of time, weather, season, workload, suddenly “back-sliding” ( a medical term) can occur. This is a normal, expected stage in making long-term change.
Do you ever have days when you know that the next person who messes with you, in any way, is going to get a dump truck full of frustration unloaded on them? Anyone who works with other people in the intense ways that pastors do knows how tension and anxiety can build up. And it is usually the person who really doesn't deserve it who gets buried under the truckload.