Most pastors have heard Fred Craddock’s phrase, “almost Bible.” He coined it after learning early in his ministry that some things people believe to be in the Bible just aren’t there. Craddock’s favorite example is the three wise men, heralded in hymn and Hallmark card across the years, but missing from Matthew. The Evangelist mentions three gifts, but leaves the number of the Magi mysterious. That number three? Almost Bible. Add a fourth wise person next time you plan a children’s Christmas pageant and you can be sure everyone will read Matthew’s text afresh.
In a commentary for the Martin Marty Center's Sightings, Courtney Wilder offers an excellent analysis of a resource we at the Clergy Health Initiative have been following for some time: Beauty Tips for Ministers.
Rev. Victoria Weinstein, the Harvard-educated pastor of First Parish Unitarian Church in Norwell, Mass., started this blog on the belief that “if clergypeople believe that religious life is vital, relevant and beautiful, they should look the part.”
Thank you to Rev. Grace Hackney for the following commentary.
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Clergy Health Initiative
The Conference Commission on Clergy Counseling and Consultation has endorsed CareNet to provide services for clergy and local church consultation, beginning in January 2010. CareNet, associated with Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, has nine centers and affiliates within the Conference. There are more than 35 certified counselors and psychotherapists on the CareNet staff, including some clergy and pastoral counselors.
If you are foolish enough to have given major bookstore chains your e-mail address, you may have noticed that you're being bombarded this month with discount coupons for self-help and diet books, since January is the month when we're all supposed to "Do something!" about our lives. The Connection also has succumbed to this annual temptation (see our posts on eating plans, advanced directives). But here's some counter-cultural advice: it's winter - make like a bear, and rest.
A close friend’s ailing 92-year-old mother moved into his house the week before Christmas, prompting conversations about emergency procedures and advanced directives. Advanced directives are the legal documents that make clear to your physician, family and caregivers your preferences for care in the event of a life-threatening accident or illness.