Communication

Wise Counsel

Today's essay on Speaking to the Soul has wonderful advice written by an old friend to a younger friend who is spiritually afire...

Follow this link to Speaking to the Soul.  Today's essay has wonderful advice written by an old friend to a younger friend who is spiritually afire...

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The Rev. Grace Hackney: Ramblings of A Pastor in Transition

I am moving this year, after serving at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church for seven years. Cedar Grove was my first appointment, so this is my first move.

This post is one of two on itinerancy transitions - the other is from the congregant's point of view.

I am moving this year, after serving at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church for seven years.  Cedar Grove was my first appointment, so this is my first move. I initiated the move, after long and careful discernment. I did not want this move to be my idea, but rather, God’s desire. I needed to know that I was not merely leaving, but rather, that God was calling me to a new place of ministry.

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Pastor Transitions: A Congregant's Perspective

A shift in pastor can be a blessing or a source of consternation to both longtime Methodists and newcomers to Methodism...

This post is one of two on itinerancy transitions - the other is from the pastor's point of view.

A shift in pastor can be a blessing or a source of consternation to both longtime Methodists and newcomers to Methodism.  As someone who was raised as a Lutheran, it was disconcerting for me to come face-to-face with the United Methodist Church’s practice of itinerancy. 

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Clergy as Concierge: Is "At Your Service" The Best Response?

It takes both the pastor and the congregation to create the unrealistic expectations of 24/7 availability that leave clergy stressed and congregants co-dependent.

Faith & Leadership had an article last week by the Rev. Nelson Granade on the pastor as congregational concierge. It's a wonderful reflection, notable in its insight that it takes both the pastor and the congregation to create the sometimes unrealistic expectations of 24/7 availability that leave clergy stressed, exhausted, and resentful, and their congregants co-dependent.

Online Support Networks for Chronic Disease

Online support groups for the chronically ill and their caretakers can be a lifeline for reducing isolation and enabling us to connect to resources that we might never find on our own.

This month, our regular Tuesday health resource posts will introduce readers to useful tools or online resources.  

Online support groups for the chronically ill and their caretakers can be a lifeline for reducing isolation, enabling us to connect with a community that really understands what we're going through (especially when symptoms or finances make travel difficult) and enabling us to connect to resources that we might never find on our own. Some of the most frequently visited sites -- Health Central, Patients Like Me, Healing Well -- serve as hubs.  From there, users can access discussions on any of a broad spectrum of  chronic diseases.  Others are disease-specific, such as Diabetes Daily and the arthritis support site on About.com.  Many users of these sites like the breadth of information they find; the availability of other voices who share their experience, day or night; and the non-judgmental attitudes of their online friends.

Nathan Kirkpatrick: Dare to Weep!

Brother Roger of Taizé, in one of his most stirring reflections, tells of a young priest who had come to the Taizé community feeling overwhelmed by ministry.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3.10-11

Brother Roger of Taizé, in one of his most stirring reflections, tells of a young priest who had come to the Taizé community feeling overwhelmed by ministry. In his few years in the parish, he had seen too much suffering, witnessed too much pain in the life of his people, and he had tried to hold all of that pain at bay. He came heartbroken, wondering -- if this was what ministry was supposed to look like -- how he could continue on in it, if he could continue on at all.

We're All In This Together

In this current climate of anxiety about high costs, let's not forget our larger mission.

The Connection won't be blogging much about health care reform until we understand it better.  However, today's New York Times has an entire special section devoted to the new health care landscape.  I was particularly intrigued by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar's article, No Matter What, We Pay for Others' Bad Habits.

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Cure versus Healing

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's website, Healthy Leaders, has a wonderful Tools for Ministry section. Check out their Cure vs. Healing exercise...

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's website, Healthy Leaders, has a wonderful Tools for Ministry section.  Check out their Cure vs. Healing exercise and see if you can use it to start a dialogue in your congregation.

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Complexity and Essence

Atul Gawande is a surgeon and author. His bestselling book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right describes his efforts to...

Atul Gawande is a surgeon and author.  His bestselling book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right describes his efforts to enlist hospitals in using a standard checklist to reduce surgical errors and complications.  Research has shown that hospital checklists make a dramatic difference for patient health. 

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Straddling the Secular and the Sacred: Clergy Job Descriptions

As a non-United Methodist, I often wonder whether refining certain employment policies wouldn’t benefit annual conferences or the national UMC.


Today, the Call & Response blog on Faith & Leadership includes a post by Roger Parrott titled “Employee Policies are For Cowards”.  His points are well taken: beware of codifying into policy — and thus universalizing – your responses to one or two personnel problems or problematic individuals.  Doing so may not solve the issues at play, and may actually cause others.

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