The Society for Spirituality, Theology, & Health held its third annual meeting on June 15-18 here at Duke. I’m glad to say I’ve attended all three meetings. The Society is a key sponsor of an ongoing conversation without which the Clergy Health Initiative might not exist.
Last week, I and several colleagues from the Clergy Health Initiative attended the United Methodist Annual Conferences in Greenville and Lake Junaluska, N.C. Our primary purpose in going was to share information about the Clergy Health Initiative – our research findings and future plans for introducing a suite of interventions to improve the health of pastors statewide.
Do people’s moods change over time? A 2008 Gallup phone survey of 340,000 Americans sought to measure both their sense of global well-being as well as their general mood (degree of happiness, stress, anger, or worry), and see whether either evolves. The results of this study recently were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the findings may interest you.
Today’s US News and World Report’s Health Buzz reports on an article in the journal Circulation reporting that reducing your intake of sugary drinks (especially canned soda) by just one 12-ounce serving a day (Americans average 28 daily ounces) can lower your blood pressure.
Dr. Rae Jean Proeschold-Bell, the research director for the Clergy Health Initiative, recently shared some data from our 2008 survey of North Carolina United Methodist pastors on how clergy bolster their own spiritual lives. The survey question asked:
Is there anything else you do to support your spiritual life in addition to prayer and reading religious literature (apart from your pastoral duties)? This can be something that others would immediately recognize as spiritual, or something that only you know is spiritual for you.
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.