Becoming an Affectively Competent Congregation

I am an educated white clergyman of European descent (half Hungarian with some Transylvanian and Irish thrown in). When I grew up, we didn’t talk at all about feelings in our family, and the patterns of emotional expression were pretty…

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Transforming the Spirit of Communities

One fall CiRCLe M (Centre for Rural Community Leadership and Ministry), a nonprofit I direct, organized a conference on the church and community development. In workshops, worship, and conversation, one church leader after another shared stories of how their congregations…

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Paging God: Working with Chaplains in Healthcare

by Wendy Cadge Meg, an interfaith chaplain, agreed to let me shadow her to learn about her work in a large academic medical center. By 9:00 a.m. on a Friday morning, we were sitting in a conference room filled with dirty…

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Neighbors and Covenant Relationships

Stu was one of the first people to help me see that the patient work of discernment was a big part of what I was called to do. I was right out of seminary at the time. I thought that…

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Pastoral Care as Healing Presence

A single parent, Deborah recalls that during her first month as pastor of a United Church of Christ congregation in Western Pennsylvania, she performed nine funerals, four of which related to a boating accident. Already weary from moving across country…

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