Thursday, September 13, 2012

What do you wish seminary had taught you about pastoral care?

Tomorrow is a real day off.  Oh, I'm looking forward to it.  Even though I'll be working on my syllabus for teaching at the seminary in the Spring, it's OK.  I'll enjoy doing that.

Life is at warp-speed again...just want to do too much, I guess.  New classes (lots of them), Taize prayer services, a new theater ministry, social justice movie's endless!

Health seems to be improving finally.  I've had two gammuglobulin infusions, neither of which seemed to do much, but this next time I'll finally be WELL when I get all those new antibodies, so hopefully they'll actually have a chance to keep me well.  That's the gameplan.

I'm teaching the intro the pastoral care class at Brite, January - May, on Wednesday and Friday mornings at 8 a.m.  Last time I taught this I used what Andy Lester taught us, but this time I think I'll add more of my own stuff...Wondering how to teach people to care.  Any thoughts out there?  Emphasis on self-knowledge...I definitely want to include a class day on that.  Self-care and some spiritual disciplines for pastors.   Will probably show the film "Ordinary People" again as a way for them to analyze and think through the care they offer.  Ideas? What do you wish seminary taught you about pastoral care?  


Robin said...
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Robin said...

I wish I had learned about what, for want of a better phrase, I will call "self-possession." Or maybe "God possession."

It's taken me a year to "get it" -- that in times of crisis and conflict as well as ordinary times, people look to me to be "the pastor" and to be the wise, prayerful, competent presence. I am so not any of those things in reality that I forget that there is a certain sense of the presence of God that I should be exuding -- which I think means to get over myself and to immediately be in prayer and on the alert -- in every single interaction.

Terri said...

Yes. I quite agree with what Robin wrote. And, also, especially for me - how to do this in the face of controversy, anxiety, and people who seem to really dislike something I have said, done, or am - When one is really working to be authentic there is push-back - and I find it very unsettling. I feel like my core is rattled and I wonder all kinds of "what-ifs" or "should haves". I'm not suggesting that the response is to dig deeper into myself and stand rigid - I'm suggesting a discipline or practice or process or community or use of a spiritual director which enable us to both develop out prophetic sense, express it, reflect on it, examine it, and when we are truly being prophetic (and not just egotistical in the worst sense of that word), to trust it - gently but honestly. (does this make sense?)

Katherine E. said...

Oh yes, perfect sense. Both of you. Wise, wise, women. Thank you, Robin and Terri.