Compiled and Written by: Rev. Dr. Barbareta McGill, DRS, MSN, RN, FCN
SED Clergy Care Team Member
This year has presented many challenges for all of us, for each of us. Clergy are not exempt. Clergy have rallied to shepherd God’s people in their communities of faith and the larger community. Issues related to the novel coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19), health disparities, social injustice, and a volatile political climate at all levels demand engagement and challenge pastoral care. Know that you are not alone! Commune, Consider, Connect – Commune with the Lord, Consider yourself -take care of yourself, and Connect with others.
14Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested[d] as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16, NRSV).
This year has brought many challenges and with them many opportunities. God has been in the midst of it, fulfilling the promise that our Lord made, “I will not leave you orphaned. I will come to you” (John 4:18, NRSV). Johnson Oatman penned a reminder we can reflect on musically, “There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus:No, not one! no, not one! None else could heal all our souls’ diseases: No, not one! no, not one! Jesus knows all about our struggles; He will guide ’til the day is done: There’s not a Friend like the lowly Jesus: No, not one! no, not one!
This month consider the following, with the assurance that we can come before the Lord as we are invited in Hebrews 4 because we have a Friend in Jesus.
Take care of yourself.
Take care of your family.
Take care of your congregation
Do not neglect your spiritual disciplines.
Identify what is most important. Prioritize. Delegate. Engage partnerships
Negotiate temporary boundary changes as you adjust to meet the needs before you.
Working from home? Establish office hours.
Schedule lunch, exercise, quiet time.
Extend grace to yourself, self-compassion.
Allow time to grieve.
9. Identify healthy ways to relieve stress.
10. Even with the pandemic, get your regular health care.
Vote! Choose one of the options available in your jurisdiction. Plan. Prepare.
Get your flu shot NOW.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In times like these community is more important than ever. Recognize Breast Cancer Awareness month through connection:
v Encourage the women in your sphere of influence to perform breast self-care: monthly breast exam, regular exam with her health care provider; mammogram as recommended based on age, health history, personal health history, healthy nutrition, exercise, and general health stewardship.
v Tell your story. How has your life been affected by breast cancer, as a survivor, family member, or as a caregiver. Your story can make a difference for someone else. It may encourage someone to take action now.
v Wear a pink face mask!
v Post a pink ribbon yard sign.
v Participate in a virtual run or walk to help raise funds for breast cancer
v Be creative with Pink Sunday or other church-wide activity.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence was a pandemic prior to the Covid-19 crisis; however, covid-19 has caused a surge in abuse. Did you know about “10 million people become victims of domestic violence, which equates to just about 20 people every minute? Like Covid-19 domestic violence is not a respecter of gender, race, or economic level. “Domestic violence shows itself in a number of different forms, whether it’s punching, slapping, choking, or threatening, manipulating, yelling and many others. No matter the situation, domestic violence is never okay.” The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available to you: 1−800−799−7233 or TTY 1−800−787−3224;https://www.thehotline.org/
Your EAP Newsletter. If you haven’t had a chance, make an appointment with yourself to read the TotalCare EAP Newsletter. Check your e-mail or go to Valuable resources for you and your family are available, Including: Covid-19: Back to School Resources for Parents and The Coronavirus Crisis: Tools for Tough Times
If you or a loved one are talking about or considering suicide, take action now. Get help! Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline -1-800-273-8255or Text: GO to 741741 to reach a trained Crisis Counselor through Crisis Text Line, a free 24/7 confidential resource.