Network Blog

  • Joy nestled among the challenges

    Jun 19, 2014 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By John Allen | While preparing for ministry, I heard a lot of despair about the church. I somehow internalized a sense that going into parish ministry would be like going to war with an institution that needed to be dramatically transformed before it could be of any value to the world. Conversations about the decline and death of the church are daily bread for seminarians.

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  • Together we flourish

    Jun 05, 2014 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Barbara Lemmel | “Tell me more about Great Aunt Katy,” I said. I knew Katy had been a pediatric nurse in Nebraska in the 1940’s and that she’d left her china and silver to my father, her great-nephew, before her death. What had she been like? Dad smiled, remembering.

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  • Twisting and turning in ministry

    May 22, 2014 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Lawrence Peers | The Pastoral Excellence Network (PEN) is part of the Center for Pastoral Excellence at Christian Theological Seminary. The Center and PEN are dedicated to sustaining clergy through “the long arc of ministry.” Indeed, this is our work. And, sometimes an arc seems like such a tidy, predictable, orderly image. Sometimes ministry does feels predictable. But more often we don’t know exactly how it will unfold as we walk through the lifetime labyrinth of ministry.

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  • What we love about ministry

    May 08, 2014 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Christina Braudaway-Bauman | As we begin a blog series on Flourishing in ministry, I’m reminded of an invitation colleagues and I received to share with seminarians what we love about pastoral ministry. Together we came up with a list—not exhaustive to be sure—articulating what we see as the blessings this work. What would you add?

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  • Testimonial dinner for our severe teachers

    Apr 10, 2014 | Pastoral Excellence Network

    By Lawrence Peers | There is a healing ritual that I have facilitated at clergy retreats over the last ten years that is called, “A Testimonial Dinner for Severe Teachers.” I have adapted this particular activity from the Spiritual Eldering Institute, and I have used it most often at retreats for clergy approaching retirement within ten years or less.

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