Pearls for the Journey: Release the Demons
By Rev. Rachael Keefe*
When I participated in the Pension Boards-United Church of Christ CREDO (PBUCC CREDO) week-long Seminar, I thought my focus would be on vocational issues, but it turned out that a combination of psychological and spiritual wellness ended up having the most meaning for me.
Just a few months before I attended PBUCC CREDO, I was diagnosed with a form of dysautonomia. While I had symptoms for decades and had been misdiagnosed repeatedly, this diagnosis proved challenging. PBUCC CREDO helped me reframe it and begin to form a healthier response to the limitations of this illness that I had already adapted to. Somehow, having a proper name for the illness proved to be as freeing as it was burdensome. PBUCC CREDO gave me the space to begin to really work through this.
One afternoon toward the end of the week when I was sitting out in the sun, away from the main area, I listened to the birds and the wind, the sounds of the water. My head was full of my own internal struggles - old demons released from their usual confines. As I watched the shadows of the leaves dance on the picnic table, I was overcome with a sense of well-being. I would be fine. Yes, there was work to do. Yes, it was time to be done with my demons. And, yes, wholeness was possible even in my somewhat broken body and with my history of trauma. In that moment in the sun, I knew with a certainty that all would be well, that I would be well. It was a true gift.
Many of my clergy colleagues do not take very good care of themselves. Many of them struggle with weight and/or food addictions, few address their own psychological needs, and even fewer attend to their own spiritual needs. This affects the whole church. Clergy wellness is more essential now than ever. Release the demons.
About PBUCC CREDO
PBUCC CREDO is a holistic wellness benefit that offers clergy space and resources to examine significant areas of their lives and discern prayerfully the future direction of their vocation as they respond to God’s call in a lifelong process of practice and transformation.
The CREDO experience is anchored in a week-long Seminar and includes a pre-Seminar assessment and post-Seminar resources so that participants can deepen their commitment to lifelong wellness. Learn more about this program here http://bit.ly/PB_CREDO.
*Rev. Rachael Keefe is pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ in Minneapolis, MN.