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Ministry has its seasons. There are moments of unexpected joy. But there are also times of great difficulty, with burdens too heavy for anyone to bear alone. More often than not, ministry features both at once. Elements exists as a resource for ministry leaders who are serving both in and out of season. It doesn't seek to say everything, just something. In doing so, our hope is that it meets you in your joys and your struggles, your triumphs and your failures.  Subscribe below to receive this monthly email resource.

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Elements May 2015

4/30/15

The forms of spirituality which are likely to be most helpful to people in recovery are spiritualities that help us grow in our capacity to tell the truth. One of the most distinctive features and primary symptoms of the addictive process is denial.

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Elements April 2015

3/20/15

The forms of spirituality that are likely to be most helpful to people in recovery are spiritualities that value thoroughness more than speed. Lois was a dedicated volunteer at her church. After a series of painful alcohol-related incidents, she sat in her pastor’s office and for the first time talked about her relationship with alcohol...

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Elements March 2015

3/4/15

For decades, the mindset that has pervaded popular culture is that we are somehow unaffected by trauma. In fact, expressing the impacts of trauma in one’s life has often been viewed negatively, as a sign of weakness. But when this occurs, important opportunities to honor and value the meaningful losses in our lives are missed. In many cases, we don’t even realize the extent to which ignoring losses is damaging our bodies and our spirits...

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Elements February 2015

2/2/15

Where are the resources for pastors and youth ministers specifically focused on healthy program development after trauma, and not just on counseling troubled youth or kids in crisis?

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Elements January 2015

1/6/15

Gathering for worship in the aftermath of crises, sadly, appears more normative today than not. Following tragedies, faith communities hold prominent roles as they commit to hosting and attending to brokenness.

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Elements December 2014

12/2/14

It may seem odd to have the last of a series on chronic pain coincide with the beginning of Advent. But in an important sense, Advent and chronic pain have to do with the same thing: bodies. And not just bodies of any sort, but scarred, stretched, scorched, splotched bodies.

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Elements November 2014

10/27/14

As with all of our concrete experiences, chronic pain is a profoundly theological reality. It thrusts us into an encounter with an ordering force at work in the world – a deeply mysterious presence that is beyond our ability to control, manipulate, or coerce. My own story as a person suffering with chronic pain involves decidedly physical, embodied, and even sensual dimensions.

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Elements October 2014

10/2/14

This issue of Elements marks the first of a year-long series on “tough conversations.” The range of issues will be broad, but whether we are dealing with doubt, racial tension, economic disparity, or the meaning of suffering, we are operating with the assumption that the people of God are meant to engage our incredibly complex world.

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Elements June 2014

6/3/14

Have you ever done rock climbing? Did you enjoy it? I climb mountains, but I do not enjoy rock climbing!

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Elements May 2014

5/2/14

Whether you are in the first, second, or third “third” of your life, the words of Jesus remain relevant: “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such, is the kingdom of heaven.” This admonishment to his disciples must also include his children who are in their later years of life.

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