Spiritual Formation Team sponsoring a soul-care event on April 22

March 20, 2023

When [Jesus] saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. (Matthew 9:36 RSV)

Whenever we look carefully and deliberately, when we slow down enough to become truly aware and to consider deeply, we are moved to compassion for all the harassed and seemingly helpless folks we see in person and in communications media—victims of sickness, poverty, train derailment, crime, oppression, warfare and hunger to name only a few. At times compassion moves us to act, to say a kind word, to help in some way, to pray, to contribute or to serve. At other times, compassion can feel like numbness or paralysis. Or is it compassion fatigue?

According to Psychology Today, "Symptoms of compassion fatigue can include exhaustion, disrupted sleep, anxiety, headaches, stomach upset, irritability, numbness, a decreased sense of purpose, emotional disconnection, self-contempt and difficulties with personal relationships." The risk of experiencing any one of these symptoms might make you want to give up, to close your eyes to human suffering and to stop caring altogether.

Except—Jesus didn't. He looked on the suffering crowds as an opportunity for "harvest," and he invited his followers to prayerfully participate. (Matthew 9:37-38)

Cultivating Compassion: Fiercely Loving Ourselves and Others is a soul-care event sponsored by the North Alabama Conference Spiritual Formation Team. Featuring the wisdom and teaching of William Thiele, Ph.D., Cultivating Compassion is designed to support and strengthen Christians and caregivers—persons who help, love, aid, care for and minister to others. Any who serve in the helping professions and all who have an interest are invited to participate. CEUs are available. Participation is limited to 40 persons.

Date: April 22, 2023
Place: United Methodist Center, 898 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35204
Time: 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Cost: $29 - includes lunch
Click here for more details.

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