Experience Health & Joy

Weekly Blog

Relational Wellness at the Convention!

Reading time: two minutes. Synodical Vice-President Rev. Nabil Nour was the living embodiment of Relational Wellness at our recent convention in Milwaukee.  Two episodes of his time on the podium were great Rev Nabil Nour illustrations of how the gospel of Jesus binds us together in the unity of the Spirit. If you know Nabil, you know that he's a native of the Middle East, born in Palestine, and that he recently retired from a long and fruitful pastoral ministry.  You might even know how much fun it is to take an Old Testament course at the seminary and hear him read and translate Hebrew, his native tongue! You'd also know that Nabil is a man of great Christian character... and a real character! Read More

Church work, Friends and Authentic Community

Written by Dcs. Heidi Goehmann One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.   Proverbs 18:24 Returning from the National Youth Gathering this week, I have like 400 post ideas in my head.  I was blessed to spend the week with four of the most precious girls I've ever met.  I'm missing them already.  We went to sessions and heard speakers on a zillion different topics, from purity to Islam to body image.  We ate a lot of nachos and considered how in the world beniges could be so much better than donuts.  We talked about identity, humility, and community until the cows came home, or rather, we came home to the cows.  (Literally, some of us have actual cows,  They were very much missed, right Sarah?) One conversation rises up above the rest.  It keeps surfacing on my mind and demands attention. The topic - who is your squad, who is your crew, what is community? The girls' immediate answer to this question was a list of people they hang out with. "My softball team." "My agriculture people." "My church youth group." "My lunch table." I had a list too. But as I started to give my list, I realized that my list sounded a lot like individuals and a lot less like groups of stuff I did. I glanced around at my girls, "Who would you go to if you really needed help.  If you were sad, if you were hurting, if you needed a good cry, or if you really needed good advice." One by one they began to name people that mattered more to them than softball, than band, than youth group and lunch tables.  I watched as light bulbs went off in their heads. Read More

Convention and Spiritual Wellness!

Reading time: two minutes. In the weeks following our synodical convention, I'm reflecting on the intersection of my experiences in Milwaukee and the Lutheran Wellness Wheel. For Christians,  Spiritual Wellbeing is grounded in our daily and lifelong encounters with Jesus in Word and Sacrament. And considerable time was spent at the convention in worship and the Word.  My week in convention has served to reinvigorate my passion and desire for my daily time in Word and prayer, but maybe not in the way you'd expect.  Read More

Grace Place Wellness West Coast Retreat June 20 – 24, 2016

A life in ministry can be richly rewarding for professional church workers and their families.  It can also be tremendously demanding and stressful.  The mission of Grace Place Wellness is to “nurture vitality and joy in ministry by inspiring and equipping church workers to lead healthy lives.”  The nineteen couples… Read More

Baptismal Wellness at the LCMS Convention!

Reading time: two minutes. I had a great time at the convention last week, so great, in fact, that I plan to write about it for the next eight weeks as we wend our way around the Lutheran Wellness Wheel once again! "Please identify yourself," we heard time and again from the Chair of the convention.  Sometimes when the speaker walked to the microphone we knew right away if they were a lay delegate or clergy.  Their attire or gender made the identification easy. Credentials are important at conventions.  Some credentials needed no name badge.  As an impassioned observer sitting in the advisory section, I found great joy celebrating the identity every speaker held in common, an identity that needed no introduction: "Child of God, Baptized in His Grace." Read More

Why I Like Conventions. No, Really!

Reading time: two minutes. If it's Tuesday, we're halfway through convention, and, oddly enough, I'm having a good time!  Let me explain. It's my view that we're not supposed to "understand" the nature of the Holy Trinity.  Just as Rather Trinitarian, isn't it? Moses was supposed to be over-awed, overwhelmed and absolutely, 100% humbled and humiliated as he stood before the burning bush, I believe we're neither to explain or even attempt to understand the paradoxical unity and diversity of the divine nature. We're supposed to say, "Wow!" God's invitation to me to join into fellowship with Him, Father, Son and Spirit, does the same thing to me.  "Wow!"  And to think that you and I (of all unlikely combinations!) share, together, in fellowship, the unity of the same Spirit, well, "Wow!" Read More

National Youth Gathering 2016

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann Will you or someone you know be at the LCMS National Youth Gathering this month? Do you know a church work kid?  A child of a pastor, deaconess, DCE, lutheran educator, lay minister, Director of Christian Outreach, or another church worker? Don’t forget to look… Read More

In Favor Of A Boring Summer

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann I am that mom that makes my kids finish the textbooks they bring home from school.  “Everyone choose one page from each workbook per day!  They’ll be finished in no time!  Isnt this fun?!” My cheery attitude has no effect on my kids, who glare… Read More

Summer Shape Up #6: Relax!

Reading time: two minutes. An important component of a physical wellness program is learning to relax, unwind, refresh, loosen-up and reset the stress button.  Here are some of my favorite techniques. Laugh - A hearty chuckle or a rolling guffaw can actually reduce the levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the bloodstream.  An easy way to get a chortle or two is to look up a favorite comedy film clip on YouTube.  It takes just a few seconds to find it, and you can get your favorite laugh from a favorite movie without watching the whole film!  Be sure your office door is open so everyone knows what a fun person you are! Read More

Summer Shape Up #5: Sleep!

Reading time: two minutes. Here's what I'm not going to recommend in our "Summer Shape Up!" series: catch up on sleep over the summer. Most of the studies suggest that while it is somewhat possible to make up for lost sleep, not so much.  If you've been sleep deprived for a long time, well, there's not much you can do except change your sleep habits on a more permanent basis. That's what I'm going to suggest. I think my story is pretty typical of us over-functioning church workers.  I'm still learning to take care of myself in this way, but I'm definitely enjoying the benefits of getting new sleep habits. Read More

Lovin’ On Our PK’s Project

Written by:  Dcs. Heidi Goehmann It’s almost National Youth Gathering time!  Approximately 25,000 Lutheran youth and their adult chaperones, a sea of yellow shirted volunteers passionate for building up youth in our churches, another sea of orange shirted young adults passionately serving Him in New Orleans, it sounds absolutely wonderful… Read More