There is something about collecting myself… so I can expect to be collected and depend on the capacity to stop.
~Dr. Stephanie Crumpton
In this week’s episode of 3MMM, it is my delight to begin sharing a conversation with my friend and colleague in pastoral theology, Rev. Dr. Stephanie Crumpton, Associate Professor of Practical Theology at McCormick Theological Seminary. In the coming weeks, we will hear her wisdom about ministry with people who have experienced trauma and loss.
She will also share her research about caring for women and girls who live in the aftermath of trauma, domestic violence and rape, as well as what the path of recovery from trauma looks like. We will also get a preview of her new book, considering how to support activists in their work. And today we are starting with Dr. Crumpton’s insights about self care in community.
#selfcare in this time of #pandemic + #protests is essential for maintaining energy & focus. Don't go it alone! Find and embrace self care IN community.
Thank you, Dr. Stephanie Crumpton of @McCormickSem! #3MMM #practiceofministry pic.twitter.com/weWOUlNRIR
— Three Minute Ministry Mentor (@3MinuteMin) June 15, 2020
She is not only a pastoral theologian and associate professor of practical theology, she is also a yoga instructor. In this week’s episode she shares with us how she learned about the importance of breath, collecting herself each day, and silence. Through her community of yoga practice she has deepened her sense of self care.
Communities and Self Care
In this current cultural moment, ministers, chaplains, activists and pastors are facing some of the most demanding circumstances imaginable. Even as governors attempt to jumpstart the economy, new cases of coronavirus continue to climb. The deaths from Covid-19 are unjustly high among people of color and indigenous people of North America, undocumented people living in the U.S., and the elderly, particularly those living in long-term care facilities.
Even as protests continue in cities across the US this week, demanding justice and dignity for black lives, we are also hearing about new cases of unjust deaths emerging daily. If we are going to do the work of advocating for change, we cannot lose sight of our need for self care. And if we are going to maintain energy for everything from protests to pastoral care, then we need to stay connected with our communities. Thus, we need mutual support and encouragement toward self care for the long-term. As Dr. Crumpton points out, self care is not merely a solitary practice. It is something we need to learn and do in community.
While Dr. Crumpton was learning to be a yoga instructor she learned something important about breath work. “And when you are empty of breath…?” Hear what she learned to do when empty of breath:
Watch to learn the kind of lessons Dr. Crumpton takes “off the mat,” lessons that sustain her in her teaching, research, writing, and supporting ministers and activists.
Perhaps you are searching for the right self care or sabbath practices for your life right now? Dr. Crumpton has shared many, and there are many more, which we explored in Season One of 3MMM. Doing the hard work of pandemic pastoring and supporting the movement for black lives and the work of racial justice mean we need both community and self care. Thank you for your work in the world, and for joining us in these important conversations.