By R. Michael Warner
Clergy Care Services Director

According to the Barna Group, ten years ago roughly 10% of Americans described themselves as lonely. Today, research suggests that number has increased to nearly 1 in 5 or 20% of our population. With the increased demands and complexity of spiritual leadership today, one wonders if the number of pastors who feel lonely, or isolated may be a bit higher? The true numbers are unknown. And in the end, perhaps the numbers are not all that important.

Perhaps most compelling is that we have any clergy in our covenant community who feel isolated and alone; or that we have clergy families who are exploring ways to cope and overcome difficult issues.

As you read this article perhaps you are reminded of someone who fits this description … or maybe it describes you. Among the many resources available to us today, i.e., Employee Assistance Program, Live and Work Well, credentialed counselors, there is a new service available to our conference clergy and their families. It is called Clergy Care Services. It is confidential pastoral care provided by a clergy colleague. The conversation is not discussed or revealed to anyone. Some have asked, “is it counseling?” It is not counseling. But if you need someone to listen, or someone to journey with you, or need to be reminded that you are not alone, then consider Clergy Care Services. It is a resource available to all clergy and their families in the Conference. Some have said, “best of all, there is no cost!”

If you would like to learn more or want to connect with Clergy Care Services, please contact Rev. Michael Warner at 317-550-5406 or via email at michael.warner@inumc.org … because “sometimes we all need a friend to listen.”