Mentoring retreat teaches clergy new paths for healing

Mentoring retreat teaches clergy new paths for healing

Mentoring retreat teaches clergy new paths for healing
2/3/2016

Story and photos submitted by the Rev. Kelly Addy

Lessons in trauma counseling and the ancient Chinese practice of Qigong filled the classroom and became a time of healing and renewal for 17 clergy who attended the 2016 Yellowstone Conference Mentoring Retreat at Chico Hot Springs from Jan. 25 to 27.
 
The two subjects fit in a hand-in-glove manner that made at least one attendee wonder if the Holy Spirit had brought these learning sessions together at the same time and place. Chico provided the perfect setting for a time of friendship and learning.
 
Chris Fernie, a master instructor with 26 years experience, introduced the group to Qigong, a low-impact exercise technique that integrates physical postures, breathing techniques and focused intention.
 
Fernie presented Qigong as a practical exercise and gave everyone a new personal awareness of our energy that calls us to slow down, pay attention to our body’s response to activity, and to "stick our bellies out". One local pastor reported experiencing relief from chronic shoulder pain during the sessions.
 
Barbara DeBree, MSW, and an Iraqi War Veteran, discussed the impacts of PTSD and trauma, sharing knowledge gained from study and counseling work with others, in an informal lecture and discussion format. Keys to understanding the sources of trauma and alternative responses available to restore the resiliency to victims made both cause and effect easier to comprehend.
 
Both instructors attended the other instructor’s sessions because it gave them new insights into their own separate practices.  The lessons each instructor offered added insight to the class’s understanding of what the other instructor was sharing.
 
All who attended expressed appreciation for the time of friendship and healing they got to share again this year at the Mentoring Retreat at Chico Hot Springs.




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