Sounding off on the health of clergy

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The New York Times had an interesting article about preliminary results on the health of clergy. What the data shows, however, is not good. Clergy apparently experience large amounts of stress, coupled with an equally large amount of responsibilities, and are becoming physically unhealthy as a result with obesity, hypertension, and depression becoming more rampant. […]

  • There is good research emerging on the kind of practices that are helpful to preventing burnout and promoting clergy wellness. The Lilly Foundation’s new Sustaining Pastoral Excellence research suggests that clergy peer learning groups are important, offering a renewed sense of identity and purpose, the potential to transform ministries and foster congregational growth. The research will be unveiled publicly for the first time at a conference in November. Here is a link to the press release and here is more information about the conference

  • This doesn’t make sense.
    Jesus said that all prayers offered in his name will be answered. That even mountains can be moved by prayer. How easy would it be to cure / prevent diabetes et al from impacting a man of the cloth who prayed for his health? Certainly gaod’s answer to all these clery prayers can’t be “No!” at such an astonishing rate.

    If the clergy prescribe and promote the “power of prayer” why aren’t they following their same advise? Isn’t what’s sauce for the goose, also sauce for the gander? And if they’ve been praying for their health to be restored / illness to be averted how is it that they have such high rates of illness?

    I wonder if this paradox can be explained without reverting to tired platitudes like: “God works in strange and myster…etc.”; “Who are we to understand God’s plan?”, et al.

    Likely not.