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NOTE: Association designations are location of group. You may choose any group to attend.

The Rev. Dr. William C. Brown - Merrimack Association Billy is an ordained UCC Minister, a Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors (AAPC), and a NH Licensed Pastoral Psychotherapist practicing at Cornerstone Family Resources in Concord, NH. In addition to his full-time pastoral psychotherapy practice, he serves as a life coach, consultant, and leads clergy support groups including a group for new UCC pastors and the Pastoral Leadership Development Group (PLDG) meeting in Pembroke for the past two years. When asked to describe his group and leadership style, Billy says, "When facilitating professional groups, I pay attention to the needs expressed by group members. I am listening to their concerns in an attempt to find ways to be helpful. I am usually direct and, hopefully, concise with my questions for clarification. I will bring to the group experience a range of perspectives including systems theory, organizational development, conflict-resolution theory, and other ways of promoting growth for each group member. I attempt to bring no small amount of good humor and grace to the process as well." The Rev. John Davies ­ North Country Association John is Minister of Pastoral Counseling at the Plymouth Congregational Church, UCC, and Chaplain with Central NH VNA/Hospice in Wolfeboro and Laconia. Having dual standing in the UCC and the Presbyterian Church (USA), he has experience in parish ministry, pastoral counseling, chaplaincy, and clergy group leadership in New York and New Hampshire. John is also a Diplomate in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. John plans for the group to provide a confidential opportunity to sit with colleagues, compare notes on the work of ministry, find support and understanding, and explore resources of the Spirit to sustain working in ministry. The focus of the group will be on such common concerns as how to deal with difficult parishioners, pastoral care for people with multiple crises, working with boards and committees, coping with personal and family stress, setting goals and limits in pastoral care, and self-care. The pattern for meetings will include opening reflection, check-in time, case presentation, and didactic presentation.

The Rev. Dr. Margaret B. Hess ­ Hillsborough Association Meg is a NH Licensed Pastoral Psychotherapist practicing with the Emmaus Institute in Nashua, NH, and a Fellow in AAPC. She is an ordained American Baptist minister, and served as Minister and Interim Minister to ABC/USA congregations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for over 20 years. Meg is on the faculty of Leadership in Ministry Workshops, which uses Bowen systems theory as a lens to explore leadership development in religious institutions, and has been adjunct faculty in preaching at Andover Newton Theological School since 1983. She returns for the third year as a facilitator for the PLDGs. Meg's group will use Bowen family systems theory to explore pastoral leadership in congregations. The format will combine didactic sessions on Bowen theory, case study presentations, and family diagram (genogram) work by the participants.

The Rev. Charles Lindner ­ Grafton-Orange/Sullivan Associations Charlie has been involved in pastoral counseling as his primary ministry since completing the Blanton-Peale Graduate Institute Pastoral Psychotherapy Residency in 1984. A Fellow in AAPC, a NH Licensed Pastoral Psychotherapist, and a Presbyterian (PCUSA) minister, he has enjoyed being involved in teaching, supervising, or leading groups for clergy around ministry leadership issues. Since starting his pastoral counseling ministry in 1994 in Lebanon, NH, he has led on-going clergy support groups, and he returns to lead his fourth PLDG. Charlie describes his group as follows: "My approach to the Pastoral Leadership Development Groups is to build a community of trust among the members. The group is an opportunity for reflecting with colleagues on a variety of challenges in their ministry settings. I will involve the group in negotiating the monthly format based on the needs and desires of the participants. I do plan to have one or two ministry situations presented at each group, with members assigned in advance to present. Didactic input will be offered in response to particular situations. I draw on organizational development, human development, and systems theories to look at dimensions of the ministry issues on which we reflect. Participants are also encouraged to articulate their theological understanding of the situation."

The Rev. Rebecca Maccini ­ Cheshire Association The Rev. Rebecca Werner Maccini, pastor of the Congregational Church of Henniker, UCC, has been in pastoral ministry for 19 years. Prior to entering ministry, she was an occupational therapist and worked in psychiatric settings. She has served churches in northern New England and abroad in these pastoral configurations: as an associate; co-pastor; bi-vocational/part-time; and full-time. Rebecca has been studying Bowen family systems theory for 11 years, mentored by students of Murray Bowen and Ed Friedman, and has presented at the Vermont Center for Family Studies in Burlington, Vermont. Rebecca offers the lens of family systems, which includes understanding triangles, congregational history, anxiety, and the pastor's familial history, as a way to frame and support pastoral ministry and leadership in a congregational setting. Theological reflection is more easily done when pastors are able to accurately 'see' what is going on around them, and are aware of their own reactions and responses. Family systems thinking offers a way of 'seeing' the emotional process, and guides one toward the distance required to be able to reflect more clearly. In addition, the concept of boundaries is inherent in family systems thinking, which includes self-regulation and being clear about where one's responsibility ends and another's begins. In her third year of leading PLDGs, Rebecca offers teaching of family systems theory and its connection to the life of the congregation and theological thinking. The use of congregational case studies and family-of-origin work will enhance the lens to 'see' ourselves and the congregation. The Rev. Dr. David B. Reynolds ­ Carroll/Strafford Association David is Center Director at Pastoral Counseling Services (PCS) in Manchester, NH, where he has worked for 23 years. As an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), a NH Licensed Pastoral Psychotherapist, and a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, he oversees the Clergy and Congregational Care Program at PCS, which provides psychotherapy, psychological testing, spiritual direction, and consultation for clergy and their families. David served 8 years in the parish before working in pastoral psychotherapy. The PLDG he leads will have three components: devotional reflection, gathering, and check-in; presentation/discussion on systems theory as related to the parish; and case presentations by group members. To facilitate the process, the group will read Creating a Healthier Church: Family Systems Theory, Leadership, and Congregational Life by Ronald W. Richardson (Fortress). Special attention will be given to Murray Bowen's concepts of anxiety, triangles, reactivity, self-differentiation, and emotional process in the context of the congregation.

The Rev. Dr. P. Mark Watts ­ Rockingham Association Mark is an ordained United Methodist minister who has been involved in pastoral counseling for 30 years. He served Pastoral Counseling Services as President/CEO for 22 years before stepping down to provide pastoral counseling at PCS full-time. He is a NH Licensed Pastoral Psychotherapist and a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Mark returns for his fourth year as facilitator of a PLDG. In his groups, Mark has each participant develop a family genogram to see generational influences and their impact on the pastor's ministry. Augmenting the genogram with a case study format, he utilizes systems and psychodynamic personality theories to help group members understand issues in the parish and pastoral leadership. **************************** The Rev. Patrice Ficken The Rev. Dr. David Reynolds Group Spiritual Direction The Pastoral Leadership Development Groups program has two new offerings for clergy who seek a contemplative approach to meeting together in what commonly are called spiritual direction groups. One group will be facilitated by The Rev. Patrice Ficken at the UCC Conference center in Pembroke, and the other will be led by The Rev. Dr. David Reynolds at Brookside Congregational Church, UCC, in Manchester. Each group will provide a supportive and safe environment for clergy to listen together to the "still small voice" of how the Spirit is moving within their lives as pastoral leaders. Group spiritual direction provides the model for meeting together ­ allowing time for silence, prayer, conversation, and community. During two-hour monthly meetings, participants will take turns sharing what is most alive and active within their experience before God and each other. The purpose is to listen together for God's presence and movement in each person's presentation ­ not to fix, advise, or problem solve. The focus is on being present to each other and to the Spirit. As Rose Mary Dougherty, staff member of the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation, has said, "The prayerfulness of the spiritual direction meeting is more important than the knowledge, skills, and style of those gathered together. Honoring the belief that the Holy Spirit is the real director, the participants meet on a regular basis to allow space for those seeking direction to come in touch with their Center and the direction emanating from that Center."

Patrice is an ordained UCC Minister, Spiritual Director, and Hospice Spiritual Care Counselor with the Concord Regional Visiting Nurses Association. She has served as a pastoral leader of congregations in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for ten years. She completed individual and group spiritual direction training with the Shalem Institute of Spiritual Formation, and she integrates expressive therapies, embodiment and mindfulness practices into her work. When asked to describe her group facilitation style, Patrice says, "Listening to each other and for the Spirit's movement in our lives is an ongoing practice which involves listening with all of who we are ­ mind, body, soul and spirit. My intention is to help the group create safe and sacred space so that each person can be open to where the Spirit leads. Allowing ourselves to be fully present to each other is the greatest gift we can give." David has provided individual spiritual direction for eight years and has been on staff at Pastoral Counseling Services in Manchester for 22 years. He is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and served in the parish for eight years before coming to PCS. His approach to group spiritual direction includes reflection on scripture and poetry, mindfulness meditation, breathing, movement, and prayerful sharing and listening. Spiritual direction invites participants to listen to questions such as "Where is God in this?" or "What is the movement of the Spirit in this situation?" or "How do you imagine God might respond to that?" Listening and living into the questions create the capacity to receive insights from God and each other. Both Patrice and David are members of a peer group for spiritual directors that meets monthly.


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