We all experience difficult times in our lives. Even priests experience emotionally, physically, and spiritually challenging times. Deacons, Priests, and Bishops have spiritual advisors and confessors they go to for guidance, confession, and pastoral counseling. I am blessed because I have my spiritual advisor, Fr. Tim Whipple and my Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Timothy Klerekoper as my older brothers in Christ who guide me, hear my confession, and provide me wise pastoral counsel. Only God is omniscient. The rest of us are mortal, limited people who sometimes make mistakes.
King Solomon wrote, "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice." We all know that when we are emotionally invested in a situation, our emotion can sometimes cloud our judgment. Thus, it is important to go to a non-judgmental ear who will listen to your concern, help you discover the underlining issue, and help guide you to respond to the issue in the way God teaches us in Holy Scripture. St. John the Evangelist Anglican Mission provides strategic pastoral counseling in five areas.
Strategic Pastoral Counseling is pastoral, short-term, topic specific Biblical counseling. Strategic Pastoral Counseling focuses on one topic and addresses the issue from the spiritual principle that guides our physical life. When God speaks, there is always a spiritual application of the principle and a physical application of the principle. We counsel by discussing how the spiritual principle is applied to our physical lives.
We admit we do not have all the answers. It is okay to admit that. God loves when we humble ourselves before him and admit that we don't know what to do. These are the times that God works miracles in our lives. These are the times that he can send the Holy Spirit to guide us and strengthen us to endure what HE has asked us to endure. These are the times that God helps us learn the most and to develop our ability to discern.
St. John taught us in 1 John 4:1; "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." So, how do we judge if the idea is from God or from Satan? First, is the principle found in Holy Scripture presented in a favorable light. There are many teachings in Holy Scripture where God allows people to do something wicked because those people have hardened their hearts. Second, Jesus taught us in Matthew 7:16, "You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" Something may sound good to you, like ending world hunger. But, Jesus taught us in Matthew 26:11, that "the poor will always be among us." We know that a principle is evil if it takes away our personal responsibility to act and if it takes away the glory from God. Titus 2:3-5; "Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
Proverbs 1:8: "Hear, my son, your father's instruction, and forsake not your mother's teaching." At St. John the Evangelist Anglican Mission we counsel in the same way the early church counseled. Men and women were both made unique in the image of God. They were both created with equal spirituality in the eyes of God. But, men and women were made different in physicality, emotion, psychology, and role. When men desire counseling and guidance, we believe as the early church believed, there is a unique point of view that governs the way that men interact before God and in the world. Likewise, we believe, as the early church believed, there is a unique point of view that governs the way that women interact before God and in the world. Therefore, in counseling men, we believe gentlemen should lead the counseling in order to assist men become better gentlemen. When we counsel women, we believe ladies should lead the counseling in order to assist women to become better ladies. When we counsel, both myself and my wife are present and each will take the role of leader during the appropriate time.
Law enforcement and their immediate family: Free
Active Duty, Reserves, and their immediate family: Free
Community members with immediate law enforcement contact: Free
Church members: Free
Non-church members: $32.00 per session