Soul of the Pastor; Soul of the Congregation
An educational event for Pastors and Lay Leaders Sponsored by Ministry Mentors
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Dr. Hal Edwards
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Over forty pastors and lay leaders gathered to hear the words and wisdom of Rev. Dr. Hal Edward as he opened the doors to ways of living and being that bring health, challenge, and love into our lives.
THE REV. DR. HAL EDWARDS
Hal Edwards, an Octogenarian, draws from a vast and lively array of ministry experiences—born in the South, son of a Steel Magnolia mamma and deeply influenced by his Black Mammy, he preached his first sermon in 1952, went to conservative Asbury College, a liberal Duke Divinity School and a Minneapolis Lutheran Seminary. During seminary at Duke he served three small churches among good hearted small town folk and KKK eastern North Carolinian farmers, a large multi-ethnic downtown Minneapolis congregation, and two Southern California parishes sporting a diversity of political, social and theological perspectives. In November of 1968 he received an invitation to Chicago, where he served for 27 years as President of Christian Laity of Chicago, an ecumenical small group ministry, linking urban and suburban communities, in Protestant and Catholic parishes, facilitating small groups, workshops and conferences, while serving as spiritual soul friend to individuals in the marketplace and in their families and their local churches. From 1995 to 2005, Hal served as President of CityQuest, an interfaith movement involving the small group dynamic, faith sharing, contemplative gatherings and interracial healing.
Hal’s doctoral project, Koinonia—Soul of the Church, included his experiential research involving over 300 Protestant and Catholic parishes. He was invited on the National Board of APT, the Association of Psychological Type, when Isobel Briggs Myers was active. He guided over 10,000 individuals in companies, churches and families into a working knowledge of personality differences that enhanced and clarified an appreciation of our different ways of being true to ourselves. Thirty years ago he was introduced to Contemplative Outreach and Fr. Thomas Keating. From that time on his daily Centering Prayer practice awakens and maintains the core and cornerstone of his inner and outer journey.
Now retired and active as pastoral psychotherapist and spiritual director, Hal with his wife, Jill, live in Wauconda. He loves their backyard gardens, retreat hermitage, waterfall, just three doors down from Bangs Lake where he launches his bass boat.
He is currently working on three potential publications—First, Hals Poems –Poems of Opposites; second, After Death: A Grief Companion for Men and Women, drawn from the life and death of his first wife, Betsy, who died in 2006; third, One Person’s Spiritual Interpretation of Dreams, including unpublished papers given to Hal by Dr. Morton T. Kelsey, his companion, teacher, dream analyst and mentor for over 30 years.
Our primary job as clergy is to put our own oxygen mask on first so we can more effectively help someone else find and put their’s on. How do we go about maintaining that kind of lifestyle as our ego and our true Self, in sync and alignment, serve our highest good? How do we model/mentor “individuation” as we seek to guide others on this Way?
My essential work as a husband, father, grandfather, brother, relative, soul friend, counselor, and spiritual director is to celebrate and safely facilitate your courageous capacity to lovingly transform our shared suffering as we, in union, acknowledge our own eternal soul and our freedom to consciously enjoy and fully live our unique and sacred journey.