Pastors eager to share self-care training


The Rev. Embra Jackson and the Rev. Andy Ray have become certified clergy self-care covenant trainers.


Jackson, administrative assistant to the bishop, and Ray, senior pastor of Tupelo First United Methodist Church, represented the Mississippi Conference at the "Train-the-Trainer Servant Leadership Self-Care Covenant" workshop Feb. 28-29 in Chicago.

The workshop certified 22 trainers and was hosted by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits.


The goal of this training program was to enable participants to be able to lead a self-care covenant workshop and help improve the health and well-being of the clergy and laity in their respective conferences.


Leaders within The United Methodist Church are constantly faced with choices that either enhance or detract from overall health and well-being. When they are not healthy in body, mind and spirit, they are less than what God intended them to be and less available to do the work to which God called them. Participants attending the workshop left equipped to lead a self-care workshop in their conference and help others experience a private journey of self-assessment in all aspects of health, leaving with a self-care covenant and plan for improvement.


"The training was excellent," Jackson said. "It really challenged us to not only ‘talk the talk' but to also ‘walk the walk' regarding health."


They were challenged to assess their health needs (physical, relational, emotional, spiritual, nutritional, etc.) by committing to a monthly personal self-care covenant as a requirement of becoming a trainer. They were also led in a review of the Biblical understanding of becoming servant leaders.


Three clergy self-care covenant workshops are planned for the fall. Details will be available soon. Clergy will be invited to these one to two-day gatherings.


For information, contact Ray at or Jackson at