Cape Gazette
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Retired pastor and chaplain to present 'PTSD and Spirituality' Aug. 7

Aug 03, 2014
Ray Michener

The Rev. Ray Michener will walk his listeners through an in-depth look at "Post Traumatic Stress & Spirituality: God and the Devastated Self" from 7 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 7, at the Summer Spirituality Series held in the Parish Hall of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church at 211 Mulberry St. in Lewes.

This presentation includes a brief clinical look at PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, and an attempt to look beyond the clinical aspects into the role of the spirit in the healing process. Moving beyond the clinical treatment modalities, Michener will attempt to examine what traumatic stress does to an individual’s concept of such things as self, morality, God or religion, and even family and society in general. The goal of this look at PTSD is not designed as how to deal with someone suffering from PTSD, but rather how to be with someone and hear their story.

Michener is a retired Lutheran pastor and U.S. Navy chaplain. After nine years in parish ministry, he entered the U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps and quickly found it an exciting and enjoyable ecumenical ministry. Over the course of 20 years, Michener served with the U.S. Marines as chaplain with a combat battalion during two tours in Beirut, Lebanon; with Navy surface and submarine sailors; and his final assignment with the U. S. Coast Guard stationed at Fell’s Point, Md.

While on active duty, Michener was involved in several situations which led to an interest in critical incident stress debriefings, as well as trauma-related stress on both military personnel and civilians associated with them. In order to further understand the psychological as well as pastoral implications of trauma and stress, he began studies at Loyola College of Maryland in clinical pastoral counseling with a two-year internship at a veterans’ center dealing primarily with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Retiring from active duty in 1997, Michener began the first of six interim assignments in the Washington, D.C. Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He moved to Delaware in January 2014 and lives in Milton where he and his partner, Tom, make their home in Paynter's Mill.

Each Thursday night, through Aug. 28, expert presenters will engage participants in the parish hall of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. Fellowship and locally owned King's ice cream will follow each presentation. All are invited to attend these free sessions, which are designed for reflection and dialogue.

In addition to providing spiritual resources for those seeking greater understanding of their own religion, or learning about others, Seekers uses the net proceeds from their store to help those in need, including the Cape Henlopen Food Basket, Doctors without Borders, work in Haiti and Centro Infantil in San Miguel de Allende.

For hours, information, or a full listing of guest speakers, visit www.seekerslewes.com or call 302-645-9916. To learn more about St. Peter's Episcopal Church and find worship service times, workshops, concerts and other ministries, go to www.stpeterslewes.org or call the office at 302-645-8479.

 

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