develop our member care skills, stay in touch with global issues,
and cross sectors for mutual learning and good practice.
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Click HERE to access our MCA Facebook page to do so.
The 10 year Index of Updates and Special News
(120 Issues, May 2009-April 2019). Click HERE.
in light of global issues, responsibilities, and opportunities!
We have adjusted the various Member Care Updates that we send out. We now call them Special News. Our new Updates are usually shorter and continue to focus on important resources for your work. They continue to emphasize member care practice in the context of global issues and are shaped by the Global Integration framework and the Missio Dei model of global member care. We welcome your ideas! Contact us at MCAresources@gmail.com
–122. Special News June 2019: Into the Communities of Unreached Peoples
–121. Special News May 2019: Resources–Asia Member Care Network Conference
–120. Special News April 2019: Member Care and Unreached Peoples
–119. Special News March 2019: Confronting the Trauma Pandemic
–118. Special News February 2019: Core Member Care–Global Context
–117. Special News January 2019: Moral Health for a More Whole World (video, etc.)
–116. Special News December 2018: Frontline Mental Health (frontier mission settings)
–-115. Special News November 2018: Pursuing Peace (whole people-whole world)
–114. Special News October 2018: Lessons for Integrity, Action, and Healing
–113. Special News September 2018: The Hurting Counselor
–112. Special News August 2018: Multi-Sectoral Member Care
–111. Special News July 2018: Whistleblowing
–110. Special News June 2018: Righteous and Relevant Leaders
–109. Special News May 2018: Resiliency for Team Leaders
–108. Special News April 2018: Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds (3rd ed)
–107. Special News March 2018: Summons to a Global Integrity Movement (article)
–106. Special News February 2018: Centre for Humanitarian Psychology
–105. Special News January 2018: Two articles-crossing sectors & global mental health
–104. Special News December 2017: Index of Global Integration Updates (three years)
–103. Special News November 2017: Helping the Helpers (resources–humanitarians)
–102. Special News October 2017: Stress and Trauma (two new articles)
101. Summary: Global Member Care–Highway 101. September 2017. This is our 101st Update. We are calling it the “Global Member Care—Highway 101″ (GMC-101). Come and travel with us as on this resource highway as we review the MC Updates that we have done over the past several years. Think of this summary Update as a major member care thoroughfare (tool!) that is making hundreds of core and cutting edge resources accessible to our colleagues around the world. More personally, the GMC-101 is also a nostalgic reminder for us of Highway 101 in California, and especially some of its beach routes (joining with Pacific Coast Highway 1) which have been a special part of our lives over the years. We finish the Update with some important reflections on the relevance of global integration as we travel along GMC-101. So…welcome to GMC-101–spread the word!
100. Love: A Command to Cherish and Obey. August 2017. In this Update we focus on love. We see love as the essence of member care. Love is the foundation, motive, strategy, goal, measure, and future of member care. It is a practical, sacrificial, and celebratory command. Love never ceases.
99. Stories and Strategies: Reflections on Adversity and Wellbeing. July 2017. In this Update we feature several personal stories of caregivers working in member care, mission, and mental health. These are mainly accounts of dealing with adversity: struggles for sanity and survival, healing and wellbeing, both in one’s own life and in the lives of people and populations with whom one works. Most of these accounts are current (Part One–2017). Others are more vintage, harkening back 15 years to three foundational volumes for member care (Part Two–2002). We encourage you to take the time to go through these fascinating and challenging materials for your own personal and group development. They are also useful as member care tools to support the growth and effectiveness of mission personnel. We finish the Update with some personal reflections from the opening chapters of Revelation. You are invited to come along as we consider adversity and perseverance on a “Journey with Jesus–from Patmos to Paradise.”
98. New Resources: Gazing-Going beyond Our Shores. June 2017. In this Update we continue to fix our gaze broadly, featuring yet going beyond familiar member care shores in order to explore many new resources from different sectors. It is especially inspired by the group Iona, whose music over 25+ years has encouraged us further into our global member care journey and Christian spirituality. We include links to two Iona music videos from Beyond These Shores (on sojourning into mission) and finish with some personal and faith-based reflections on our “global gaze.”
97. Moral Care: Resources for Living in Integrity. May 2017. This Update focuses on recent, supportive resources for living in integrity—a core part of the “moral care” that is part of member care. We feature four materials for moral care with an emphasis on integrity for staff, leaders, and all those with member care responsibility. They include Kelly’s current article on integrity-accountability and his recent weblogs on global integrity along with two exceptional TedxTalks that call us to courage as we face moral challenges/choices. We finish with some personal reflections on the need for living in global integrity: “Good Practice-Good People.”
96. Re-Member Care: Tributes to MC Pioneers and Developers. April 2017. This Update focuses on some amazing people–remembering several deceased colleagues who have been instrumental in pioneering and developing member care. It includes a photo of each colleague and a link to our MCA website to access information about their lives (several links to tributes/short histories). Although they are no longer with us on the earth, their voices and examples still speak clearly to us today. We miss them dearly, yet know they are in the best of care as they are “away from the body and at home with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8, NIV). We finish the Update with an invitation to journey further into member care by engaging with an article that overviews 100 years of member care history.
95. Go for It! Building Our Future Foundations Now! March 2017. In this Update we feature three articles that we have written over the last year (March 2016-March 2017). Although focusing mostly on mental health professionals, they are also very relevant for those with member care responsibilities. The articles are meant to encourage us as we consider the many new opportunities for member care in mission and for mental health as mission. This trio of articles provides directional tools that can help us build our “future foundations.” Chief among these tools is the global integration framework that we have been promoting the last six years. We finish the Update with some personal reflections and some special encouragement from Lareau Lindquist’s book, Too Soon to Quit. But first, we start off with an anecdote involving another encouraging person, George Verwer…Go for it!
94. New Global Member Care Model: Member Care in the Missio Dei (MC-MD). February 2017. This Update features the newly expanded model for global member care. It emphasizes the missio Dei context for member care and adds a seventh sphere, Humanity Care. The original model (2000) and its updates (2011, 2013) have been used widely in the mission community to “guide and goad” member care practice. We are delighted to note that the model continues to emphasize Jesus Christ at the core of member care, including our relationship with Him, member care/mission workers serving Him, and His love for all people. We finish the Update with some personal reflections on the relevance and application of the model.
93. Special Issues on Member Care: Journals and Magazines (1983-2017). January 2017. Twenty special journal and magazine issues over a 34 year period…These are important metrics that reflect the ongoing development of member care in mission. This Update takes a closer look at these 20 special issues and shares links for accessing them: some are for free online and others can be purchased in pdf/hard copies at special rates. Part One features the just-published issue by the Journal of Psychology and Theology (JPT) on “Psychology and Mission” (December 2016 with another issue scheduled for June 2017). Part Two lists the 20 special issues by journal/magazine and by date of publication. Part Three then goes into more detail by listing the table of contents for the special issues. Collectively, all 20 special issues give us a good sense of many important member care topics that have been dealt with over the years. There are surely more special issues that we are not aware of, including in other languages and/or with a special topical focus. And they are all foundational for the literature that is to come, including perhaps a special global journal devoted to member care issues? We finish with some reflections on being inspired and guided by the literature in member care.
92. WHO Mental Health Resources: Ten Tools for Member Care. December 2016. In this Update we feature 10 mental health resources from the World Health Organization (WHO). They are all available online for free and many are in different languages. These resources are tools that can inform and strengthen all of our member care work in consultation, counseling, and training. Collectively they provide both a global context for better understanding mental health issues and technical content for further developing mental health skills. These 10 resources are also some of the main materials that we personally use as we consider new opportunities in the world to connect and contribute via “mental health as mission” (e.g., see the MC Updates April 2016 and September 2012). We finish the Update with personal and directional reflections on the relevance of global integration (GI) for member care.
91. Telehealth Practice: Perspectives and Resources. November 2016. In this Update we hear from Dr. Justin Smith, Professor of Counseling at Phoenix Seminary in the USA and this issue’s special Consultant-Contributor. Justin overviews telehealth issues and guidelines from a USA professional mental health context. He also includes material from Europe and China. Rather than presenting a harmonized set of guidelines from different sources, Justin shares some perspectives and core resources to help inform our member care telehealth practice (i.e., for MCWs, departments, organizations, and the member care field). Hopefully this Update and other similar efforts will lead to a next step for the member care field: a process to bring colleagues together who can fashion a broad-based set of telehealth guidelines and specific tools to help guide the diversity of member care workers in diverse settings. The Update finishes with additional thoughts about the need for an “ethical mentality” in member care practice.
90. Internet Sanity: Maintaining Control and Avoiding Addictions. October 2016. In this Update we share resources to help responsibly use the internet. We feature three items in particular to support you, children, colleagues, organizations, and communities: a) the recent documentary Screenagers (internet for children/teens); b) the resources from verywell (internet and technology addictions); and the recent BBC documentary Troll Hunters (internet harassment). There are many other issues and resources that could be added of course, such as monitoring content and updating security. We all need to be smart and sane in using the internet well—to stay in control of this great tool (and ourselves) rather than being controlled by it.
89. Mortality: Living-Finishing-Remembering Well. September 2016. In this Update we share a few reflections and resources related to ageing, death, and dying. The resources are primarily from Christian sources. How can we embrace our mortality and live our lives fully, including the end of our lives? How can we support others as they do the same? What are some ways to honor and morn those who have passed? Dealing with the many facets of mortality, especially as people of hope who live in the assurance of eternal life, is a core area to intentionally build into our member care skills and work.
88. Psychological First Aid. August 2016. This Update features two special resources for developing skills in mental health and crisis care. These resources are especially relevant for both supporting and equipping member care and mission/aid personnel in their challenging settings. The first resource was just released: Psychological and Mental Health First Aid for All, a succinct compilation of educational materials from various authors. The second is Psychological First Aid, a practical set of guidelines, written in simple English, which continues to be used internationally and across sectors. We finish with some personal reflections on doing member care well.
87. Recent Resources and Events: Member Care Around the World. July 2016. This month we traverse the globe as we share a variety of recent member care resources and events. Many thanks to friends and colleagues for sending us your suggestions! Most of these materials are from 2016 and 2015. Member care continues to go global as it takes deeper root in sending groups (churches and agencies), countries and regions, local settings, different sectors, and indeed in our own hearts. We finish this Update with a brief excerpt from “To the Ends of the Earth, To the End of the Age” an encouraging reflection about the specialness of mission workers.
85. Building Skill Sets and Tool Kits–Seventh Anniversary Issue. May 2016. This issue begins our eighth year of Updates. For this new Update, we browsed through the 84 archived issues and selected seven special resources, one from each year. Not an easy task! These materials reflect just a few of the MANY quality materials that we have shared over the years: to support staff well being and effectiveness and to further build your skills sets and your tool kits for member care. See also the April 2014 Update on Training Opportunities. A special thanks to so many of you for your words of encouragement and suggestions over the past seven years! We close with a few thoughts about building skill sets and tool kits as well as one of our favorite music videos for reflecting on the beauty and goodness of God. Enjoy!
84. Global Mental Health as Mission–Overview and Opportunities: April 2016. In this Update we feature five core resources that we are sharing in our current trip to the West Coast USA. Our primary focus is on the emerging area of what we refer to as “global mental health as mission” (gmhM). Via presentations and special gatherings we are really enjoying interacting with colleagues, students, and faculty about gmhM. We are using global integration (GI) as a framework to guide our interactions. GI simply put is how we link our skills, values, and integrity on behalf of human wellbeing. This framework helps us as we a) link our Geneva-based work with peoples’ mental health-member care interests and involvements internationally; and b) consider together how to further shape the mental health and member care fields (consultation, advocacy, research, training–CART) in view of the major issues facing our globalizing world.
83. Living in Integrity–Moral Wholeness for a Whole World: March 2016. This Update encourages us to live in integrity—consistent moral wholeness. It is based on the premise that personal transformation is crucial for social transformation. We include three resources to support us as we consider the cost, the character, and the courage needed to live in moral wholeness.
82. Strengthening Relationships: Friends and Foes, Fellowship and Factions, Fulfillment and Frustrations. February 2016. This Update presents several resources for strengthening interpersonal relationships. Many of the featured books, such as God’s Design for Community, Reconcilable Differences, Married in Mission, and Love Across Latitudes are filled with practical suggestions and exercises to help build and restore relationships. We also include an important new book on the common identity of being both Christians and humans (Our Global Families). We finish with some personal reflections on the darker side of relationships—dysfunction and deviance—very difficult places where our usual interpersonal skill sets can have limited impact.
80. Field Consultations: December 2015. This Update provides several resources for working with personnel in “field” settings. It includes a) an overview of how we set up and do field consults; b) materials which we have used in our recent member care trips (e.g., tools for assessment, personal growth, training, group discussion, articles); and some final thoughts on the central member care process of knowing well and caring well with integrity and skill. These resources collectively reflect four overlapping emphases in our current field consults: risk, resilience, relevance, and relationships.Note/update: Here are a few more items to include in the description about the field consultations that we do:
–Pre-field preparation regarding risks/safety, medical/health issues, including malarial prophylaxis etc. and visas
–Team preparation if going as a team
–Access to a colleague(s) for consultation/supervision as needed, given the variety of issues that one can encounter
–Evaluating and debriefing following the consults (as needed on field as well as after the entire trip)
–Getting feedback from some of the people with whom one works
79. Resiliency Toolkit–Strengthening Ourselves and Others: November 2015. This Update focuses on developing resiliency. It provides practical resources to promote well-being and effectiveness (WE) for workers in mission, aid, and development as well as for member care workers themselves. The resources include brief assessments and articles–core items in a versatile toolkit to strengthen yourself and others. Periodically we do special Updates that feature items to put in such a member care toolkit. Five past examples are archived HERE: 12/2009 Resiliency, 8/2010 Self-Care, 3/2012 Work-Life Balance, 1/2013 Cool Tools, and 10/2014 Creative Healing. We finish the Update with a reflection on resilience from Pearls and Perils of Good Practice (available now as an ebook) as well as one of our favorite resiliency songs, Ready for the Storm.
70. Core Commitments: Tough Times-Places-People: February 2015. This Update focuses on essential commitments needed to do member care well. They are intended for the diversity of member care workers and all those with member care responsibilities who are involved in the wellbeing and effectiveness of mission/aid personnel and their sending groups. The first set identifies seven directional commitments crucial for the future development of member care in our globalizing and troubled world (article in press). The second set lists 10 foundational commitments for good practice which primarily emphasize competencies and character qualities (Global Member Care, volume one). We begin this Update with the United Nations Year in Review 2014 video and finish this with a composite medley of quotes to help us act on our commitments.
64. Character Counts: August 2014. This month we hold up the mirror to check out our character as it relates to our motivations, relationships, and practices in member care and mission/aid. How accurate is what we see–and want to see? Recall that character along with competence and compassion are three core qualities needed for member care workers. Part One focuses on our personal character, emphasizing our capacity for self-deception plus what to do about it (five resources). Part Two focuses on leadership and organizational character and the importance for honesty, courage, and support in confronting hard issues (five resources). We conclude the Update with three current resources from the humanitarian sector that illustrate how critical and diverse feedback–sharing concerns and suggestions in an open atmosphere–is helping to improve the sector’s effectiveness.
63. New Model for Global Member Care: July 2014. This month we explore the updated model for global member care, taken from Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). Like its predecessor from Doing Member Care Well(2002), it is a practical “grid to guide and a guide to goad” as we live/work in our globalizing, needy world (i.e. “global integration”). We encourage you to use this model-grid as a tool to stimulate serious discussions and practical applications especially in terms of its emphasis on crossing sectors. Part one below summarizes the six spheres of good practice in the updated model. Part two presents six lessons learned from crossing sectors. We finish this Update with a brief reflection on the use of the term “global.”
62. Revisiting Health and Dysfunction: June 2014. This month we return to the crucial subject of promoting organizational health in mission/aid by dealing with dysfunction. Part one presents five “tasks” of dysfunction and part two lists 10 guidelines for handling dysfunction.The materials in this Update are based on Part Two of Global Member Care: The Pearls and Perils of Good Practice. We strongly recommend getting this book and reviewing Part Two in particular (Promoting Health in Mission/Aid) individually, as a group, and as an organization. See also Wise as Doves and Innocent as Serpents–a practical article on dysfunction/conflict management that is available in 12 languages on the Reality DOSE website.
61. Doing Mental Health Well. May 2014. This month we share several new resources on mental health, relevant for all of us–fellow humans everywhere. Part one provides links for self-help materials, short articles, and recent video presentations on mental health subjects. These resources are from/for the church-mission community. Part two highlights recent overview materials from global mental health (GMH) to help you quickly grasp the big picture of this important domain. GMH has so many opportunities for ministry by the church-mission community. especially in view of the estimated 450-700 million people in the world suffering from some type of mental condition. We finish with a brilliant, animated video on depression (four minutes), called I Had a Black Dog.
60. Training Opportunities. April 2014: This is the 60th issue of the monthly Update. So we are recalling the variety of issues over the past five years while also reflecting on future issues for member care in the context of global integration. One crucial area involves training for the diversity of member care workers, the subject of this Update…The first set of resources lists a few examples of programs offering graduate degrees or credit In member care. The second set of resources focuses on brief training and online modules in various subjects related to member care such as member care basics, counseling, coaching, and stress management. We begin this Update with a short video on adult learning and conclude by listing 10 Commitments for Member Care Workers. Pursuing training opportunities is really part of the commitment to lifelong learning–for developing resilience and relevance, and for growing deeply and broadly on behalf of our globalizing and needy world. See also the Tools/Training section of this site for more information and updates including the extensive WEA Training Directory.
59. 100+ MC Books! March 2014: This month we share our latest list of member care materials to support good practice. The list spans 40 years and includes over 100 books! The first part gives a quick overview of materials, primarily books in English, organized into 10 areas (Getting Updated). The second part invites you to make adjustments and additions to this list to make it even more relevant (Staying Updated). We close this Update with some personal words on developing three essential qualities for good practice in member care: character, competencies, and compassion.
58. Strategies for Crossing Sectors. February 2014: How do we practically connect and contribute across sectors In order to stay in touch with our globalizing world and to further develop our member care skills? The first resource links you to core suggestions for Charting Your Course through the Sectors (from chapter two in the new Global Member Care book). This chapter also updates the international member care model (five spheres, 2002, O’Donnell and Pollock) to help guide us into the next developmental phase of member care. The second resource provides suggestions for how you and your colleagues can effectively use the multi-sectoral materials in the new Global Member Care book (from the Application section on the Global MCA website). Crossing sectors is a crucial direction that supports and shapes good global practice in member care. It is also crucial for addressing many of the world’s serious challenges, highlighted in the opening, brief video below: The UN Year in Review 2013.
57. Families and Singles. January 2014:This month we feature two new edited books on the wellbeing and effectiveness of families and singles in mission (Family Accountability in Missions and Single Mission). Each book includes over 30 authors from several countries who write primarily from perspectives within the Protestant mission sector. The variety of materials in these books are also helpful for colleagues from a variety of backgrounds—especially those who are open to faith-based motivations and values in mission/aid–as they provide and develop resources for staff care/development.
56. Global Member Care (volume 2). December 2013: We are delighted to announce that Global Member Care (volume two): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity is now available! This volume pulls together our experience over the last several years in the international community (United Nations. World Health Organization, International NGOs etc.). It presents crucial resources, perspectives, and directions to support your work in member care and mission/aid. More information about the book, contents, and ordering it is below and on the Global MCA website (https://sites.google.com/site/globalmca/).
55. Global Lifestyles. November 2013: This month we focus on some of the enriching and challenging experiences of living globally: i.e. living and working in different nations/cultures and keeping in touch with our globalising world. The resources include four recently published books: two books to help support people who live internationally (counselling the globally mobile and managing long-distance relationships); and two books with “memoirs” to learn from people who live internationally (being a global mom/family and dating long-distance via email). The Update concludes with two additional items for developing our “global competencies” (TEDTalk on understanding human diversity and web resources on educating global citizens).
53. Mental Health and Psychosocial Support. September 2013: This month we present four recent resources for “mental health and psychosocial support” (MHPSS). The first set of MHPSS resources address staff care in the humanitarian/health sectors. The second set of MHPSS resources adress humanity care in emergency and post-emergency settings. We encourage you to download these publications, read them (at least the Executive Summaries) discuss them, and apply them.
52. Healing Humanity. August 2013: This month we highlight four perspectives (resources) on healing some of humanity’s ills. All four resources in this Update are 5-10 years old—chosen intentionally as a reminder that our current challenges as humans are ubiquitous and long-standing, involving both “problems without passports” and “problems without time clocks.” The first set of resources focuses on the influence of personal faith for helping humanity (Bono’s “Karma vs Grace” and Nicholas Kristof’s “Evangelicals that a Liberal Can Love”). The second set of resources focuses on the influence of international organizations in helping humanity (National Geographic’s “Hope in Hell” and Shashi Tharoor’s “The Good for Something United Nations”). We finish with a link to a weblog describing seven “bad examples” (well-intended but naïve) of humanitarian help. Check it out to see if you agree.
51. Global Integration. July 2013: This month we explore the emerging domain of global integration (GI) in order to especially support those with member care responsibility. We define global integration as our active and skillful involvement with global realities in light of our core values. For member care in mission/aid, GI is the way that we connect and contribute to help fellow humans and address some of the major issues facing humanity, motivated by our ethical and spiritual commitments. Resource Area One includes two overview materials that relate GI to member care and mental health. Resource Area Two includes two recent articles on globalization and its impact on Christianity and other major religions.
50. Making History Better. June 2013: This month marks the 50th Resource Update. It is a good time to celebrate and to reflect. We thus begin with two items that highlight many historical milestones in member care over the past several decades (resource area one). Next we include three items that help us to critically understand the history of humanitarian aid as well as global history in general (resource area two). The final section presents a challenging quote from Martin Luther King, Jr. about human progress, written from prison 50 years ago. We encourage us all to review and use these resources in our efforts to positively influence the course of history—to help make a better life for humans everywhere.
49. Faith-Based Perspectives. May 2013: This month we explore several materials that are relevant for the faith-based community with a primary emphasis, mostly positive, on Christians working in the overlapping mission/aid, humanitarian, and development sectors. Those of us with member care responsibility would do well to familiarize ourselves with these materials. The first set of materials include perspectives from guidelines and codes and the second set of materials present perspectives from articles and books. Rounding off the Update is a TED Talk by Rick Warren, addressing why he is whole-heartedly using his affluence and influence to serve humanity both as a fellow-human and as a Christian pastor (author of one of the all-time best-selling books, The Purpose Driven Life).
48. The World We Want. April 2013. This month we celebrate four years of Resource Updates by looking towards the future—The World We Want. The first set of resources includes three current papers to help us consider the future course for member care. The second set of resources likewise includes three items which help us to consider the future course for humanity care. This Update thus points towards our need in the member care field to be adequately informed about human affairs/human development in order to relevantly address the current and future challenges facing humanity.
38. Planet India. June 2012: The first set of resources present two books to orient you to member care in the Indian context: Member Care in India: Ministry Call to Home Call (2012) and Marriage Masala: 52 Spices for a Healthy Marriage (2004). The second set of resources highlight the work a large member care organization in India called Missionary Upholders Trust (MUT). There is a feature article form the Chennai-based magazine Christian Manager which overviews MUT’s history, values, and programs as well as a short summary of the recent national consultation on member care by MUT in Bangalore. These are of course just a few of the many materials and organizations related to member care in India today. Here is the HTML version: http://eepurl.com/meUmr
37. Global Letters for a Global Community. May 2012: This expanded issue of the Update consists of excerpts from Global Letters for a Global Community. The first part overviews some foundational perspectives that have positively affected the development of global member care (GMC). The second part identifies some current issues that have negatively affected the progress of GMC. Both parts emphasize the healing commitment to “truth and peace” in our relationships (Zech 8:19). This special issue, taken from eight of the latest CORE Member Care postings, launches us into the fourth year of the Updates. It is also sent as a special encouragement to the hundreds of participants that are meeting at the Member Care Conference in Bangalore, India (18-20 April) and at the Global Member Care Conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand (23-27 April). Here is the HTML version: http://eepurl.com/kX9j5
36. Confronting Corruption: Safeguards for Staff and Senders. April 2012. This expanded issue of the Update includes 10 essential resources to help us understand, prevent, and deal with corruption. We highlight key materials with representative quotes from the Christian community and the humanitarian/business sectors. One caveat to really take to heart: We are far more naïve about corruption—and our own capacity for self-deception—than we care to admit. Resources to deal with corruption are only as effective as the integrity and skill of the people who use them. We encourage us all to review these materials with colleagues and to apply them in our settings. Here is the HTML version: http://eepurl.com/kmHhn
35. Work-Life Balance. March 2012: This month we look at keeping our lives healthy and productive. The first set of resources (faith-based) is a new book on stress management with many tools and a related website. The second set of resources (humanitarian) lists self-assessment tools and a short relaxation video. Go ahead—take time for yourself! Review your health-related behaviors-and thinking to improve your work-life balance.
34. Working Together. February 2012: Our relationships with each other in mission/aid at all levels (from individuals to partnerships) require intentional, ongoing attention in order remain healthy and effective. This month we thus offer two more sets of resources to support our relationships, emphasizing growing together and partnering together.
33. Sexual Purity and Protection. January 2012: This month we take a close look at human sexuality—the healthy and unhealthy aspects of it. The first set of resources address sexual purity from a Christian perspective, including lust/addiction and intimate relationships. The second set of resources cover the protection of vulnerable people from sexual exploitation in humanitarian settings, an issue receiving serious attention the past 10 years.
32. Ethical Guidelines. December 2011: This month we review resources to strengthen the ethical practice of member care. The first set of resources is for sending groups as they support their staff and as they work in mission/aid settings. The second set of resources is for member care workers providing clinical-counseling care.
31. Human Rights and Persecution. November 2011: This month we focus on two sets of resources regarding the broad area of persecution. The first set deals with international instruments that provide foundational, consensual protection for human rights, including religious liberty. The second set pertains to international support for people of faith who experience human rights abuses, including local Christians in mission/aid and member care.
30. Physical Health–Preventing NCDs. October 2011: This month we focus on the prevention and control of NCDs—non-communicable diseases. Governments, civil society, and the private sector have been involved in an extensive process to deal with four of the main NCDs: cancer, cardio-vascular, chronic respiratory, and diabetes. The two sets of resources below from the UN and WHO can help prevent NCDs and encourage healthy lifestyles for our mission/aid staff!
29. Exploring Global MC-MH. September 2011: This month we connect further with global member care (GMC) and global mental health (GMH). The GMC resources highlight excerpts from Global Member Care (2011) and two upcoming MC conferences. The GMH resources feature an overview article and two MH guidelines in development-aid. Our focus is summarized in a new term, proglóbity. This term combines three words that reflect good member care practice: probity (virtue) and ability (competence) in view of global realities.
28. Hard Core Realities. August 2011: This month we take a bit of a divergent route in our resources. What is life really like for mission/aid workers? How do they describe it? How candid can and should people be about “hard core realities”—such as finding rest/relaxation in the midst of human misery, dealing as young women with multiple marriage proposals from locals, and exposing/preventing physical-sexual abuse in TCK settings? The two sets of resources below will inform, entertain, and perhaps at times disturb you.
27. Lessons in Military Care. July 2011: This month we explore member care in the armed forces. You will find many relevant applications for your work in mission/aid through the two sets of resources highlighted: 1) care for military families and 2) comprehensive soldier fitness-resiliency. The use of military force of course is a controversial area. We share these resources though to promote a healthier and more peaceful world.
26. Moral Competence. June 2011: This month we are looking at moral failure and moral success in the context of mission/aid. The first set of resources focuses on personal issues and the second set of resources focuses on organizational issues. Permeating both areas is the need for moral competence and moral courage among leaders.
25. Two-Year Index! (with links). May 2011: This month we are listing in chronological order the first two years of the Resource Updates. The list below reflects many of the diverse resources that have been featured. You will likely see items that you will want to review and also use in your work. Just click on the date of the Update to connect!
24. Mental Health for All. April 2011: This month we focus on two crucial and overlapping areas. First: mental health resources useful for counselors/therapists working with mission/aid workers. Second: mental health resources to better understand/help the millions of people who have mental, neurological, and substance use conditions.
23. Master Care. March 2011: This month we focus on spiritual health/growth for mission/aid workers: Master care (relationship with God). The two sets of resources are based mostly on Christian spirituality: 1) media items (e.g., Deovox—brief audio Bible studies) and 2) written items (e.g., Jesus Calling—brief devotionals).
22. Upgrading Staff Care. February 2011: This month we focus on staff care for sending organization,s providing a quick overview of important issues and current thinking. First we highlight five staff care articles in InterAction’s Monday Developments magazine and second we report on the staff care research by InterHealth/People In Aid.
21. Healing for Grief and Trauma. January 2011: This month we feature two resources. The first is a creative tool called Tear Soup, which can help people of all ages grieve well though their losses and transitions. The second is Recovering from Traumatic Stress, a short book describing many common symptoms and helps for traumatic stress.
20. Security Management. December 2010: The focus this month continues the theme of the June 2010 Update on safety/protection in mission/aid settings. The first resource is by the Humanitarian Practice Network on staff security (free new manual and webinar). The second resource highlights materials from Crisis Consulting International.
19. Doing Teams Well. November 2010: The focus this month is on strong teams. The first resource is a free online module to develop skills for team resiliency (a five-lesson, multi-media course). The second resource lists many key books/web links to help strengthen teams and teamwork.
18. Case Studies. October 2010: This month we feature resources involving case studies. The first set links you to five presentations (free audio and video). The presentations include three case studies in member care from the recent Caravan group’s training day in California. The training day focused on organizational perspectives for member care. The second set of resources briefly describes two books and links them to short previews. The books respectively include brief international cases in mission (18) and brief international cases in mental health (70 pages). Fascinating and instructive!
17. Readings Galore! September 2010: This month we feature two special items. First is Helping Missionaries Grow, a classic compilation of 50 articles, now available online in written and audio formats. So many of these materials are still so relevant–browse the Table of Contents and be sure to check out the audio links. Second is The Best 100 Books for Humanitarians, an online listing covering a wide range of topics and stories to better understand this diverse field. Have a look over this list and for sure you will find many fascinating and helpful reads.
16. Assessment Tools for Self Care. August 2010: In this issue we focus on Assessment Tools for Self Care. How do we monitor our overall health as we work in member care? And how do we help support mission/aid workers as they monitor their own health? In this issue we highlight several assessment tools in different languages that can help. Two tools in particular are the new edition of Managing Stress on the Field (2009) and the new edition of the Professional Quality of Life Scale (2009).
15. Third Culture Kids and Cross-Cultural Kids. July 2010: In this issue we focus on two outstanding books. The first is a newly released book to support TCKs who are transitioning into university (The Global Nomad’s Guide to University Transitions). The second is the 2009 revision of a classic book on TCKs, which further develops our understanding of the various types of Cross-Cultural Kids, including TCKs. (Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds). Both of these books are “must-haves” for our member care libraries and practice!
14. Safety and Protection. June 2010: In this issue we include two sets of materials: safety issues for mission workers (links to a special audio report and a case study) and safety issues for humanitarian workers (links to a special magazine issue and a recent report on staff security). Keep in mind that there is considerable debate concerning how much risk is ethically acceptable when exposing mission/aid staff to dangerous settings. Also keep in mind that there are “reasons” for wanting to harm mission/aid staff in that they can be seen as posing risks to the established political/social order, religious truth/stability, and the objectives of warring factions. Finally, note that some of the main stressors for mission/aid workers also include interpersonal conflict, organizational/management practices, and feeling helpless to meet major needs.
13. Human Resource Systems. May 2010: The focus in this issue is on a crucial area that significantly overlaps with our member care programs. We describe two tools to help sending organizations assess and develop the effectiveness of their “human resource systems.” The first tool is a checklist that briefly overviews 25 core components of a human resource system. The second tool is an assessment process to identify the characteristics and capacity of your organization’s human resource system. Both tools are like road maps to help us navigate how we support and manage our staff in light of our organizational objectives and commitment to staff well-being. They are comprehensive yet meant to encourage, not overwhelm!
12. Global Mental Health. April 2010: This month we focus on global mental health and its relevance for member care. We emphasize some of the main web-based resources from the World Health Organization (WHO). Two sets of resources are the a) multimedia overviews and b) the comprehensive reviews of the status of mental, neurological, and substance use disorders around the world. For more reflections on links between global mental health/member care, see the 20.03.2010 entry at www.COREmembercare.blogspot.com
11. Pornography and Addictions. March 2010: This month we focus on Pornography and Addictions. The first set of resources includes web-based materials for sexual struggles, including materials in different languages. The second set of resources describes a few books to help break the addictive cycle and promote healing and health. People do not need to be stuck!
10. Dealing with Disasters. February 2010: This month we focus on Dealing with Disasters. In the aftermath of yet another horrific natural calamity—the Haiti earthquake—how do we respond to help people, communities, and entire nations? The two areas of resources we offer: grids for rescue/relief operations and materials for providing psychosocial support.
9. International Issues and Resources. January 2010: This month we focus on two sets of International Resources. The first is a listing of sites exploring global issues, highlighting the online video review of 2009 from the United Nations. The second is a list of materials on culture and diversity in health care, featuring a short video on “street psychiatry” in India.
8. Resiliency. December 2009: This month we focus on Resiliency—the ability to deal with and grow through life’s challenges. It requires a combination of inner strength and social support.The first resource is a book exploring how workers can flourish in difficult settings. The second includes tools to assess areas related to resiliency.
7. Member Care Resources—Indonesia and Africa. November 2009: This month we focus on two special resources. The first includes links to member care materials in different languages, this month emphasizing the major language of Bahasa Indonesia. The second provides materials (written and DVD) on Christian counseling in an African context.
6. Personality Disorders, Connecting/Contributing to Member Care. October 2009: This month we focus on two special resources to support you in your work. The first provides a core list/links for materials on assessing and managing personality disorders. The second is a new online power point to help people connect/contribute to the international fields of member care and humanitarian aid.
5. Missionary Care (book) and Human Resource Management (books). September 2009: This month we focus on two special resources to support you in your work. The first is a classic member care book now available online for free: M Care (1992). The second lists some of the helpful books on assessing/promoting worker effectiveness from the Society for Human Resource Management.
4. Member Caravan (website) and Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me (book). August 2009: This month we focus on two resources to support you in your work. The first is a new member care web site for students in the health sciences and others in member care. The second is a fascinating book that explores self-deception—how it works, how it harms, and how it can be managed. (Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me).
3. People in Aid and WHO Mental Health. July 2009: This month we focus on two organizations with many helpful resources to support you in your work: People In Aid and the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Department of the World Health Organization.
2. Healthy Leadership. June 2009: We want to let you know about two helpful resources to help support you in your work. These resources focus on healthy leadership, with an emphasis on both grace and transparency. (audio/video devotional Named, Known, and Called and the book Transparency: How Leaders Create a Culture of Candor).
1. TCKs (radio interview) and Good Practice in Member Care (video lectures). May 2009: We want to let you know about two new audio-visual resources to help support you in your work. These resources are designed to encourage and equip us all and are now available online for free. They focus on third culture kids/expatriate families and good practice in mission/aid settings.(interview on World Radio Geneva and the Fuller Member Care Lectures)