Rabbi Saulson offers workshops, talks, and training which several of our member churches have used to support the members of their congregations and to enrich the experiences of living as multi-generational families and communities. The trainings are practical and offer exploration of available resources as well as strategies for making preparation for inevitable changes and dealing with unexpected situations. They draw on the wisdom of sacred texts and the experience of the group. Visit MovingParents

We are particularly fascinated by the workshop Creating a Spiritual Legacy This workshop is devoted to sketching an ethical will. Ethical wills flourished in medieval Jewish commujnities. they sought to convey from one genereation to the next the behaviors and outlooks that ground one's character for the good. They are in keeping with all traditions and cultures. Participants in these workshops are guided in reviewing and articulating their spiritual values and insights to fashion a textual gift for their heirs.

. . . can prevent worn-out love if we care-givers adopt three time-tested guidelines.
by Rabbi Scott B. Saulson, PhD

“In the case of the loss of cabin pressure, an oxygen mask will drop down. Grab the mask and strap it over your face first. Then assist . . . .”

The spirits of duty and generosity propel us into care-giving when there is a loss of “cabin pressure,” when infirmities and disabilities in others appear as we had anticipated or catch us off guard. In either case, we imperil ourselves as well as the ones needing our care the moment we ignore the “first me” instruction.

Before we land, let us recall that none of us is permitted to sit in an exit row should we be unable or unwilling to carry out emergency exit procedures. In care-giving-ese, we must acknowledge our limitations and get help to compensate for them.

Finally, whether aloft or earthbound, more often than not care-givers hold the upper hand in the care-giving relationship. While we may not necessarily seek to exploit that imbalance, we may be prone to convincing the one who looks to us for care to go along with some particular plan. Yet, if we are seeking cooperation and conciliation, we must put aside convincing. Instead, all of us involved must share our own doubts, concerns, and fears as well as our own needs, commitments, and limitations.

How do we do this without appearing either self-serving or self-effacing? How do we do this without coming across as callous or injurious? How do we do this when even the best laid plans of mice and men encounter moments which try our patience and test our fortitude?

Wisdom dictates that we emulate Michelangelo’s depiction of Creation in the vault of the Sistine Chapel – the forefingers of God and Adam stretched one toward the other. Not that the two can ever really touch – Divinity and Humanity approximate yet remain distinct, even as we can never really get inside someone else’s skin let along fully understand and appreciate our own selves. Nonetheless, if we truly seek cooperation and conciliation, we will stretch forth and try to touch – to touch and not convince.

Rabbi Saulson provides counseling, specialized mediation, and support to families negotiating care issues, families who are trying regain confidence and clarity as well as to touch. MovingParents