Photojournalism from Whitney Houston’s Home-going Service

Whitney Houston funeral guest showing program to journalists

Whitney Houston funeral guest showing program to journalists (photo by Christine A. Scheller)

For more photos from Whitney Houston’s Homegoing Service, click here.

Reporting on Whitney Houston funeral

Trying to Get the Money Shot at Whitney Houston's funeral (photo by Christine A. Scheller).

Trying to Get the Money Shot at Whitney Houston’s funeral (photo by Christine A. Scheller).

More from Reporting on Whitney Houston’s funeral here.

What I Wrote This Week @UrbanFaith: February 13 – February 17

Hitchhiker, NYC

  • On Location at Whitney’s Farewell: What reporting on location at Whitney Houston’s semi-private, gospel-filled funeral taught me about spiritual battles, grace, and celebrity.
  • Marriage Is for Black People, TooRalph Richards Banks’ book ‘Is Marriage for White People?’ made him the target of angry critics. Now, the author has his say about interracial dating, the link between fewer marriages and the crisis in black communities, and his take on conservative scholar Charles Murray’s latest book on class and race.
  • Obama Birth Control Compromise Take 2Activist Lisa Sharon Harper and ethicists Cheryl J. Sanders and Charles C. Camosy weigh in on the Obama administration’s contraception mandate accommodation.

Aging Well with Dr. Dan Blazer, Part 6: Holistic Mental Health @TheHighCalling

Aging Well

When my son first began exhibiting symptoms of anxiety and depression as a sophomore in high school, my husband and I both worked at a California mega-church whose leaders openly preached against psychiatry and psychology.

The message reached a wide audience— from the pulpit, over radio, through books, and at conferences—thus cementing in place a culture in which getting professional help for mental and emotional suffering was discouraged and stigmatized.

This was a new phenomenon for us, one that may have delayed our son getting the help he needed. After I heard about the third suicide of a young Christian that I knew back home in New Jersey, however, I no longer cared what my church community thought. I knew my son needed help and was determined to get it for him.

Nonetheless, I was concerned that the mental health practitioners who treated him would respect his tender faith and the spiritual dimension of his suffering, some of which was directly related to our family’s decision to respond to a vocational ministry calling with a cross-country move and to the culture of the church where that calling was initially lived out. …

Read the whole article at TheHighCalling.org.

What I Wrote This Week @UrbanFaith: January 9-13

Hitchhiker, NYC

  • Religion Wins Big; Pastors Protest Loss: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that religious schools can fire ministers and more New York City pastors were arrested while protesting fallout from the court’s decision not to hear a Bronx church’s appeal.
  • Politics Are Personal: In her new book ‘Left, Right, and Christ,’ Lisa Sharon Harper models a civil and redemptive discussion of divisive political issues. She spoke to UrbanFaith about Christians in the public square, and the dangers of winning political and religious debates but missing the truth.
  • Pastors Protest School Worship BanSome New York City pastors are protesting the Board of Education’s ban on worship in public school space as the ban threatens to spread beyond schools.

Lifelong Ocean Grove Resident Takes Helm of Camp Meeting Association @NJShorePatch

The Great Auditorium, Ocean Grove, NJDr. Dale C. Whilden succeeds Scott Rasmussen (who ended his six-year term in mid-October) as president of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association. Whilden is a life-long Ocean Grove resident. He has served as an OGCMA Trustee since 1983 and has chaired both the Development and Program committees. Patch Faith & Family columnist Christine A. Scheller interviewed Whilden about his new role.  

Christine A. Scheller: How did you come to be involved with the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association (OGCMA)?

Dr. Dale C. Whilden: I came to Ocean Grove when I was three days old right from the hospital. My parents had purchased a home here back in the mid-1940s. In the early 50s when I was born, we lived here year round for a number of years. Dad was principal of the school here in town, then we had to move to Toms River based on a new job he had as county superintendent of schools. We kept our little summer house here, and so for my entire life I’ve been coming to Ocean Grove every summer. Growing up through the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting programs, the childrens’ programs, the youth programs, Bible studies, beach activities, and choral and dramatic events, all those things over the years has led me to a sense of how important OGCMA has been in my life and in our family’s life as well. That history has certainly been a factor in my wanting to be involved.

Then when I graduated from dental school and did a residency at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, I couldn’t imagine not opening my dental practice in Ocean Grove. All those years growing up, it was sort of my Shangri La. I’d go to school in Toms River and we’d be there all winter, and then come summer time, this was the place. This was the epitome of my dream escape and it’s worked out very, very well. I think it gives me a good sense of the community and the history of the community. …

Read the whole interview at Manasquan Patch.

Integrating Faith &Psychiatry: A Summary

On the Way to Gettysburg 2

Psychiatry and faith offer complimentary insights into the human condition and can help us to lead healthier and more satisfying lives, we learned in our seven-part series with Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow, Allan Josephson, M.D. …

To read a summary of those posts, go to The High Calling.

Integrating Faith and Psychiatry, Part 7: Managing Technology @TheHighCalling

On the Way to Gettysburg 2

I don’t need the test at the Center for Internet Addiction website to tell me that I spend too much time online. I know I do. But for a web journalist like me, disconnecting for any length of time is unrealistic.

“What are the dangers and what can I do?” I asked Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow Allan Josephson, M.D.

Rather than direct me away from the internet, Josephson offered hope for responsibly managing my relationship to it. …

Read the whole thing at The High Calling.

Allan Josephson: Integrating Faith & Psychiatry, Part 6: Finding Balance Between Work & Family @TheHighCalling

On the Way to Gettysburg 2

The United States is known for its fast-paced, hard hitting business culture. Many careers demand 60 hour weeks or more if we’re going to succeed and provide for our families. Inherent in this climate is the temptation to worship at the altar of work.

Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow Allan Josephson,M.D. knows something about this, not only from treating psychiatric patients, but also from his own experience of juggling a challenging career with family commitments.

As a psychiatric resident, Josephson spent a week living with patients at the Hazelden Chemical Dependency Center in Minnesota. Twelve-step meetings at the center began with introductory statements like “I am an alcoholic” and “I am a drug dependent” and he didn’t battle these addictions, so he introduced himself by saying, “I am Allan Josephson, I am a workaholic.”

He recounted this story in a lecture he gave upon receiving the Oates Award from the Wayne Oates Institute. Oates, an accomplished therapist and theologian, coined the term workaholic.

“He recognized that how we approach work can have an addictive quality to it and have the same effect in our interpersonal relationships and our health,” said Josephson. “Doing things of substance requires so much of us. There are trade offs and as long as you keep your values in front of you, that’s all you can do sometimes.”

As a child and adolescent psychiatrist, Josephson has seen a lot of families broken by disordered priorities. He offers the following suggestions for finding a healthy balance. …

Read the whole article at The High Calling.

Allan Josephson: Integrating Faith & Psychiatry, Part 5: Narcissism & Relationships @TheHighCalling

On the Way to Gettysburg 2

Dealing with the narcissists in our lives is never easy, but there is hope for improving these difficult relationships, says Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow AllanJosephson, M.D.

Narcissism develops out of early relationships and is sustained by subsequent ones, so it’s important to nip the problem in the bud. How one does that depends on the nature of the relationship. In this article, we’ll deal with three kinds of relationships: parent/child, husband/wife, and employer/employee. …

You can read more about  narcissism and relationships at The High Calling.

Photojournalism by Explorations Media, L.L.C.

I’ve recently created what I think are some compelling photo sets on Flickr. As a journalist, I prefer realism to photo-shopped images, though artistic renderings can sometimes reveal truth better than fact. I recommend viewing these sets as slideshows, as I’ve arranged each one to tell a story.

Seaside Heights Italian Festival & Columbus Day Parade

Laity Lodge 2011 Writers Retreat

Blue Hole Laity Lodge

Movement Day

Movement Day at Fifth Ave. Presbyterian Church, NYC

New York City Premiere of Machine Gun Preacher

Michelle Monaghan-and-Gerard-Butler

9/11 Tenth Anniversary Memorials

10th-anniversary-of-9.11-18

Jesus, Bombs, & Ice Cream by M.W. Scheller

Jesus,-Bombs,-Ice-Cream-18

Hurricane Irene

Telumundo reporter and others at Pt.-Pleasant-Bch-Boardwalk, 8/27/11

Allan Josephson: Integrating Faith & Psychiatry, Part 4: Work & the Self @TheHighCalling

On the Way to Gettysburg 2

Eric had leadership written all over him. Intelligence, good looks, and interpersonal drive had led to an MBA at a major university. When his first business venture failed, he was on to another that succeeded. Several other business successes followed, as did personal leadership projects undertaken at church and in his community.

He was politically active both locally and nationally. His wife and children were also achievers,  but a sense of balance was missing from his life.. He suffered two major depressions in his adult life and another as retirement age approached and he was confronted with financial difficulties and the interpersonal consequences of chronic over-extension. His retirement was forced and he was emotionally adrift.

Disordered Thinking 
“The driver for many who lack balance in their lives is disordered thinking about the relationship of work to self and God,” Laity Leadership Institute Senior Fellow Allan Josephson, M.D. says.

Although he recognizes that striving for a balance between personal and professional domains facilitates development in both, Josephson has something else in mind when he considers this kind of disordered thinking. …

Read the whole article at The High Calling.

What I Wrote This Week @UrbanFaith: September 19-23

Hitchhiker, NYC