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About the Author
Christie Cozad Neuger has served as a pastor, chaplain, pastoral counselor, and professor. An ordained United Methodist elder, she received her MDiv from United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities and her PhD from Claremont School of Theology. After serving as a professor of pastoral care at Princeton Theological Seminary, United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, and Brite Divinity School (emerita), she founded and directed the Institute for the Support of Pastoral Ministries at United Theological Seminary. Neuger is also active in developing lay ministry programs in congregations. Besides numerous reviews, articles, and book chapters, she has published four books.
Joretta L. Marshall is professor emerita of pastoral theology, care, and counseling at Brite Divinity School. At Brite, she also served as executive vice president and academic dean, interim director of the pastoral care center, and director of the Carpenter Initiative in Gender, Sexuality, and Justice. She also served on the faculties of Vanderbilt Divinity School, Iliff School of Theology, and Eden Theological Seminary. Marshall is ordained in the United Methodist Church and previously served as a pastor and a chaplain. She is the author, coauthor, or coeditor of books and articles about forgiveness, gender and sexuality, and rural ministry.
In Lay Pastoral Care: A Narrative Approach, Christie Cozad Neuger and Joretta Marshall use the narrative method to offer parish pastors a unique resource for reinvigorating lay-people's participation in congregational pastoral care. Drawing upon the insights of narrative therapy theory and collabora-tive learning, they create a model for training and overseeing lay caregiver networks that is guaranteed to stimulate and maintain interest and greater participation in the ministry of congregational pastoral care. This approach will be life- giving and sustaining for both care companions and care seekers. As a seminary professor who teaches on lay pastoral care, I believe this book is a must- read. --Raynard D. Smith, associate professor of pastoral care/pastoral theology, New Brunswick Theological Seminary
Joretta Marshall and Christie Cozad Neuger have written a timely book. In consideration of current traumatic experiences and continual grief and loss, they recognize that the work of caring for God's people cannot be done alone. They write with passion, using the lens of narrative theory and conveying deep understanding of the spiritual significance of community engagement in the care of souls. Consistent with the narrative approach to communal care long used in African American pastoral care, Marshall and Neuger foster new under standings of collaborative learning communities. The authors provide practical tools and rituals that can be used in a variety of con-gregational and community settings. They recognize that lay spiritual caregiving is at the heart of the church. Partnering is important. Reciprocal involvement with congregational leaders and parishioners is essential. But more important, lay involvement is crucial, and educating and equipping lay-persons is vital. This book is indeed needed--for such a time as this. --Beverly R. Wallace, coauthor of African American Grief, associate professor of congregational and community care, Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota
After contributing to pastoral care literature over many decades, Marshall and Neuger offer another exciting collabora-tion. Their new book on narrative lay pastoral care belongs in all pastoral care conversations in seminary classrooms, church lay leader trainings, and communities of faith seeking mutual support in a world that needs healing. --Mindy McGarrah Sharp, associate professor of practical theology and pastoral care, Columbia Theological Seminary, and author of Creating Resistances: Pastoral Care in a Postcolonial World (Brill, 2019) and Misunderstanding Stories: Toward a Postcolonial Pastoral Care (Pickwick, 2013)
In these days of recovery from the unprecedented psychic stress of a global pandemic and the many isolations and adap-tations it has required of us all, combined with the spiraling demands for mental health services in a society longing for healing from divisions, the wisdom and experience Marshall and Neuger bring to the conversation about culturally compe-tent and spiritually relevant pastoral care for our time is needed now more than ever. Their reflections speak to our human con-dition and our need for coherence, connection, and hope. --Deb Patterson, United Church of Christ pastor, member of the Oregon State Senate, and author of The Essential Parish Nurse: ABCs for Congregational Health Ministry (Pilgrim, 2003)