NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 23, 2018 – The Publishing Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, released a new book, “Attend to Stories: How to Flourish in Ministry.” Karen D. Scheib invites readers to refresh, renew and rekindle a passion for ministry by helping others revisit their stories.
Through the book, Scheib explains that to experience a new sense of freedom in caring for others, we must first help them attend to their story and connect their story with others and God. But to do so effectively, we must be willing to revision our own story, so that we can exemplify Christian happiness and offer others a path toward fulfillment. As Scheib points out, Christian flourishing is less a destination than a journey and rarely a direct route.
“Karen Scheib’s book helps us to achieve our service and work in sustaining the intellectual life of the church, offering an engaging resource to support and ignite clergy leaders within their ministries,” said Mark Hanshaw, Ph.D., J.D., associate general secretary, Division of Higher Education, GBHEM. “This book helps to not only reestablish connections but is a resource for continued growth in ministry.”
Scheib, professor of Pastoral Care and Pastoral Theology at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, is the author of “Challenging Invisibility: Practices of Care with Older Women” and “Pastoral Care: Telling the Stories of Our Lives.” She is active in the Society for Pastoral Theology and has served as co-editor of the “Journal of Pastoral Theology.” Scheib is an elder in The United Methodist Church.
“Attend to Stories: How to Flourish in Ministry” has received praise from scholars around the country. “In Attend to Stories, Karen Scheib has really found her stride,” said Bonnie J. Miller-McLemore, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of Religion, Psychology, and Culture, The Divinity School and Graduate Department of Religion, Vanderbilt University. “Written in beautifully clear prose with wonderfully helpful exercises woven seamlessly into the text, this book shows how the stories we tell about ourselves impact our wellbeing. Best of all, Scheib amends popular cultural narratives about “self-care” with richer Christian imagery and, on top of that, exponentially expands our repertoire for healing, ending with a brilliant chapter on how to use writing as a spiritual practice of care. This is a book that will make a difference!”
Larry M. Goodpaster, retired United Methodist Bishop, serving as Bishop-in-Residence, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, said, “Karen Scheib has written a deeply insightful book that will be a welcome addition to on-going conversations concerning pastoral identity and care. Listening to the ministry stories of others and engaging in the practical invitations included in these pages, she leads us to understand and interpret the narratives of our own lives. This framework, then, provides a means to flourish in our lives as well as our ministry. As we give more attention to pastoral self-care, health, and wholeness, this book will be a most valuable resource.” 
“Attend to Stories: How to Flourish in Ministry” is available at For more information about GBHEM’s Publishing Office, visit or follow @GBHEMPublishing on Facebook.
Wesley’s Foundery Books is an imprint of GBHEM. Foundery books are clearly and accessibly written by Methodist/Wesleyan experts, with an emphasis on church life and ministry. Representing the rich diversity of the church, Wesley’s Foundery Books offer a disciplined and balanced approach.
About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.