Sunday, November 18, 2012

Healing Communities - "For the Greater Glory of God"

"Running Water" in Nicaragua from “Called to Life”

The poor in spirit see and are glad
Oh, you God-seekers, take heart!

For God listens to the poor,
He doesn’t walk out on the wretched.

You heavens, praise him; praise him, earth;
Also ocean and all things that swim in it.

Psalm 69: 32-34 The Message

"Community" usually has a small definition.  Our circle of church family, friends and relatives were defined by a 25 mile radius.  We got our news locally as well as our care.   We still see the value of small and close communities, but are now blessed with global relationships and connections.

Here are some recent observations about our expanded healing communities:
  1. The church and faith are global and the context of healing.
  2. Those who suffer bring a powerful voice of comfort and courage.
  3. Healing is learned best from those with longterm struggles.
  4. Their struggles are our struggles and our struggles are their struggles.
So the good news for our struggles in “developed” countries, is that our healing can come from places that we never expected.  Their faith is a testimony to our God who is bigger than our expectations or struggles!


"For the Greater Glory of God" - "Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” - Motto at Georgetown University
Bono’s visit to Georgetown on 11/12/2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

HIPPA and Healing

"Mountain Home”  -  ETSU - October 21, 2012

Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.  
Mark 5:18-20 The Message

We get some mixed messages when facing disease...”telling & sharing” or “privacy”.   In the United States, we have “legalized” our privacy...”HIPPA”.   In its simplest form, it is about the management of our health information.  The other reality is that our communities are keys to our healing and we can use computer communication to share information on sites like “CarePages”.   

Certainly, churches and church families regularly pray for and with patients who are part of their congregations.  I think we need to be clear about how our faith communities can be part of the healing response.  Susan Dunlap reveals the different styles and looks for the common themes.   Most important is God’s presence in the our lives.  Our faith stories are not just stories of our struggles, but testimonies of God’s healing.  These cyber-communities are our new reality of sharing and reporting God’s Grace!  


Rev. Will Willimon,  Jesus’ Health Care Plan

Susan J. Dunlap Caring Cultures: How Congregations Respond to the Sick

Ziebland S.  Wyke S. Health and illness in a connected world: how might sharing experiences on the internet affect people's health?. Milbank Quarterly.  90(2):219-49, 2012 Jun

Rev. John Hage, A Love That Won’t Let You GO, 10/28/2012