Wednesday, December 06, 2006

About Grace Church's Healing Ministry

From the Grace Church Healing Ministry Committee, 2006

Among the goals projected in Grace Church's Strategic Plan is to “Provide the knowledge and power of a healing ministry among our congregation and community.” Volumes have been written on this subject, but we offer the following as a beginning explanation for those curious about the Healing Ministry at Grace Church. The following excerpts are taken from the 1987 edition of the Report of the Joint Commission on the Ministry of Healing to the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, 1964.

....Over and over again, wherever the Church is faithful in her specific ministry of healing, there is unmistakable evidence of the power, the flaming faith, and the total commitment, which were characteristic of the early Church. An effective healing ministry almost inevitably strengthens the spiritual life of the Church and community where it is practiced. *

....Christianity is a healing religion. Christ is a healing Saviour. He heals all brokeness: broken relationships as well as broken spirits, broken hearts as well as broken bodies. In the deepest sense, He came to heal the world. ....The Church's ministry of healing not only derives from the ministry of Christ; but also, like His ministry, points forward to the end of the age. ....Since this is so, it must be made abundantly clear that the goal of the healing ministry is the whole man
(and woman and child). ....When the spirit of man is quickened in Christ, the healing of the body and the mind frequently follows as a welcome corollary. But physical healing of body and mind is not the ultimate goal. ....The Church's ministry of healing, then, is vital in our Lord's plan for the salvation of the human race.

....It must be recognized by the Church that both priest and people must be caught up in this life-giving, life mending experience, thus participating in the all-inclusive ministry of reconciliation....

“I wholeheartedly believe that every Christian has a healing ministry.* God may have given special talents to some---the surgeon, the social worker, the priest---but each of us, regardless of his calling, has a role in the healing community. The mother who comforts the sick or hurt child, the neighbor who takes over the household chores when illness strikes the housewife, the person who prays for that afflicted (or troubled) one he may see in a crowded subway train, is as much a part of the healing process as the physician or priest....”
(Dr. Dean Brooks)

....Everyone who has experienced the healing power of the risen Christ and whose heart is set on fire by the Holy Ghost is already in His Ministry, whether he recognizes it or not. ....The church should make full use of such lay ministry and give to such ministers training, guidance, direction and support.

....No one who properly understands the Church's ministry of healing (i.e.....a closer relationship with God) ever turns from him because he is not physically healed, because no one who turns to God in true faith remains unhealed spiritually.

*Emphasis added by the committee.

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