Is There No Balm in Gilead?
by Gail Davis
When pastors sense that they have failed to live up to self-imposed standards they may feel hopelessness. Suicide among clergy is as common as in the general population. This article offers ways to help pastors and congregations ratchet down unrealistic expectations. Pastors are not 24-hour ERs and congregations need to come to grips with that reality.
Preaching Disability: The Power of Words and Attitude from the Pulpit
by Bill Gaventa
As people with disabilities and their families become more visible in our congregations, the power of invitation, hospitality, and inclusion starts with the pastor and extends throughout the congregation. The author gives practical advice on how to do just that, and he includes many tips for pastors and others for making successful, error-free transitions.
Redeeming Memories for Healing
by Nancy Fields
This is an honest exploration of some difficulties faced by the author as she embarked on her pastoral career. While expectations from new clergy about their idealized role may be high, old experiences can cause uncertainty. Here are personal tips on how to help clergy use innate belief in God’s healing ways to gaining a strong, redeeming sense of purpose.
Scar: Evidence of Healing
by Christine Stopka
The author’s church is located near in the vicinity of the Sandy Hook Elementary School, scene of last year’s school shooting in Connecticut. She intentionally left her church open every day so that anyone seeking solace, to pray, or sit in the quiet could come. Members and non-members were grateful to find a place of peaceful silence.
Compassion to Heal the World
by Mary Foulke
Sympathy and compassion are related, however, sympathy is more a feeling whereas compassion is both feeling and action. The author uses 2 Samuel, dealing with King David, to flesh out the differences between the two emotions; Jesus was a constant example of a life devoted to compassion for humankind. This intriguing article offers many insights useful to clergy.
The Authority of the Healer: Healing Stories in the Gospel of John
by Peggy Adrien
The Gospel according to John starts off powerfully by identifying Jesus as the Word/as God. Within his Gospel, John cites only two healing stories—a cripple and a blind man. Here the author links the healer, Jesus, with the Old Testament demonstrating how these healings supported John’s opening statement about Jesus.
Healing as Liberation
by Agnes McBeth
The author challenges readers to disconnect from the external, mundane practices of searching for God, and regain the healing power potential of connection within God—that relationship between Christ and the penitent heart. God’s healing goes beyond the physical, resulting in freedom. In this worldview, healing is defined by our ability to liberate others.
Jesus, the Healer
by Priscilla Marcial
This is an unusual article for our Journal since it deals with a modern day healing of a five-month old baby who had emergency heart surgery; despite the fine reputation of the surgeon and the hospital, the mother felt that the operation had failed, and was terrified. She prayed non-stop for her daughter. A question might be―who was healed?
Biblical and Secular Quotes for Preaching
by Darla Turlington
Preachers and others may find some of the rich quotes cited here dealing with healing to be of use in sermons, newsletters, letters, and other media. No citing of source is necessary for use.
Lectionary: Year A: May 1 through July 31
by Remington Slone
Whether or not a pastor follows the Lectionary, this perceptive commentary should prove valuable for preachers, seminary students, and lay readers seeking to expand their understanding of many Biblical passages from both Testaments.