Editor’s Note

by Rachel Davis

After nine wonderful years on staff with Church Health Reader, I’m excited to step into the role of editor. It’s been an honor to be a part of our growth from a small online community to an award-winning print publication. I’m particularly excited about my inaugural issue because of my professional and personal desire for a more dynamic discussion around caregiving.

From a professional standpoint, I’ve seen the desire for a faithful approach to caregiving since my first days on staff. Readers and authors consistently mention caregiving when talking about potential topics. Caring for a loved one is full of challenges, and churches are trying to determine the best way to approach the growing crisis of caregiving as Baby Boomers age. This issue gives congregations a better understanding of the dilemmas of caregiving and tools for coming alongside those providing consistent care.

In my personal life, I’ve served as the primary caregiver for my husband for the past four years as he lives with a rare autoimmune disorder. I’ve learned in the past few years just how difficult caregiving is, and how isolating it can be. I know the burden you feel when you’re the only one who knows how to care for your loved one, and the devastation you feel when you can do nothing to relieve pain.

I’ve also seen that caregiving is an inevitable part of life for most of us. As we prepared this issue, we were struck by how many members of our team have also served as caregivers to adult children, spouses and aging parents. We knew we needed to explore this topic for ourselves, and we’re thankful for the opportunity to share this with you.

Knowing the desire for more support on this topic, in addition to this issue of Church Health Reader, Church Health entered into a partnership with the Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust to bring a focus on resources for caregivers, including featuring some previously unpublished letters of Nouwen’s, to offer encouragement for caregivers. Find out more about the first of these new resources, Hope for Caregivers, on page 26.

Producing this issue on a timely topic would not be possible if it were not for donors like Dina and Brad Martin, Nat Baxter, Melissa and Tom Grimes, John Barbee, Brandon Arrindell, Annie and Mike Christoff, and Nancy and Dick Barnhart. Their support of Church Health allows us to be caregivers to thousands in the Memphis community while also enabling us to produce the high-quality resources that empower people of faith to answer the call to preach, teach and heal.

Blessings for whole-person health,

Rachel Davis

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