Winter 2019 Health Ministry Connections

How to Use This Issue in Your Congregation

ILLUSTRATION BY TERRI SCOTT

Chronic pain is a tender topic. Living with pain is consuming enough without constantly having to explain it. At the same time, standing outside painful conditions that have no cures leaves people fumbling for the right words to say. Here are some ways to use this issue of Church Health Reader to help your congregation do less fumbling and more connecting with people in pain.

Use the articles in the features section as the basis of a five-session discussion group.

  1. “The Mission of God in Times of Pain”
    Explore the interrelationship between physical pain, emotional pain, and spiritual pain.
  2. “Hearing True Stories”
    Explore how the congregation can be a stronger and more gracious place to hear true stories of pain.
  3. “Alone in My Body”
    Explore what the experience of pain helps us discover about our relationships to God and to others.
  4. “The Restoring Community”
    Explore practical steps your congregation can take to remove barriers to help people in pain experience full acceptance.
  5. “When God Doesn’t Make It Better”
    Explore the factors that define your congregation’s culture of response to pain.

Share the “My Faith” Model Moment Worksheet

This worksheet is for anyone. Distribute copies and facilitate sharing reflections and goals in a class or small group. In connection to the topic of chronic pain, jot down a list of people who live with chronic pain and make a point to make sure they get copies and invite them to reflect on how their experience of pain intersects with their experience of faith.

Organize an ongoing ministry to connect with and support people who live with pain.

Provide some basic orientation about not viewing people in pain as “others” who are not like people who join the group but that they are parts of the body congregation members can come to know more deeply in order to serve together in Christ’s kingdom. In fact, this group can make a point to be an avenue to help people in pain not only receive support and service but also find ways to serve as they are able.

Download the Winter 2019 Health Ministry Connections flyer here>>

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