Luke 5:17–20a (Contemporary English Version)
17 One day when Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and legal experts were sitting nearby. They had come from every village in Galilee and Judea, and from Jerusalem. Now the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal. 18 Some men were bringing a man who was paralyzed, lying on a cot. They wanted to carry him in and place him before Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they took him up on the roof and lowered him—cot and all—through the roof tiles into the crowded room in front of Jesus. 20 When Jesus saw their faith….
When Pastor Adam speaks of caring for one another, he often references this scripture. We find Jesus healing a paralyzed man through the faith of his friends – the ones carrying his cot/stretcher. I believe we are all called to be stretcher bearers and I want to highlight a few who specifically fulfill that call at Resurrection West. Alongside Pastor Jason, Pastor John and myself, we are fortunate to have ten Congregational Care Ministers (CCMs). They are Lisa Dethloff, Marcia Gaines, Jane McGinnis, Bob McGinnis, Linda Mooney, Rosemary Plum, Diane Robertson, Crista Tyler, Sara Yost and Cathy Wilcox. These wonderfully caring folks have been trained through our Resurrection Congregational Care ministry and they regularly pray for, visit and provide counsel for those in our congregation and beyond. They, like the stretcher bearers in the Scripture, are men and women of strong faith who are ready and willing to love and care for us. I appreciate them so much, as I’m sure you do too.
As I recently talked with our CCMs about the Phase III building campaign, they got excited about how the changes and additions could help us provide better care for people going through the ups and downs of life. Here are some of their thoughts.
- Adding much needed space for funeral visitations, services and receptions. Providing warm and inviting places for people to grieve, process and celebrate the life of a loved one all together and in small groups is vitally important.
- Welcoming weddings and receptions of all sizes. Among the participants and guests of weddings, there can be many non-religious and nominally religious people. This time of celebration offers a wonderful opportunity to share Resurrection’s radical hospitality and healthy approach to Christianity and church life.
- Providing more and better areas for prayer, counsel, care classes and events. As we continue to be blessed and grow as a congregation, it becomes more challenging to find adequate and appropriate spaces for care. We want to provide the very best to those hurting and in-need and we are excited about the possibilities.
Compassionate and caring God, you have called us to be stretcher bearers for one another in a world too often filled with division, stress and sadness. Through your grace and strength, help us to offer hope and peace in everything we say and do. May we carry each other through the valleys. May we encourage each other in the challenges. May we cry with each other and offer comfort. May we bring all to you for healing. And may we always be faithful. In the name of Jesus, the great comforter, we pray, Amen.