Health & Spirituality: Healing and Compassion

By: La Porte New Church Last Updated: January 6, 2014

Postponed to Wednesday, January 15, due to weather issuesLa-Porte-New-Church

The New Church Health & Spirituality program series carries forward into 2014 on 2nd Wednesdays with continued awareness of the important integration of body, mind, and spirit. These programs focus on the outward aspect of our lives as well as the personal intention of our thoughts, words, and actions.

Two Board Certifiied Chaplains, Rev. Dale Wratchford and Rev. Kit Billings, will be speaking at the January 8 program, 5:30-7:00 p.m., at La Porte New Church Swedenborgian, 812, Indiana Avenue, on ‘Healing and Compassion.’ Both serve as chaplains at IU Health La Porte Hospital. This program is for every person who has ever endured illness, suffering, confusion, tragedy, or loss either personally or with that of a loved one.

According to Rev. Wratchford, in order to effectively journey with someone in need of healing, compassion is a necessary quality in a caregiver. The essential ingredient for effective compassion with someone in need of healing is empathy. This presentation will focus on what a caregiver can do to strengthen their gift for empathy, in order to be a more compassionate presence and a more effective vehicle to promote God’s healing power. The focus will be on centering our hearts on God’s desire, looking to the gift of thankfulness as a source of strength, and building a resiliency to shame which is the enemy of empathy.

Compassion may be defined as a deep, sympathetic response to another person's suffering with a desire to do something to alleviate it. In addition to a warm-hearted response to another's pain, it is also a practical and determined resolve to do whatever is possible to help the other find wholeness, says Rev. Billings. It rises up within us when someone else is in trouble, sick, hungry or injured. Compassion is greatest when joined with faith and is reflected in the Greatest Commanded given by Christ. It gives us the courage to undergo a painful situation or journey with another, which facilitates healing and recovery, or an ability to surrender our lives into the hands of God. We will discuss the relationship between spiritual development and compassion and the choice of opening up to the deeper degrees of self where compassionate love dwells. We will also look at other barriers to compassion, such as lacking consciousness, emotional hardness of heart, being overly task-oriented and judgmentalism.

As is the tradition for these 2nd Wednesday programs, questions and comments are welcomed during and following the speakers’ informal presentations. The public is always invited and encouraged to attend these eye-opening and heart-warming programs. Admission is free, and refreshments will be served. Donations are welcome.

For more information on this monthly series or about La Porte New Church, Manna House, and their other programs, or for pastoral care, email the minister at revkitbillings@comcast.net; call (219) 362-1959; or visit www.laportenewchurch.org. Sunday worship and Children’s Sunday School begin at 10:00 a.m. Newcomers are always welcome.