Several years ago, John Rich began to think about what Jesus’ ministry would look like had Jesus lived today instead of 2000 years ago. John thought about all the healing that Jesus did and wondered what it would look like with our modern medicine. In thinking about it more, John felt called to live such a life, providing healing to both the body and the spirit by becoming a nurse as well as a minister.
Now he is ready to embark on a new project that embodies this vision: a Health Ministry at Patchwork. Activities will formally begin in January 2015, but planning has already begun.
The Health Ministry will offer a holistic approach to health and wellness for individuals and the community. It will provide classes, health screenings, support groups, healing rituals, health care advocacy, a small resource library, and personalized health/spiritual consulting. Clients’ health strengths will be just as important as their health needs. John hopes to capitalize on those strengths to create communities of healing. Neighbors will become health care providers for each other by sharing recipes, exercising together, giving emotional support, and helping each other navigate health care systems.
A few weeks ago, Darlene shared a story of what this looks like in practice. Over the past few years, Darlene has fought hard to become healthier and to stay out of a wheelchair, despite considerable leg and foot pain. Recently her foot pain had grown so bad that she feared she would be forced into a wheelchair once more. One Sunday, John led a series of healing rituals as part of the Patchwork worship service and Darlene participated, asking John to pray for the healing of her feet. The next day, she went to a foot doctor who discovered that the pain was caused not by arthritis or neuropathy as another doctor had suspected, but by simple calluses which he was able to remove that day.
The pain was lifted, and Darlene felt the presence of God healing her in an unexpected way.