Sunday, January 28, 2018

A Cambridge God Adventure 26) A ministry colleague in a time of need

Visiting Dorothy, seeing her in the collar and suffering all that pain, I knew I could not fudge my response.  We needed to take James 5 seriously and rather than let healing be some side-activity for a few like-minded people hidden away from less enthusiastic people, I needed to bring it to my leaders and to the whole church.

I shared Dorothy's letter at the next deacons' meeting and immediately sensed awkwardness and resistance from some.  In my early hepatitis illness at the very beginning of ministry there had been no hint that the church could exercise healing ministry.  Indeed, I think many would have regarded that as somewhat suspect and sensationalist. A new minister requesting laying on of hands would have raised several red flags!  However, one or two deacons were clearly supportive and it was agreed to ask the entire church meeting in January to support Dorothy's request.  Frankly, the meeting responded in somewhat muted fashion like the deacons. You could feel the undercurrent - what are we getting into?

I have always been grateful for colleagues in ministry who have given me support and shared wisdom.  To my joy, the minister of a nearby church (where I am now a member !) Tony Barker shared with me out of his own experience from healing ministry.  More than that, he agreed to come and share in leading a service in Dorothy's home.  He had developed a pattern for such a service and came alongside to mentor and encourage.   I shall always remain grateful to him for the support he gave as twelve of us met early one evening to pray for Dorothy.  I think the twelve of us never forgot what happened.

No comments: