It’s a part of our church’s vision statement – where we say our ministry points us – to love wholly. Sometimes I get stuck on this. Are we loving the whole of another person? Or are we to love with our whole-selves? Humans are multifaceted; and together as families, communities, a nation, and a world we are certainly complex. So either way, just these two words are quite a mission for our ministry.
One way to think about the parts of a person and a community made of up of people is body (physical), mind (mental), heart (emotional) and soul (spiritual). Loving wholly includes caring for all of these parts. As your pastor, one of my main concerns is your spiritual health. But I know that when other parts of us are not healthy, that affects our spirit. So some of my time is spent attending to other needs to the best of my ability. Of course, you wouldn’t want me doing surgery on you. But I can come and pray with you when you’re in the hospital.
In the past year, through the spiritual gifts assessment, we have worked to understand our make-up as individuals and as a church body. Approximately 50% of those who took the assessment had Compassion and/or Healing as one of their 3 dominant gifts. I think we can take this and use it to love the whole of our congregation and larger community.
Starting this next year, we’re adding a Health and Healing Team to our Church Council structure. Led by Dot Coltrane and others with the compassion/healing gifts, we’ll empower more of our congregation to care for our neighbors and each other. This will come in many forms, but some examples are – contact and support when someone is ill, recovering, grieving or in crisis; visiting those members of our church community but can’t physically be with us; providing healthy activities and information to our neighbors; references to other organizations that give care physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Taking this step will help our church further live into Loving Wholly, either way you see it. Where do you see yourself “loving wholly”?