St. Paul’s Explores Health and Spirituality
There’s a difference between healing and curing, said Rev. Richard Lord, and the Gospels never quote Christ as claiming he cured anyone, even though they bear witness to a number of miracles restoring people to health and even to life.
Lord is the assistant rector for congregational care at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. He spoke on “Spirituality and Healing” for the continuing Rector’s Forum there. The forum, suspended for a couple of years during the pandemic, allows the congregation to be part of a thoughtful dialogue between the rector, Rev. Justin McIntosh, and people speaking on timely topics of all kinds.
Lord presented the idea of health as a more complex concept than merely the absence or diminishment of illness.
“Everyone of us will reach the point where we can’t control our well-being,” he said. “But we can learn to adapt to our circumstances and seek help from those who truly can help us.” Obviously, medical professionals play a role. So does the church, he said.
By demonstrating the power of love, friends, family, and church can keep those who are suffering from becoming more and more isolated, Lord said. Even so, the path towards healing is a little different than it might have been centuries ago. “What does it look like in the 21st Century?” Lord asked. He answered his own question. Obviously, there’s a strong connection with the advancement of medical science, also with the idea––as yet unacknowledged by some––that we can take some responsibility for our own healing with the way we live, the friends we choose, and with the spiritual life we build for ourselves.
Equally complex is the understanding of spirituality, which Lord defined as the ability to be aware of the transcendent nature of life. He presented other definitions, too: The belief that goodness is at the heart of everything, that the universe is the result of loving attention, that we were meant not only to be surrounded by love, but to be aware of it.
Lord recalled the Gospel story of the woman touching Christ’s cloak in an effort to heal herself, and Christ being aware of the transfer of energy that ensued. “Never underestimate the power of touch,” he said. He and McIntosh talked about a weekly service to be offered at St. Paul’s that will incorporate healing touch for those who want it.
McIntosh reminded the group that whatever our state of physical health, becoming overwhelmed and resentful puts us in a state of “dis-ease” that can influence everything about our lives including our physical state. “We can choose to live by hope rather than fear,” he said. He gave the example of St. Paul, who wrote about living a life of joy. “Remember that he wrote this from prison,” he added.
He observed that many would say we live in a diseased society today, and that the church has a role in societal as well as personal well-being. “We have to believe in something greater than ourselves,” he said. “We are healers, all of us.”
Find the full video of the forum, as well as others in the series. at St. Paul’s website, stpaulsivy.org. Upcoming topics are:
- November 6: Dr. George S. Bloom, Professor of Biology, Cell Biology, and Neuroscience, U.Va., “The Quest to Conquer Alzheimer’s Disease.”
- November 13: Dr. Christine Mahoney, Professor of Public Policy and Politics, U.Va., “Social Entrepreneurship, Poverty & Impact Investment in Southwest Virginia.”
- November 20: Rev. Justin McIntosh, “State of the Parish.”
- December 4: Mr. David Zahl, founder of Mockingbird Ministries and author of “Seculosity and Low Anthropology.”
Emmanuel Greenwood Presents Holiday Market
The popular Emmanuel Episcopal Church holiday market returns Saturday, November 5, from10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a rain date of Saturday, November 12. Find plants, books, quilts, tableware, candles, paintings, soap and bears from a number of artisans and artists, plus offerings from the talented and creative people of the parish. Music will be provided by Sleepy Hollow Bluegrass and Blair Jones and Friends. There will be plenty of wood-fired pizza and other food to sustain visitors as they shop.
Handbell Choir at Tabor Presbyterian
Crozet Community Handbell Choir presents a winter concert and sing-a-long December 14 at 7 p.m. in the Pickford-Chiles Fellowship Hall.
The Crozet Community Handbell Choir has been entertaining and uplifting Crozet music lovers for nearly ten years, and ringers come from all around the Crozet area and Charlottesville, Nelson County and the Shenandoah Valley. Housed at Tabor Presbyterian Church, the group offers two concerts that are free and open to the public: one in early December; and the second in the spring. The choir has performed at The Lodge and English Meadows, and various community events and weddings. Most performances include pieces that encourage the audience to participate by singing along.
Handbell ringing is very much like a team sport, said Robin McElwee of the choir, and every ringer is needed in order to make music. The choir’s spring semester begins in January. McElwee invites anyone interested in making music with handbells to leave a message at the Tabor Presbyterian Church office, 434-823-4255.
Mountain Light Retreat at 6656 Mountain Light Place presents a classical guitar concert with Rick Lord Saturday, November 12, 3 to 4:30 p.m. The event will feature a 40-minute program of classical guitar. Afterwards, the audience is invited to chat with Lord and other music lovers at the reception, or take a stroll on the grounds. There is no fee for the concert, and refreshments will follow. For more information, contact Retreat Director Debbie Scott, [email protected]
Share the Blessing is a community-wide service project, coordinated by Crozet Baptist Church, and its yearly mission is to provide a full Thanksgiving meal to families who could use a little extra help during the holidays. Families are screened and referred to the church by guidance counselors and family support workers in the Crozet community. Last year, businesses, churches, and individuals helped Crozet Baptist provide Thanksgiving meals to 108 families in the Crozet area. Throughout the months before the food drive, church members bring shelf-stable groceries to the church, one or two items each week. The public has an opportunity to assist them in this endeavor by donating food or financial support at their table at the Crozet Market on Saturday, November 5, from 9 a.m to 1 p.m.