Wounded soldiers need healing too.
The Revd Jenny Quince on why she wrote a special healing service.
A great majority of clergy and lay in our churches have at some time experienced a depth of wounding or burn out that has threatened not only their capacity to minister, but also their ability to deal with daily life.Revd Jenny Quince
Jenny called on her experience as the National Chaplain for the Order of St Luke Healing Ministry in crafting the beautiful liturgy with the Revd Debbie Cole .
We opened with the Peace, the affirmation the God is the source of healing and wholeness, confession and assurance of forgiveness.
Ministry of the Word
Luke 9:1-2 and 10:1, and 10: 17-20 reminded us that we had been appointed to a ministry that included going out to teach, preach and bring people back to wholeness of body, soul and spirit.
A letter to God was then read:
Dear Father, Creator, Redeemer and Giver of new life, who is, who was and is to come.
As your daughters, we humbly write this.
We vowed at our ordinations to accept the order and discipline of the Church, we also accepted the responsibility that those in need be cared for with Christlike compassion and humility.
Covid arrived and for over two years now we have been restricted in our ministry. Govt mandates made it virtually impossible for us to operate. The Churches closed their doors, the hospitals wouldn’t let us in, Retirement Villages , Funeral Parlors wouldn’t let us in and Pastoral visits were frowned upon.
We who had vowed to bring comfort and healing to the needy were severely restricted. Licences were removed from Priests who refused to be vaccinated because they wanted to go to the unvaccinated on an equal footing (right or wrong we won’t debate at this time).
Having to give the Last Rites over the phone to patients who didn’t even have Covid was really hard.
Many of us confess that we did home visits, gave Holy Communion and shared your love with some very sick people.
When we were allowed into the hospitals we had to pass by whanau screaming to be let in. Our hearts broke for them.
We heard of the elderly in rest homes, those in hospices with no one to hold their hand as they died. Our heart broke for them.
We phoned, we zoomed, we tried our best.
People are back in the pews now Lord but as you know the numbers have dropped.
There is still fear and uncertainty and a fake sense of hope that the mandates will protect us.
Lord many of us have anxiety problems because we have dared to step out into the world against govt mandates, church and our own families wishes.
We are not looking for a crown we are looking for healing from the brokenness that we are experiencing.
Father God our questions are:
Were we wrong to step out in faith?
Did we do as Jesus would have done?
God of Grace we humbly reach out to you through your Holy Spirit. Gentle as a dove, living burning as fire, to empower us so that we can boldly walk in your footsteps, fully restored with your compassion, grace and wisdom flowing through us.
Loosely The Word says: if you Lord are in us and we are in you then we should never be afraid; it also says, “By your stripes we are healed”.
Father God help us to believe scripture so we can be what we claim to be, your disciples.
Lastly Lord, we do love you with an unending love.
Lots of love and kisses from all your disciples.
An invitation was then extended to those who wished to receive healing ministry through the laying on of hands and anointing with blessed oil.
Each person was given a vial of oil and grouped into fours and invited if they wished, to share their wounds with their sisters in Christ.
Pray, lay hands and anoint each other as you are moved to do so.
Concluded with Commission and Blessing
God be our comfort and strength;
God be our hope and support;
God be our light and our way;
And the Blessing of God, Creator,
Redeemer and Giver of life,
Remain with us now and forever. Amen.