Sojourners Magazine: August 2013
IMPLEMENTATION of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is proceeding, yet our health-care system is still broken, with too many people without adequate coverage or quality care. People of faith are stepping into the breach with a recognition that healing is both physical and spiritual. Alicia de los Reyes takes us inside the world of Pentecostal faith healing for the revival of a tradition of healing that goes back to the time of Jesus. And veteran journalist Bob Smietana describes a new cooperation between churches and health-care providers in Memphis, Tenn. The Congregational Health Network now includes more than 500 congregations working with a local hospital system to provide education and support networks for patients.
Healing, in the broadest sense, has many roots. Reta Halteman Finger writes of the “littlest ones” who are at the heart of the reign of God that Jesus lived and preached. Wesley Granberg-Michaelson applies the same insights to the sizable migration to the U.S. and its challenge for local churches to live the connection between God’s love and their stance toward the “other.”
Tornados, hurricanes, wildfires, and floods remind us of the continuing escalation of climate change. Experiences created by these extreme weather events—the loss of homes and neighborhoods, changes in lifestyle, and even the sense that a part of God is being lost—can lead to profound grief. Katharine M. Preston suggests that recognizing the “tasks of mourning” could help in grieving those losses—and moving to action.
Our Commentary section explores the ongoing scandal of the Guantanamo Bay prison, the tragic factory collapse in Bangladesh, and the injustice of mandatory minimum sentencing laws. All three come from neglecting what Catholic social teaching calls the dignity of the human person and failing to honor the sacredness of all those made in the image of God.