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Pastoral guidebook on end of life holds potential & pitfall, Part III PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marie Bowen   

Fotolia 1248572 XS cropPASTORAL SUPPORT AND THE CLASH OF CULTURES

This is Part III in a seven-part blog series analyzing a resolution coming to the PCUSA General Assembly on the end of life. The paper titled, "Abiding Presence: Living Faithfully in End of Life Decisions," forms the rationale of the resolution and is offered to the church as a pastoral guide to end of life conversation. Click to read Part I or Part II.

I am not a pastor, but I found this part of the paper to be educational and helpful. I found little to criticise so will summarize with few words of response (italics).

Section B of the End of Life Pastor's Guide explores two key questions pastors may have about their role in supporting congregation members making end of life decisions in the healthcare environment. The first question posed for pastors is: "What does it mean to live faithfully and die well, and how can I contribute to this task as a spiritual leader?"

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Pastoral guidebook on end of life holds potential & pitfall, Part II PDF Print E-mail

GA Portland

This is Part II in a seven-part blog series analyzing a resolution coming to the PCUSA General Assembly on the end of life. The paper titled, “Abiding Presence: Living Faithfully in End of Life Decisions,” forms the rationale of the resolution and is offered to the church as a pastoral guide to end of life conversation. Part one of the blog series can be found here.

Part II The Introduction and Contextual Settings

I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created. (Romans 8:38-39)
I love that this “handbook for caregivers,” opens with this scripture.
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End of Life pastoral guidebook holds potential and pitfall, Part I PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marie Bowen   

GA Portland

The Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy brings a resolution (Item 11-14) for commissioner approval to the Presbyterian Church (USA) 222nd General Assembly meeting in Portland, Oregon June 18-25, 2016. The resolution includes a pastoral guidebook, a statement of affirmation, and recommendations for conversation and advocacy. It's long—49 pages—but the subject is critically important for human lives and so it what the church says about life at its end matters, just as what the church says about life in the womb is of critical importance. So, I am taking a literal and figurative big breath and plunging into a blog series to analyze this piece of business coming to the PCUSA with both potential and pitfall.

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I know a different Jesus PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marie Bowen   

feetTexas abortion provider, Hagstrom Miller, was asked in an interview if there was a "spiritual dimension" to her work. She described her background in a "liberal Christian tradition," and imagined Jesus supporting a woman during abortion:

"The Jesus that I was taught about would be holding the hands of women inside the clinic; he wouldn't be screaming at them. Acting on Christian principles is holding the hands of people at difficult times in their lives, and being supportive and nonjudgmental and kind."

Miller's view of Jesus is distorted by her desire to promote abortion as "a normal part of women's reproductive lives" as she describes it on her clinic's website. She is in the business of abortion and her rhetoric is designed to cloud the ugly reality that abortion destroys a human life in a bloody and painful procedure. She casts it instead as something positive for women. The picture of Jesus that Miller paints as someone who would sit passively in an abortion clinic and be 'nonjudgmental' demands a response from the Christian community.

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Genetic engineering: What is the greatest risk? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Marie Bowen, Executive Director of PPL   

Fotolia 75593033 S

Some are pointing to possible use of genetic engineering for creating weapons of mass destruction, but as the church shouldn't we be considering both the spiritual and generational risks of trying to "fix" God's creation?

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