June / July 2010
From the Editor. As mentioned at the beginning of this year, mortality and the grief that death brings have been in the foreground of our congregation's life since at least last fall. In the January editorial "Death: An Old-New Terror," I mentioned the impact of the sudden death of the father of one of our members. As Gordon Cook will remind us in his article "A Pastoral Response to Grief," certain activities like writing or drawing help some people process grief. As an example, Jen Foley relates her experience of navigating the healthcare environment as she sought to minister to her father during the sudden onslaught of cancer. I hope the combination of Chaplain Cooks first in a series of three articles on grief, and Jen Foley's article "Crossroads: Your Life and the Medical Community" will help officers and member alike in facing death in a compassionate, wise, and hopeful way. Pastor Cook and I have offered a bibliographical essay on books about grief, some for the grieving, and some for the caregivers.
Let me also recommend Dave VanDrunen's Bioethics and the Christian Life for end-of-life issues. This sage book should stand as a modern standard not only on how to face bioethical issues, but as a primer on Christian ethics. See the excellent review by Bill Edgar in the March issue of OS Online.
On a completely different topic I offer a brief word on the importance of taking our Book of Church Order seriously in light of the presbyteries' recent approval of the final proposed revision of the Directory for Public Worship, which will take effect on January 1. Finally, don't miss the complete text of an oft partially quoted poem by W. B. Yeats. It always reminds me of the Lamb's worthiness to open the seven-sealed scroll of history in Revelation 5. Only in him does the "centre" hold. Mystified by these comments? Read the poem.
Blessings in the Lamb,
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