by Matthew Ellis   |   comments

I can say it: the Saints were simply better. I thought the Saints would have to play their best game to win and they did just that. Good for them and good for the city of New Orleans. If the Colts had to lose, I'm glad it was to another team full of seemingly good guys and a franchise that appreciates the win. 

My biggest complaint about the Super Bowl involves the MVP award. Shouldn't they just rename this the winning team's QB award? How is Tracy Porter (Indiana University alum) not the MVP?

To all of our NEHM folks down in New Orleans, enjoy the party!

by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/go-colts">GO COLTS!!!</a></h1>

Remember: Eat healthy snacks during your Super Bowl gathering.

I've tried to think of some way to justify writing about the Indianapolis Colts in this space. The above sentence is a good reminder, but really I just want to show support for the Indianapolis Colts. It's not every day your team makes the Super Bowl (just ask Saints fans how long they've been waiting). There are so few events anymore that unite communities across all lines and right or wrong, sports remains one of them. Certainly all of Indianapolis is Colts crazy right now, and I'm sure New Orleans is abuzz about their Saints as well.

Some of the NEHM folks in New Orleans have been kind enough to send me jokes about the Colts, pictures of Saints logos, and all variations of 'Geaux Saints!' I surely hope Saints fans have enjoyed the two weeks' worth of dreams leading up to Super Bowl 44 because the actual game is going to be a nightmare for them.

Indianapolis is in the midst of a real blizzard right now, but all will be well when we are warmed by another Super Bowl victory. Sorry Saints fan, the Colts are just too good right now.

Go Colts!!!

by Rev. Joanna J. Seibert M.D.   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/the-grandmother">The Grandmother</a></h1>

The Grandmother

“Just as there were many who were astonished at him--- so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of mortals…” Isaiah 52:14.

I still so well remember the day I visited the room of an eight-year-old girl dying of cancer at Children’s Hospital. I went to perform a test to try to explain and relieve some of her suffering. Her disease and its treatment had greatly disfigured her body. Her head was almost bald with sparsely scattered streaks of once curly blonde hair. The dark sunken eyes on her ashen face were highlighted by purple blotches beneath her pale skin from previous bleeding episodes. Her paper thin skin seemed attached directly to the bones of her arms and legs. Her breathing was intermittent and labored. Each movement of her frail body took all of her energy. She was in constant pain.

As I entered her room, I was overcome immediately by her suffering--so unjust, unfair, unreasonable. This has been my closest experience of the horror of the crucifixion. But in the midst of this great suffering I also encountered something even more overpowering. This young innocent had not been abandoned. She was not alone. Lying in bed beside the almost lifeless child was her grandmother. This grandmother’s huge body was embracing and surrounding this precious inhuman suffering.

I stood in awe, for I knew I was on holy ground. I was in the presence of the living God. I will never forget the great, gentle arms and body of this grandmother. She never spoke while I was there. She was holding and participating in suffering that she could not relieve, and somehow her silent presence was relieving it. No words could express the magnitude of her love. I had been there before. I knew immediately that this was what my grandmother would have done for me if I had been that child.

I performed my test as quickly as possible, but stood at the door a moment longer, the image of this little girl and her grandmother searing into my heart. In silence I turned and walked out, the door shutting gently behind me.

Prayer for a Sick Child

Lord Jesus Christ, Good Shepherd of the sheep, you gather the lambs in your arms and carry them in your bosom: We commend to your loving care this child N. Relieve his pain, guard him from all danger, restore to him your gifts of gladness and strength, and raise him up to a life of service to you. Hear us, we pray, for your dear Name’s sake. Amen. Book of Common Prayer ( BCP), p. 459.

Dr. Seibert is a pediatric radiologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and the University of Arkansas Medical Sciences who has been an ordained deacon in the Diocese of Arkansas for nine years. She is a facilitator for the Community of Hope, Walking the Mourner’s Path and Trinity’s health ministry. She is also on the board of the National Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. You can find about more Dr. Seibert and her books at www.temenospublishing.com.

by Kathy Tomlinson   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/a-web-of-caring">A Web of Caring</a></h1>

In 1997, Sona Mehring was devastated to learn that a close friend had delivered a premature baby and that both the baby and the mother were in critical condition. Ready to help in any way possible, Mehring was given the task of updating family and friends about the situation. Mehring utilized her background in web design to develop a website to communicate information to a wide circle of family and friends without disturbing the mother’s need for rest or placing additional demands on hospital staff.

“I wanted to provide a space for my friend to update her support network and for her support network to provide love and encouragement,” says Mehring. “The Internet was the perfect medium for that.”

Sadly, after a nine-day struggle against tremendous odds, Baby Brighid died in surgery. But Mehring’s revolutionary communication tool, CaringBridge, was born out of this tragedy.

What is CaringBridge?
Today, CaringBridge is a charitable nonprofit providing free, private websites that connect family and friends to share information, love and support during a serious health event, care and recovery.

A CaringBridge website saves time and energy by centralizing communication during a serious health event. This eases the burden of updating family and friends and keeps the focus on caring for the patient.

CaringBridge can be used during all types of serious health events. Each website is unique – authors select their website design and add journal entries and photos to share their story while visitors leave messages of hope and encouragement in the guestbook.

Why Use CaringBridge?

  • CaringBridge connects a patient’s entire faith community, creating a network of support and prayer for everyone involved. It reduces isolation, relieves stress and provides a sacred space that empowers love, compassion and healing.
  • The websites make it easy to share prayer requests and surround the patient with prayer support from a broad faith community. Through the power of prayer, CaringBridge communities experience emotional and spiritual healing and improved quality of life.
  • The websites are a personal and practical tool that complements and enriches pastoral care ministry. When someone in your faith community goes through a challenging, life changing event such as cancer, premature birth or an accident, you and your faith community can connect online to support them with love, prayer and encouragement.

Please recommend CaringBridge to those in need. It is a great way to strengthen your faith community. Spread the word about CaringBridge today with these materials that you can download and print http://www.caringbridge.org/faithmaterials.

Kathy Tomlinson is the Faith-Based Account Partnership Manager at CaringBridge.

by Matthew Ellis   |   comments
<h1><a href="/blog/help-those-affected-by-haiti-earthquake">Help Those Affected by Haiti Earthquake</a></h1>

Help Those Affected by Haiti Earthquake

Episcopal Relief & Development is providing critical support in the aftermath of a 7.0-magnitude earthquake. Please pray for those impacted and donate to the Haiti Fund. Downloadable bulletin inserts are now available. View a video statement by Presiding Bishop and President of Episcopal Relief & Development. For more information about ERD's efforts in Haiti, click here.

tags Haiti