The Connection won't be blogging much about health care reform until we understand it better. However, today's New York Times has an entire special section devoted to the new health care landscape. I was particularly intrigued by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar's article, No Matter What, We Pay for Others' Bad Habits.
Ever seen a United Methodist Church with a confessional?
A friend of mine served one for many years. The donor who paid for the new sanctuary wished to honor her heritage from the Roman Catholic Church, and asked that a confessional be included in the new building, just off the narthex. And so it was, Protestantized a bit, to accommodate confession’s non-sacramental status among Wesleyans.
At this week's 2010 Faith and Health Summit, the North Carolina Council of Churches' Partners in Health and Wholeness Program debuted the Beta version of Recipes for the Heart and Soul: A Guide to Cooking Healthily in Large Quantities. For information, you can contact the Council on the web.
I remember my mother telling me that when she was young, people looked at recreational runners as though they were crazy. Running…just for the fun of it? If you wanted exercise, your best bet was to play mixed doubles at the local tennis club or – if you’re from the Midwest or Florida – perhaps even a quick match of Jai-Alai or Shuffleboard.
Kitchen tables matter. Besides being places where we eat and socialize, they are also the daily site where we learn what it means to be human. If all living things eat, people are privileged to dine, and in dining realize what is best about humanity. The point isn’t simply to ingest food or learn a few manners—as important as these are—but to realize the graces of attention, conversation, and gratitude. Raising children, I know this does not come easily. We all have to learn to eat.
For many Christians, the season of Lent is all about "giving up." Whether it is desserts, soda, French fries or Facebook, we routinely commit ourselves to various forms of abstinence and self-sacrifice.
The historical practice of "giving up” for Lent has multiple levels of significance. We give up that we might prepare ourselves for the Holy Week journey of Christ’s suffering and crucifixion. We give up that we might be reminded of our sin and need to turn back to God. We give up that we might learn to give over our lives – its pleasures, pains, and practices – to God. Sometimes, we give up because it’s a good excuse for a diet that we haven’t otherwise been able to keep, or breaking a bad habit that we’ve allowed to form.
But what if Lent was about something more than giving up?
My husband and I recently made a pact to help our family eat more healthily. We don’t eat horribly as it is, but with three kids ages five and under, we do frequently succumb to the temptations of easy-to-prepare food: pasta, pizza, and the like. We want to be cooking with more fresh vegetables and meat that actually tastes like meat. Still, time is at a premium, so it helps to be able to shop at a single store.
Don't miss this excellent piece, Bedside Manners: The Broken Spirituality of Contemporary US Medical Practice, on the blog Religion Dispatches.
This, "A Prayer of Submission," comes from A Collection of Forms of Prayer (1733), and was sent to us by The Reverend LaNell Johnson:
I give you my body. May I glorify you with it, and preserve it holy,
fit for you, O God, to dwell in. May I neither indulge it,
nor use too much rigor toward it; but keep it, as far as in me lies,
healthy, vigorous, and active, and fit to do you
all manner of service that you shall call for.
— John Wesley
Atul Gawande is a surgeon and author. His bestselling book The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right describes his efforts to enlist hospitals in using a standard checklist to reduce surgical errors and complications. Research has shown that hospital checklists make a dramatic difference for patient health.