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“I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:

I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.

I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon's knife or the chemist's drug.

I will not be ashamed to say ‘I know not,’ nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient's recovery.

I will respect the  privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I  tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my  power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.

I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person's family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.

I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.

If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.”

—The Hippocratic Oath, written in 1964 by Louis
Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many
medical schools today.

When I was in still attending Seminary at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS), I visited The Gubbio Project, a Cathedral that has dedicated its space to Sacred Sleep. Every day, The Gubbio Project provides houseless guests with daily provisions, supplies, and chaplaincy necessary for those living on the streets. The story of Gubbio is quite interesting to hear, so I will share it with you.

“Once upon a time, there was a peaceful French village called Gubbio. One day, a Wolf emerged and settled on the edge of the forest, just beyond the clearing where the village laid their claim upon the land. The Villagers were terrified of the wolf and sent their best huntsmen out to kill him. However, the Wolf would eat all who accosted him and send the rest home missing limbs. Francis of Assisi happened upon the Village of Gubbio and listened to the Villager’s tales of the big, bad wolf. He walked out towards the edge of the forest where the wolf resided and waited until the wolf appeared. The Villagers watched in fear as Francis spoke with the wolf. ‘Brother Wolf,’ he started, ‘You are terrifying the Villagers, and I suspect that they are terrifying you. If you promise not to neither eat nor harm anyone else, then the Villagers will promise to care for you for the rest of your days.’ The Villagers were shocked to see Brother Wolf roll onto his back and allow Francis to rub his belly, and from that day on, Brother Wolf and the Villagers of Gubbio lived together in peace.” In life, we may not always get what we want. However, so long as we ground our community in Christ and listen for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, then God will provide to us what we need. The question then is, “What do we need as a Church that is grounded in our Triune God?” God only knows, and the rest is left for us to figure out. Ultimately, loving relationships are all about fracturing and coming back together in an adjusted form that has adapted to new circumstances. This is true for any loving relationship one may have with a community, a family, a friendship, a partner-ship, and even oneself. If you have gotten this far, then go to your kitchen and find an unused coffee mug. One that has been hanging around in your cupboard forever even though you never use it. Everyone has at least one in their kitchen. Bring it to worship with you this Sunday, May 1st, and I’ll explain why. I dare you to be curious.

In God’s Abiding Love,

Pastor Jeniffer Tillman
Mission Developer

“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what God reveals, they are most blessed.”
~Proverbs 29:18
The Message