Bring something to eat for yourself from 6-6:45: fun conversation AND/OR
Come at 6:45 -7:30 to talk about a hymn.
This week we will talk about "Healer of our Every ILL" since we will have a healing service on Sunday. Here is some background.
Marty Haugen (b. 1950) wrote this meditative song during the winter of 1985-86. During this time, his family was staying at Holden Village, a retreat center in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. On January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger crashed shortly after takeoff. According to Haugen[MU1] :
"In addition to the loss of seven astronauts, this crash was a symbolic loss for Americans. At Holden we had very infrequent communication with the outside world, so we did not know of the disaster for a couple of days. When we got some information, we held a service in the evening together, and “Healer of our Every Ill” was written as an expression for our community to grieve together (Daw, 2016, 795, quoting Westermeyer, 2010, 451)."
Haugen uses the text of this hymn as a prayer for healing, not only of the body but also of the mind and spirit. The refrain, “Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow,” is a powerful prayer and helps us express thoughts we find difficult to put into words. This hymn is also about joy, as evidenced in stanza two with the words, “your grace is still unfolding.” Stanza three’s text, “Give us strength to love each other,” uses language that urges us, even in times of sorrow and fear, to show love and kindness to our sisters and brothers in Christ. The last verse of the hymn asks us to teach Christ’s way of healing and to fill each heart with compassion.
I hope to see you!