“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
This ministry is based on the relationships and events found in John 11:1-46. In Mary and Martha, we see the elements of faithful witness and service. In Jesus, we clearly see a response of human emotion as He weeps with them in their grief over the loss of their brother, Lazarus. Amidst pain and loss, Jesus affirms the fundamental hope of resurrection.
Philosophy of the Bethany Ministry
The Bethany Ministry seeks to provide an organized and structured outreach, on the parish level, to parishioners who are isolated due to age, physical limitations, and health concerns, as well as those coping with grief after the loss of a loved one. The individuals called to this ministry commit themselves to serving God by serving and caring for those who are physically limited and suffering, whether in body, mind, or spirit. The presence of these dedicated individuals will assure those who are experiencing difficulties of the presence of their parish family and the Presence of God.
Life is a journey, and being “in relationship” is the most important aspect of living: relationship with God and relationship with each other. Relationships grow in the presence of these four elements: safety, security, recognition, and response. This caring ministry, a ministry of empathy, will seek to incarnate these dynamics in order to assist in the healing process, whether it is physical, spiritual, or emotional healing that is needed.
implies the freedom to take a risk and explore the realities of one’s condition. Those in difficulty need to feel safe and cared for.
promotes a feeling of trust. Loneliness and the feeling of abandonment are aspects of physical limitation, suffering, and grief. By demonstrating interest and concern for individuals who are ill or isolated, they are assured of assistance and care during the healing process.
means identifying, accepting, and helping individuals to cope with the varied emotions resulting from physical limitation, suffering, or grief.
is a Christian response, guided by the love and care that Christ showed to those around Him. It is the Spirit of God who guides this ministry, assuring the suffering of God’s Presence through the parish family and through the individuals called to participate in this ministry.
The Bethany Ministry seeks to bring God’s healing Presence to all in difficulty. Healing restores each person to a state of being that is our fundamental nature and reconnects us with our essential wholeness. Healing has to do with our experience of ourselves and our experience of life. Whether or not healing involves physical recovery, it is possible to find a renewed meaning to life, to move into greater wholeness, and to experience fulfillment. True healing develops our appreciation for the value of life and gives clarity to what is of utmost importance in this world: it brings us closer to God. While healing is one of life’s mysteries, we impact the healing process in ourselves and others. Prayer, relationships, listening, loving, caring, and forgiveness are ways that we participate in bringing God’s healing Presence to those around us. This ministry strives to bring meaning, hope, and vision to the lives of those experiencing physical limitation, suffering, and grief. Through this compassionate ministry, the potential for wholeness is magnified as the body, mind, and spirit are lifted into the loving and healing Presence of God.
Therefore, the task at hand is not an easy or unimportant one. It’s origin is the very Word of God, and it’s finality is Eternal Life in God. It is our relationship with God that inspires us to nurture our relationships within the parish, God’s family, remembering and celebrating the life-giving and healing Presence of God. Guided by this principle, we can come to those most in need and show them that “God is with us.”
Christ calls us to be brothers and sisters in faith, members of the same family of God. As a family of faith, we are called to reach out to one another. The call is given in a unique way to individuals who have deep love toward those who are sick, homebound, and grieving