Faith, science and the healing of our world

Today, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will spend time in Chicago focusing on the faith, medical science and the healing of our world.

The Chicago Tribune reports on two events taking place today: a lecture at Rush University Medical Center where she will describe the healing ministries of the Episcopal Church around the globe, and her participation in the ordination of Carol Reese, a trauma chaplain at Stroger Hospital, to the priesthood.

During a public lecture at Rush University Medical Center, Jefferts Schori is expected to discuss healing ministries that Episcopal congregations have developed around the world. Later that day, she is expected to ordain Stroger Hospital’s first paid trauma chaplain.

Elected in 2006 for a nine-year term, Jefferts Schori immediately set out to make the United Nations Millennium Development Goals — eight global priorities to help the world’s poorest — the hallmark of her tenure.

“Religion is one of those institutions that crosses national boundaries, said the Rev. James Risk, the executive director of Bishop Anderson House, the Episcopal Church’s ministry serving the Illinois Medical District, who invited her to Chicago soon after she was elected. “If we’re going to meet human needs, we need to be working together. … Science and faith will do more together to meet the challenges as a species than we will apart.”

In an interview with the Trib, she spoke about the connections between faith and science.saying that the clash is “a particularly American conflict.”

Much of the clash “has been framed around issues of evolution and Darwin. That is simply a signpost for the challenge of living with different worldviews,” Jefferts Schori said.

But she contends that the two disciplines go hand in hand and every nation, including the U.S., owes its children the best of scholarship in science and comparative religions.

“The ethical and moral issues that face people in the U.S. have a great deal to do with how we see the world, whether we see it as interconnected or not, our responsibility for our neighbors nearby and far away, how we’re going to use the resources and the gifts we have to the benefit of somebody beyond our own selves,” she said.

Science is a significant piece of that, she said. By studying how fossil fuels impact people locally and globally, people have concrete examples of why it’s important to be conscious of their own behavior.

“[Science] teaches us about our interconnections in the world,” Jefferts Schori said.

The Episcopal News Service tells the story of Chaplain Carol Reese who will be ordained to the priesthood today at her Chicago hospital.

On Dec. 3 in Chicago, hospital chaplain Carol Reese will become the Rev. Carol Reese in an ordination service at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, the former Cook County Hospital, where she has served as a chaplain in the trauma department since 2005.

For Reese, formally entering the priesthood at the hospital — her parish, really — is an opportunity to call attention to the plight of the medically underserved: She is the first paid chaplain in the history of Stroger Hospital, and the only paid chaplain in the Cook County system.

“This is a public hospital — probably half or a little more than half of patients are uninsured — a hospital like this is always scrambling,” said Reese in a telephone interview. “To think about doing something nonmedical, even though people thought it was a good idea, when some of the basic services are hard to provide, can seem a bit over the top.

“The thing that is interesting about this is colleagues, people who don’t think of themselves as religious folks, see this as important and put a lot of time and effort into making this happen,” she said. “[In the beginning] it wasn’t the church people taking the lead; some have along the way …”

,,,Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will participate in Reese’s ordination to the priesthood. Coincidentally, the presiding bishop will be in Chicago to give a free public lecture, “Health and Healing Across the World and Across the Street: Collaboration Between the Religious and Health Care Communities,” and to participate in a panel discussion at nearby Rush University Medical Center prior to the ordination service.

“Having the presiding bishop there draws attention to the partnerships between people of faith and those who work in the medical community, reminding all of us that we are holistic beings and that for healing we need to address people on all levels,” said Reese.

Here’s the rest.

Past Posts