I recently had a knee replacement operation and needed to be hospitalized for a few days. The hospital I chose is part of a faith-based health-care system that advertises its commitment to treating the whole person, including the spiritual and emotional lives of patients.
My experience there did not reflect those values. The environment and personnel did not promote rest or healing. My point is not to badmouth the hospital, but the disconnect between the advertising message and the reality was striking.
The experience made me wonder about us in the women’s organization and the church. Do our actions support what we say in our purpose statement? Do visitors and outsiders experience with us the things we claim are our values? Or do they see infighting and tension, hardheadedness or indifference? Does our behavior belie our message?
Have you visited congregations who posted messages of welcome and hospitality in their bulletins or on their signs, only to find yourself left alone with no one to greet you or ask if you needed assistance? How do we remedy the disconnect in our own groups?
This message is adapted from a Women of the ELCA blog, “Experiencing the disconnect,” written by Kate Elliott.
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