Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For Bethel's newsletter

Love Life Conference, Nov. 15, 2008

Here is a contribution for all who missed the “Third Annual Love Life Conference” at Concordia College on Nov. 15th! About seventy registered attendees heard a number of excellent speakers on serious subjects dealing with health, life, medicine and law in relation to Christian faith. Fellowship was enjoyed while lingering over several exhibits and a lovely lunch kindly prepared by the seminary guild. Thanks be to God for an enlightening and challenging day.

You will be happy to note that three lectures have been videotaped and can be viewed anytime at the Lutheran Church Canada’s website (www.lccabc.ca/video). Please, if you can, take some time and view them, especially if you are involved with medicine or law. Our main speaker, Dr. John Patrick, a distinguished and stimulating international speaker, was visiting from Ottawa to lecture on Christian pro-life medical practice and the clashes with different world views. The physicians’ freedom of conscience is feared to be under increasing attack. All those among us who have Christian physicians are asked to encourage them to become members of the Hippocratic league. (See Dr. Patrick’s website at: www.johnpatrick.ca). Below is a quote from his site:

“Dr. Patrick supports the Canadian Registry of Hippocratic Physicians. The objective of which is to provide a mechanism for identifying practitioners who practice or are preparing to practice Hippocratic medicine, and to bring together practitioners who have an ethical consensus. It also enables practitioners to group together in order to have more influence and impact in their practices, their hospitals, and their communities.”

Dr. Patrick asks serious and stimulating questions and in the end leaves even hostile audiences to silently ponder the answers to questions like “What kind of world would you prefer to pass down to your children?” Please, view his site for more lectures, institutes for medical students and doctors to deepen their faith in relation to medical practice, and more insights.

Our other morning speaker was our own ABC district president Rev. Don Schiemann. He challenged us to think about the pervasiveness of criminality in our society and what might be a biblical response for the government (as opposed to the church). He questioned how statistics are collected and kept. In essence, he believes that crime is underreported and punishments are not meted out effectively, thus encouraging more crime. This talk is also available at the LCC website.

In the afternoon we heard several more speakers. There was a presentation on the Rock ministry to the inner city, which is now feeding up to 500 individuals several times per week, a seemingly immense task for the small facility. Erin Holtslag spoke for the Back Porch ministry, located next to the Morgenthaler abortion clinic. Rev. Mohns gave two different sessions on ministry in palliative care, which were very professionally and empathetically presented. Dr. Greg Schoepp spoke on dealing with stress. I missed this session, but was told it was very helpful.

All in all, everyone who came was pleased they had taken a day out for looking at these subjects and meeting together, as well as for networking with individuals who are involved in different kinds of work. Certainly, there is much to pray for and ask from our gracious God. Various ways of getting informed and involved became apparent.

To conclude, we might remember that Dr. Patrick challenged Christian congregations to form public policy groups/committees who would meet together occasionally to share reading and recommendations and move them forward to impact the culture and support Christian practitioners in the world. (See the lecture on “What Hippocrates knew and we’ve forgotten”.)

My recommendation for the ”Forth Annual Love Life Conference” would be that we have an even better attendance and that we consider taping more of the lectures for wider availability! Keep some time free for November next year!

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