Wholeness & Healing Service

Wholeness and Healing Service

We held another Wholeness and Healing Service on May 9th and a lot of people responded so positively to it that it seemed a good idea to include an article in the June ‘Searchlight’. The format for the service is very simple with the first part focusing on the word of God and with a brief sermon on the role of the healing ministry in today’s world. We were helped in this by a very good sermon by Kay Dyer and some wonderful music sung by the Choir. The second part of the service was to focus on prayer and the ministry of anointing with special oil on the hands was offered. There is good precedent in the Bible for the use of oil in both Old and New Testaments and it represents the outpouring of God’s love for us. Where there are wounds God is able, by his Spirit, to reach us in powerful ways and to reassure us that we are of immeasurable value in his sight and to begin the slow process of restoring us to fullness of life once again.

As the ministry of prayer took place so a minister stood behind each person and laid hands lightly on their shoulders, thus reminding each one that we are not alone and can draw strength from our common humanity. I am very grateful to the team who on this occasion were : Susie Fletcher, David Challis, Kay Dyer and Bob Macvie.

We turn the furniture around for Wholeness and Healing to face the south window and there is a very special sense of God’s presence which many have commented on. Printed below are one or two reflections by people who attended.

Revd. James Warren

Short version of Wholeness and Healing Sermon given on 9th May 2010 by Kay Dyer

Wholeness and healing are very gentle processes, the Holy Spirit ministers God’s love to us in the way that is best for us and easiest for us to receive. Jesus knew how easily the human spirit could be disturbed or perplexed by things that happened suddenly or without warning, so he would always reassure those he was speaking to, by asking what he could do for them, rather than imposing his solutions on their problems.

Although those watching Jesus healing people could see for themselves what appeared to be wrong with many of the people who came to him, what they could not see were their underlying insecurities or problems with family relationships. Jesus understood how these factors could have contributed to the person’s illness and present physical state and so he would heal the whole person, not just their symptoms.

The way that human beings function is very complex and so there can be many factors that affect our wellbeing, but one thing we can be assured of, is that God knows us better than we know ourselves and he knows our needs before we even voice them in prayer. After Jesus returned to his father in heaven at the Ascension, he sent his Holy Spirit to be with the first disciples and his Spirit has remained with us throughout the centuries, so that we can have access to the same power to heal that Jesus had when he walked the earth.

This means that we can experience God’s love for us through the intervention of the Holy Spirit in our lives and not only for ourselves but for those we are closely connected to. God is fully aware of the networks of relationships that we are part of, so that when someone comes forward for prayer and James anoints their hands with oil, they can be silently bringing before God not only their own needs, but those of anyone that they love who would like to receive God’s blessing too.

Bob Macvie writes:  For me it was a most moving experience. I hope it was for all those whom I laid hands on. It was a privilege to be asked to help. Silently praying for the person in front of me , asking God to give them peace and strength, with my hands gently resting on their shoulders, helped me realise how God's loving touch can be transmitted from one person to another. I felt strengthened too - as if it was a two-way process.
I left St. Andrew's that afternoon feeling at peace, knowing that whatever our present day troubles may be, nothing, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God.
He is always there, waiting for our response, waiting for us to invite Him into our hearts and lives.

A musicians perspective.

We felt a sense of anticipation in the run up to our second Wholeness and Healing service on May 9th. The ‘pilot ‘ was the previous October and all concerned felt that the format of the service had worked well.

As with any special service, there is always the challenge of finding appropriate music and fitting words for the occasion. In the organising and rehearsing of the music, you find yourself preparing for the experience of the service itself. This time of preparation is a bonus, in that you don’t just get the experience on the day, but also the build up of expectation.

When the time arrives, as you work away in the background with the choir, endeavouring to enhance the feeling of stillness and calm with hymns and anthems, there is a real sense of being enveloped in the spirit and atmosphere.

As we were reminded in the service, wholeness and healing can come in many forms. As a family, this time, our focus was understandably on physical healing with our elder daughter Laura about to face her second major operation this year. There were many strong emotions as we came forward together with the girls for anointing towards the close of the service. However, there was a clear sense afterwards of being better able to cope with what we know to be ahead of us.

This ministry has a definite role in the life of the church. If you haven't attended one yet, look out for the date of the next one in October.

Larry and Rosemary Robson ( Directors of Music )

John Fletcher writes:  I went to this service uncertain as to what it might offer me. I was in good health and generally felt contented. I did not feel any particular need to seek healing or wholeness.

However, the service proved to be rather revealing. First, it provided a distinct contrast to the liturgy driven services, like the Sunday Eucharist, where the pattern is predictable and secure and where, the intercessional prayers notwithstanding, one can feel almost too comfortable and unchallenged. In contrast, the healing service was, for me at least, a much more contemplative, calm, reflective service in which James, his team and the choir were gentle facilitators, not leading or directing the congregation. There was, to use a current phrase, "No pressure", and the gentle, supportive format worked very well.

Secondly, the contemplative nature of the service gave one a real chance, real time to think, in God's presence. It gave one the chance to think questions such as "If I am blessed with good health and feel whole, why am I here?" Such personal enquiry led to other questions such as "For whom, then, should I seek health and healing?" In thought and in quiet contemplation answers to these and other questions came to me.
Although at the outset of the service I had had no intention to come forward and seek healing, (to be honest, I was a bit sceptical about the service), I found myself coming forward to ask for health and healing for individuals whose welfare I had neglected, indeed, for groups of people. I had the chance to give thanks for my own health and well-being and to focus upon and to bring before God the needs of others in a personal rather than ritualistic way.

I left the service feeling that it had met a real need, a need that I suspect many of us have, to seek, beyond or in addition to medicinerelief from the physical, emotional or mental stresses and afflictions which can so easily beset us. I left feeling, too, that it had given me a real opportunity to look outside myself and to consider the needs and difficulties that others have and intercede to God for them. I found that to be an enriching experience. I am glad that I attended the service.

Hilary Mattocks writes:  I went to the Wholeness and Healing Service on Sunday afternoon 9th May, and found the whole service very powerful and yet also serene. I'm not sure exactly what I expected.
During the anointing with oil with someone placing their hands on my shoulders, I felt an inner peace of God's love for me, which was very special. I left the service with a sensation of tranquillity and love, which I cannot remember feeling so intensely before.

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