Thursday, August 27, 2009

John Wesley's Health Care Plan

"How are our congregations involved in healing?"

Dr.  Scott Morris, MD, MDiv of of the Church Health Care Center in Memphis, Tennesee was our plenary speaker today at the United Methodist Training for District Superintendants and Directors of Connectional Ministry. 

As pastor and medical doctor, he urged our leaders to reclaim the connection between body and soul.  "We need to remember that there are three primary themes of  Jesus' ministry--preaching, teaching and healing.  And, we cannot just focus on the first two if we want to be Christ's people continuing Christ's ministry."

Morris reminded us that John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, was greatly interested in medical treatments for the common maladies of his times.  He was advocating various cures and practices that were far advanced over the comman practices of bleeding patients or giving them oral doses of liquid mercury pills, a toxic metal!  He expounded upon the virtues of drinking clean water (instead of gin), fresh air, getting exercise, and taking only one medicine per illness.  Okay, he did advocate electrification, too, but maybe he was the father of "AEDs" as well as Methodist?!

Morris suggests the church might promote healing by...
  • reclaiming it's place in Society in talking about health as Wholeness (Body, mind and soul),
  • articulating and modeling excercise and healthier eating,
  • discussing Death as the natural conclusion of life and not as the Enemy that must be put off at any price,
  • discussing healthcare and end of life choices with a relevant message of Life, Death and Hope.
See more about the actions and the message that Dr. Scott Morris and others are offering at and

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