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END OF LIFE
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT SUFFERING?
By Brian Han Gregg
176 pp., Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2016, paperback, $20, eBook available.
BRIEF: We all face suffering. And in our pain, we long to know why God allows grief and hardship into our lives. What Does the Bible Say About Suffering? addresses this perennial question, laying out 12 easily comprehensible perspectives on suffering based on Scripture:
- The “Two Ways” approach: God blesses the righteous and condemns the wicked.
- Suffering results from the sinful choices of others.
- God can take evil acts and use them for good, as with Joseph.
- Suffering is the work of Satan.
- Sometimes the reason for suffering will remain a mystery to us, as for Job.
- Suffering with an eschatological perspective recognizes that God will have victory over Satan and sin, suffering and death.
- Suffering plays a role in our spiritual growth and development.
- Suffering can test our faith.
- Christ is made known through our weakness and frailty, as in the apostle Paul's analogy of “jars of clay.” (2 Corinthians 4)
- God comforts us in suffering, and we can then comfort others.
- We are to model our lives after Jesus' suffering, service, and sacrifice.
- We rejoice in our suffering for others' sake, as we work with God in his redemptive plan.
In the author's work with undergraduate college students, he found that people often hold only one view of suffering, though the Bible offers many. Because suffering has many dimensions, forcing one answer onto every experience can harm us spiritually and emotionally.
“The Bible's approach to the problem of suffering makes it clear that discernment is necessary every step of the way,” Gregg writes. “If the Bible offers a range of perspectives on God and suffering, then we must be willing to sort and weigh them when we are faced with difficulty.”
What Does the Bible Say About Suffering? expands our understanding of suffering's place in our lives. Engaging the 12 perspectives deepens readers' discernment of the suffering they and others endure.
See an excerpt on page 67.
END-OF-LIFE NURSING EDUCATION CONSORTIUM (ELNEC)
American Association of Colleges of Nursing
BRIEF: The End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium (ELNEC) project is a national education initiative to improve palliative care. The project provides training in palliative care to undergraduate and graduate nurse educators; continuing education providers; staff development educators; specialty nurses in pediatrics, oncology, critical care, and geriatrics; and other nurses so they can teach this essential information to nursing students and practicing nurses. The project began in February 2000 and has multiple funders.
To date, over 21,400 nurses and other healthcare professionals, representing all 50 U.S. states, plus 90 countries, have received ELNEC training through these national courses and are sharing this new expertise in educational and clinical settings. ELNEC trainers are hosting professional development seminars for practicing nurses, incorporating ELNEC content into nursing curriculum, hosting regional training sessions to expand ELNEC's reach into rural and underserved communities, presenting ELNEC at national and international conferences, coordinating community partnerships, and improving the quality of nursing care in other innovative ways. ELNEC trainers have trained 642,000 nurses and other healthcare providers.
The ELNEC project is administered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA, and the faculty includes a national cadre of nursing leaders in palliative care.
ELNEC is interested in your thoughts and suggestions about end-of-life nursing issues. What would you like to see on the website that will help you in your nursing education or practice? Do you have a story to share about how end-of-life nursing education has made a difference for your patients and their families? Forward your suggestions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
HEALTH MINISTRY/COMMUNITY HEALTH
STONE SOUP FOR THE COMMUNITY
The Story of a Faith-Based Health Coalition
By Karen Jo Hahn
264 pp., Houston, TX: Shalom Path Press, 2016, paperback, $13.95, eBook available.
REVIEW: An uplifting book, StoneSoup for the Community—The Story of a Faith-Based Health Coalition, tells an amazing story about redemption in a broken, inner-city neighborhood. Hahn writes an ethnohistory by using methodology, which helps us understand missionary and multicultural outreach to marginalized and underserved people. Vignettes from 150 people involved with the Coalition over 15 years are presented.
This Christian health coalition serves as the sacred container for volunteers, churches, and organizations to bring services and hope to a neighborhood divided by crime and poverty. Similar to the Christians in the early church, its coalition members live out the gospel promise of abundance amidst social injustices by working together. They work through racism and poverty to help their neighbors. Ultimately, they become the caring community they tried to create in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas.
This resource is a first-of-its-kind in community health. It frankly describes key challenges and successes in forming and developing this ecumenical, multicultural health coalition. In it, volunteers, ministers, funders, clients, and leaders tell their individual and communal stories of transformation. They show how working together miraculously multiplied their donated services, worth over 8 million dollars.
The author and faith community nurse, Dr. Karen Hahn, reveals her and the Coalition's struggles. Concrete examples of white privilege, environmental injustice, theological differences, and endemic racism illustrate challenges of missionary outreach within one's own country. Of particular interest are the diversity of perspectives, the development of multiethnic leaders in the Coalition, and the use of government-stipended workers in a faith-based initiative.
The reader sees real people in hundreds of photos and reads their voices within the context of the stone soup fable, the Coalition's real-life story. As they say, they keep on giving, nourished by their own hearty, Christian faith. May we all do the same.—Verna Benner Carson, PhD, PMH/CNS-PC, President, C & V Senior Care Specialists, Inc., and former Associate Professor, Towson University, Maryland
Going Deeper helps you dig deeper into JCN content, offering ideas for personal or group study with other nurses—great for Nurses Christian Fellowship groups!
- Entering into Suffering: Read Gaudino, Braband, & Rogers, 16-23.
The Pad Project: Read Raines, Garner, Spies, Riley, & Prater, 42-47.
- Describe Barbara's experience as related in the article. How did the lack of acknowledgment of her suffering add to her pain?
- Discuss the five components of the Pedagogy of Suffering Model.
- Discuss the benefits students gained as a result of interacting with the model.
- How did Jesus enter into the suffering of the woman, as noted in the biblical account?
- What insights did you gain from Jesus' interaction with her suffering?
- Read 1 Corinthians 1:3-7. What do we learn about God and suffering, based on this passage? From the whole of Scripture?
End-of-Life Nursing Education: Read D'Antonio, 34-38 and Grabow, 39-41.
- What are some of the religious and cultural beliefs associated with menstruation, as noted in the article?
- Describe factors that make managing menstruation difficult in some global regions.
- Check out the supplemental digital content for this article. See http://links.lww.com/NCF-JCN/A51
- How might you help promote or support awareness of this project?
- Read Mark 5:25-34. Think about being in this woman's position. Consider what you learned about limited supplies and cultural issues associated with menstruation, in light of this passage.
- To what degree were end-of-life issues discussed in your nursing education?
- Discuss Puchalski and Romer's (2000) FICA (F-Faith and Belief, I-Importance, C-Community, A-Address in Care) tool.
- Discuss degriefing. What benefits are noted by the author?
- What are the four steps Grabow notes to saying goodbye to a loved one?
- Read Isaiah 25:8; 1 Corinthians 15:55; and Revelation 21:4. How might embracing these verses help one have a good dying experience?