Paul said, “I’m going to die on February 23rd at 10:30 a.m.”

Paul has cancer. He was given three months to live but he has already surpassed that timeline by a month. In the meantime, his body continues to waste away and he is in constant pain. Here is a story from a United Church hospital chaplain about Paul. “I have been visiting Paul for several weeks in the palliative care unit of the hospital. He has called me in on this particular day to tell me that he has requested medical assistance in dying, and the date and time for the procedure are set.

“I sit and listen while he talks about the decision he has made, how he came to it, and how his family members are reacting to it. Our conversation that afternoon is heartfelt and real. There is no place for pretense or false bravado in the presence of imminent death. It is a sacred moment. We say a prayer together. My eyes tear up as we say our goodbyes. I know it will be the last time I see him.”

A hospital is not only a place for physical care; it is very much a place for spiritual care. It is here that difficult decisions, life and death decisions, are made on a daily basis. Illness can turn lives upside down. Hospital chaplains are specifically trained to help patients and their families find ways to cope spiritually and emotionally in such times of personal crisis and upheaval.

“My name is Val Cottrill and I work with the South Saskatchewan Hospital Chaplaincy of The United Church of Canada helping to bring spiritual care into the hospitals of Regina. This essential ministry could not happen without the generous giving of members and adherents through Mission & Service. Thank you for being a part of our ministry.”

If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.

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