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January 2022 New Horizons

Current Issue

Coming Alongside in a Crisis

 

Contents

Coming Alongside in a Crisis

Loving a Hurting Neighbor

Reflecting on Disability in the Church

Write a Letter to the Editor

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Coming Alongside in a Crisis

In November 2019, Orthodox Presbyterian pastor Joshua McKamy took his six-year-old daughter, Zoey, for what was supposed to be regular checkup with the pediatrician. He didn’t know that this would be their last normal day for a long time. The doctor felt a lump in Zoey’s abdomen and sent her for scans that showed a cancerous tumor on her kidney. Zoey’s parents rushed her to Penn State Health Children’s Hospital in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where doctors scheduled emergency surgery for a Stage III Wilms’  tumor. Josh McKamy had performed a wedding ceremony the previous weekend. The family had just enjoyed trick-or-treating together. “Within a week, we were trying to figure out if our daughter was going to die,” he said. Amid the chaos, God providentially provided fellow OPC minister Stephen Payson as the chaplain at the same hospital where Zoey received her care. Those early days following diagnosis are among the most traumatic for parents, Payson observed. Parents “usually are ... Read more

Loving a Hurting Neighbor

When I had breast cancer twenty-four years ago, folks from our congregation and presbytery showed the love of Christ by encouraging us with cards, meals, flowers, offers of help, and especially prayers during that difficult time. One friend’s daily emails demonstrated that I wasn’t forgotten. With a clean bill of health a year later, I tried to imitate her by periodically sending emails to a pastor and a new mother who both struggled with difficult cancers. Surely, I had a handle on loving my neighbor in crisis. Challenges of Caring Well Such confidence melted a decade later when a dear church friend fought a precarious battle with lymphoma. She had asked for help that was far more challenging than sending emails. I couldn’t say no. Her husband’s job required him to often be in Virginia weekdays while she underwent chemo and radiation. Without his work, they wouldn’t have insurance. Her well-organized daughter from California offered direction, but they needed someone on the ground to ... Read more

Reflecting on Disability in the Church

Reflecting on Disability in the Church Judith M. Dinsmore As supper guests a few weeks ago, my family played a mind-bending conversational game with our hosts and their kids, the objective of which was not to play by the rules but to discover the rules—to the delight of the initiated and the slow-dawning satisfaction of those puzzling it out. I had that same sense at the August MTIOPC training on disability in the church, where unlearning an old way and absorbing a new one was at the heart of the course. There is an “old” way to consider disability—the old way of the flesh, recalled OP pastor Ben Snodgrass, a participant in the course that was held at Lakeview OPC in Rockport, Maine. But according to 2 Corinthians 5:16–17, we have been given a new one. By the old valuation, Snodgrass explained, when a family with a disability begins to regularly visit a church, they might be seen as a drain, as a burden, a family that must be helped. But those who are indwelt by the Spirit are able to ... Read more

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