Briefs: Pastor Honored, Art and Illness Explored

City Honors Pastor for Civic Contributions

BROOKLYN PARK, MN (October 31, 2011) – The Mayor’s Good Citizen Award was presented last week to Steve Larson, pastor of Redeemer Covenant Church, during the City Council meeting.

A proclamation presented to Larson states that his “connecting efforts, determined spirit, mentoring and dedication have brought hope and healing to our community.”

“This was a complete surprise to me,” says Larson. “I was not ready to give a speech, which was evident to everyone there.”

Larson says the award testifies to the work of the entire congregation. The church recently sponsored its third annual Hispanic Heritage Festival in cooperation with La Bendición Covenant Church.

The city was so impressed by the previous two festivals, which promote multicultural awareness, that it co-sponsored this year’s event. More than 350 people attended.

A proclamation presented to Larson states that his “connecting efforts, determined spirit, mentoring and dedication have brought hope and healing to our community.”

Art and Prayer Give Voice to the Sick

CHICAGO, IL (October 31, 2011) – Art and prayer were featured in the recent workshop “Health Within Illness: Giving Voice to Experience,” which was hosted by North Park Theological Seminary and the North Park University School of Nursing.

The three workshops were:

  • “Art as a Lens for Family Experience: Giving Voice without Words,” led by Tim Lowly, Assistant Professor of Art, North Park University and Rev. Sherrie Lowly, Pastor, Berry United Methodist Church
  • “Searching for Meaning within Illness: Giving Voice to the Body,” led by Mary Chase-Ziolek, professor of health ministries and nursing at the university.
  • “Psalms of Lament: Giving Voice to Suffering,” led by Judy Swanberg, chaplain, at Covenant Village of Florida

Founder Of African Ministry Honored

LOS ANGELES, CA (October 31, 2011) – The founder of a life-saving ministry in the violent eastern half of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a program with connections to members of the Evangelical Covenant Church, will receive the prestigious Opus Prize.

The annual prize recognizes “unsung heroes” of any faith tradition anywhere in the world who are working to solve the most persistent social problems. It will be presented to Lun Lusi of HEAL Africa on the Loyola Marymount University campus on Wednesday.

Lusi, along with her husband Dr. Kasereka Lusi, founded HEAL Africa in 2000. The ministry is a Conglolese-led organization that works to eradicate poor health, poverty, and the oppression of women. It operates a teaching hospital in Goma that specializes in orthopedic surgery and gynecological surgery. Many of the patients are victims of sexual violence.

Although HEAL Africa is not a Covenant project, it has worked closely with the Covenant Church of Congo (CEUM), Covenant World Relief and the Paul Carlson Partnership.

“Dr. Jo was in Karawa a number of times to do orthopedic surgery – and challenge the young doctors, saying ‘are you ready to lay down your life for the Congolese as your Dr. Paul Carlson did?’ ” says Judy Anderson, of Monroe (Washington) Covenant Church.

She and her husband, Dick, have helped guide the ministry, including its launching of community outreach projects. They head an organization in the United States that raises support for HEAL Africa.

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