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Religion and Healing in America$
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Linda L. Barnes and Susan S. Sered

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.001.0001

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The “Spiritual Healing Project”: A Study of the Meaning of Spiritual Healing in the United Church of Christ

The “Spiritual Healing Project”: A Study of the Meaning of Spiritual Healing in the United Church of Christ

Chapter:
(p.49) 2 The “Spiritual Healing Project”: A Study of the Meaning of Spiritual Healing in the United Church of Christ
Source:
Religion and Healing in America
Author(s):

Bobbie Mckay

Lewis A. Musil

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.003.0003

This chapter discusses the results of a 1995 study on the meaning of spiritual healing in mainstream religious congregations. The United Church of Christ (UCC) was selected for this study because of its broad socioeconomic, ethnic, and geographic diversity. The UCC has been supportive of women clergy, has been open and affirming of participation of gays at all levels, and is a leading advocate of civil rights and social change. Currently, two optional healing services are available in the UCC: one for individuals, another for groups. Many UCC churches include lay intercessory prayer groups. Despite the rather sharp differences in plot or structure of the stories, several core themes echo across all the categories: surrender, acceptance, surprise, transformation, the experience of peace, the experience of God's healing presence and love, the use of prayer in the healing process, and an absence of emphasis on the role of suffering. These themes were often interwoven, creating a powerful portrait of the experience of spiritual healing.

Keywords:   United Church of Christ, spiritual healing, God, peace, surrender, acceptance, surprise, transformation, prayer, suffering

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