Priest of the Episcopal Church of the Covenant

We are gathered here for a bit of Sabbath time to offer prayer for Geary Community Hospital staff and patients.

Before we pray, however let us think about what a hospital is. Pragmatically, a hospital is a building we go for receive health care. But a hospital is also a sacred and holy place. When one enters a patient’s room, one leaves normal, everyday time an enters holy time. In a patient’s room, one experiences a blurring of the boundary between heaven and earth. It is a liminal place. A place like a church or a mosque or synagogue where one may experience the divine. In a patient’s room, may witness health and sickness, and perhaps birth and death.

People who work in hospitals exist and work within these liminal places. Patients are offered a glimpse into the Kingdom of God because God demands that we love and care for one another. And when one is a patient in a hospital one is completely dependent on the care and compassion of a brother or sister.

In normal times, hospital employees are very busy and work long hours. But the last 18 months have been anything but normal. Hospital employees are constantly faced with the realities of COVID and the continued spread of the virus. They have seen illness and death. We, on the other hand, thanks to the vaccine, have hope that life is returning to what it once was. We are venturing out and we may not be wearing our masks as much. But hospital staff do not have that same hope. They are experiencing frustration, anger, and exhaustion.

Hospital employees are both frontline and last-line workers. They deserve our respect, compassion, gratitude, and patience.

With this being said, let us pray for Geary Community Hospital staff:

God our strong deliverer: when those charged with the urgent mediation of your healing power feel overwhelmed by the numbers of the suffering, uphold them in their fatigue and banish their despair. Let them see with your eyes, so they may know all patients are precious. Give comfort, and renew their energy and compassion, for in you is our life and hope. Amen.

And let us pray for Geary Community Hospital patients:

Loving God, the comfort of all who sorrow, the strength of all who suffer: except our prayers, and to those who seek healing, grant the power of your grace, that the week may be strengthened, sickness turn to health, the dying made whole, and sorrow turned into joy. Amen.

And finally, go in peace knowing that in God, life is understood, and it makes sense. Life is accepted, with all its hope, and with all its promise. And we are given the courage to face whatever we have to face today, tomorrow, and forever!

And the blessing of God, Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, be upon us this day, and evermore. Amen.

The Rev. Doreen Rice is priest-in-charge at the Episcopal Church of the Covenant, Junction City’s oldest church, which is located at 4th and Adams. Mother Doreen and the Covenant congregation welcome you for worship on Sunday mornings at 8 a.m. or 10 a.m. or Wednesdays at noon for prayers and healing. Additionally, you are invited to Covenant’s free Community Dinners on Tuesday evenings beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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