“A healing intent was embodied in the DNA of this church from the beginning,” affirms Father Dan Tuton, priest at Hope+in+the+Desert Episcopal Church in Albuquerque.
Even before anyone thought of building an Episcopal church in the far Northeast Heights, two people had visions of a church standing there.
In addition, while a discernment group prayed for guidance about building a church, a couple of people in the group also prayed for healing. Two dramatic healings occurred in response to these prayers.
Consequently, healing was seen as an integral part of this church, even before it was built.
“From early on the Lord graced Hope+in+the+Desert with the charisma of healing, and the gift has been affirmed over time,” continues Fr. Dan.
When asked how this healing DNA has revealed itself, he says the congregation has witnessed many healings, even miraculous physical healings. They have also seen many manifestations of love and peace.
A couple of documented physical healings are considered miraculous.
For example, in 2008 parish members were holding a Bible study when the hostess’ neighbor stopped by. She had been encouraged to come by to receive prayer. This elderly woman had severe circulation problems and heart disease. Her fingers were black and purple from her wrists to her fingertips. Six people laid hands on her and prayed for her to receive healing.
Within 20 minutes, her hands became pink from the wrists to the fingertips. Even her fingernails, which appeared broken and diseased, were healed. She felt the normal use of her hands returning and wept. None of her symptoms returned.
At another time Fr. Dan visited a woman who suffered from abdominal cancer. He prayed for her and anointed her with oil. After a few days, she called to say she had been completely healed.
Not all healing is physical healing. A woman in the congregation had prayed for physical healing for many years. She was not healed in the way she had hoped for, “yet her perseverance in prayer resulted in her mental and emotional healing.”
In talking about her healing, this woman referred Fr. Dan to the book, Living with Thorns, by Mary Ann Froehlich. 1 The title refers to Paul’s report of a thorn in his flesh that was not healed. Paul was told, “My grace is sufficient for you.” 2 Fr. Dan comments that the acceptance of this grace “grants spiritual stature and peace.”
In the next article, we will discuss U2’s “Miracle Drug” and healing ministries and opportunities at Hope+in+the+Desert.
* * * * *
Father Dan and Deacon Jane Ross invite people to come to this beautiful and caring church. For more information, you may call them at 505-830-0572, or you may visit the church website at http://www.hopepiscopal.org/index.html .
2 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
Additional note: For more background and information on Christian healing, you may go to articles on Father Ads Lovekin at http://joltleft.com/spirituality-in-albuquerque/father-adams-lovekin-episcopal-priest-albuquerque .