Walk Worthy, Pope Francis!

Pope FrancisI, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Ephesians 4:1-6 (NKJV)

A few thoughts today as Jesus calls a new leader to the largest group of Christians within His Church…

I was struck by the number of non-Catholics who stopped what they were doing to watch the events in Rome yesterday as they transpired. It’s a reminder that despite our doctrinal and denominational differences, for those of us who follow Jesus our commonalities dwarf our differences. In a time when culture is experiencing radical transformation and many are too intimidated to speak out on behalf of their beliefs, Christians of all backgrounds are very interested in the person who will be the world’s most visible spokesperson for the faith.

Pope Francis 2Francis stands as an example of the appeal of an authentic Christian life. By all media accounts he lives very humbly, having rejected the trappings associated with his position as Archbishop of Buenos Aires to live in a simple apartment with another priest. He is a champion of the poor and the downtrodden. While articulately defending traditional church positions on the sanctity of life and marriage, he is willing to kiss and wash the feet of patients with AIDS. I came across this very cool picture (credit-Tony Gomez/ Reuters) of the new pope in a maternity hospital washing the feet of the women being cared for there during Holy Week in 2005.

I’m most encouraged by comments Francis made last Fall while speaking to priests from his diocese on the topic of baptizing children born out of wedlock…

In criticizing the priests who refused to baptize out-of- wedlock children, he argued that their mothers had done the right thing by not receiving abortions and should not be shunned by the church.

Priests who refused to perform such baptisms “drive God’s people away from salvation,” he said.

Bergoglio told his priests: “In our ecclesiastical region, there are priests who don’t baptize the children of single mothers because they weren’t conceived in the sanctity of marriage.

“These are today’s hypocrites. Those who clericalize the church. Those who separate the people of God from salvation. And this poor girl who, rather than returning the child to sender, had the courage to carry it into the world, must wander from parish to parish so that it’s baptized.”

Pope Francis strikes me as a leader who shares many passions with Christ-followers throughout the disability ministry movement. Our team at Key Ministry wishes him well and will be praying for his success. We’d be honored to support our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters in Christ everywhere who seek to live out the Gospel through welcoming and including kids with disabilities and their families into into the life of the church.

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Key Ministry’s mission is to help churches reach families affected by disability by providing FREE resources to pastors, volunteers, and individuals who wish to create an inclusive ministry environment. We have designed our Key Catalog to create fun opportunities for our ministry supporters to join in our mission through supporting a variety of gift options. Click here to check it out! For a sixty second summary of what Key Ministry does, watch the video below…

About Dr. G

Dr. Stephen Grcevich serves as President and Founder of Key Ministry, a non-profit organization providing free training, consultation, resources and support to help churches serve families of children with disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is a graduate of Northeastern Ohio Medical University (NEOMED), trained in General Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at University Hospitals of Cleveland/Case Western Reserve University. He is a faculty member in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at two medical schools, leads a group practice in suburban Cleveland (Family Center by the Falls), and continues to be involved in research evaluating the safety and effectiveness of medications prescribed to children for ADHD, anxiety and depression. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Dr. Grcevich was recently recognized by Sharecare as one of the top ten online influencers in children’s mental health. His blog for Key Ministry, www.church4everychild.org was ranked fourth among the top 100 children's ministry blogs in 2015 by Ministry to Children.
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2 Responses to Walk Worthy, Pope Francis!

  1. Ann Holmes says:

    Thanks once again, Steve, for your Godly wisdom! It makes me sad when Christ-followers – like you and me – get the exclusive attitude that somehow we are the models of what God likes and wants in His forever family to the exclusion of others who claim to follow Jesus but who present differently. It seems to me that the model for God’s forever family is found in how the church must reach out to individuals and families affected by special needs and disabilities. In a word, inclusion! In God’s eternal Kingdom He welcomes all who follow His Son, choosing Him as the Way, the Truth and the Life! As far as I can see in Scripture there is no theology exam – just following Jesus as the only Savior!

    Like

  2. juliecache says:

    I whole heartedly agree with your words today.

    Like

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