Health Care ‘Haves and Have Nots’ (Op-Ed in East Bay Times)

Sixteen words from my doctor changed my life. What worries me is that I think you are in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease. I was 48 years old.

Recently, I stopped by my local Walgreen’s pharmacy to pick up my Parkinson’s medication. As I waited in line, a woman told the pharmacy tech, “I absolutely have to have those pills,” pointing to a small white bag in the tech’s hand. “I can wait on the other two till next time. I’ll get them when I get my check.” She seemed to have made these kinds of choices before.

I imagined that trying to decide which medicine to prioritize felt like having to choose between food and water, or between clothing and shelter.

Christianity and Health Care (Op-Ed in USA TODAY)

Many political leaders who support the U.S. House of Representatives’ or U.S. Senates’ version of a new health care bill proudly identify themselves as Christian, pro-life and pro-family.

What puzzles me is how these leaders reconcile their personal values and commitments with embracing a plan that limits or excludes poor people as well as persons with pre-existing conditions. In other words, how is this plan pro-life, pro-family and consistent with their Christian beliefs and practices?

Converging Horizons: Essays in Religion, Psychology, and Caregiving is now available

ConvergingHorizons-booksMy new book is now available in both paper and e-book formats. Of interest to ministers, chaplains, pastoral counselors, and social workers, the essays in this book focus on human experiences, needs, or concerns that relate to matters of mental health and religious faith or spirituality. Converging Horizons demonstrates approaches to integrative work that draws on multiple fields of theory and practice in service to the goal of providing a range of caregivers with ways to both conceptualize and engage their important work.


Two of My Books Named Best Resources for Congregational Leaders

The Congregational Resource Guide (CRG) has named Good Mourning: Getting Through Your Grief (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008),and Losers, Loners, and Rebels: The Spiritual Struggles of Boys (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007), co-written with Robert C. Dykstra, and Donald Capps, as best resources for congregational leaders.

The CRG, a project of the Alban Institute and funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., sifts and mines available resources for congregations and their leaders, and identifies the best resources available over six areas of congregational life—Care, Engage, Discover, Manage, Lead, and Worship.

CRG notes that Good Mourning offers “a more personal approach” to bereavement that “helps its readers understand, explore, and cope with their own losses and grief,” adding that “Cole discusses the roles that faith and prayer can play in productive grieving, helping people move away from cycles of endless suffering.” Losers, Loners, and Rebels, which draws on research, experience and the authors’ own autobiographies to present insights about the spiritual development of American boys between the ages of eleven and fourteen, is said to be especially helpful to pastoral caregivers and those involved in youth or family ministry.

WJK Radio Interview: A Spiritual Life

Here is an interview with Dan Braden and Jana Riess, of WJK Radio, in which I discuss A Spiritual Life: Perspectives from Poets, Prophets, and Preachers (Westminster John Knox Press, 2011).

All materials © 2018 Allan Hugh Cole, Jr. Web site by Websy Daisy.