I Am St Nicholas: Jennifer Brundidge

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Members of the Healing Journey chapter of the International Order of St Luke the Physician. Jennifer Brundidge is in the center of it all, as she often is!

I was baptized Roman Catholic and my family was very active in our parish. From a very early age, I developed a strong faith in God and a belief in the teachings. At the same time, I knew that I didn’t agree with the rules handed down by the hierarchy. Celibacy and the role of women in the Church really didn’t sit well. I went off to college and explored other ways to express my faith. I had friends who were Episcopalians and it seemed to be a perfect fit. It was the same basic teachings but not quite so uptight. The Unitarian Church had some interesting points to it. No matter where I turned I was stuck in the mentality that I was Roman Catholic and that was that. After college, I just stopped going to church. Even though I never gave up on my faith in God, I carried an empty space and that sense of community.

In my late 30’s I started to question my existence on this planet. In my opinion, the Roman Catholic Church fostered a view of women similar to Gus Portokalos in “My Big, Fat Greek Wedding,” we must “get married, make babies.” I had no intention of getting married nor having children and quite frankly, I was, ‘starting to look old.’ So what is my purpose here God? This question took me to a really dark place. But when you hit rock bottom, your ears open and hear. And I heard God tell me that my purpose was to teach and heal. All right then, my new journey began.

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Since that time, I have been studying many different types of healing modalities. After coming to St. Nick’s, I took the opportunity to become an active member in the religious order of St. Luke. Throughout all my studies, I have come to believe that many of the healing modalities are all basically the same. They come from a place of love and God. They are all clear that we do not do the actual healing but rather, act on God’s behalf. We are the conduit of his healing energy, love and the Holy Spirit. And above all, healing always occurs when we pray. It might not be exactly what WE want but rather what is most important to God.

What does all this mean to you? At the end of last year, I had a dental appointment and I really didn’t want to go. Who does? So I called the office to reschedule but the receptionist talked me out of it. It was the end of the year, deductible and such. Even on the day of the appointment I wanted to call and reschedule but something inside was saying, ‘no – keep the appointment.’ Fine. I went. I was sitting in the dental chair chatting with the hygienist when she told me that she had gotten a call from her doctor. Her doctor informed her that she had breast cancer. It was then I knew why I couldn’t reschedule that appointment. My old self would have responded with, ‘Oh, I am so sorry to hear that.’ Instead, I said, ‘may I pray with you?’ She smiled and said yes! We took a few minutes and we prayed like nobody’s business. How cool it was to say may I pray with you rather than I am so sorry. On a side note, I had my 6 month appointment and she is doing wonderful. We prayed together again, offering thanks to God for the healing that occurred.

The point of this story is that you don’t need any fancy training or special designation to do God’s healing work. Through my Order of St. Luke studies, I’ve learn that Jesus told his disciples to “go out and preach the Gospel and heal the people.” Anyone can do it and it is really pretty easy. Rev. Nigel Mumford, an Episcopal priest, boils it down to this: “Listen, Love, Pray.” Listen to what the person is telling you and be present in the moment. Open your heart and let your love and the love of God flow. Clear your mind and let the Holy Spirit guide your prayers. Listen, Love, Pray-so simple. Give it a try and you will see the awesome power of our Lord, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit

–Jennifer Brundidge
International Order of St Luke the Physician

P.A.D.S. News: Volunteers Needed

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PUBLIC ACTION TO DELIVER SHELTER is the full name for P.A.D.S. No matter how we say it, there is a need for emergency overnight shelter for the thousands of homeless throughout Chicagoland.

In our area, a number of churches open wide their doors to shelter men, women and children with a warm, safe place to sleep, a shower, food and clean clothes, too.

Christus Victor Evangelical Lutheran Church, our neighbor right on Arlington Heights Road hosts P.A.D.S. and is always ready and willing to invite more volunteers. They open their doors on Tuesday nights.

If there is an interest, please contact Christus Victor directly at: 847-437-2666, or see Laura Lampe, Jeff Westerheide, Vince Otero or Manny for additional information.

God bless us all.