From CMF news - winter 2006 - Evangelism [p4]
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More than two years ago, we revised our aims in CMF to include ‘Evangelism - To encourage Christian doctors and medical students to be witnesses for Christ among all they meet.’We have always been encouraged to share our faith with our colleagues, but in the past some have been reticent to share faith with patients for fear they would be abusing their position or acting in an unethical way.
Over the last two years, more than nine hundred people have participated in one of the 34 Saline Solution conferences, which we have held in 2005-2006. One of the main tenets of the course has been called the SPR of Spiritual Care – ie. the need to treat our patients and colleagues with sensitivity, permission and respect in line with 1 Peter 3:15,‘But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.’
In response to the cry of our generation for ‘holistic’ medicine and meeting the needs of the whole person, the NHS in recent years has decided to invest significantly in ‘Spiritual Care’ 1
The Saline Solution day is spent grappling with what this means for the doctor and other healthcare professionals, and many participants have told me of a new awareness of opportunities to address spiritual issues with patients since attending.
We plan to build up a team of people up and down the country who can lead Saline Solution days, and individual CMF members in clinical practice and medical education in the regions are already bringing new insights, as they get involved. Please contact me if you would like us to organise a day in your area or to get involved yourself.
Further developments have come through ICMDA Eurasia where we are working with neighbouring national Christian medical organisations.We have jointly led two Saline Solution days in the Netherlands and there are plans for similar events in Germany and Norway in the New Year.