February 9, 2015

Garden Spot Village ALIVE and Eastern Mennonite Seminary at Lancaster invite residents and the public to participate in a six-part educational program on the healing power of prayer beginning February 23.

Garden Spot Village ALIVE (Active Lifelong Learners in Vital Engagements) and Eastern Mennonite Seminary at Lancaster invite the community to an in-depth course titled "Healing Prayer in the Christian Story." The six-session class will meet on Mondays from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 23 and March 2, 9, 16,23, and 30 on the campus of Garden Spot Village at 433 S. Kinzer Ave. in New Holland.

"Healing has always been a defining element of Christianity. This course will draw on a variety of sources to examine the enduring impulse for healing ministry and prayer in the Christian mission," said Chet Yoder, director of pastoral services at Garden Spot Village.

The instructor for the course will be Rev. Dr. Mark Wenger, director of pastoral studies at Eastern Mennonite Seminary at Lancaster. Wenger, who has more than 18 years of experience as a pastor in Pennsylvania and Virginia, contributes regularly to the "Matters of Faith" column in the Lancaster Sunday News.

The class will combine lecture, Bible study, multimedia presentations, personal stories, prayer and group discussion. Topics will include Biblical sources of the Christian healing pulse; historical examples that will illustrate religious, cultural, and intellectual developments in Christian healing ministries, and anointing the stick with oil in the Mennonite Church. Participants and guest speakers will talk about episodes of pain and gifts of grace.

The textbook for the class will be Stretch Out Your Hand: Exploring Healing Prayer by Tilda Norberg and Robert D. Webber. The authors provide ways to consider the varieties of God's healing love for individuals, institutions and communities, and they examine the many difficult questions about prayer and the role of faith in healing.

The cost of the program is $10. The textbook is available for purchase at the time of registration for an additional $10. Continuing education units are available through Eastern Mennonite Seminary for an additional fee. Garden Spot Village residents may register for the course at Resident Services. Member of the general public may register by calling 717-355-6159. Please register by Wednesday, Feb. 18.

Garden Spot Village is home to all faiths and backgrounds. It is affiliated with the Lancaster Mennonite Conference of the Mennonite Church, the Atlantic Coast Conference of the Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Health Services. The community's mission is "to enrich the lives of older adults as an expression of Christ's love." For more information, visit