OSL Healing Communities
What is a Healing Community?
Since the beginning of the Order of St. Luke, our local prayer groups have been called “Chapters.” This seemed to be an appropriate way of designating these gatherings of people offering healing ministry. Over the last year as we have worked to expand the vision and scope of OSL, it became apparent that the word “chapter” was too small to designate what our ministry is on the local level. “Chapter” designates a specific gathering, but it does not describe the deep connections and commitments found in our local groups.
Recently the OSL leadership team began discussions on how to best describe our local groups more accurately and in greater alignment with the gospels. We recognized that we are seeking to form communities that learn about the healing ministry of Jesus and then live his healing presence. We see in the scriptures that Jesus not only did healing ministry but he formed a healing community that carried on his work. We began to see our “chapters” as “healing communities” that do what the early Christian communities did.
Jesus created a healing atmosphere in which people experienced healing. As we seek to do what Jesus did, it is important to create an environment where people can feel wrapped in his unconditional love. This is especially important for offering inner healing. People who were hurt in a destructive environment in early childhood often need a healing environment to be set free from hurtful memories and destructive relationships. We can offer them this transforming environment in our OSL Healing Communities.
For these reasons, and after consultation with many OSL leaders and prayerful discernment, the board unanimously agreed in April to change the name of “Chapters” to “Healing Communities.” Going forward, we ask OSL members to begin referring to your local group as a Healing Community. As we talk with people about this we will have a great opportunity to explain what we do and how we seek to relate to others in a healing and caring way as Jesus did. The way we care for each other and listen to each other’s needs will validate this new designation. I believe this will give a new flavor to our ministry and open the door for more people to experience the healing atmosphere of an OSL healing community. I believe it will be more compelling to invite someone into our healing community, than to a chapter meeting. (This is also in keeping with our Who We Are – OSL informational piece which you all received.)
You will be seeing this new designation on communications from the OSL Office in print materials, on social media and on the upcoming new website. Going forward, in your communications, we encourage you to begin using this new designation. During this transition time of terminology change, you will see OSL use both designations so that people know to what we are referring.
As a Healing Community, we befriend people with the love of Jesus, give them a place to belong and a community in which to become their true self as Jesus intended. As we carry out this ministry we will be richly blessed by the Presence of Jesus. Thank you for being part of this awesome ministry.
Rev. Paul Feider
President of the OSL Board
Current Healing Communities in Region V
We encourage all members of OSL to find or start a healing community so that you won't feel alone in your ministry efforts. Gather people who are interested in healing ministry. Study together, encourage one another, and go out to do the ministry the Lord has given you, just as the 70 disciples went out to proclaim the kingdom of God, heal the sick, and cast out demons.
The people you gather don't have to be members of the same church. We are an inter-denominational organization. OSL is unique in that we draw people who have various styles and ways of practicing healing ministry. Our main focus is to learn from and encourage one another.
Region V, which includes Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Colorado, currently has Healing Communities in the following cities, and we would love to help you start a new community if there's not one near you:
Lake Charles, LA
Fort Worth, TX
San Antonio, TX