Sunday, March 22, 2009

Ketchum: Want to add years to life? Go to church

A nice story about one of our clergy here in Pittsburgh -Dan Hall

Here's a revelation: Research indicates prayer helps sick people, especially when sick people know others are praying for them.

Believers would say the research confirms the obvious. Yet this little gem of wisdom rated space as news in the current issue of the "Christian Century" magazine. The idea that prayer is more than just a palliative is something the faithful take for granted.

Such research is one more attempt to prove faith, which is impossible. It's like taking a wristwatch apart with a sledge hammer to see how it works. Some researchers call faith a supernatural placebo. If you think it works, it works.

Research done by Dr. Daniel Hall takes things a step further. He's an Episcopal priest who has decided to live his calling as a surgeon in Pittsburgh. He wears "M. Div." (Master of Divinity) after the "M.D." on his hospital coat, but he does not proselytize. He, however, will discuss faith and how it relates to health if anyone asks.

Hall has studied the impact faith has and concludes, among other things, that church attendance can add two or three years to a believer's life. Actually, it only seems that way, especially if you aren't crazy about the hymns or you serve on a church council, vestry or session board. Then it can seem like forever.

More here-

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