|Second Chances — Celebrate the gift of life in your faith organization|
|Friday, November 15, 2013 9:48 PM|
BY KAITLYN THOMPSON
Lifeline of Ohio
The National Donor Sabbath annual celebration gives religious communities the opportunity to show their support for organ, eye and tissue donation, to dispel common myths and to encourage family discussions about the topic. Surveys show individuals look to their religious leader to help them make a decision concerning organ, eye and tissue donation. This year’s National Donor Sabbath is this weekend and more than 80 religious organizations have committed to sharing the importance of donation with their congregation.
Kidney recipient Vicki Brew is thankful her widespread faith community.
“I always considered myself a religious person and when I went into kidney failure, I believed God would heal me,” Brew said. “As I got sicker and sicker, God revealed to me that there are many pathways to healing. I realized God can use doctors and organ transplants as roads to health. I’m thankful I received my kidney transplant in time and share the donation message with my religious community during National Donor Sabbath.”
Pastor Kraus of Trinity Lutheran Church in Circleville, also a kidney recipient, participates in the program because he feels it’s important to give religious people access to answers.
“Sharing the donation message and the fact that all major U.S. religions support donation, was important for my faith community to hear,” Pastor Kraus said. “As a pastor, sadly, I’ve stood with many families at the death of a loved one; and the question is often asked about what the Church or God thinks about organ donation. I share that any gift of love that gives life or strengthens the life of another person has to be pleasing to God. And what a great comfort to the family when the individual signs up to be an organ donor and they let their wishes be known after the time of their passing.”
Lifeline of Ohio makes it simple for faith groups to discuss donation by offering free materials like bulletin inserts, posters, brochures, lapel pins, hand fans and bookmarks. In addition, Lifeline of Ohio created a clergy manual which includes sample sermons, hymns, bulletin statements, scripture passages and donation information to help religious leaders guide a donation discussion in their congregation. The organization also offers sample newsletter articles, e-mails, power point slides, speakers and display boards.