Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

[kidney donation] "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors."

Last Monday morning, an email came through on the listserv of the local UCC church I attend about writing letters to Legal Seafoods and The Cheesecake Factory.  (The email says, in part, "Legal Seafoods and The Cheesecake Factory restaurants in Greater Boston subcontracted with local companies that hired these workers to clean their restaurants. The cleaning companies then refused to pay the workers for both regular and overtime hours, cheating them out of weeks of hard-earned pay. Our mission and justice partner Centro Presente is leading a campaign seeking fair treatment for the workers.")

It occurred to me that probably plenty of CWM folk would be interested in workers' rights issues, and I continue to feel frustrated at the lack of information-sharing between congregations.

What I've been hearing about these past however many weeks at CWM (my primary church) is the trans-inclusive Massachusetts ENDA [and hate crimes bill] and environmental stuff.

At midweek service at aforementioned UCC church last week, the pastor had flyers for the Hearty Meals outreach at the American Baptist church down the street.

Then later I was thinking about how it probably makes sense for individual congregations to only focus on a few mission outreaches

***

Later that day, I read an article in The Atlantic about kidney donation (which I didn't realize until I hit the end was by Virginia Postrel).  Excerpt:
Living with a single kidney is almost exactly like living with two; the remaining kidney expands to take up the slack. (When kidneys fail, they generally fail together; barring trauma or cancer, there’s not much advantage to a backup.) The main risk to the donor is the risk of any surgery. The kidney can now be removed laparoscopically, using tiny incisions and a fiber-optic camera to guide the surgeon, thus avoiding the huge abdominal slice and lengthy recovery time that used to be standard. Kidney donors don’t have to be close relatives of recipients, but they do need to have the right blood type. And kidneys from living donors tend to last many years longer than kidneys from deceased donors.

Since the current transplant system extols altruism, one way to end the list would be to find more altruists. With, say, 50,000 new living donors, deceased donation could easily pick up the slack. Again, the numbers aren’t that big. The Southern Baptist Convention includes 42,000 member churches; the United Methodist Church, whose Web site earlier this year featured the quote, “As United Methodists, we’re life savers,” counts more than 34,000 U.S. congregations. If each congregation produced just one new living donor, the waiting list would disappear. But kidney donation is a more visceral mission than mainstream religious groups want to contemplate. The only sect to adopt kidney donation as a formal cause is a tiny Australia-based group called Jesus Christians; instead of lauding them, critics point to their donations as evidence that they’re a cult.
I still refuse to officially join any church/denomination, but my home church is "wicked Methodist" (TM me), and in recent months I've noticed myself having "you are of my people" reactions to people mentioning having grown up United Methodist, so I was particularly kicked by the mention of the UMC.
Tags: organ donation
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