As pastor of Rock House Ministries, a tiny congregation in Rockford, Dola Gregory has no health insurance.
As pastor of Rock House Ministries, a tiny congregation at 1325 Seventh St. in Rockford, Dola Gregory has no health insurance.
The cataract surgery she needed to save the vision in her left eye cost way more than she could afford on her monthly salary of $800. Dr. Edward Yavitz of Rockford performed the surgery for free, giving her a “Merry Christmas!” greeting, rather than a bill.
“I just felt it was about time somebody ministered to her,” Yavitz said. “She deserves it.”
Bob and Connie Griffin of Rockford Renewal Ministries got the ball rolling on the gift, with services and products donated by Northern Illinois Optical, Physicians Immediate Care, Rockford Anesthesiologists Associated and Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center.
Gregory, whose ministry has worked with homeless and street people for years, was overwhelmed by all of the generosity.
“It all happened within five days,” she said. “It was God, a Christmas miracle.”
Pastor Greg Carlson of Rockford’s Sonlight Community Church may need a similar miracle.
A member told me that he, too, is a clergyman without insurance but in need of major surgery.
I am checking in with him and his church for updates on his progress and how the community may be able to help.
Today is the second day of Kwanzaa, a seven-day holiday celebrating culture in the black community.
The principle of the day is self-determination, or the idea that we should name ourselves, create for ourselves and speak for ourselves.
Mark your calendar
Janice Shaw Crouse, a senior fellow at the Concerned Women for America’s think tank, is the speaker for the 12th annual January Life Breakfast, 7:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 18, at Giovanni’s.
A speechwriter for the first President Bush, Crouse has been interviewed on major networks, including CNN and Fox.
The local event is sponsored by the Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, the Respect Life Office of the Catholic Diocese of Rockford and Rockford Area Lutherans for Life.
Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students. Call 815-964-5819.
On my mind, in my heart
When an ensemble I sang with wanted to rename itself, I suggested New Creation, based on 2 Corinthians 5:17, which says we are new creatures in Christ.
As 2007 ends, and I think of the Scripture, I am glad I have a faith that offers the eternal hope that we can change for the better.
Edith C. Webster’s column on religion and ethics appears on Thursdays. She can be reached at 815-987-1394 or firstname.lastname@example.org.