In connection with University Heath Care System's October Breast Health Events, the Rev. Alan Faulkner will be giving a presentation called The Spiritual Side of Survival on Thursday.
"I plan to try and show people how to be proactive in using their faith when it comes to dealing with life-threatening illness," said Faulkner.
The seminar will be at The Meeting Centre, 671 N. Belair Road in Evans.
Though this will be his first time giving the seminar, Faulkner has been working with people as they deal with the stress of illness for years.
"I went to school to receive my seminary degree and then did the clinic pastoral requirements that would allow me to become a chaplain. I worked with the hospital for a time and have been working with this oncology practice for 14 years" he said.
One of the main things that Faulkner plans to do is to share what he's learned over the years with those who are struggling with the crisis of illness now. Through the seminar, he wants to impart to people the power of a strong spiritual connection and the strength in having the right attitude.
"A good attitude is good medicine. ... There is always something to hope for," said Faulkner. "It's important that people not ask 'why' but 'what now.' Asking 'why' will keep you stuck, but asking 'what now' empowers you to move on."
Zoe Walker, who has worked as a neo-natal intensive care nurse and who has suffered with cancer, has had her faith tested.
"Four days before my youngest daughter's wedding I fell in the shower. When they took me to the hospital they found that I had a tumor in my head. During that time I never stopped believing and 10 days later I was able to walk down the isle at my daughters wedding," said Walker. "I really recommend this seminar. It's a way for people to learn from others and have support."
Faulkner also plans to talk about the value of spiritual discipline.
"When people can become aware of their spiritual discipline, it can help to keep them connected," he said. "Many people think of spiritual discipline as just going to church or something, but it can be more than that. A favorite hobby or activity can be part of that. Any positive thing that one enjoys that helps them feel like they're connected, especially to something greater than themselves, is important."
After working in the field for so long, Faulkner also said that just "being" with people could make a difference.
"One of the roots for the word care originally meant to be with," he said. "If your faith has been challenged and your understanding of God has been challenged seek out someone to sit with you, not some one who thinks they know all the answers."
Through his work, Faulkner has learned a great deal from the patients he's cared for.
"I've learned so much from others over the years. I plan to pass as much of that on as I can when I'm up there talking," he said. "Cancer people are some of the healthiest people I know. ... They know life at a deeper level."
Talking about one's emotions while dealing with a life-threatening disease is another important fact that Faulkner would like people to know.
"Talking about death won't kill you, it'll give you the strength to fight," he said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.