Breast cancer is no respecter of faith or religion, which is why several churches are celebrating “Worship in Pink” services in October.
Informational tables will be set up in the fellowship halls, members will wear pink clothing and ribbons, survivors will be honored and those who have succumbed to breast cancer will be remembered with a moment of silence. Some churches will host an after-service “Pink Party” with pink lemonade and pastries.
St. Alma Baptist Church in Lakeland participated last year, the Rev. Mary Moss said. The Worship in Pink service is important, she said, because she has several congregation members who are survivors.
“I believe in holistic ministry — the well-being of the whole person,” Moss said. “The church is not just for the preaching event but to provide information that will also lead to life. Jesus came that we may have life and have it more abundantly.”
Pointe Coupee Parish has a very high mortality rate with cancer, especially among African Americans, Moss said.
“African-American women are often diagnosed at a later date so the mortality rate is higher,” she said. “We need to call attention to this with some sense of alarm.
“If I raise the issue from the pulpit, which is a trusted place for my parishioners, then they will take that information and spread it to the community,” Moss said. “I cannot be silent about it.”
Promise Land Baptist Church on Plank Road in north Baton Rouge will hold a pink service at 11 a.m. Oct. 7, said the Rev. Perry Wright Jr., because “it is an issue of life.”
There are four or five church members who are survivors, Wright said. The women will wear pink, both men and women will wear pink ribbons and some of the men will wear pink ties. Gift bags also will be distributed.
“We invite everyone to come worship with us,” Wright said. “We’ll be taking up a special offering to help where we can for those who have been diagnosed.”
Carolyn Gee, a Promise Land member and on-air personality at WTQT-FM radio, has in the past hosted breast cancer awareness seminars at the church and is involved with the Sisters Supporting Sisters support group. Gee also will be hosting Breast Cancer Awareness tables at several other area churches during the month, she said.
“Breast cancer is near and dear to me because my niece has had two bouts with breast cancer,” Gee said. “I also have a sister who has been affected by breast cancer. There are so many resources available. The good news is that breast cancer is not unto death.”
Dayspring Church, on Nicholson Drive in St. Gabriel, participates each year and will hold its service on Oct. 14, said the Rev. Lawton Searcy. It is a good way, he said, for the church to better serve the community.
Display tables are set up, the women wear pink dresses and the men wear pink ties and ribbons.
“I don’t typically wear a tie, but on this Sunday I’ll definitely wear a pink tie,” Searcy said.
Cancer survivors are recognized and several of them share their testimonies, he said.
“We also recognize those who are still in the battle, and we have a prayer time for them,” he said.
The church also has ongoing relationships with Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center and with Woman’s Hospital, which several times a year bring a mobile mammography unit to the church for women to get screening services.
“If Jesus were here today in the flesh, where would Jesus want to go?” Searcy asked. “He would go where people are hurting. Jesus healed sick women himself — that is our responsibility. For us, the message of the Gospel applies to the whole person.”
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