Many of us are accustomed to the steady presence and leadership of our acolyte, Todd Smith. For many years, Todd has been a teacher and mentor for young people who have learned how to serve the altar of God with dignity and grace.
Todd now is asking for our support and prayer. He’s posted an online Caring Bridge web page to share with friends the particulars of a medical challenge he’s facing, and asks that we take a look and keep him in prayer.
In an age of HIPAA and of technologies that raise major concerns about privacy for citizens of every country, the Church here and elsewhere has adapted to the balance between holding each other in prayer, and respecting the privacy of our members. That balance plays out in varied ways at St. Paul’s. For example, as much as some of our far-flung sisters and brothers in Christ enjoy seeing our faces during online worship, some members of our congregation and others are very concerned about having their faces shown on the Internet for anyone in the world to see. So our camera operators are careful to show the faces only of those of us near the altar who are facing the congregation.
At St. Paul’s, our current policy is to keep medical and other personal information in strict confidence unless we receive specific permission and direction from the subject of the information. That’s disconcerting for those who are used to hearing about hospitalizations or other personal news in church so that the community can offer prayer and support. Even more express gratitude that their personal affairs are discussed in the church only with their consent. That’s why we don’t publish last names on our prayer list, or indicate the reason that people are listed there. St. Paul’s is pleased to honor requests to share this type of information, as Todd has made. Please let Todd know of your care, concern, and prayer for him, as he’s requested.
For more information, please see our September 1 post, Hold Each Other in Prayer.