Rev Raymond Schultz, National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada, writes a regular column for each issue of Canada Lutheran.
ELCIC congregations are welcome to republish this material in their church publications. Please acknowledge its original publication by including the credit line:
Canada Lutheran, January/February 2006
More of Bishop Ray's writing can be found in From the Bishop including texts from sermons and addresses.
Here is what I learned from spending 10 minutes on the Internet:
Around 4,000 Canadians are awaiting organ donations. Three-quarters of them need kidneys. Only one out of three people is successful in receiving a donated organ even though the current success rate for transplants is above 80%. Too few people are signing donor cards. Older people are more likely to donate organs than younger: the average age is 35.
Here is what I do:
I carry an organ donor card in my wallet. When I die, I want any part of me that still works to give health to someone else. I have carried such a card since I was about 30 years of age.
Here is what I believe in:
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends. John 15:13
Most people do not become courageous heroes, dying deliberately in some line of duty in order to save someone else. Most people die in bed surrounded by caregivers. Yet, one can still give something of one's life for others—in this case: tissues
My deepest desire is that every member of this church will embrace its theme of being In Mission for Others in every way available. Whether members' actions benefit the church as institution is not as important as that someone in need has that need met. Giving a part of a body you no longer control is one way of being In Mission for Others.
Remember that you are dust; and to dust you shall return. Ash Wednesday Liturgy
I am a product of this earth. When I die, my remains will rejoin the planet from which they were received. Whether they take a detour through someone else before resting in their source is of no inconvenience to me. Rather, my sincerest offering prayer is this:
All that I have and all that I am I return to you, O God. Thank you!
Bishop Raymond Schultz
Canada Lutheran, June 2006