Our Journey of Hope – Episode 144
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Featuring: Rev. Percy McCray and Wayne Shepherd
Published: December 29, 2018
This special edition of Health, Hope & Inspiration places the spotlight on the compelling story of how the Our Journey of Hope program began and how it became a ministry outreach offering cancer care ministry resources and leadership training that helps to build and offers support to a network of church-based cancer care ministries.
Rev. Percy McCray wanted to be a pastor. Newly graduated from Bible school, his heart was centered on starting his own church in his hometown of Chicago, which he eventually did, but as is often the case, God had other plans.
“There was an organization in the community called Cancer Treatment Centers of America that I knew nothing about, and an individual who had worked there who knew of me challenged me with regard to my direction of thought from a ministerial perspective. I had no idea or knowledge of healthcare ministry, per se. I had heard about chaplains. And all that I had historically heard, and my reference point about chaplains was not very exciting to me. They did generic work. They weren’t real ministers. They didn’t really have the ability to dig into theology. And I wasn’t interested in that. I wanted to be a pastor.” Fast-forward some 23 years later, Pastor Percy hasn’t looked back. Initially coming on board as a bedside chaplain at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma, McCray eventually transferred to his hometown, where he became Director of Pastoral Care and oversaw the chaplains at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Chicago.
Shortly thereafter, McCray’s vision for Our Journey of Hope came to life after an encounter with a patient, which led him to develop an outreach that would provide support and ministry to pastors and church leaders and challenge them to be trained on how to support cancer-care patients within their congregation.
- “We don’t get the life we deserve. We get the life that God designs.”
- “Our Journey of Hope is really aimed at churches coming alongside and assisting people who are going through a cancer journey.”
- “Cancer patients need someone—and in many cases, a community of someones—to walk alongside them to aid and assist them. That is the undergirding principle of one of the most important groups of people that need to be equipped to walk alongside people of faith—pastors, spiritual leaders and church members. Historically, they have not been empowered to do that.”
Click here to download this week’s resource: “Cancer Care Ministry and Your Church“