The year 2020 is rapidly drawing to a close. For many, it has been a year like no other and it cannot disappear into the rearview mirror quickly enough. However, as I look back on it from the perspective of the Christian Medical and Dental Associations Richmond chapter (RCMDA), there have been many joyous moments that I share in the following list:
Active member and past president of RCMDA, Bill Angus, is in complete remission after a successful bone marrow transplant. Our prayers have been answered but we continue to pray that his remission will be long and sustained.
The RCMDA Council supported a housing initiative to have Christian houses for both men and women healthcare students. Through the efforts of Scott Armistead, MD, and Krystal Mattox, DDS there are now two such homes in Churchill- one for three men and one for two women.
On October 17, since the last newsletter, RCMDA sponsored an online ethics conference. The topics addressed abortion, rights of conscience, use of marijuana, political activism and end of life issues, and gender dysphoria.
John Harler and his Racial Reconciliation Committee have provided seven Thursday evening online lectures from Richmonders whose lives model dedication to peace, justice, and racial harmony throughout the city.
Looking forward, Thursday, January 28, 2021, marks the date of the next annual RCMDA Banquet. Farr Curlin, MD, a bioethicist from Duke, will give the keynote address in a virtual format. Lastly, work has been done to update our local RCMDA constitution. It is in its final stages of revision pending official approval in January 2021.
This newsletter will be published just as the Christmas season reaches its zenith. We as Christians pause to remember and to celebrate that our loving God sent his Son, Jesus, Immanuel-God with us, to earth to be the divine source of reconciliation of man with God. As we give our gifts, may we be reminded to share the story of the divine gift of Christ’s coming to our sinful earth to restore our relationships with God and our neighbors.
We have been blessed with a delightful group of both second-year CMDA student leaders and first-years who have become involved! We look to welcome a new group of student leaders in the Spring Semester. I have been encouraged by the students involved in our ministry and their eagerness to pursue God and Christian virtues through reading the Scriptures and other books together, to serve locally at CrossOver Ministries and learn about international medical missions, and to be faithful to the truth and beauty of the Gospel as they face the increasingly secular and difficult to navigate waters of post-modernism and aggressive “progressivism”. In addition to our bi-monthly Thursday meetings which have been held in a much smaller setting and our weekly Wednesday Bible Studies, which have been predominately held outside. The students and I have been walking together on the journey of defending cultural competency, the integrity of the embodied person, and the right of conscience at the medical school. It has not been easy.
I have been thinking deeply and learning much about finding joy in God and knowing the delight of God for me. To see oneself as the beloved of God and to see the core of one’s identity as being loved by Christ—this seems to me to be the thing that will sustain us and give us something to give to our patients in this world of increasing divisions, dehumanization, confusion about the person, the body and gender, physician burnout, etc. The message I’m giving to the students is that we must not define ourselves by what we do, what we have or what other people think of us, but by God’s pursuing love of us as evidenced in who Christ is and what Christ has done. It seems that the core of my ministry to students is becoming more refined to being one of encouraging the development of habits of the heart so that, among all the messages they receive, this message of the Gospel will be the one most clearly heard.
I’m thankful for the support of our Council in their friendship, their prayers, their guidance and, their generosity to the student ministry through Krystal and me.
Grace and peace in Christ,
Scott Armistead, MD
Get involved in your Richmond CMDA!
- Are you a member of CMDA Richmond? Not sure, read our updated CMDA Richmond Constitution to find out.
- Do you want to be more involved with CMDA Richmond? We would love to have you! Please email [email protected]
We praise the Lord for all that He has done through this ministry in 2020 and we look forward to what He has planned for 2021.
Please continue to pray for and support what the Lord is doing through CMDA here in Richmond. If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to CMDA Richmond, please visit cmdarichmond.org/give.