By Larry Austin
Island Dispatch Editor
A seminar planned for Whitehaven Road Baptist Church is designed to fill a void in the treatment of cancer.
Called "When God and Cancer Meet," the seminar will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at Whitehaven Road Baptist Church, 1290 Whitehaven Road. The event is for those of any faith touched by cancer - survivors, health care professionals, caregivers and family members - said event organizer Ken Metzger, who launched this "cancer ministry" to fill a void he sees in the field. After his own treatment for cancer, he realized most people don't have the support system of faith and family that he has.
"It's a hard journey. The more assets you have the better chance that you're going to make it through it," Metzger said.
Metzger, a 13-year survivor of oral cancer (the same type of cancer Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly had) said statistics show people with cancer who pray heal better and have higher survivor rates. In his case, he said support from faith and family made him feel as if he was not walking the journey alone.
The seminar will feature a presentation by author Lynn Eib, whose book "When God and Cancer Meet" is included in the $15 cost to attend.
One in two men and one in three women will have cancer in their lives, Metzger said.
"Statistically, 70 percent of people that say they attend church say that their church played no part in their cancer journey, which kind of blew me away," Metzger said. "So my heart's desire has always been to have a cancer care ministry that would be faith-based but also practical."
The program is Christ-centered, but the point is not to convert anyone, but to offer people who are diagnosed "an opportunity to learn and grow and be encouraged," Metzger said. Eib's book stands alone in its field, he added, and her PowerPoint demonstration is inspirational and entertaining.
His desire is to hold future seminars quarterly or twice a year for those going through the journey, he said. Subsequent seminars in small groups will meet every other Tuesday night starting Oct. 13 at WRBC, Metzger said.
Metzger said it is his heart's desire to shine a light in the darkness and to, as he called it, "stand in the gap."
"In fact, I have a saying that I believe if I see a need and God lays in my heart to fill that need, and I have the ability to fill that need and I don't, I'll probably never hear him say, 'Well done, good and faithful servant.' Now, what good is my faith if I can't stand in the gap when I have the ability to do it?" he said.
Call 716-773-1004 to register. Register by Sept. 25 at www.wrbc.org or by calling 716-773-1004.