Briefs: Virtual Prayer, Battling Bacteria, 50-Year ‘Reunion’

Covenanter Designs App for Intercessory Prayer

BELLINGHAM, WA (May 9, 2013) – Dusty Gulleson, a member of Bellingham Covenant Church, has designed a free iPhone application call “Ora,” which is Latin for prayer.

The app allows users to leverage existing social networks and mobile devices to connect individuals through intercessory prayer. Users also can keep track of prayer requests – both as a reminder to pray as well as keep track of answers to prayer.

Ora collects, organizes, tracks, reminds, connects and securely shares prayer requests and answers with anyone the user chooses.

Dan Boehlje, associate pastor at Bellingham Covenant, describes the app this way: “It’s like Twitter meets church prayer chain.”

Click here to access the iPhone app. Gulleson says the app should soon be available on Google Play.

National Foundation Praises Swedish Covenant Hospital

CHICAGO, IL (May 9, 2013) – The head of a national foundation that seeks to eradicate “superbug” infections from medical facilities recently cited Swedish Covenant Hospital as a primary example of how institutions can make significant progress in battling potentially deadly bacteria.

Techniques implemented by the hospital have led to a 28 percent reduction of the bacteria Clostridium difficile – popularly referred to as C-diff, said Christian Lillis, who runs the Peggy Lillis Memorial Foundation, in a recent Associated Press article.

The hospital dabs fluorescent powder around a room before it is cleaned, and a special light then shows if the powder was removed during the cleaning process. The strategy has led to a 28 percent reduction in C-diff, Lillis said.

Lillis formed the foundation after his mother died from the bacteria. The diarrhea-causing bacteria is linked to 14,000 U.S. deaths each year.

According to the article, C-diff “is particularly difficult to clean away. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t work and C-diff can persist on hospital room surfaces for days.” The Centers for Disease Control recommend that rooms be cleaned with bleach.

Swedish Covenant Hospital is operated by Covenant Ministries of Benevolence on behalf of the Evangelical Covenant Church.

Johnson’s Book Discussion Becomes 50-year Reunion

NORTHBROOK, IL (May 9, 2013) – An audience had gathered in the auditorium at Covenant Village of Northbrook to hear Dr. G. Timothy Johnson discuss his book, The Truth About Getting Sick in America: The Real Problems with Health Care and What We Can Do, but he wanted to celebrate a 50-year reunion.

The ABC News senior medical contributor took note of audience member Ruth Holmsten, who was celebrating her 101st birthday. The two had worked together 50 years earlier at North Park College (now North Park University).

“I was older, and he teased me,” she said after the program. “He was lots of fun.”

Johnson graduated from North Park College in 1956 and earned a seminary degree at North Park Theological Seminary in 1963.

Click here to purchase a copy of Johnson’s book through




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