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Webinar Series: Leading Causes Of Life

Webinar Series: Based on the recent book by Gary Gunderson and Larry Pray, Leading Causes of Life, a series of free Webinars is being offered by Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare to equip viewers with a language for life - five ways to identify life in ourselves and our communities. The Webinars will premier on April 24, 2007. The five leading causes apply to everyone, particularly caregivers and those working in churches and hospitals. If you have ever cared for others; looked for meaning; stepped out in faith; found hope when life looked hopeless; or been changed by a blessing, you will appreciate this Webinar.

Turn on the television or pick up the paper and you're bound to hear what Gary Gunderson calls "death language". Statements like, "heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States", "smoking causes cancer", and even reports of rising divorce and violent crime rates. No matter where we turn, we hear negative, problem-based reporting which leads to problem-based conversation in our every day language. Since we are constantly bombarded with messages about what's killing us, have we lost sight of what is really keeping us alive?

"It's a fairly radical statement to say there are five causes of life," says Gunderson. "You don't have to look for 100 things. If you can pause and look for five things, you're highly likely to find one of the five. And if you find one of the five, if you find connection and follow the thread of that connection, you'll find that what you thought was just a terrific problem actually has a heartbeat in there. If you find the heartbeat, you can strengthen it and work with it."

Filmed on the campus of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn., as part of the prestigious Meeman at Night lecture series, these three Webinars chronicle Gunderson as he applies the Leading Causes of Life logic to three subjects. The first lecture, titled simply" Leading Causes of Life," provides an overview of the concept and its five causes. Each cause is enhanced with intimate storytelling, followed by a question and answer session featuring co-author, Pray.

The second lecture in the series, "Bending the Curve: Leading Causes of Life in a Violent Time," takes a poignant look at how the five causes are used to find life in the aftermath of a violent community. When all seems hopeless, the Leading Causes of Life principles seek to map out the life that is still there, connect that life, and "bend the curve" or change the pattern from death to life.

In the inspirational third lecture, "Leading Causes of Life Among Those Who Care for Others," Gunderson demonstrates how the five causes equip caregivers with a language to apply on the job, whether caring for patients in a hospital, or at home taking care of a family member or neighbor.

Rev. Gary R. Gunderson, D.Min., M.Div. is senior vice president for Health and Welfare Ministries for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis. Larry Pray is a pastor with the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church and a Senior Pastoral Scholar for Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.

The Leading Causes of Life Webinar series is a production of the Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Center of Excellence in Faith and Health. To learn more about the book Leading Causes of Life by Gary Gunderson and Larry Pray, visit