UCC Faith Community Nurse Network
Health and wholeness of body, mind, and spirit and social justice for all God's children, compelled by Christ's healing acts of compassion, love, and grace, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
The UCC Faith Community Nurse Network, formerly the Parish Nurse Network, aims to promote health ministry and parish nursing in congregations and communities, as the visible presence and voice of parish nurses in the United Church of Christ.
To provide support for congregational health ministers and parish nurses in the UCC by facilitating networking between individuals and/or congregations for collaboration and peer consult by working with the UCC national office to maintain a mailing list or directory.
To collaborate with the UCC national office to provide additional opportunities for networking, including continuing education events and/or spiritual renewal retreats, possibly in conjunction with other groups interested in issues relating to integration of faith and health such as the UCC Physicians' Network.
To consult with the UCC national office to develop and make available information and resources to assist UCC congregations and institutions in starting and developing congregational health ministries and parish nurse programs.
To represent congregational health ministry and parish nursing within the UCC denomination at wider church gatherings (such as General Synod, CHHSM Convocation, conference, and association gatherings) through activities such as informational booths, the offering of health screenings or workshops to promote wholeness, etc. or to advocate for the church to respond to health issues (including public policy) from a faith perspective that understands health and wellness as a vision of God's intended shalom.
To act as the bridge between the nursing profession, parish nursing within other faith communities, and the United Church of Christ, promoting dialogue and serving as consultants to address issues concerning professional nursing standards of practice and denomination expectations of parish nursing as a specialized area of ministry.
Professional registered nurses who serve (or are interested in serving) as parish nurses (paid or volunteer), who are UCC members, and/or who serve congregations of the UCC.
Past and ongoing activities
UCC PN Network had its earliest beginnings with 2 retreats for UCC parish nurses—1994 and 1995 (both in St. Louis) hosted jointly by the UCBHM/ AMA and the Deaconess Foundation.
Over at least the past 5 years, have informally gathered to network as the "UCC parish nurses" for a breakout session during the annual Westberg Parish Nurse Symposium in Chicago, hosted by the International Parish Nurse Resource Center of the Advocate Health Care System (a member of CHHSM).
As a working group of UCBHM, drafted and submitted the resolution, "Reclaiming the Church's Ministry of Health and Healing," adopted by General Synod XXI (1997—Columbus).
Have participated in CHHSM Convocations (1998 and 1999); on each occasion gathered as parish nurses for organizational meetings along with networking and fellowship.
Have hosted an informational booth (along with the UCC Physicians Network) at General Synod XXI (1997) and since XXII (1999) have hosted the Faith Community Nurse and Wellness Exhibit table with information, activities, and health screenings.
Have collaborated with the UCC Physician's Network to plan shared continuing education events in conjunction with the CHHSM Convocations.
Network members have been working with the Minister of Healthcare Justice to develop resources for congregational use, including parish nurse information packets and a "how-to" manual for congregational health ministry and parish nursing.
Members have shared information with many individuals seeking information on parish nursing in the UCC, referred by the Minister of Health and Welfare following a call to the national office in search of UCC parish nurses.