Volume 1, Issue 5
PLANNING FOR THE END OF SUMMER
Even as we start to focus on our individual summer vacations we are simultaneously planning for activities that will occur in August and September when schools re-open and Christian education activities resume. The following topical resources may be helpful to your programming: (1) bullying, (2) hand washing, and (3) lunch box nutrition.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. Unfortunately, children are not just bullied at school. Some experience this unhealthy behavior when participating in activities at church. Stopbullying.gov provides helpful information for FCNs, parents, teachers, those in the community, as well as resources for teens and kids.
Schools can be a dangerous places for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. “The OUT for Safe Schools™ program identifies visible adult allies within a school. This helps LGBT youth feel safe and supported while also helping to deter bullies. More information is available at Out For Safe Schools. Perhaps this program could be adapted for within your church community.
Hand washing - Clean Hands Save Lives.
Hand washing is particularly important when people are sharing books, pencils, crayons, scissors, food and the accompanying germs. Without proper hand cleaning an infection can quickly spread among children and adults, placing all within our church community at risk, especially those who are elderly or immune-compromised. Educational activities are available that promote hand washing among all ages.
Nutrition in a Lunch box
The start of school brings the challenge of filling children’s lunchboxes. You can help parents with suggestions of affordable and nutritious food that kids will eat. The Lunchbox Chatter Newsletter Program provides guidelines for including the major food groups, food safety tips, a grocery shopping template, and sample lunch box “menus” that will work with even picky eaters.
SELF-CARE – You need a vacation!
It is not always easy to gift our self with time away from our ministry. Yet, as health care professionals we know how important it is to take a break. It is something we freely encourage others to do. What about us?
In the UCC Daily Devotional, The Badge of Busyness
Matthew Laney reminds us "’Remember the Sabbath’ is not only a command for rest; it is an invitation to know the joy of being unnecessary. No one is more important or necessary than God and even God took a day off.”
In The Value of a Vacation the author explains that “time away creates a healthier, more productive, recharged individual. The importance of vacations to our physical and mental health also supports why we should take a vacation and gives tips on how to make the most of it for our health and well-being. During the summer months it is often a quieter time in the church year making it easier to find a way to get away!
RESOURCES: PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION & NETWORKING
- Explaining a Health Ministry Team – In congregations used to a committee structure we often have to explain about our process of working with a Health Ministry Team. An article How Ministry Teams Get Things Done. Describing the difference between church committees and ministry teams this article then explains how they function and why they are successful.
June 8th Topic - Security and Your Church - 2:00pm EST – A free webinar offered by the Insurance Board will discuss violence in churches, guns, and recommendations for reducing risk and making your church safer and more secure. Go to Insurance Board or Click here to register.
- June 9th 2:00 pm EDT or July 14th 2:00pm EDT Topic – Got coverage? Next Steps in Using Your Health Insurance Many people now have health insurance but may not know how to use it. This webinar will highlight From Coverage to Care health insurance literacy tools and how to use them.
- June 14th 3:00 pm EDT or July 19th 2:00pm EDT Topic - Special Enrollment Periods and Resources for the Uninsured Learn more about special enrollment periods (ex. graduation, marriage, loss of job with insurance) and how people may enroll in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Click here to register:
- June 9th - 11th 17th Annual Conference Parish Nursing & Health Ministry – Looking at Parish Nursing through a Different Lens Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH. Keynote speaker: Faith Roberts, RN, MSN.
- July 6th - 9th National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) National Convention, Denver, CO. Will have several FaithNet programs including: Psychological, Social and Spiritual Faith Journeys for Veterans and Military Personnel, How to Respond to Survivors of Suicide: Words & Resources, and an Interfaith Prayer and Share Service
- Sept. 12th - 14th Health Ministries Asso. Annual Meeting & Conference – Journey to Wholeness- Faith Leaders Meeting Community Health Challenges, Crown Plaza, Chandler (Tucson), AZ. Come and meet other UCC FCNs and others involved in UCC Health Ministries!
Learning Experiences and Resources Shared by FCNs
- Becky Anton, MSN, RN, FCN, Commissioned Minister of Congregational Health participated in a daylong workshop: Domestic Violence: What Every Christian Needs to Know, led by Rev. Al Miles. The 60 participants: ministers, FCNs, and lay leaders learned about domestic violence and considered best practices for providing spiritual care to victims-survivors and offenders of domestic violence. Some of Rev. Miles information is available at Intimate Partner Violence & Intimate Partner Justice: How Spiritual Teaching Impact Both A handout of Resources was distributed. The program was presented by the Northern California Nevada Conference of the UCC.
- Alyson Breisch, MSN, RN-BC, FCN, Commissioned Minister of Congregational Health attended the 2016 Westberg Symposium, held in Skokie, Illinois. The theme was Faith Community Nursing, Resilience: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow. Some of the highlights were:
- Linda Morgan, BS, RN FCN participated in LIFE (Lifelong Learner Institute of Faith Exploration), a program during which lay men and women study scripture and explore Christian faith and life. LIFE is sponsored jointly by the UCC Missouri Mid-South Conference, the UCC Illinois South Conference and Eden Theological. This program helped Linda meet some of the requirements set by her conference’s Committee on Ministry as she prepares for commissioning as an Authorized Minister of Congregational Health.
Many UCC Conferences and Associations of the UCC sponsor in-depth, ongoing continuing education for adults. Some of these programs may become part of the preparation for commissioned or licensed ministries at the discretion of the Authorizing Association.
RESOURCES: FOR OUR PRACTICE
UCC Calendar of Events
- June 7th – 9th National ONA (Open and Affirming) Gathering, St. Joseph, MN [http:// openandaffirming.org/news/ona-gathering]
- June 25th – 59th Anniversary of the United Church of Christ
June 27th - National HIV Testing Day
1 in 7 people with HIV in the U.S. don’t know they have it. To end HIV as a public health threat “All of us must do our part to know HIV – know it in our community, know our own HIV status, and take every measure to prevent its spread.” - Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, Executive, Office for Health and Wholeness Advocacy and Exec. Dir., United Church of Christ AIDS Network. We can use National HIV Testing Day to raise awareness about the importance of testing. Resources are available on the UCC HIV and AIDS Ministry website and on the National Health Observance website.
- July 26th - 30th - UCC National Youth Event 4,000 Disciples of Christ and UCC youth from across the country will gather at Walt Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort. Believe is the theme, but it is not a query. It is a charge, responsibility and call to action based on Hebrews 11:1. Perhaps a returning youth will be interested in becoming part of your health ministry team.
National Health Observances (NHOs) (selected items)
Month of August
- For children to succeed they need to be able to see. Have you done a vision screening so difficulties are identified early? Children's Eye Health and Safety Prevent Blindness
- School attendance generally requires certain immunizations. Parents will benefit by receiving accurate information regarding immunizations. National Immunization Awareness Month
Month of September
- With the return to school the spread of lice increases which may impact the activities within the church. National Pediculosis Prevention Month/Head Lice Prevention Month
- Continue the work of preparing for a disaster during National Preparedness Month
- Support those in recovery during National Substance Abuse Recovery Month
- September 5th – 11th is National Suicide Prevention Week www.suicidology.org with September 10th named as World Suicide Prevention Day
- September 21st - Overloaded backpacks can lead to life long neck and back problems. Help children care for the body God has given them. information is available for National School Backpack Awareness Day
ISSUES IN THE NEWS
- Zika virus Outdoor summertime activities led to questions about the Aedes mosquitoes and the Zika virus. Updated information and infographics are available from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Consumer Reports has released free to the public an updated report of its exclusive test results and ratings of mosquito repellents – including those that will protect you best against Aedes mosquitoes, the type that carry the Zika virus.
- When Disaster relief brings anything but relief is a video that explains that “How” we respond to disasters is just as important as the heart with which we respond. Zach Wolgemuth, Exec, UCC Disaster Ministries recommends that it be shared with members of the congregation before planning the next response to a disaster.
FAITH COMMUNITY NURSES IN THE NEWS
Aly Breisch, MS, RN-BC, Commissioned Minister of Congregational Health presented at the Reimagining Medicine conference at Porter Adventist Hospital in Denver, CO, April 6th - 7th. Read a summary of her presentation “The Path to Making Nursing a Ministry”.
SEEKING INPUT FOR FUTURE ISSUES!
- Favorite music used in programming.
Please share the title and performer of the work, as well as how you use it.
- Compensation for services.
What compensations do you receive for the time and talents you share through your role in the congregation? …as a faith community nurse outside of your congregation?
- Programming in collaboration with Sunday School program
- Programming in collaboration with the Youth Group activities
- “Occupational health” interventions do you provide for the staff, paid and volunteer?
What would you like to know more about?
What information are you seeking?
Please send along your ideas and/or information to Peggy Matteson, editor of the newsletter.