UCC Wellness Ministries Toolkit
Wellness Ministries Toolkit
Presented by UCC Wellness Ministries
About this Toolkit
This Toolkit will assist you in understanding the basis for Wellness Ministries and their role as we strive to care for all God’s children. It is meant to assist the process as your congregation develops its programs based on the resources and needs of its congregation and the community it serves. We hope you find it useful as you develop creative, new ways to best meet the healing and health needs of your congregation and the community you serve.
This project was spearheaded by Peggy Matteson, a Faith Community Nurse and Minister of Congregational Health, and made possible through the collective efforts of members of the Wellness Ministries Leadership Team past and present, and many others within the UCC. A very special thanks to Rev. Michael Schuenemeyer, Minister and Team Leader, Health & Wholeness Advocacy, UCC National Ministries for his years of collaboration with us.
Explore this Page
Sections in the Toolkit
The toolkit is divided into three sections. You can read about and access each section below. Additionally, we’ve placed important components from each section on this page. Navigate them by using the “Explore this Page” menu.
Section 1 – Envisioning Wellness Ministries answers the questions: what, who, why, and where are UCC Wellness Ministries. You will find that the UCC has long promoted the ministries of health and healing and recognizes that health and health care are issues of social and economic justice.
Section 2 – Establishing and Growing Wellness Ministries provides information and tools to assist the process as each congregation develops its programs based on the resources and needs of their congregation and the community it serves. Both lay leaders and Faith Community Nurses lead Wellness Ministries.
Already registered? Click here to enter your password and view the Toolkit.
Section 3 – Wellness Ministries of Care provides exemplars and resource information shared by those actively involved in developing and sustaining diverse Wellness Ministries programs. Each of us was called to this ministry and aided by patient mentors. We continue the process by offering that support to you and sharing what our experiences have taught us.
Already registered? Click here to enter your password and view the Toolkit.
Ways Wellness Ministries are Impacting Lives
Section 3 consists of exemplars that detail the experiences of congregations actively involved in developing and sustaining diverse Wellness Ministries programs. Here are select summaries from exemplars. Each of us was called to this ministry and aided by patient mentors. We continue the process by offering that support to you and sharing what our experiences have taught us.
Providing a Service of Hope and Healing
When a request was made for a worship service that offered hope and healing, a late afternoon service, candle lit Healing Vespers, was developed that met the desire for a time of contemplative music, prayer, and meditation.
When a lay leader suffered a stroke and could not resume her level of physical activity within the congregation, she collaborated in creating a meaningful new way of being part of a caring community.
Observing Our 1st Mental Health Sunday
When a Wellness Ministries Team decided to have a worship service focused on mental health it used the Mental Health Worship Resource Guide developed by the UCC Mental Health Network for ideas. During Coffee Hour, educational materials were shared. Prayers for the people now include issues of mental and physical health. The discussion of mental health and mental illness has become more normalized.
Establishing and Enhancing Wellness Ministries
Resources found in section 2 are meant to guide your congregation in the creation of programs within Wellness Ministries. Search our collection of resources based on where you are in the process of developing Wellness Ministries. If this is your first time to the tool kit, please start your journey by exploring the resources below in the blue boxes. We recommend that you read them in numerical order.
Essential Program Resources
1. Moving from an Idea to an Action Plan
Moving from an idea to organizing a Wellness Ministries program requires an understanding of your congregation. Here are questions you should be asking.
2. How to Establish a Program of Wellness Ministries
To help you establish a Wellness Ministries program, we’ve identified fifteen basic steps we believe will get you started.
3. Wellness Ministries Teams Provide a Circle of Care
Wellness Ministries programs are ministries of health and healing. Learn more about what this means and the role this program and its volunteers fulfill.
4. Faith Community Nursing
Faith community nursing focuses on the care of the spirit as the foundation of the practice. Here are some questions to teach you about how this can play out.
5. Strategic Planning
A strategic plan will help establish Wellness Ministries programs within a specific congregation and the community it serves. These are the phases you should follow.
6. Foci of Wellness Ministries: Care of the Spirit – Spiritual Wellness
This is when a person feels connected to self, others, and God. It includes having hope, living purposefully, and being at peace while experiencing life’s challenges. Spirituality and religiosity affect our wellness differently.
7. Foci of Wellness Ministries: Care of the Mind – Mental Wellness
This is a state of well-being that reflects our emotional, psychological, and social health. It influences how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.
8. Foci of Wellness Ministries: Care of the Body – Physical Wellness
This is the ability to perform daily tasks and live comfortably in one’s body. We care for our bodies because it is the vessel that holds the spirit and is the gift we have been given to do what God has called us to do.
9. Preparation and Support of Volunteers
A plan for orientation, preparation, and ongoing support of volunteers is explained, and an overview of “Orientation to Wellness Ministries – A Series of 7 Sessions” is provided.
Are you ready to develop a Wellness Ministry?
Search a library of more than 50 resources that will help you plan, implement and track your program. Additionally, you’ll have access to the exemplar library to help you understand others’ journeys to success.
For a list of UCC Wellness Ministries definitions
The development of this Toolkit was possible because of past contributors to the UCC Called to Care: A Notebook for Lay Caregivers and the UCC Faith Community Nurse Manual. We who have benefited from this wisdom and generosity of time and talent thank you.
The mission of the Wellness Ministries of the National Setting of the UCC under Justice and Local Church Ministries is to inspire, enable and empower everyone to experience wellness as they live their lives.
Now, as you prepare to join us in this ministry, blessings on your journey as you and your congregation consider how to share God’s healing and sense of wholeness with others.
Questions? Contact UCC Wellness Ministries Network
If you have questions related to any steps in the process of developing or enhancing a program of Wellness Ministries, the handouts, sample documents, or exemplars, please contact us at email@example.com.
You will receive a response within five days. We look forward to communicating with you regarding our shared work in ministry.