UCC Faith Community Nurses eNewsletter June 2017



June 2017, Volume 2, Issue 5

Linking Lives for Health and Wholeness

The Faith Community Nurse Health Ministry Newsletter

Mind, Body, Spirit:

When kids are bullied at school do they know who the people are in their lives that will listen, believe and then help them?   This summer provides the time to locate and formulate programming to then offer at the start of the academic year that empowers children of all ages.  They can then enter the academic year aware of their community of support and better prepared to advocate for themselves and others when peer aggression occurs.

01-ThankFriends.pngBullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.  There are 3 types of bullying: verbal, social or relational, and physical. It may occur in person, through rumor spreading and then acts by others, or be cyberbullying when an electronic device is used.  Both kids who are bullied and those who bully others may as a result experience serious, lasting problems.  Increasingly we are reading stories of kids who have been bullied thinking the only way to end the pain and suffering is suicide.  We in our faith communities can offer a caring, supportive presence that advocates for the health and well being of all kids.

What can we do? stopbullying.gov provides a wide range of resources for parents, teens, kids, educators and the community.   Learn how to prevent bullying and build a safe environment within your church.  Learn how to respond to bullying when you see it happening or if a child tells you about it.  Reduce the risk of cyberbullying by helping youth and families explore safe ways to use technology.


02-TxtMessage.pngBullying may also involve peer sexual harassment and sexual assaults

In May 2017 it was reported that between 2011 and 2015 at least 17,000 students across the country in high schools, junior high schools and even elementary schools had experienced sexual assaults by peers while in school.  This is against the law and is a Title IX violation.  As leaders within our congregations we need to know how to support the children and the families when this occurs since the “blame game” can quickly focus on the child reporting it and divide a community.  Guidance is provided for families, communities and schools at the website Stop Sexual Assaults in Schools.  The goal is that by providing students, schools with grades K-12, and organizations with adequate resources the right to an equal education is not compromised by sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender discrimination.

For more information and resources read items later in this newsletter:  Thirteen Reasons Why and the continuing education item – Bullying Prevention course.


Are you taking enough showers?

“This may be a little TMI (too much information), but the best ideas come to me while in the shower” writes Rev. Dr. Kristina Lizardy-Haibi in a UCC Congregations Weekly blog.   She further explains in the piece titled Incubation how redirecting our attention to an unrelated task provides room for “incubation”, a term psychologists use to describe nonconscious thinking.  If we allow just a little more breathing room in the day for “incubation,” we may actually be more creative and more productive.” 

Kristina then asks us each of us:  What are your incubation spaces and activities?    What are your congregation’s incubation spaces and activities?  How might your congregation’s leadership intentionally create space for holy ruminating/ nonconscious thinking?


Evidence Based-Practice

  • 04-13ReasonsWhy.pngThirteen Reasons Why has become a popular topic of discussion with the broadcast of the 13-episode Netflix adaptation of the novel written by Jay Asher. Thirteen Reasons Why sheds a harsh light on the reality of teenage life, and it brings forward topics like bullying, harassment, and sexual assault, issues that need to be talked about with friends, in school and church settings, and families.

When first published the book inspired anti-bullying discussion in schools across the country.  The book publisher provides a Lead a Community Reads program with a downloadable guide.   

Discussion about the topic has now become more wide spread with many teens watching the movie series.  Recommendations and cautions offered by experts about how to explore the topic with teens are available.  The web posting Why teen mental health experts are focused on ’13 Reasons why’ offers tips for viewing and watching the broadcasts.  It also provides statistics and discusses the myths surrounding suicide.   Another resource Reasons Why Parents Should Be Wary of ’13 Reasons Why” offers cautions as well as guidance on watching the programs together with the teen and the discussions that could follow. 

Break the Cycle website offers a blog Mental health sexual violence and Thirteen Reasons Why written by a high school senior who describes the issues within the movie and provides information for teens as well as adults who care about them.

  • Let’s Be Real (LBR) is a movement for young people created by young people. Under 24 year olds lead the way with a broad focus on violence prevention with real, unedited conversations about dating and hookups, friends and crushes, boundaries, and relationship goals for all who seek partners.   An excellent resource for parents and teachers is A+ Relationships for Parents & Educators
  • Church Law & Tax Report, published by Christianity Today, has an extensive article on The Legal and Moral Case for a Defibrillator.   Author Richard R. Hammar poses the question:  How would you respond if someone suffers cardiac arrest at church?  He then provides case examples and case studies that will help you and the other church leaders understand the need for an AED and allies fears of legal repercussions if one is used in an effort to save a life.  He lists the features to consider when purchasing a machine.  (Members of HMA have the benefit of purchasing a machine at a reduced cost through the HMA website.)   The link provided above gives a brief over view of this article.  If your church does not subscribe to this publication ask your Association office or Conference office business office if they have a copy.


Update on Faith Community Nurse: Scope and Standards (3rd ed.)

The American Nurses Association’s Committee on Nursing Practice Standards (CNPS) and the ANA Board of Directors have approved the content submitted by the HMA work group for revision of the Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice (3rd ed.). The committee provided accolades to the work group for the attention paid to the refinement/expansion of content requested and specifically commented on a new section written on moral resilience.  It is projected that copies of printed books and electronic copies will be available in early July.  Cost for this edition will be: $32.95 general public price and $27.95 discounted price for ANA and HMA members. 


Words to guide our ministry

We are often asked, Just what is it a faith community nurse does in a church?”

In the fall of 2016, the Board of the UCC affirmed a set of statements to guide the work of the United Church of Christ into the future.

  • Purpose: To love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.
  • Mission: United in Spirit and inspired by God’s grace, we welcome all, love all, and seek justice for all.
  • Vision: United in Christ’s love, a just world for all.

Think about the ministry you provide and select examples of how your work fulfills the purpose, mission and vision of the UCC.   This will help demonstrate the fit of your ministry within the efforts of our denomination.


Say Yes to Yoga

The physical and mental health benefits of practicing yoga are well documented. One recent study focused on the benefits of yoga for nurses.  Learn more about the benefits by reading, Say Yes to Yoga a research based article posted by the American Nurses Association

Continuing Education


  • 06-BeSomeonesHere.pngBullying prevention – learn your role & earn 1.5 contact hours of Continuing Nursing Education!  A Bullying Prevention Training Course, offered by stopbullying.gov provides guidance on how to take a public health approach to bullying prevention through the use of long-term, community-wide prevention strategies.   Church school teachers as well as others that work with children will appreciate the information offered.
  • The Faith Trust Institute offers recorded webinars for training.  There are 7 separate recording related to Healthy Teen Relationships covering topics for both youth and the parents/adults who the teems trust.
  • The Insurance Board On-line learning has a schedule of free webinars for your church.  They are scheduled on Wednesdays from 2:00 – 3:00pm EST.  To register click here and choose what would be helpful to your ministry.

–   Fire Prevention and Protection for Churches Weds., July 12th

–   Keeping Your Ministries Safe: 5 Things Churches Can Do to Prevent Abuse    Weds., Sept. 13th

Thirteen interesting past webinars are recorded so you may listen at any time.  Perhaps another committee in your church would also benefit from listening to one or more of them.



  • 04-CoalitionLogo.pngNational ONA Gathering – June 27th – 29th, Baltimore, MD


Celebrate the Coalition’s 45th anniversary. Help plan for the next 45 years!


  • 08-GS31_Make_Glad_logo.pngUCC Synod – June 30 – July 4th, Baltimore, MD

Theme:  Make glad!          

Are you coming?  We would love to meet you and learn more about your ministry.   Come to our booth in the exhibit area!  

Also please join us at the Health, Wholeness and Human Services Lunch on July 2nd.  We will be updating everyone on the activities of our Faith Community Nurses and our Health Ministries. Buy tickets through Eventbrite


Health Ministries Association National Conference – Sept. 11th -13th, Erlanger, KY (near Cincinnati, OH)  The Sacred Practice of Caring: Working Together for Healthier Communities     Rev. Dr. Sarah Griffith Lund, a UCC pastor and currently VP for Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis and Vice-chair of the UCC Mental Health Networks is a keynote speaker.  As always we UCC FCNs will have breakfast together.  Hope you can make it!



June 25th – 60th Anniversary of the United Church of Christ


Looking for something you remember reading last year but you don’t remember in which issue of 2016 it occurred?
A topical Index now is posted on the UCC website with the list of those newsletters so that you may more easily find the information!

06a-QuestionMark.pngHave something you want to share with your colleagues?
Are you looking for something to assist you in your ministry?
That which we share with others multiplies immeasurably.

Contact Peggy Matteson