UCC Faith Community Nurses eNewsletter-March 2017



April 2017, Volume 2, Issue 3

Mind, Body, Spirit:
Linking Lives for Health and Wholeness

The Faith Community Nurse Health Ministry Newsletter


The purpose of this newsletter is to share information that will assist you in program development and give you the lead time needed to obtain resources.

Since health promotion programs are most effective if people simultaneously receive the same information from a variety of sites such as church, the newspaper, public service announcements, signs on buses, highway billboards, etc. the lead topic selected for each issue is one that has a national focus.

Our role as a faith community nurses is to integrate the often secular information into the faith community in a manner that reinforces that care of the body, mind, and spirit is essential so that each of us can do the work God has called us to do.  A gentle reminder of this is found in the words of St Teresa’s Prayer as sung by John Michael Talbot.  We exemplify our relationship with God by caring for the individualized body each of us have been given so that we may in turn be a blessing to others. 


National Men’s Health Week Is observed each year during the week leading up to Father’s Day.  This year that week is June 12th – 18th.  However, a month long celebration of Men’s Health with a variety of education and group activities may be more successful in engaging the men. 

Health Promotion

The #1 cause of death of males in the U.S. is heart disease. The Million Hearts ®  website provides multiple resources to assist in the development of a program that will facilitate the understanding of how lifestyle changes can be life saving.  Some congregations have connected with the faith-based campaign 100 Congregations for a Million Hearts®. This partnership is designed to raise awareness about how to prevent cardiovascular disease and help prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. (Thanks to Deb Ringen, MSN, RN-BC FCN for sharing this information.)

Some people prefer to learn about their risk of heart disease in private.  The Mayo Clinic provides a Heart Disease Risk Calculator that is easy for non-health professionals to use.

Recognizing and Responding to an Emergency

The chances of surviving a heart attack are greater the sooner emergency treatment begins.  When people know the signs and symptoms of a heart attack  a call will be made to 911 more rapidly, CPR started when needed, and an automated external defibrillator (AED) used, if available.   

Increase the potential for saving the lives of people within your facility by:

—   The Insurance Board  offers information to churches about the use of an AED within Vol. 1 of the Loss Control Manual – People Safety and Liability on pages 7 & 13.  

—   Several internet sites offer information on automated external defibrillator (AED) for churches and some offer special pricing for churches.  Using the search words: AEDs Churches will lead you to several resources.   Grants may also be found that help some groups with a purchase. HMA members may want to take advantage of the reduced price on AEDs offered to its members. 


Those who flourish in ministry are intentional about their well-being

They report spending time on personal care such as exercise, prayer, family relationships and hobbies according to research report by the Clergy Health Initiative at Duke Divinity School.  The eleven suggested strategies sound like  common sense.  However, since they involve making lifestyle changes they are not easily implemented.  The article ends with questions to consider when you are planning how to maintain your own well-being while in ministry.


Health Education Programming

02-For_you_Dad.jpgThe programs that you offer help attendees understand how lifestyle choices affect their health.   Ongoing encouragement will increase their chance of success.  The CDC Health e-cards  have a picture and message on the front and a space on the backside where you can write a personalized note and then send it electronically.  These e-cards could be used to offer on-going encouragement, share information about a new program, remind the person you are their to support their efforts, etc.  Cards with topics specific to men’s health are Prostate cancer, Syphilis awareness, Having a day…,  Let’s Walk and For you, Dad

Looking for other possibilities for health promotion activities in June?  National Health Observances  focused on health and safety are:


Wrong food choices can be deadly
New research provides both “good” food and “bad” food lists for a bulletin board display that is sure to capture attention and get conversations started.  An article  Deadly Diets: Study Links Unhealthy Eating to Nearly Half of American Heart Deaths   provides details on specific foods and their risk or benefits to the consumer  The authors directly link “bad” food choices with nearly half of deaths in U.S. from heart disease, strokes and diabetes.  Their findings were reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association in an article titled Association Between Dietary Factors and Mortality From Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes in the Unites States   .

Marriage is good for a man’s health
Regardless of age, married men  are more likely than cohabiting men and not-married men to have had a health care visit in the past 12 months. These visits provide health screening and the opportunity for early detection and treatment of health problems.  As a result married men may remain healthier longer.


Many people, even after having been recipients of nursing care, are unable to fully answer the question What is Nursing?  The American Nurses Association (ANA), the voice of more than 3.6 million registered nurses, provides the answer – the practice of Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, facilitation of healing, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, groups, communities, and populations (Source: Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice, Third Edition, 2015).   This definition is the basis of all nursing practice.  

Resourcefully Promoting Faith Community (Parish) Nursing

On TV to talk about faith community nursing (parish nursing)
When a local TV reporter saw a press release about an upcoming parish nurse preparation course he sought to set up a TV interview with a current parish nurse in order to learn more about the nursing specialty.   Linda Morgan, BSN, RN agreed to talk about her practice in her UCC church.  Giving this interview provided an excellent opportunity to explain the role of the parish nurse to the television viewers, as well as promote the availability of a course.  

Talking with nursing students
Nursing students often have an assignment to interview nurses who practice a nursing specialty.  Although responding to the student’s questions will take some time and thought Linda Morgan, BSN, RN explains one never knows when the conversation will lead to someone choosing to become a faith community nurse.

Providing clinical experiences for nursing students
Nursing faculty seek clinical learning experiences for students, especially situations in which they learn how to provide health promotion and disease prevention interventions as well as continuity of care across generations of families.  Want some assistance with the your practice while you help prepare future nurses?  Call the community health faculty and offer a placement for one or more students.




Do you ever hear a person making negative statements about themselves?  Do you ever find yourself making negative statements about yourself?  Repetitive thoughts and words of negativity can affect our entire being, even at the cellular level.  Our words shape our reality as we know and experience it.   Give yourself the gift of self-affirmation. Affirmations are statements that we say to ourselves that remind us of our inherent values and promote mental, emotional, and spiritual alignment.  What about you are you grateful for?  Speak it aloud to yourself.  Developing a practice of self-affirmation can benefit each of us providers as well as many of those for whom we care.


Having trouble staying current on the discussions and proclamations surrounding health care funding?  Finding the need for trusted information on national health care issues?  Go to the Kaiser Family Foundation,  a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to filling the need for trusted information on national health issues.  When you or your congregants have questions the web-site and information updates provide facts in a manner that is easily understood.

Continuing Education


The  Insurance Board On-line Learning  has published a schedule of free webinars.  They are held from 2:00 – 3:00pm EST. To register click on titles you are interested in.   

All webinars are recorded and a library of past webinars  is available for listening at a later date.


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

Theme: 100% Open And Affirming: The Road Ahead    

We’re celebrating the Coalition’s 45th anniversary!  Come and you can help us plan for the next 45 years!

img_06-GS31_Make_Glad_logo.pngUCC Synod – June 30 – July 4th 2017 Baltimore, MD

Theme:   Make Glad!   

We FCNs look forward to meeting you, spending time with you, and sharing insights and ideas for our ministries of health.


May 7th – Rural Life Sunday

May 14th – Mother’s Day and Festival of the Christian Home

May 21st – Mental Health Sunday

June 18th – Father’s Day

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 Volume 1?
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