UCC Faith Community Nurses eNewsletter-May 2017


 May 2017, Volume 2, Issue 4

Linking Lives for Health and Wholeness

The Faith Community Nurse Health Ministry Newsletter

Mind, Body, Spirit:

Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit

American Nurses Association



Dear Faith Community Nurses: 

During National Nurses Week, the Health Ministries Association would like to extend a special thanks to you, our Faith Community nurses, as you continue to provide the highest level of quality care to your patients and the communities you serve. You deserve special recognition for your efforts in delivering compassionate care while embodying the principles of ethical practice in your profession.  Thank you for your ministry and dedication to the professional practice of Faith Community Nursing.



With the change of seasons a new array of health challenges become concerning.  Participation in outdoor activities, water sports, and cooking outdoors can challenge the heath and wellbeing of people of all ages.  We can enjoy the God given beauty that surrounds us, from the bud of a flower to the majesty of the night sky, by adopting some simple health promotion tips. From the following list choose what you think are the most important topics for your group.


Outdoor Activities

Weather working or playing outside simple precautions can help to keep us safe.

  • Yard work and back pain do not have to be synonymous. One of the ways to prevent back pain is to keep your back muscles strong.  Basic instructions are available on how to protect your back and prevent back pain.  A Fast Facts: What is Back Pain? from the National Institutes of Health provides more in depth information.
  • Just a few sunburns increase the risk of developing skin cancer.  Even tanned skin is damaged skin.  All children and adults need protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays when they’re outdoors.  A wide variety of information and handouts may be found at Action Steps for Sun Safety.  The special needs of children and the elderly are explained in more detail at Protecting Children from the Sun  and  Skin Care and Aging
  • Hiking isn’t typically dangerous. Most often it’s a great pleasure, even an adventure.  But when you’re walking outside you could sprain an ankle or fall and need assistance from others.  Hiking safety tips will help ensure your return.
  • 02-lightning.pngDuring warm weather thunderstorms can quickly develop. Lightning strikes in the U.S. about 25 million times a year and although the display can be spectacular it can also be deadly. The site Lightning Safety Tips and Resources provides safety tips, animated books, games for kids and some spectacular pictures.

Water safety

Many of us like to play on or in the water during the warm weather.  The following links have topics that will help this occur more safely.

  • Swimming is a great way for the whole family to get active. Follow these tips to stay safe in and around the water.  Swim Safely: Quick tips
  • The CDC offers information for all groups of individuals on how to swim in healthy water and maximize the health benefits of swimming while minimizing the risk of illness and injury.  Healthy Swimming
  • The beach can be a dangerous place, but these beach safety tips can help you minimize risks.  Beach Safety Tips
  • 03-wearit.pngLife jacket are the proven #1 way to save a life in the event of a sudden, unexpected capsizing or fall overboard.  Today’s jackets come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and materials making them more comfortable than earlier models.  Printed resources about these personal flotation devices (PFDs) and how to select one for you, children or pets are available.


Outside fires

  • During the summer months we may grill outside, gather around fire pits, and in some states set off fireworks. There are simple precautions to prevent burn Injuries that are extremely painful and can be life threatening.  Make sure your home is safe from outside fires is a poster that addresses these issues so your home doesn’t go up in smoke.


Our ministries provide us with the opportunity to accompany others as they encounter challenges to their physical, mental and spiritual health, often during some of the most fundamentally trying times in their lives.  We are presented with the professional challenge of maintaining healthy boundaries within the relationship and maintaining our own wholistic health.  Guidance is provided in the webinar Living Healthy Boundaries: Five Things I Have Learned as a Pastor recorded by Rev. Glenna Shepherd, Pastor of Pleasant Hill Community Church, UCC.  She discusses five practices she has learned through her years of ministry that help her maintain healthy boundaries with her congregation. 


Posting of Prayer Lists
Some churches post “prayer lists” on their website that describe the prayer needs of members. These needs may include medical diagnoses, relational or financial problems.  Is posting a prayer list an invasion of privacy?  Through this link the Insurance Board provides some guidance as to how to reduce if not eliminate the risk of posting prayer lists.

Creative Collaborative Programming
Deborah Ringen, MSN, RN-BC  Faith Community Nurse
facilitated the collaboration between the Visiting Nurses of the Lower Valley with The Conversation Project to offer an informative interactive workshop titled  Have You Had the Conversations?  The workshop explained how to foster meaningful and effective conversations about end-of-life care.  E-mail Deborah to learn more about her work as an FCN within the Visiting Nurses as well as The Conversation Project.

04-elderlycouplekiss.jpgDisability Among Informal Caregivers Affects Care Recipients’ Use of Preventive Services
Many of our parishioners are the informal caregivers for someone else in their family.  However, these caregivers may themselves have some cognitive, mobility, hearing, and vision limitations that affect the care they are able to provide to the more dependent person.  In a nationally representative sample researchers found that when caregivers had limitations the care recipients had received fewer preventive health services (Thorpe JM, Thorpe CT, Schulz R, et al. Informal Caregiver Disability and Access to Preventive Care in Care Recipients. Am J Prev Med. 2015 Sep; 49(3):370–9.)

In our role we can make a difference by supporting the caregiver in caring for him or herself, as well as collaborating and facilitating the care for their care recipient so they receive the recommended preventative services.


Summer may be a time of violent storms and other disasters.
Be A Ready Congregation from the National Disaster Interfaiths Network provides disaster basics for faith communities.  The Prepare to Care – Guide to Disaster Ministry in Your Congregation from the Church World Service Emergency Response Program provides information about emergency management services, as well as the steps to take to reduce your community’s vulnerability, increase preparedness, and how to respond when you receive a call to serve.


Thank you to all who responded to the Survey Monkey request regarding our Manual!  The insights you provided are very helpful as we start the process of reformatting and updating this resource.  We will be in touch with those who offered to assist in developing the new version of the manual in late July or early August after we gather more responses at Synod.

Items of Note


05-RebeccaAnton.pngBecky Anton, MSN, RN Faith Community Nurse at Parkside Community Church in Sacramento, CA and Commissioned Minister of Congregational Health has retired from her position after many years of ministry.  In addition, to her role within the church she has simultaneously been active in the development of the UCC FCN Leadership Team serving as co-chair and provided leadership to the Health Ministries Association in a variety of ways including chairing a national conference and serving as president.  We thank Becky and her supportive husband Ed for her years of service and wish them safe travels as they now have more time to visit the world. 

Publicizing a Congregation’s Health Ministry

Kathleen Zagata, MS, RN, Faith Community Nurse and Health Minister
of the First Congregational Church in Winchester, MA
had an in depth explanation of the Health and Wellness Ministries of her congregation recently spotlighted in a UCC Massachusetts Conference publication.  Kathleen started her ministry at the church in 2001 and it has evolved and grown with various teams now working together to attend to the different needs of the congregation.  Kathleen explains, ”Our Christian tradition makes clear that Jesus was not just about fixing a diseased person, his intent was to heal in God’s name and to restore each person to fullness and community. Thus health ministry is based on a whole person model –  mind, body, emotion and spirit – encouraging us to become the person God is calling us to be at each developmental stage.  Click here to go to the complete article.

Continuing Education

The Insurance Board On-line learning has published a schedule of free webinars for your church.  They are scheduled on Wednesdays from 2:00 – 3:00pm EST.  To register click on the titles below.

The webinars are recorded so they may also be listened to at a later date.  The currently relevant topic Sanctuary: Frequently Asked Questions was held on Tuesday, April 18th and remains available for listening.


National ONA Gathering – June 27th – 29th, Baltimore, MD


     Celebrate the Coalition’s 45th anniversary and help plan for the next 45 years!


img_06-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.
  • We invite you to join us at the Health, Wholeness and Human Services Lunch on July 2nd..  You can buy a single ticket or include the ticket in your package when you register.

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 a number of UCC FCNs will be in attendance and we will have breakfast together.  Hope you can make it!


May 21st – Mental Health Sunday – Resources available from the UCC Mental Health Network

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