Mind Body Spirit – April 2018



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

The Faith Community Nurse Health Ministry Newsletter

April 2018, Volume 3, Issue 3

The Benefit of Compensation Guidelines for Faith Community Nurses

We who are called into health ministry are sometimes unsure what we should negotiate as compensation for sharing our time and expertise.  Compensation guidelines for those employed within congregations are developed by the local Committees on Ministry within the Associations of the United Church of Christ.  These guidelines suggest a range of compensation based on the size of the congregation, responsibilities of the position, the required preparation to fulfill the staff role, the experience of the candidate, and whether the position will be full time or part-time as outlined in the Call agreement.

01_FCN_Manual.jpgFew Committees on Ministry have been asked to develop compensation guidelines for the role of a faith community nurse.  To provide

assistance the FCN Network Leadership Team developed a sample Compensation Guidelines for Faith Community Nurses that is available on page 40 of the UCC Manual for Faith Community Nurses.  This document provides a starting point for a conversation with the appropriate committee of your church. The document may also be shared with the Committee on Ministry of your Association or Conference so other churches may benefit.

To reaffirm the value of having a Health Ministry in a UCC church you can download Why a Health Ministry? Posted by Rev. J. Bennett Guess on the UCC.org Health Care Justice site.

Barbara Baker, RN a faith community nurse in Dublin, OH reports that she was a non-paid parish nurse for 2.5 years.  She used the FCN compensation guidelines to develop a proposal in support of a paid position and presented it to her church governing board.  Joyfully the proposal was accepted and she is now a paid FCN.  She continues, For this congregation “I think it helped in solidifying the need and benefits of health ministry.  And I’m excited not so much for me, but for the validation this gives to the ministry and potential it provides for others in the future who may follow in my position.  As has been the conversation in many congregations, our members don’t understand sometimes the positive outcomes of having such a ministry.  I feel so blessed to be called to this position.” 



“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46

“’Be still’ means to become peaceful and concentrated.”

“’Know’ means to acquire wisdom or understanding.”

“When we are still, looking deeply, and touching the source of our true wisdom, we touch the living Buddha and the living Christ in ourselves and in each person we meet.”   

Thich Nhat Hanh Be Still and Know. Riverhead Books:NY.



#MeToo, says Mary Magdalene

Women in our congregations are experiencing or have experienced sexual harassment and/or assault.  Unless a woman believes that this is not her fault and that you are a safe person to talk to you may never know. 

We are experiencing a cultural movement during which women are breaking the silence on their experiences of sexual coercion or assault and joining with other women across lines of class and race to speak up and campaign for justice for all women.  The programming for the UCC Women’s Week 2018 built upon the public discussions related to #MeToo and #TimesUp.  Rev. Sue Blain developed a Bible study for the book Bad Girls of the Bible written by Barbara J. Essex and worship resources.  These materials may be utilized at any time of the year and are available on the UCC site #MeToo, says Mary Magdalene.   Rev. Sue Blain may be reached at blains@UCC.org   Both books, Bad Girls of the Bible and More Bad Girls of the Bible are available from UCC Resources.

  • 02_InnerHealingforBrokenVessels.pngA book that may help women who have been victims of domestic violence is inner healing for Broken Vessels – A Domestic Violence Survival Guide written by Rev. Linda H. Hollies. She outlines the healing process she experienced following her decision to move forward after being a victim of childhood incest.  The seven steps she has identified as necessary for healing are: recognition, admission,  sharing, confession, reconciliation, choosing to be different, and choosing daily.  In the book she parallels these steps to profiles of both biblical and modern-day women who have struggled with similar issues.  The book is available from Pilgrim PressDownload additional resources from the Break the Silence Sunday site.
  • Just Eating? Practicing Our Faith at the Table

We provide a variety of educational programs that encourage healthy eating.  Now we have a toolkit that integrates healthy eating with our faith perspective and the practice of justice.  “Just Eating.  While this phrase could mean (I am) only eating, the word, just also means ‘being honorable and fair in one’s dealings.’  This play on words captures a paradox that this curriculum addresses.  Eating can be a mundane activity done with little thought or reflection; or it can be an opportunity to thoughtfully live out our faith and practice justice.” [Excerpted from Just Eating Leader’s Guide]

03_JustEating.jpgJust Eating? Practicing Our Faith at the Table is a seven-session curriculum for congregations that calls us to integrate the commitments and practices of our faith into the way we eat.  The study uses scripture, prayer and stories from the local and global community to explore five key aspects of our relationship with food. 

The curriculum comes with a Leader Guide and a book of Readings for Action and Reflection. The Leader’s Guide includes suggested lesson plans, leader resources and ideas for an optional meal that groups may want to share.  The curriculum was designed for small groups of 6-12 people who have about one hour, however it is meant to be flexible so that congregations can use it in the way that is best for them.  The Just Eating materials  may be downloaded from the UCC website.  This program provides an excellent opportunity for the Health Ministry leaders and the Mission Committee leaders to work collaboratively on a project.


Reflecting on Nursing Practice

  • Defining Hope

What makes life worth living?  How do we cope with serious illness?  

04_DefiningHope.pngDefining Hope is a story about people weighing what matters most at the most fragile junctures in life, and the nurses who guide them. It’s a documentary that follows patients with life-threatening illness as they make choices about how they want to live, how much medical technology they can accept, what they hope for and how that hope evolves when life is threatened. It is optimistic and reminds us that we have choices in how we die.”  The movie was made “to raise public awareness on the impact of nursing; and the light that nurses can bring to the darkest of times.” 

Defining Hope will be broadcast on PBS stations nationally by American Public Television, beginning April 1st, 2018, and premiering on the WORLD Channel April 30th and May 1st.  Check to see when the film will be playing in your area.   Then encourage your congregation to watch the broadcast at home or schedule a group viewing at church.  The Hollywood Reporter calls Defining Hope “A clear-eyed and compassionate conversation starter.”  See for yourself by viewing the brief trailer and downloading more information and resources.

Continuing Education


  • May 4th          I.S.E. Congregations for Mental Health Conference,

St Paul’s United Church of Christ, Downers Grove, IL.

This one-day conference offers:

  • Ways congregations can address mental health concerns
  • Stories from persons affected by mental health issues
  • Practical steps to engage in a mental health ministry
  • Introduction to the WISE (Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, Engaged) Covenant
  • Network with those who are on the journey to address mental health challenges
  • On-going support

FCNs find this information helpful as you more fully incorporate mental health strategies and the care of those affected by mental illness into your health ministry. To learn more and to register go to the UCC Mental Health Network     

  • June 7th Enhancing Your Parish Nurse Ministry: Tools for Your Toolbox, St Anselm College, Manchester, NH.  Alyson Breich, MSN, RN-BC as a Faith Community Nurse, Commissioned Minister of Congregational Health in the UCC and lead editor for the 3rd edition of Faith Community Nursing: Scope and Standards of Practice will present at this all day conference.  The brochure is available
  • June 18th – 21st Innovations in Faith-Based Nursing Conference, Indiana Wesleyan University – School of Nursing, Marion, IN. For more information go to Nursing Innovations
  • 7th – 9th Practice & Presence: A Gathering for Christians in Healthcare, at Duke Divinity School, Durham, NC. More information is available at Duke Divinity School.
  • 06-HMALogo.gif 8th – 10th The Sacred Practice of Caring: Partnering for a Healthy, Hopeful Future. Health Ministries Assoc. Annual Conference and Meeting in Erlanger, KY (Right next to Cincinnati Airport) Save The Date Flyer


You may register for Webinars, available free from the Insurance Board:

  • April 11th, 2:00 (EST)Risk Management for Camps
  • May 9th, 2:00 (EST) – Ladder Safety
  • August 8th, 2:00 (EST) – Unique Risks – Preventing Sexual Abuse in the School Environment
  • 12th, 2:00 (EST) – Trending Risk Management Concerns for Churches


Some of these dates provide the opportunity to integrate health ministry activities with programming of other ministries. 

06_BreaktheSilenceSunday.pngApril 22nd Break the Silence Sunday
This is a time for the congregation to learn together about the realities of rape and sexual violence that women and men, young and adult experience; and about ways to create a safe community where survivors are supported in their individual processes of healing
Learn more and download resources 

May 20th   Mental Health Sunday
Learn more and download resources

June 24th  Open and Affirming Sunday
Learn more and download resources                                   

Sept. 2nd   Labor Sunday
A person’s health is affected by the type and place where they work and the benefits and compensation provided. Information will be available on the UCC.org website this summer.

QuestionMark.pngFUTURE ISSUES

Have 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