Trinity Lutheran Church

Parish Nurse Program

Parish Nurse

Our parish nurses are available as a resource to help you find the health services and information you need.

Program Philosophy

Parish nursing embraces the spiritual dimension of the nursing practice in addition to the physical, psychological and social dimensions. In essence, parish nurses care for the body, mind and spirit.

Please call the Parish Nurse Hotline, (309)828-6265, #191. Be sure to check the Parish Nurse Bulletin Board (lower level narthex) and your monthly Messenger for health news you can use.


Parish Nurse Newsletter - November 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

May we all be strengthened as we recognize our calling as Saints of God! This theme is on my mind since we celebrate All Saint's Day on November 1. We live our days as God's saints with the confidence that He is in control of all of our life.

This month I would like to share some thoughts with you on Planning for Future Health Care Needs, especially Living Wills. In Proverbs we are reminded that "A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps" (14:15). In light of this wisdom, we can consider how best to plan for our future health care needs.

What is A Living Will?

A Living Will is a document directing your doctor that certain life - sustaining procedures should not be used if you are in a terminal condition and unable to make that decision. A life sustaining procedure refers to any artificial means which sustains or supports a vital bodily function and which only prolongs the dying process for a person in a terminal condition.

The definition of a terminal condition varies from state to state but in general it describes an irreversible condition which will result in death unless life - sustaining procedures are used.

A Living Will goes into effect only when you are terminally ill and unable to make decisions.

Why is a Living Will Useful?

Living Wills can be useful in several different ways. First, today with the vast array of health care technology available. Second, Living Wills give the patient a way to influence such decisions, rather than the decision being made by doctors and family members. Third, it spares family members from having to make health care decisions in a crisis situation.

How do I get a Living Will?

To get a Living Will developed:
1. Consider your values and wishes about life - sustaining procedures.
2. Contact the State Bar Association in your State, your Doctor, or your Parish Nurse to get the proper forms.
3. Complete the forms, give a copy to your doctor, your lawyer, and a close family member and discuss your wishes with each of these persons.
4. Put the original form in a safe but accessible place.

Parish Nurse Bev Branning


Learn more about the program

Our Parish Nurses: Bev Branning and Sue Rutherford

Parish nurses collaborate with their faith community leaders to form partnerships with other community health resources. Parish nursing services are designed to involve individuals, families and congregations as active partners in their personal health. Through this involvement, nurses help empower communities and foster an environment of understanding and support.

The roles of the Parish Nurse

  • Integrator of Faith and Health
    serving as a “translator” between faith and healthcare communities. With a knowledge base in both areas, many times the parish nurse can clarify issues and or reinforce the strong tie between faith and health. Health Educator, providing educational programs to the congregations such as health screening and illness prevention.
  • Health Counselor
    providing individual health counseling services in the home or long-term care facility.
  • “Navigator” or “Advocate”
    assisting congregation members in finding their way through healthcare systems.
  • Referral Agent
    finding resources and making referrals to agencies, organizations and support services to improve the member’s quality of life.
  • Developer of Support Groups
    initiating and organizing groups designed to assist the participants with a specific issue.
  • Trainer of volunteers
    perhaps most importantly, recruiting and training volunteers to provide assistance.
  • Blood pressure screenings are offered 9-9:30 am the second Sunday of every month on the lower level in the elevator alcove.
  • Our parish nurses are happy to see you and answer your health questions.