Parish Nurse Program
Our parish nurses are available as a resource to help you find the health services and information you need.
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 - August 2014
Dear TLC Families, I hope you are able to enjoy the summer that remains, before the fall and its busy schedule is here. This month I would like to share some thoughts on Suffering and Caring. Suffering seems to be a human experience that we all share at one time or another, and yet remains a disturbing and perplexing situation for both the person suffering and those around him/her.
The Bible contains many references to human suffering. We are all familiar with the account of Job. We especially remember his suffering, “Man born of woman is of a few days and full of trouble. He springs up like a flower and withers away” This powerful book also contains words of comfort, “But those who suffer He delivers in their suffering; He speaks to them in their affliction.”
What Do We Mean By the Word Suffering?
All of us experience suffering, yet we may not mean the same thing when we use this term. I consider suffering to be a general situation of distress which affects all of a person. Suffering is different from pain in that suffering (1) does not have an immediate remedy (2) floods the whole of a person, and (3) impacts our sense of meaning and drives us toward God. (adapted from Amato, 1990)
How Can We Understand Suffering in Light of Our Faith?
Our Lord’s charge to the early church directed the faithful to preach, teach and heal. While we are encouraged to offer gifts of healing to those suffering, the question remains: How can the experience of suffering be included in our theology of redemption?
Redemption refers to the process of “buying back” in such a manner that wholeness and worth is enhanced. The empty experience of suffering can be redeemed because Jesus has stood in the presence of anguish and suffering, redeemed us with His blood and triumphed over brokenness, sin and suffering in His resurrection. He gave His life for us, so that we can now enjoy a life that transcends suffering, alienation and brokenness.
What Can the Church do For People Who Are Suffering?
Jesus’ healing life empowers the Church to do healing ministry with a hurting and broken world. As children of God, all of us are called to share these gifts of healing with one another. There are several specific things we can do when we confront suffering.
First, we can offer a ministry of presence, or sharing with a suffering person our gifts of time, selves, and compassion.
Second, we can help people to discover meaning in the midst of their suffering.
Third, we can take action directed at alleviating suffering (adapted from Johnstone, 1989)
May the revelation of Jesus’ suffering evermore challenge us to do healing ministry in our hurting world.
Parish Nurse Bev Branning
Learn more about the program
Our Parish Nurses: Bev Branning, Cheryl Corbitt, 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.