Congregational Health Ministry

Our Congregational Nurse (Donna Rutherford, RN) provides a healing ministry that helps support and fulfill the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of our congregation. She is a volunteer on staff, our nurse minister.

Health MinistryNotes from the Congregational Nurse

August, 2014

Are you taking your medicine correctly?  Seems like a harmless question.  About 30 to 50% of those who use medicines, do not take “as directed” and about 20 to 30% of prescriptions are not filled.  In addition, about half of all medications for chronic diseases are not taken correctly and may fail to produce the desired results.  Improper use of medications kills 125,000 American’s each year and leads to about 10 percent of hospitalizations.  This noncompliance costs the health care system as much as $290 billion annually.  WOW!!

How can we improve these terrible statistics?

Write down what your health care provider tells you about your medication and double check with your pharmacist when you pick it up.  Ask questions.  Read all instructions on the bottle thoroughly, i.e. when to take it, how often, with food or without.  Check for warnings and the expiration date carefully.   Read about the possible side effects.

If your medications are confusing, a sectioned pill box can help.  (I have them in my office, stop by and I’ll provide you with some).

If you are on a medication for a chronic condition (i.e. high blood pressure, high cholesterol), check with your provider about whether you are taking it correctly.

If you doubt your need for treatment with medication or you start to feel better, don’t just stop taking the medication without checking with your health care provider.  Antibiotics need to be taken for their entire course of treatment.   Some medications need to be tapered before stopping to prevent side effects from withdrawal.

Chronic conditions such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol may not have obvious symptoms.  Always consult with your health care provider before stopping these medications.

Do not skip medications, share medications or take them in the dark!  This can be dangerous to you or someone else!

All medications have potential side effects and it is inevitable that some people will be harmed by them no matter how careful they and their health care providers are.  Doing your homework, as above, and always checking back with your health care provider with questions or problems, will help to keep you safe and healthy.

And….that’s what this is all about.

Love and peace,  Donna

O that I might learn to listen to
Your still, quiet voice within
My heart.
(Meditations and Mandalas, Simple Songs for the Spiritual Life)

Crisis Management in the Church

Sunday, Sept. 28th at 12:15PM in the Sanctuary (light lunch provided) 

If you are a Session member, church leader, team member, member of the COME Mission team, Hospitality team, Pastoral Care Ministry, Sunday school teacher, church staff, you are invited to stay after worship on 9/28/14 to hear Officer Randy Hunt from Austin APD.  Officer Hunt is in charge of the Crisis Management team in Austin and is a public speaker on the subject.  He will be at St. Andrew’s to help us gain knowledge and insight in what to do when there is an emergency in the church such as: a mental health crisis, when someone may be a threat to themselves or others, how to manage medical emergencies and what steps to take to evacuate the church premises.

Mark your calendar and plan to stay for this very important education time.

CPR Class (Adult, Child, infant, AED)

Tuesday October 7, 2014, 6:30PM – 8:30PM

Who Should Attend:  Parents, AED support leaders, Church pre-school staff, COME workers and anyone wanting CPR certification.  Savaheart Austin will be teaching this “user friendly” class once again.  The cost is $35.  Scholarships are available.

Click HERE to register or email Wendy Valdez at the church office (  Questions: contact Donna Rutherford @

Services and Duties of the Congregational NurseHealthy Living

Donna serves our congregation as:

- a health and wellness educator
- a health and wellness counselor
- a community liaison and personal advocate
- a member of the Pastoral Care Team

All conversations and records are strictly confidential. All records are secure. No one else has access to the records of the congregational nurse.

Her duties include:

  • Meeting individually with clients in the home, church, or hospital to provide holistic care and support.
  • Advocating for clients in the health system.
  • Promoting health education.
  • Providing health screening and monitoring, as with our First Sunday Blood Pressure Screenings.
  • Assessing the needs of the congregation and establishing programs to meet these needs.
  • Assisting in locating resources for the community.

The Congregational Nurse does not give direct hands-on treatment but helps to empower and enable clients in their healing journey.

Contact Nurse Donna Rutherford 

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