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

Congregational Health
December, 2014

“Volunteering can be good for both mind and body” states a recent article in the Harvard Health Letter.  Science backs the mood-boosting benefits of being of service to others.

“We grow up learning that it is better to give than to receive, and the evidence shows that it’s actually healthy for us.” says Dr. Michael C. Miller assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

The article goes on to say the emotional rewards that come from volunteering such as feeling connected to others, helps to prevent loneliness and depression.  When you are depressed you tend to focus on all of your “aches and pains.”  If you can let go of inward focus by helping others and focus on them, you will feel better says Dr. Miller.  Making a difference in people’s lives can help you feel effective because you are making a difference.  It boosts your self-esteem and can help lift your mood.

Other physical benefits can be associated with healthy outcomes such as lower blood pressure, less depression, a sense of well-being, lower stress levels and better thinking skills especially as we age.

The suggested time for volunteering to boost your health is 100-200 hours per year.  That’s as little as two hours per week.  “It’s not just about giving people things or helping out somewhere.  It’s about being there for someone, visiting  in a hospital, sending a card to say hello, or stopping by and offering support when there’s a major life event,” explains Dr. Miller.  Small gestures of kindness add up and can help you to feel good and connect you with other people.  Take time this season to consider how volunteering will help improve your health and brighten someone else’s day in 2015.

There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter.  We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. 

Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways.

Mother Teresa

Services and Duties of the Congregational Nurse

Healthy 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.

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