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
October, 2015

There is a good chance, that during your life time,  you will become a caregiver to a parent, significant other or a dear friend.  Family members make up the largest segment of long-term care providers.  It is estimated that 4.5 million people in our country are providing in-home, long-term care for an older adult or family member with a chronic illness.

Most people assume this position rapidly and are not trained to do the work.  At some point, they can find themselves overwhelmed with the responsibility.  Caring for someone in the home is very stressful, hard work and can produce anxiety.

Taking on the caregiver role, whether full or part-time,  can have a dramatic impact on your life and health.  Complications such as transportation, giving medicines, preparing meals and supervising bathing, eating and personal care, can require support.  Caregivers are frequently known to develop caregiver burden that can manifest itself in many ways, including physical ailments, mental illness and social isolation.  Without support, regular exercise, restful sleep, healthy eating and attention to social life and outside interests,  all can deteriorate.

A few things that might help lighten the burden:

- Ask for help – delegate tasks and say “yes when someone offers help

- Maintain your physical health - exercise at least 150 minutes/week, eat a healthy diet, get restful sleep, keep all doctor appointments.

- Maintain emotional health - watching someone you love decline can lead to depression.  Before that happens, find a support group or health  care professional to talk to.  Go to for resources.

- Reduce stress - meditation, yoga, tai chi can help.  Practice every day.

- Maintain social connections – Being around others, especially at church and other places of support can help you and the person you are caring for.

Caring for yourself should come first.  If you are unable to maintain strength, emotional and physical health then care-giving in the home will become a huge burden for everyone.

Accept help from trusted friends, health care providers, other family members, and seek supportive services in the community.  Please do not hesitate to contact me for support and suggestions in our community.


Love and Blessings,



When we consecrate a  time to listen to the still, small voices, we remember the root of inner wisdom that makes work fruitful.  We remember from where we are most deeply nourished, and see more clearly the shape and texture of the people and things before us. “

 Sabbath by Wayne Muller

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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