Parish nursing is a ministry designed to serve the congregation and community as a part of the pastoral team. It is rooted in the beginnings of Christianity, based on the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John which describe how Jesus sent out the disciples to preach, to teach and to heal. In the first and second centuries, the visiting of the sick was part of the duty of all Christians. Over the intervening centuries up to modern times, the care of the sick became institutionalized and, in many cases separated, except for the clergy, from the teaching and preaching ministry of the church.
The aim of parish nursing is to reclaim the healing portion of Christ’s mandate by adding a parish nurse to the ministerial team. Parish nursing is a health promotion ministry, preventive in focus, in which faith and health are clearly linked and spiritual care is central.
Who Is The Parish Nurse?
The parish nurse is a registered nurse who has completed specialized education through the InterChurch Health Ministries and the Toronto School of Theology. They have been commissioned by the congregation to promote health, healing and wholeness. At present PVUC is blessed by the ministry of two volunteer Parish Nurses.
The Role of The Parish Nurse
- Educates individuals or groups on health-related topics as determined by identified needs of the congregation or community.
- Integrates faith and health by affirming and supporting the journey towards wholeness in the relationship of body, mind and spirit.
Personal Health Counselor
- Discusses health problems with individuals, maintaining ethical principles of confidentiality.
- Visits in homes, nursing homes, and hospitals as needed.
- Evaluates community resources and staff in order to make appropriate links between individuals and existing community services.
- Works with existing congregational groups and committees to provide the best service to individuals and families.
- Recruits and coordinates volunteers who will assist with the goals of the program.
- Trains and supports individuals and groups as they provide spiritual, social, and emotional care in the congregation and community.
- Through prayer and teaching, assist parishioners and members of the community to make the connection between physical, emotional and spiritual health.
Health Ministry and the Church
- It is not just the soul that goes to church
- and the body that goes to the doctor
- and the mind that goes to school
- Church is the place to foster wholeness and healing of the body, mind and spirit.