Faith Community Nursing
Fellowship of the Virginia United Methodist Faith Community Nurses
Mission: To continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ
Description of Faith Community Nursing (pdf)
Information on Automated External Defibrillator (AED) (Word)
A Brief History of Our Fellowship
In January 2003, parish nurses throughout the Virginia Annual Conference met in Richmond at the request of Don Rogers who is with the Board of Pensions. There was a concern that the health screenings for clergy that had been done in previous years were costly and not reaping the benefits that had been hoped for. The Board of Pensions wanted to enlist our help in working with the clergy and laity to improve the health of all. As a result, the parish nurses formed a fellowship, developed by-laws and elected officers. A proposal was made to establish a conference parish nurse coordinator. This effort is still in the developmental stage.
A little over 20 years ago, parish nursing came into being under the guidance of Granger Westberg, a Lutheran pastor and hospital chaplain. Answering the question from doctors, “How can we motivate our patients to want to change their unhealthy lifestyles?” the Rev. Westberg recognized that motivation is closely tied up with how people view life. A parish nurse could provide that link between the medical community and the faith community.
Today, there are over 100 parish nurses in the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. These nurses are helping the clergy and laity to work toward good health in mind, body, and spirit. Although parish nurses do not provide "hands on" care, they do serve as educators, advocates, counselors, and liaisons with the health community.