Welcome to the website of the Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association! We seek to be the light of Christ as we integrate faith and health in the ministry of parish nursing. Here you will find basic information about parish nursing as well as updates on our progress and activities. May God bless you with peace and joy for the day!
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
Welcome to the home page of the Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association ELPNA website! We hope this dynamic and informative website can become a wonderful resource for you in your parish nursing practice!
ELPNA is a professional association that seeks to support Parish Nurses (also known as Faith Community Nurses) in Lutheran congregations, regardless of denominational affiliation. We have much in common and a few things that divide us, but we stand together in helping people stay well, being with them in life crises and transitions, and helping them integrate their faith and health.
The organization, in many ways, is a fledgling organization, trying to put in place a strong foundation of support and service to parish nurses. If you are not a member, we would welcome your involvement and leadership in this effort. If you are a member, please make your voice heard as we advance the work we are about.
As you can see on the tabs listed on the home page, you will find resources for the parish nurse, including programs and resources, complete with contact information in many cases; resources that will help you nurture your own spirituality or that of your parishioners; educational resources and programs; and synopses of health care research that may have implications for your practice.
One can also find resources for congregations. A pastor, a nurse, or other congregants interested in learning more about parish nursing can find several great resources that can assist in their own learning and fact finding regarding parish nursing ministries. Parish Nursing resources are plentiful, but this gives a person a list of several of those most commonly used as churches begin to contemplate starting a ministry or enhancing their already existent ministry.
On the national level, we are always seeking ways to be supportive to congregations and to parish nurses. Our members have represented parish nursing at events and meetings such as the biennial church-wide gathering, the WELCA triennial event, Men in Mission, the ELCA Youth Gatherings and synodical conferences. Our presence at these events serve the purpose of providing respite, support and first aide for meeting attendees, but also provides opportunities to educate leaders in our congregations on the value of parish nursing ministries.
Throughout this website, you will see reference to the terms parish nurse and faith community nurse. When parish nursing as a specialty was first visioned by Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg, it was termed parish nursing. In more recent years we have seen emergence of the title Faith Community Nurse (FCN) and congregational nurse. While the name of the organization references the original title, we fully respect nurses and congregations that have opted to use the title FCN and will, over time, evaluate the pros and cons of changing our organizational name as well.
We hope you will take time to look around the website and to come back often to see what is new and revised. If you have resources and programs that you can share with nurses around the nation and the world, please contact me or your regional representative to the national board. We would welcome hearing what you are doing in your faith community! One of our major goals for 2014 is to find ways to better communicate with and engage the membership in our work, in spite of geographic challenges.
May God’s richest blessings be yours in abundance, as you serve in His Kingdom.
The ELPNA Executive Committee
Carol DeSchepper, Chair (Region 3)
June Sand (Region 3) and Lori Tormey (Region 8), Co-Vice Chairs
Andrea West, Secretary (Region 2)
Nancy Deetz, Treasurer (Region 3)