For Congregations - Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association

For Congregations

What does a Parish Nurse bring to a congregation?

"There has been a rapid rise in the number of parish nurses in the congregations of our church. I believe that is because their value has touched a nerve – the intersection of physical care and spiritual care has shown us that these are not separate arenas, but are integrated in the care of the whole person our Lord calls us to practice. We have people of faith, trained in nursing care, who are well equipped to bring this ministry into the life of the church."
- Bishop Peter Rogness, Former ECLA St. Paul Area Synod

"A parish nurse program complements and fills out a comprehensive pastoral care strategy for a congregation and its community."
- Rev. Craig Johnson

Brochure with more information about how to start a Parish/Faith Community Nurse Ministry and qualifications for a Parish/Faith Community Nurse. 

                                                Click Here


Greetings from the Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association (ELPNA) of Region 3!
      We have an exciting opportunity for Lutheran congregations who would like to start or develop a parish nurse program within their faith community. Members of the ELPNA have long been supportive of new parish nurse program starts and are acutely aware of the financial situations of congregations throughout Region 3. In response to this need, the ELPNA is providing start-up funds for 2-3 Lutheran affiliated congregations in Region 3. Congregations can request up to $500.00 as a start-up grant.

We received the following comments from pastors of churches that received ELPNA Region 3 grants:
Pastor Cheryl Mathison – St. Philip the Deacon
We are so grateful to have our parish nurse at St. Philip the Deacon.  Her creative energy, passion for health and deep faith help us to reach out to more people in new ways.  We are so thankful for the grant, which has helped us to meet the needs of this large faith community.

 Pastor Gary Andersen  -American Lutheran, Worthington, MN
Things are going very well with our Faith Community Nurse ministry. With a dedicated Caring Ministry Team (health cabinet) in place, and the hiring of our FCN, we are in full swing. Many good things are happening and we are receiving very positive feedback from those being served.  We are very appreciative of the support of ELPNA. 

Grants will be available via application in the Fall of 2018.  For more information, contact Marie Wiegert,

We are pleased to be able to award these grants to promote Parish Nurse Ministry.
 Marie Wiegert  ELPNA, Region 3, Board

 Helpful articles from Living Lutheran

A Different Kind of Nursing
 Here is a link to a story that gives a wonderful example about what Parish/Faith Community Nursing is all about:  The story about parish/faith community nurses -- “A different kind of nursing” -- is now posted on Living Lutheran at:

Holistic healing:
Parish Nurses Care for Body, Mind and Spirit

Leading a Congregation Through Change
This is very helpful article, written by Carol DeSchepper, our ELPNA National Board of Directors Chairperson.  A must read for any congregation considering introducing a Parish/Faith Community Nurse Program.  Click here to read the article

 Contact ...
For information about parish nursing and mentoring assistance from experienced Parish Nurses:

Find your ELCA Region and contact the Regional Preresentative(s). (Go to "News from the Regions", select Find your Region)

Contact Carol Deschepper, National Chair:

For speakers on beginning a health ministry in your church, E-mail:

Click Here to download our ELPNA Brochure

Video Available ...

Check  out an excellent video about Parish Nursing at
Peace Lutheran Church Ft. Myers, Florida.

Books for Assistance ...

  • The Parish Nurse: Providing a Minister of Health for Your Congregation, Granger E. Westberg and Jill Westberg McNamara, Augsburg Fortress, 1990 — Although this book is 15 years old, it remains a classic for outlining the theory behind the development of the idea of parish nursing.
  • Parish Nurse - Promoting Whole Person Health Within Faith Communities, Phyllis Ann Solari-Twadell and Mary Ann McDermott, eds., Sage, 1999
  • The Essential Parish Nurse: ABCs for Congregational Health Ministry, Deborah L. Patterson, The Pilgrim Press, 2003
  • Parish Nursing: Stories of Service and Care, Verna Brenner Carson and Harold G. Koenig, Templeton Press, 2011

Other Resources ...

  • Church Health Center, Faith Community Nurse Program:   This site has many books and other resources to start a Health inistry in congregations. 
  • Wheat Ridge Ministry:  Check for potential grants for Health Ministry, Faith Community Nurse programs.
  • William's Wishes:
    MISSION Statement: 
    William's Wishes seeks to seed the development of new faith-based Health Ministries and Parish Nurse (also called Faith Community Nurse) programs, and to provide sustainability for those faith-based Health Ministries and Parish Nurse programs who are desirous of expanding the scope of their ministries.  Through this mission, William's Wishes hopes to increase the number of individuals who receive the benefits of such programs and experience wholeness in mind, body, and spirit even when a cure may not be available.
  • Health Ministries Association
  • Lutheran Parish Nurses International
  • Faith Community Nurse Network
  • Portico Benefit Services:
  • Lutheran Global Health Volunteers. The Lutheran Global Health Volunteer program is all about creating sustainable relationships between volunteers and companion hospital staff in an effort for mutual learning experiences, be that medical or spiritual growth experiences. Furthermore, these service opportunities in Liberia, Tanzania, and India are fantastic ways to share the wonderful experiences of the ELPNA with companion hospitals. Most companion hospitals have extensive palliative and home care programs which parish nurses would be well-equipped to support.

Updated 8/18