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

Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association (ELPNA) of Region 3 Awards Yearly Start-up Grants

 The ELPNA will provide start-up funds for Lutheran congregations in Region 3 (MN, SD, ND).  Congregations can request up to $500.00 as a start-up grant.  The target is 2-3 congregations who would like to start or develop a parish nurse program within their faith community.  The grant applications are due in early December via an electronic submission process.  The awards will be announced in mid- January with funds issued early February.
Attached you will find the grant application form.  Carefully read through the grant application and fully complete the form. Please download the form, complete the grant application and return to Beth Hansen at                                    Grant Application
Currently the 2017 grants have been awarded to the following Congregations:  South Santiago Lutheran Church, Clear Lake, MN, and Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, Moorhead, MN.  Grants available for 2018 will announced in the Fall of 2017. 


ELPNA Fall Gathering

October 13-14, 2017

"Job: Through Suffering to Healing"  

Presenters:  Kathryn Schiffendecker and Carla Dahl,
both professors at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN

Live Streaming Available 

Participants will deepen their caring skills by using the book of Job as a lens through which to view loss and pastoral responses to loss. Team-taught by a biblical scholar and a pastoral care practitioner and teacher, this workshop will explore biblical, theological, and pastoral responses to suffering, loss, and grief. What can we say about God, the world, and human beings in the face of inexplicable suffering? How can we walk alongside those in grief in a way that leads them back to life? Participants are asked to read the whole book of Job before the workshop.

Registration information:   Click here for complete flyer  

            In-person registrant ($110 tuition)

            Livestream registrant ($50 tuition)

             or call 651-641-3416    
 This event is open to all Parish/Faith Community Nurses and health care professionals who care for those experiencing suffering.  
It is recommended that you read the Book of Job prior to attending

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:

 For further info,  Click here to download our ELPNA Brochure

Video Available ...

The Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association has a DVD available titled "The Healing Ministry of Jesus Christ: The Parish Nurse". The DVD gives a unique look at who we are as children of God and what we believe to be the healing ministry of Christ. In the DVD, we begin to understand how parish nursing has an integral role in carrying out Christ's call to the ministry of health and wholeness.

Cost of the video is $15 and can be ordered through June Sand,  

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 ...

Updated 8/9/17