News from Region 8

Region 8 includes:  Northwestern and Southwestern Pennsylvania/Allegheny, Upper and Lower Susquehanna, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, and West Virginia

Region 8 Representatives are Ruth Manchester, Silver Spring, MD,, and Marilee Tollefson, Silver Spring, MD,

                       Ruth                                              Marilee
                             Ruth                                                          Marilee     

Welcome to ELPNA-the Evangelical Lutheran
Parish Nurse the Region 8 web page.
We’d like to introduce ourselves.
If you have news to share from your Synod or Network, let us know so we can post.

Ruth Manchester originally hails from Minnesota, and after taking her nurses training at Methodist-Kahler School of Nursing in Rochester, MN and obtaining a BSN at the University of Minnesota, she then moved to the Washington, DC area. She has been a paid parish nurse at Saint Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring, MD for the past 18 years. In this capacity, she is in charge of Caring Ministries, Social Ministry, and the one-to-one caring that a parish nurse does. She has an MA in art history from the University of Maryland, so combines her love of art with Parish Nursing. She is mom to Sarah and Dan and “Grandma” to Raina, Alden, Evan, and Aaron.

Marilee Tollefson is from South Dakota, has a BSN from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, during which time she joined the Army Student Nurse Program, and was on active duty for 23 years. During that time she earned MSN, and upon retirement from the Army Nurse Corps, worked at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center in Washington, DC. She is currently paid staff faith community nurse at Lutheran Church of St. Andrew in Silver Spring, MD for the past 17 years, coordinating care teams, serving as staff liaison to Social Ministry, and supporting many volunteers on the Health and Wellness Teams.  Marilee has two daughters, Sara and Mari Liv and is “Gramma” to Lauren, Eric, and Emery.

We are members of the Holy Cross Hospital network of faith community nurses.

Grants are available for churches starting a new Parish Nurse Ministry.  Contact the above Representatives for information.

Support Groups

Week of October 21-26

Monday, October 21
Connection Recovery Support Group
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (Meets every Monday) 

Ground Level (below lobby) Conf Room A/B
18101 Prince Philip Dr.,
Olney, MD 20832

Tuesday, October 22
Connection Recovery Support Group
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (Meets every Tuesday) 

Meet in room 110
10701 Old Georgetown Rd.
Rockville, MD 20852

Wednesday, October 23
Family Support Group
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM (Meets on the 4th Wednesday of every month) 

Meet in library located to the right of the Main Entrance
9601 Cedar Lane
Bethesda, MD 20814

Connection Support Group
Young Adult (18 - 30 y/o);
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (Meets on the 2nd & 4th Wednesday of every month) 

9100 Colesville Rd.
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Saturday, October 26
Connection Recovery Support Group
 (Meets the 2nd & 4th Saturday of every month)

1400 Spring Street, Suite #100
Silver Spring, MD 20910
*Entrance is through the parking lot in the back of the building. Street parking available.


Connection Recovery Support Groups are for individuals who are living with mental illness. Family Support Groups are for individuals who have a loved one living with mental illness. All Support Groups hosted by NAMI ae FREE and NO REGISTRATION is required.


Holy Cross Faith Community Nurse Program

Upcoming events of interest:

  • October 12  HC Faith Community Nurse Program Education/Training event. See flyer.

      It is not too soon spread the word to encourage a robust attendance!

The above events are all intimately tied to the challenges encountered every day in our communities.

Please share with your faith communities and other colleagues as appropriate.


Saint Luke Lutheran in Silver Spring is a Recipient of an
ELCA Hunger Grant

Ruth receiving grant 2019

Saint Luke Lutheran Church in Silver Spring was awarded a $3000 Hunger Grant from the ELCA. It was used it to provide classes for our food pantry recipients. Six sessions of five days each were held in English and Spanish by an educator from the University of Maryland Extension under a program called EFNEP-Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program. On May 8, Saint Luke was recognized as a “Hero” of the program. The grant monies were used to award the attendees with a gift card from a local grocery store. (The educational program was state-funded.) Ruth Manchester, Parish Nurse, is receiving the award. Hunger Grants for 2020 are now open for application. Visit the ELCA website for more information

What else is new in Region 8?

Mental Health Matters A Special Time of Awareness & Celebration
Sunday, October 20 & Monday October 21
Come to honor and celebrate the lives of people everywhere who live and thrive with mental health concerns.
Worship Sunday 8:00, 9:30 or 11:00 am Worship Monday 7:00 pm

Click here for the Flyer


Hello All,

We’re excited to announce the dates of our fall Foundations Course on September 27, 28 and October 25, 26, 2019 in Hagerstown.  I’ve attached the course brochure and registration form.  Feel free to share with others who may be interested.

Summer blessings!

Wendy Zimmerman, BSN, RN-BC
Parish Nursing, Program Manager
Meritus Medical Center

2019 Foundations Course Brochure         Course Registration Form

Fall 2019 Workshops

 Educational Opportunities and More!

Wellspring Women's Gathering 2019
"Finding Joy in the Journey"
Saturday, November 16
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Discover the joy that God promises, beyond circumstances,
offering hope that springs eternal and peace that never runs dry!
Featuring internationally known Bible teacher, author, speaker and humorist
Ellie Lofaro
Details & registration coming soon.
Downloadable flyer available now at
Learn more about Ellie's ministry at
Spread the Word - Save the Date!



The Dove
A publication of the Holy Cross Faith Community Nurse Program, serving faith community nurses, health ministers, clergy, and partners in faith and health.

Dove archive on the brand new website is now updated right away when the latest issue  is published. The archive is in a box on the left side of the opening page. 

Policies for Mental Health Services for the Uninsured: Click here for document
This is written in English and Spanish.  It has a 2010 date but is still current.

Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod Newsletter   Issue 1, Fall 2019

Cornerstone Montgomery ACT and Crisis Houses:

 ACT (Assertive Community Treatment Services) – call 240-855-3061 to make a referral.  They work with patients MD Medicaid and Medicare.  Patients must be resident of Montgomery County.
Residential Crisis Houses
They work with patients in a psychiatric crisis; emergency rooms to help divert a psychiatric hospitalization; clients reside in Maryland/preferably Montgomery County; They take Maryland Medicaid, Medicare; and uninsured clients.  Call 301-340-6510 for more information. 

They provide Psychiatric Case Management.  They work with Maryland Medicaid (not Medicare).  They work with a variety of patients, including the homeless population.  The contact person is:  Sondra Trannen/Executive Vice President  410-863-7213x103 
Anyone can refer.

Recovery Centers of America
They Provide Substance Abuse Treatment; Contact person is Sarah Watson 509-438-6583; in her description of their services she writes: We are currently in the process of partnering with Shady Grove Medical Center, Washington Adventist Hospital, MedStar Montgomery and Nexus Montgomery with a focus on the Hope Act to reduce rehospitalization and fight the opioid epidemic…. [they have an]inpatient detoxification and residential program... We provide 24/7 admissions and complimentary transportation. We can normally have patients picked up and out of the hospital in 2-3 hours.

Daria Berman MS, RN
Faith Community Nurse Coordinator
Holy Cross Health – Faith Community Nurse Program
10720 Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20901
Phone: 301-754-7007
Office Hours: Tuesday and Thursday   8:00 to 4:00


Updated 10/13/19