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

Mental Health Support Group

Register for our upcoming NAMI Family-to-Family Class in Silver Spring!

Register now for the NAMI Family-to-Family Class at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Silver Spring starting Thursday, March 12, 2020! Classes will be held from 7:00 - 9:30 PM. Participants must register below AND complete a brief phone screening. A NAMI Montgomery County staff member will contact you within 2 business days to complete the registration process.

Class Dates
March 12, 2020
March 19, 2020
March 26, 2020
April 2, 2020
~not meeting April 9, 2020~
April 16, 2020
April 23, 2020
April 30, 2020
May 7, 2020

7:00 PM EDT - 9:30 PM EDT

St. Andrew Lutheran Church
15300 New Hampshire Ave 
Silver Spring, MD 20905


Bereavement Support

For those who are grieving the death of a loved one, the Holy Cross Bereavement Program offers a nine-week grief support program that is held on Wednesdays, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. and drop-in grief group meetings held every other Saturday, 2 to 3:30 p.m. or every other Thursday, 12-1 p.m. at the the Holy Cross Resource Center, 9805 Dameron Drive, Silver Spring, and one Saturday a month, 2-3:30 p.m., at Holy Cross Germantown Hospital, 19801 Observation Drive, Germantown, MD 20876 Spanish language groups are also offered.  For more information, contact the Bereavement Center at 301-754-7742 or


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

Workshops and Educational Programs

Holistic Health Seminar on Memory Loss

Registration for the 14th Annual Holistic Health Seminar on Memory Loss is now open! This year’s seminar is titled Education and Resources for a Healthy Mind, Body, & Spirit, and will be held on Saturday, June 6th from 9:00am – 1:00pm at the Randallstown Community Center.

The goal of this event is to educate the greater Baltimore-area community on topics related to healthy aging, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease. The Seminar will feature a panel on brain, heart, and spiritual wellness; a talk on the benefits of yoga for arthritis relief; interactive exercise demonstrations; health screenings, exhibitors and resources; and a continental breakfast. As always, this event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register at 1-888-754-3050 by June 2nd. See the attached flyer and agenda for more information, or visit


Prevention Services of the Northwestern Community Services Board

Last week I met with two prevention specialists and learned of the multitude of FREE resources available through this community partner.  Their mission is to prevent substance misuse and suicide and to promote mental wellness in the Lord Fairfax Planning District. This link gives more information on services and the work they are doing:  Representatives are scheduled to present to our network in September, and will provide more details on services, including those listed below.

Lock and TALK Virginia provides services and materials designed to promote safe and responsible care of guns, medication, and other lethal means.

I will have some of their tools at the February meeting – plan to attend and learn how you can obtain these resources.

  • Mental Health First Aid USA is a skills-based training course that teaches participants about mental health and substance-use issues.

Classes in Winchester on March 30 and 31.  Stay tuned for details.

Network Happenings

FCN Day Retreat:  Reflections on Intentional Living    
Register now!  Space is limited.   Click here for Registration

Monday, April 27, 8:30 AM – 3 PM 
Hunting Ridge Retreat, Winchester, VA

Educational Opportunities

Chronic Pain Self-Management :
6 week course beginning March 17, 2020 at Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center;
And beginning April 15th, 2020 at The Lutheran Church of St. Andrew

Montgomery Hospice is presenting 'Understanding the Hospice Benefit' 
Brightview Woodmont Senior Living 4709 Rugby Ave Bethesda MD 20814
February 20, 2020 , 9am-10am, to register :


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 3/2/20