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August 2019 Newsletter

Director's Note, Interview with Anita Busby, HM, of Trinity Biker Church, Did you know?, Upcoming Events, Devotional in honor of Jeanne Brotherton, and NEW: Prayer list.

Health Ministries Network (HMN) is a non-profit that initiates, develops and supports faith based health ministry in northwest Washington.

Dear HMN Community,

I hope you are easing into summer and enjoying these long, warm days. I welcome the slower pace, especially around this college town. Still, we are looking ahead to some special events this fall, including:

* HMN’s Fall Kickoff Meeting on Friday, September 20, 11am - 1pm. Join us and Heather Flaherty, Executive Director for the Chuckanut Health Foundation, as we launch a new season of health ministry. Location: TBD.

* Spirit of Giving: Annual Appreciation Lunch on Saturday, October 19, 11am - 1pm. Please join us as we recognize faith community nurses and health ministers for their outstanding service, honor a Clergy Champion, celebrate our generous community and raise funds fro Health Ministries Network. Please let me know if you would like to join the planning committee or if you know of congregations or businesses who would like to sponsors the event. More info to come.

Please mark your calendars and we look forward to seeing you in September and beyond!


Executive Director



Anita Busby, Health Minister, Trinity Biker Church, health ministries network

Anita Busby, HM

Trinity Biker Church

Tell me about Trinity Biker Church.

Roland Middleton and Mike Melland met in a grocery store and decided they needed to start a biker community bible study. Those meetings, by the attendees’ choosing, evolved from monthly to weekly and in 2008, Rushing Wind Biker Church was born.

In 2011, the church reorganized, becoming Trinity Biker Church with Roland, “Rev. Ro” as well call him, as senior pastor, and Mike Melland, Chris Goldstein, and Michael Juillerat as associate pastors. As it turns out, Rev. Ro has stepped down from his position for health reasons, so Michael is now senior pastor.

How did you get involved there?

In 2011 I became certified as a health minister. I was like, “well, what I can do? I don't have a church.”

I was riding the bus everyday to and from Ferndale for work, so I'd go down Northwest, past the soccer fields and see the Trinity Biker Church sign alongside the road reading, “SAT 10AM.”

I kept thinking, “I need to go in there, I should just go there.” So, I did and Rev. Ro said, “yes, I've been wanting a health minister.” I was like, “Oh, well I've been wanting a church.” So that's how that came to be.

Anita Busby, Health Minister, Trinity Biker Church, health ministries network

Do you have a connection to motorcycling outside of Trinity Biker Church?

Interestingly enough, Mr. Busby used to own five motorcycles. He also worked at a Harley Davidson here in Bellingham for a while. I didn’t go on bikes as much; I’d always lean the wrong way and it was kind of scary. But I always like seeing and hearing the Harleys!

What might you say to someone who has a negative impression of biker clubs?

“Bikers are sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness just like anybody,” said Deaconess Dar, and I concur!

The truth is many people have been disappointed in church. They have been injured physically, spiritually, and mentally, but have a desire to pursue God and have a family. Trinity Biker Church is a home of acceptance, forgiveness, and family, just like anybody’s church, club, or social circle.

Anita Busby, Health Minister, Trinity Biker Church, health ministries network

What does your health ministry look like at Trinity Biker Church?

At Easter time we buy 20 or so meals for the Ferndale food bank. This year we gave close to $1,400 in groceries and a cash donation of $1,400. In November we do the same thing for Thanksgiving; we buy complete thanksgiving meal supplies for about 20 families who visit the food bank, and we always include a generous cash donation.

When Rev. Ro was a child, the only Christmas gifts he got were from Toys for Tots, so in December we do the Toys for Tots Run. That's a cold Toys for Tots Run because it's winter on motorcycles.

On January 1st every year, TBC participates in the Frozen Toe Run, yes on motorcycles. One year I handed out coupons for free Tdap vaccines to all the bikers from many different clubs. I'm a huge supporter of hydration, so I give out water bottles and Jello shots (sans alcohol).

I also answer medical questions (eg. BLP, meds, symptoms), advise about doctor appointments, and listen – be present – when someone wants to share.

Anita Busby, Health Minister, Trinity Biker Church, health ministries network

How does your health minister education influence how you care for people?

You take care of the body, the mind, and the spirit. You just go to wherever they are at in their presence. Sometimes I just sit and don't say much to be honest. But they say what they have to say and it's safe.

The biker community can be very closed, so I just keep whatever they have to say close to me. I don’t think about it every day, so, in that way you kind of have to return to a nursing approach and be clinical. I have this little notepad in my purse that reads, “I am a healing presence,” and that’s what I strive to be.

What’s upcoming in your health ministry at Trinity Biker Church?

We have a letters ministry where we keep in touch with men who are separated from their families by incarceration, military service, or work. I hope to include a “greetings” ministry to let congregants know they are loved.

I decided that I should keep my health ministry bulletin board more up to date. I want to post flyers on community services, diseases, and hydration! My hope is to manage wellness in body, mind, and spirit.

What else do you do in your health ministry, not necessarily at Trinity Biker Church?

Ah, this is the perfect question because I think I might just be living as a health minister. I bring health ministry concepts to my work as a wellness nurse at Brookdale Senior Living; I use my HM training as a member of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT); and I provide foot and nail care and Healing Touch Therapy sessions (as a student). I am also training to become a chaplain, just another level of spiritual care as a health minister.

Anita Busby, Health Minister, Trinity Biker Church, health ministries network

Tell me more about healing touch.

We use our hands and the energy of people. Sometimes we put our hands on a person, sometimes it's hands in motion, and sometimes it's just hands still. We use our energy to engage your energy for your own self-healing.

I want people to understand that healing touch (sometimes called therapeutic touch) is not curative. People might still have their health issues, but for a moment in time their pain may lessen, their anxiety may calm, their body may rest peacefully.

How do you feel that healing touch interacts with health ministry?

Nurses are healers one way or another. We provide medications that treat, but we don't heal. We help you heal. As a nurse we listen to grief or pain or whatever it is and help you work through it. Healing touch is the same type of relationship. It's just bringing my presence to that person using energy fields.

How does the practice of healing touch interact with your Christianity?

Healing touch can sometimes be a little, ‘out there.’ I shouldn't say it like that, but it does embrace a lot of alternative concepts that are not faith-based.

I've been asked by other Christians, “If you're doing healing touch do you think you're Christ?” I’m not Christ. I'm an instrument here, and I'm getting skills and education in order to provide the healing presence.

Where do you see yourself going with healing touch and health ministry?

I think where I'm going to go (though I'm not quite sure how it's going to work) is to use my health ministry as an umbrella under which I’ll practice my chaplaincy, foot and nail care, and healing touch. I envision myself putting around in a little motor home and having a portable clinic.

Anita Busby, Health Minister, Trinity Biker Church, health ministries network

Why do you do all this? What’s the point?

In the 1990’s I was working at a psych hospital. One day I was asleep, since I worked nights, and all of a sudden I heard a loud, booming, “Anita.” I woke up and was too scared to move. I couldn't think; I just held the covers.

Somehow, I seemed to remember having some kind of a dream about Bible reading or whatever. This was during a time when we didn't go to church, we didn't do anything religious, so it was weird to have this dream.

I said, “Oh, I think that was God who just called my name.” You have to be a faith person to understand that. I didn't reveal that to people for many years because you don't tell people in a psych hospital that you heard God call your name.

I later found out that I was able to go to nursing school, which I had wanted to do since I was 18. When I graduated, I received a pin from the school and I chose the one that had the cross on it because I just felt like that was what I needed to do; that's what I wanted in my life. That was a calling, I know it was. I love knowing I have been chosen for this life of service.

Interviewed by Sampson Alvarado on July 3, 2019.


Did You Know?

The Health Ministries Network website is full of health ministry resources including a section for pastors or clergy interested in bringing health ministry to their congregation.

Pastors, Clergy, and Leaders interested in starting a health ministry.

Are you a pastor interested in health ministry? Learn more about health ministry, its impact, and how to start a program on our Pastors, Clergy, and Leaders page.

Whatcom county offers a number of food and meal resources:

Food and Meal Resources in Whatcom County, Compiled by the Whatcom Anit-Hunger Coalition

The Whatcom Anti-Hunger Coalition recently published an updated list of food banks, free meals, and more available in both English and Spanish. Click here for a printable copy.

The Westberg Institute invites you to share your experience during the 2020 Westberg Symposium at the Caring for the Human Spirit Conference.

Call for presentation proposals will be open until August 5. Faith community nurses, clergy, chaplains, health advocates and others involved in holistic health ministry and spiritual care are encouraged to submit a proposal for workshops and poster sessions.


Upcoming Events

Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions

Wednesday, September 4, 6:00 - 7:30pm

St. Luke's Health Education Center, 3333 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham, WA

Rebecca Rech Cutler, BSN, RN, CRRN, CHPN, will present in frank terms the meanings of advanced medical interventions, and what their outcomes could mean for patients in the short and long term. Advanced care planning, advance directives, and the importance of palliative care are discussed. Interactive, Q&A. Rebecca has experience as Whatcom Hospice & Home Health nurse.

Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions

Tuesday, September 10, 6:30 - 8:00pm

United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington Street

William Lombard, MD, long-time Whatcom County nephrologist, will present in layperson's terms the meanings of advanced medical interventions, and what their outcomes could mean for patients in the short & long term. This is an interactive session that includes Q&A. The importance of advance directives, palliative care, and the POLST are discussed. INFO: Micki Jackson, (360) 201-7840.

Lynden Faith Community Nurse Meeting

Thursday, September 12, 7:00 - 9:00pm

Location: TBD

Contact: Sue Bouma at or 360-319-7361. Hope to see you there.

Health Ministries Network: Fall Kickoff!

Friday, September 20, 11am - 1pm Whatcom Center for Philanthropy, 1500 Cornwall Ave Suite 200, Bellingham, WA

Join us and Heather Flaherty, Executive Director for the Chuckanut Health Foundation, as we launch a new season of health ministry. We'll also share updates from the Westberg Institute for Faith Community Nursing. Light lunch provided. Free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events allows anyone to share relevant events with the network. Add an event to the HMN calendar at



Courtesy of Rev. Dr. Cindy Bauleke, Health Ministries Network Board of Directors Spiritual Adviser

God has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does God require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

I do believe most, if not all, faith community nurses and health ministers are heroes. For you are people who do justice and love kindness and walk humbly with God. I hear from so many of the people for whom you care words of praise and profound gratitude. The compassion and love shared, the time and skills, all the ways you help individuals and your community.

Jeanne Brotherton, Faith Community Nurse, Takes a blood pressure reading at First Congregational United Church of Christ, Bellingham, Health Ministries Network

Many of you knew Jeanne Brotherton who was such a visible part of Health Ministries Network for many years. I first knew Jeanne over 40 years ago when we had babies on the same day at St. Joseph Hospital. Her husband was my physician and she was my childbirth educator. Always so well organized, she was 12 hours ahead of me giving birth to their daughter before I gave birth to our son. As our lives intersected over the years, she would tell me of her latest activities in addition to raising that daughter and the three sons who completed their family. She continually found creative ways to share her faith and healing ministry with others: from lactation consultant, to school nurse, to teaching at BTC and as an instructor for Faith Community Nursing, as well as being a faith community nurse herself.

Jeanne helped me when I struggled with conveying the concept of birthing for a sermon. She made time for what was important. When I went to visit her dear father-in-law in his last days, Jeanne was the one quietly sitting by his bedside, accompanying him on his final earthly journey. Dick Cathell, of the Spiritual Care Department of St Joseph Hospital, administrator of Health Ministries Network for many years, jokes that he was very clear it was Jeanne who carried out much of the administration as well as rewriting and teaching the curriculum. Many of you will remember Jeanne’s excellent teaching, always so clear and thorough. She cared for her students just as she cared for her patients.

For the last few years both Jeanne and her husband Jim have dealt with health issues. Yet, she continued to share with others by leading meditations at the Cancer Center for others living with cancer. I feel privileged to have known Jeanne and her family. Jeanne Brotherton has left an imprint of love, professionalism and caring in our hearts and in our community for which I am grateful.

At a recent celebration of Jeanne’s life we were told she kept a file folder for each of her many activities, including a celebration of life. The Micah quote at the beginning of this article and the quote that follows are just two of the thoughts Jeanne chose to leave for those who loved her and were shared at her service. As I re-read “About Work” I thought of the many health ministers, parish nurses, and faith community nurses who work with this kind of love and wanted to share it with you. Thank you for your gifts of faith and healing you share so generously.

About Work

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,

even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,

even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed are standing about you and watching….

Work is love made visible.

From “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran

Rev. Dr. Cindy Bauleke, Spiritual Adviser, Health Ministries Network

Rev. Dr. Cindy Bauleke

Spiritual Adviser

Health Ministries Network Board of Directors


NEW: Prayer List

Health Ministries Network Prayer List

Pam Colyar’s dad, Joe, for healing and comfort as he approaches his 89th birthday.

Pam Colyar's nephew just diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 colon cancer.

Maureen Terich, FCN of Sacred Heart Catholic, La Conner has cancer and asks for your prayers.

The prayer list allows anyone to share needs with the network. Interested in adding your own? Contact


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