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December Newsletter


Dear Health Ministries Network Community,


I hope this first day of December finds you all well and warm--we certainly have had some frigid temps recently. It makes us that much more grateful to have shelter, food and community.


At HMN, we hope that this December provides you a beautiful and healthy holiday season, whether you have the privilege of celebrating Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, Kwanzaa or simply the winter season and the traditions that you or your community have created.


One mini-tradition I have is reading the book, Snowflake Bentley, by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, every winter. It is a children's book with beautiful illustrations. Like all good children's books, it appeals to older kids (like me) as well. I won't give the story away (I've included a link to a reading in our Creative Offerings), but I will say that the reason this book has become a tradition for me is because Snowflake Bentley is the true story of someone who was singularly focused on capturing and sharing beauty with the world. He was someone who lived and died by his passion to manifest love through beauty. I am blessed to know many "Snowflake Bentleys" in Health Ministries Network--people who practice science and art, bringing health and beauty into the world simultaneously, capturing and sharing miracles each day.


In our Annual Report, which you may have seen on Giving Tuesday, I try to capture some of the beauty that our Faith Community Nurses, Health Ministers and Community Health Advocates bring into this world. In this report, our HMN Board asks for your financial and other support, and I want to thank you for offering this, as our volunteers continue to bring love and healing into the world. If you have not offered a token of your support, please consider doing so this holiday season. Donate Here (please indicate you'd like the donation to go to Health Ministries Network).


You are invited to join us for our monthly meeting, featuring "Street Medicine" and an update from our Whatcom County Health Department's GRACE/LEAD program. This meeting is inspired by those encounters we have each day--the individual that we meet who sleeps outside or in their car, the individual who may ask us for money and the many individuals who are "invisible" to us but who cry silently for shelter and safety. How can we help in a safe and loving way? We will offer tools and share what has worked for each of us as individuals and faith communities. I cannot think of a more loving introduction to the holiday season. Our meeting will be held on Friday, December 16th, 12-1:30pm via Zoom. Please see the link below.


Please also see information on World AIDS Day, today, December 1st. This day offers an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to support those living with HIV and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. Our love and awareness can and must continue well beyond this day.


Finally, take time to peruse the many opportunities and community offerings throughout this December newsletter. Please take good care of yourselves and those around you this winter.


Wishing you peace, love and deep joy this December,


Sarah Lane

Executive Director

 
 

HMN December Meeting: Street Medicine and Loving Our Homeless Neighbors Well


Join us for our monthly meeting, featuring "Street Medicine," and an update from our Whatcom County Health Department's GRACE/LEAD program. This meeting is inspired by those encounters we have each day--the individual that we meet who sleeps outside or in their car, the individual who may ask us for money and the many individuals who are "invisible" to us but who cry silently for shelter and safety. How can we help in a safe and loving way? We will offer tools and share what has worked for each of us as individuals and faith communities. I cannot think of a more loving introduction to the holiday season.


To help us prepare for this time together, you may be interested in reading Whatcom County's Point-in-Time Report 2022 (PIT Report 2022).


Everyone is welcome! Our meeting will be held on Friday, December 16th, 12-1:30pm via Zoom.


Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at director@healthministriesnetwork.net

 

You are invited! Health Ministries Network Visits the Gurdwara


We had a beautiful time, getting to know the Chardi Kala Project and our Sikh neighbors just a little bit better in October, and we have been invited to get to know the Gurdwara in January!


Date/Time: January 8th, noon


We'll meet at:

Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurudwara

176 E Pole Rd, Lynden, WA 98264


All people will be asked to cover your head and remove your shoes (please wear socks). A head covering can be a scarf or a hat.


If you missed our meeting, you can still access the replay here.


Please contact Sarah Lane with questions at director@healthministriesnetwork.net

 

Sign up for the Foundations Course 2023 Now!


It's time to sign up! In 2023, we'd like to put all of our support behind the PLU course, also taught by Bill Lonneman, that is coming up in January 2023, rather than host our own class in April 2023. We'd like to bolster enrollment in a local course, scholarship as many as possible from our Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Island Counties and place our focus and emphasis on fortifying the FCNs/HMs/CHAs who come out of this course to start or continue vibrant health ministries in our area. Please register right away to ensure this course is a "go," and work with Sarah Lane to apply for a scholarship at director@healthministriesnetwork.net.



 

"One in ten of the people 65+ is likely to have Alzheimer’s. The impacts are also spread more broadly to families, communities, and provider systems."


This quote comes from the Northwest Regional Council's Dementia Support Program. They invite you to learn more, engage with them to build a more dementia-friendly community in your organization, whether it is a faith community, an apartment complex or an arts group! To learn more, visit their webpage.


To get involved or partner with NWRC to bring education and support to your community, please contact Kelsey Wood at kelsey.wood@dshs.wa.gov to learn more!

 

Community Events & Info



In an effort to connect our volunteers with relevant resources, we publish community events and information in our monthly newsletter and on our website. Email director@healthministriesnetwork.net to add your own.


From the CDC: It's World AIDS Day!


World AIDS Day (12/1)


Every year, on December 1, the National AIDS Trust recognizes World AIDS Day to raise awareness, show support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and unite in the fight against the virus. Encourage others in your network to “Rock the Ribbon” and spread the word about HIV using the 2022 World AIDS Day campaign assets. This year’s theme is “Putting Ourselves to the Test: Achieving Equity to End HIV” — check out HIV.gov for various resources to bring awareness to your community. You can also share our MyHealthfinder resources on getting tested for HIV and talking to a doctor about HIV testing. And be sure to check out Healthy People 2030 to learn about objectives focused on reducing sexually transmitted infections and improving accessing quality care.

 

Upcoming . . . National Influenza Vaccination Week (12/5 to 12/9)


From the CDC: "This year, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes National Influenza Vaccination week from December 5-9 to highlight the importance of flu vaccinations. Help spread the word by sharing materials from CDC’s digital media toolkit. You can also check out the Healthy People 2030 objective aimed at increasing the number of people who get the flu vaccine every year. Finally, be sure to share our MyHealthfinder resource to help people in your community learn the importance of getting vaccinated against the flu."

 

Opportunities from the North Sound Accountable Communities of Health (NSACH)


The Washington Health Care Authority has announced the 33rd annual Washington Behavioral Healthcare Conference (WBHC) will be held in-person June 14-June 16, 2023, and the theme is "Reconnect & Recharge." The conference brings together a diverse group of presenters to share information about therapeutic interventions, recovery supports, promising programs, and policies that advance best practices. They are also seeking presenters! Presenters at the 2023 WBHC will have the opportunity to interact with a broad audience. Conference attendees include clinical staff, program managers, people with lived experience, peers, family members, state agency staff, and more. If you are interested please click here for more information and to submit your proposal, final day to submit is December 7.

Mental Health Matters of Washington is looking for folks who are interested in becoming a Peer Mental Health Navigator for their winter cohort! As a Peer Mental Health Navigator, you will learn how to help and connect people to the resources and care they need to thrive. Training is free and open to anyone ages 13+ who lives/works in Snohomish, Skagit, Island, San Juan, and Whatcom counties. At the end of the training participants will receive a stipend of $150, for more information visit their website here, to register for this training please click here. Questions? Please contact Info@MentalHealthMatters.com.

The City of Ferndale is in the process of developing an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Transition Plan to guide when and where mobility improvements need to be made in Ferndale - and they need your help! Please take our community survey (found here) and weigh in on what needs to be improved. Regardless of whether or not you have difficulty walking around our City, they would like to hear from you regarding our pedestrian facilities and any issues you have encountered.


 

Support for People with Diabetes



When you participate in diabetes self-management education and support (DSMES) services, you’ll learn personalized strategies to manage your diabetes, including taking medicines, planning healthy meals, and being active. You and your diabetes care and education specialist will work together to create a plan that works for you. Click here to find all the great information in one place!

 

Bellingham and Whatcom County Housing Authority Announcement: Housing Waitlist Now OPEN for 62+


Is there someone, aged 62+ in your community who is seeking housing? The waitlist is now open. Please click here for more information and share widely!

 

Please click on the image above to learn more.

 

All about 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline from SAMSHA. If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, help is available. Call or text 988 or chat 988lifeline.org


 

Creative Offering

Today, enjoy Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin.


Whether we have (or love) snow or not, most of us can relate in some way to the true story of a person who, with singular focus, brings beauty into the world. And we can be that someone, too.


Click here to enjoy a read aloud (we're never too old for story time). Or pick up the book at your local library or bookstore to enjoy, preferably with the kids in your life! Wishing you all a very happy Holiday Season!

 

Support HMN

Help us support the invaluable work of faith community nurses and health ministers in northwest Washington by donating today!

And thank you to our fiscal sponsor,



Health Ministries Network is a nonprofit serving Northwest Washington with a mission to link Faith Community Nurses & Health Ministers, congregations and local resources, to nurture community health equity with spiritual well-being.


Health Ministries Network is affiliated with the Chuckanut Health Foundation.


800 E. Chestnut St., Ste 1A

Bellingham, WA 98225

360-788-6408

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