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February 2020 Newsletter

Director's Note, Faith Community Leader Breakfast: A Great Success, Upcoming Events, Community Events and Information, and Devotional.

Dear health ministries community,

We were thrilled to have an excellent turnout for our first Faith Community Leader Breakfast on January 22. Thank you for spreading the word and to those of you who joined us. We are working on plans to do more events to further support congregations in their health ministries.

This is the time of year when we begin recruiting for our 2020 Foundations in Faith Community Nursing course. As I have mentioned previously, we are delighted that Bill Lonneman, the Interim Director of the RN-to-BSN program at Western Washington University, will serve as course instructor alongside Carol Nicolay. With a masters in theology and experience in a variety of faith communities, Bill brings an interfaith focus that will enrich and enliven the 2020 course. Welcome, Bill!

This month, Rev. Dr. Cindy Bauleke's timely devotional discusses the importance of inviting others into the healing ministry of one's faith community, "Yes, you are the one trained for this ministry, but who else might work alongside you to help comfort and heal, to give rides, bring meals, teach, or visit the lonely?" I encourage you to scroll down (all the way down -- we have an abundance of community event listings this month!) to read her insightful piece.

For more information on the 2020 course visit:


Amelia Vader Executive Director

Faith Community Leader Breakfast: A Great Success

Thank you to all who joined us on Wednesday, January 22 to learn about what faith community nursing can do for you and your congregation/community!

More than 50 faith community leaders (FCLs), faith community nurses (FCNs), health ministers (HMs) and other interested community members came together to connect and talk about the value of health ministry.

Upcoming Events

February Meeting

Friday, Feb 21, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham

Come learn about the Whatcom GRACE (Ground-Level Response And Coordinated Engagement) program, and how FCNs and HMs can support their work. This meeting is free and all are welcome, especially to those interested in health ministry! A light lunch will be provided.

March Meeting

Friday, March 20, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham

Please join us for our monthly meeting. Joni Hensley, HMN board chair and newly retired Nursing Supervisor for the Whatcom County Health Department, will present and lead a discussion on ethics and advocacy. This meeting is free and all are welcome, especially those interested in health ministry! A light lunch will be provided.

Foundations Course

April 3 - June 6, 2020

Online and in-person at First Congregational Church, 2401 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham

Prepares state licensed RNs for faith community nurse ministry and other caring individuals for health minister service in their respective congregation or faith community. Applications due March 3, 2020.

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 to add your own.

YMCA: ACT! Actively Changing Together

ACT! is a 12-class program for youth 8-14 years and their parents promoting healthy nutrition, activity and lifestyles brought to you in partnership through the Whatcom Family YMCA and PeaceHealth St. Joseph Hospital.

Tuesdays 5:30-7:00 PM, January 28 - April 21

Sunnyland Elementary School, 2800 James St, Bellingham

Wednesdays: 5:30-7:00 PM, January 29 - April 22

Ferndale YMCA, 5610 Barrett Rd, Ferndale

Esta clase se impartirá en español y todo el plan de estudios se traducirá al español (This class will be taught in Spanish and all curriculum translated to Spanish).

YMCA: Diabetes Prevention Program

Thursdays 1:00-2:00 PM, starting January 30

Blaine Senior Center, 763 G St Blaine, WA 98230

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program helps adults at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes reduce their risk for developing the disease by taking steps that will improve their overall health and well-being.

Museum in Mind

Tuesday, February 4, 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Lightcatcher Building, 250 Flora St., Bellingham

The Whatcom Museum invites those with early-stage memory loss or dementia and their care partners to a program designed to engage participants with an art-filled experience.

Dementia Support NW Seeking Volunteers

DSNW is looking for experienced people to help with our support and dementia groups. We especially need people to substitute when the regular volunteers can't make it. DSNW does offer training which can be adjusted to fit the needs of individual people.

Honoring Choices PNW 2020 Conference

An inspiring day about advance care planning including national speakers, theatre, practicums, and food. We have discounted room rates! Book your group rate for WSHA. The last day to book a room using our discounted rate is Friday, February 7, 2020. You can also see a draft agenda here.

Friday, February 28, 8:00 AM Seattle Airport Marriott, 3201 S 176th St, Seattle, WA 98188, USA

For the day-long conference please click here. You can register up to 5 people at a time.

Thursday, February 27, 6:30 PM

For social game night before the conference please click here.

Realities of Advanced Medical Interventions

Learn what their outcomes could mean for patients in the short and long term.

Wednesday, March 4, 6:00 PM St. Luke's Community HEC, 3333 Squalicum Pkwy, Bellingham

Tuesday, March 10, 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Viking Union - Room 462, 516 High St, Bellingham

Northwest Rural Health Conference

Monday March 23, 7:00 AM – Wednesday, Mar 25, 1:00 PM The Davenport Grand, Autograph Collectio, 333 W Spokane Falls Blvd, Spokane, WA

Join us in highlighting the needs and opportunities of rural healthcare.

25th Annual Elder Service Provider Caregiver Conference

Friday, April 3, 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM Hotel Bellwether, 1 Bellwether Way, Bellingham, WA

A Silver Lining for Caregivers.

Palliative Care Across Cultures

Friday, April 17, 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM Settlemyer Family Hall, 3028 Lindbergh Ave, Bellingham, WA

The Palliative Care Institute Conference Spring 2020.


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

In seminary they taught us the secret of ministry. Well actually they taught us many things about ministry, but the secret I’m remembering is that as clergy we are not necessarily the best at many things in the life of a community of faith. There are those who are more spiritual, more faithful, more compassionate, more learned, better teachers, even better orators than the clergy. And if we are wise about ministry we learn to identify and rely on those who are gifted in many ways to build a faithful community seeking to follow God.

Obviously, the power of being clergy can be seductive, and from time to time we forget this secret, thinking we must do it all. Thankfully God usually has a way of reminding us it is not our church, fellowship, or synagogue, it is God’s. Rather, as faithful leaders, we are to encourage others to use their gifts in serving God, loving others, working for justice.

I was also taught it is the pastor’s job to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, all the while loving the people. It’s all about transformation, in one way or another. One of my favorite authors, Diana Butler Bass, has said, “I’ve become convinced that the path of transformation really isn’t all that hard – good information, discernment, space to dream, permission to act, and courage.”

As the new year and decade open before us, I’m hoping you may have the gift of time to reflect on good information, with space to dream, and courage to act. As health ministers and faith community nurses, you bring unique gifts and skills to your ministry and your community. Yet there may be others in your community who have healing gifts helpful in health ministry. Yes, you are the one trained for this ministry, but who else might work alongside you to help comfort and heal, to give rides, bring meals, teach, or visit the lonely? Is there someone you might even encourage to be trained to work with you?

Sometimes we like to think we are indispensable. None of us are. In my mind, a sign of a successful ministry is one that thrives even when the leader, who we thought indispensable, is not able to lead. How well is the community equipped to continue health ministry when you are unavailable for some reason?

I know it’s asking a lot, on top of everything you do, to think about recruiting others. Some of us are much better at doing it ourselves, rather than asking others for help. Yet, you don’t need to do this alone. You have a whole community to ask for assistance. Pray God will show you the right people, and then listen carefully. Surely there are others who would be good conduits for God’s amazing love of healing: body, mind, and spirit, who would be blessed by being a part of this ministry. Your ministry is invaluable to your community, too valuable to do alone.

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