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May Newsletter



Dear Health Ministries Network Community,


It seems that blooms are everywhere in the Pacific Northwest--indeed, it is spring, even amidst these gray days! It is spring in so many ways. As many of us emerge from a period of sequestration, disconnection and grief over the past few years, we find newness in reconnecting, newness in the spring season, newness in this world in which we live. And yet, some of the news in this season is not good--war, climate and an ongoing disconnectedness that will take time to heal.


Thank God, we can be instruments and beings of healing. Thank you for bringing this to our local communities and beyond. Please remember, in all of this, to care well for yourself and to reach out to this compassionate community for support as we move through this next season.


During the month of May, we pause for mental health. In this newsletter, we offer many resources for mental health support as well as opportunities to heal the divisions that augment the distress that many of us feel. We also take some time to share with each other in community at the HMN May Monthly Meeting, which has been moved to Friday, May 13th, 12-1:30pm via Zoom for a very special reason. See below, and plan to join us!


This month, as we focus on mental health, we pay special attention to Asian American and Pacific Islander(AAPI) Heritage Month. These past few years have highlighted the unresolved grief that our BIPOC community faces daily as well as ongoing violence and a pressing need for change. Among those who suffer are our Asian American community. The FBI reports that hate crimes against Asian people living in the US increased by 77% between 2019-2020 (healthaffairs.org). Today, let us spend time and exercise compassion alongside our AAPI community, in particular.


And our focus for work this month is on supporting the Catherine Mahaffey Wellness Fair, which will be held at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center (EWRRC) in Maple Falls. If you would like to serve with us, whether you are a Faith Community Nurse or a Health Minister, a Community Health Advocate or a faith community member or partner organization, please sign up on the form here.


We encourage you to take a moment to see all the other news and great opportunities, listed below, as well as an update from one of our faith communities. Wishing you continued peace, health, and love. Take good care today!


Yours in gratitude and hope,


Sarah Lane

Executive Director




Thank you! Thank you! Thank you, to Christ the King Church in Bellingham, to Wendy Powell, Community Outreach Pastor and to Melody (left) and Ivy (right) for sharing their love to our Mt. Baker Foothills Community by taking community members to get mammograms at Mt. Baker Imaging during the month of April. This was a unique and special opportunity for CTK to assist, as our "Ask a Nurse" program coordinated mammograms through the EWRRC, PeaceHealth and Mt. Baker Imaging.


During pandemic, many of us skipped preventive healthcare screenings. It's time to catch up! Have you had your mammogram recently?


HMN May Meeting: Farewell to Carol, Share & Care on May 13th!



Carol Nicolay is more than: a retired registered nurse who has been active as a Health Minister at the First Congregational Church of Bellingham and as a Westberg Institute instructor. Previously she held positions as Director for Professional Studies (WWU), Assistant Director for Academic Programs (UW),and Manager of Continuing Education (SPIE).She earned her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Northern Arizona University and holds a graduate degree from University of Phoenix and under-graduate degree in Adult Education from Grand Canyon University (Phoenix).



She has also served as our HMN Director and currently currently coordinates our Foundations in Faith Community Nursing online course.


But we love her for her heart, her compassion, her generosity of spirit, her joy--all of her. She and her family are making a move this month, and she will be leaving our HMN Network (for now). We want to take this time to celebrate Carol, offer our gratitude, and offer her our prayers and blessings in this new season.


Please come and share:

12:00 Dedication

12:05 Introductions around the Zoom screen and how we met Carol

12:15 Sharing stories of HMN and Carol

12:30 Blessings and prayers for Carol's journey

12:45 until finished. Continued sharing and caring among FCNs/HMs and community.


Everyone is welcome! Please join us via Zoom on Friday, May 13th, 12-1:30pm via Zoom


Please contact Sarah Lane for a link or with questions at director@healthministriesnetwork.net

HMN April Meeting: GRACE Program and More



Thank you for attending our HMN Monthly Meeting, with guest presenter, Malora Christensen, Response Systems Manager, speaking about the Whatcom GRACE (Ground-Level Response And Coordinated Engagement) program. This community-based effort finds solutions for individuals who are high utilizers of emergency and criminal justice systems, offering intensive, coordinated services to these “familiar faces” whose needs span beyond any single agency.


In upcoming months, Malora and the GRACE Program will join us in our HMN Office, as we begin to share space with them and get to know them even better!


If you missed the presentation, please click here for a replay.


Further, here are some good notes and contact information from Friday:


Website for the GRACE Program:

www.respondwhatcom.org

https://www.whatcomcounty.us/3932/Response-Systems


Malora's Contact Information:

Malora Christensen mchriste@co.whatcom.wa.us


GRACE & LEAD front desk office

(360)715-8275


Crisis Line

(360)584-3578


We also heard from HMN Board Members, Sunny Garza, RN, and Kate Massey, HM and NWRC, about sessions that they will be offering for our FCN/HM/HCA community to share space and community and cases. It is intended to be YOUR time to connect and feel a loving community around you. More information is coming!


Help at the Catherine Mahaffey East Whatcom Wellness Fair



As many of you know, Health Ministries Network, thanks to a generous grant from the Chuckanut Health Foundation's Aging Well Whatcom, has been hosting an Ask a Nurse program on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center, alongside the Foothills Food Bank.


It has been wonderful to get to know the Mt. Baker Foothills Community! This spring, we invite you to join us at our Ask a Nurse Table, providing education on blood glucose monitoring and taking blood pressures, sharing good resources and providing a warm healthcare presence. If you or your faith community would like to support this wellness fair in some way, please fill out our Google form to sign up!


Does your Faith Community Need Naloxone/Narcan in their First Aid Kit?


Recently, the North Sound Accountable Communities of Health (NS ACH) asked Health Ministries Network if we might educate and provide Naxolone/Narcan Nasal Spray to people who may need this to reverse opioid overdose. While this distribution was intended for individuals, we asked WA DOH if faith communities could request Naloxone/Narcan to have on hand, and they sent HMN an application.


If your faith community would like to request a box of 2doses of Naloxone Nasal Spray, please reply to Sarah Lane at director@healthministriesnetwork.net


If the Washington DOH approves our request, we'll coordinate a pickup with you as well as provide a training video. If others may administer Narcan in your absence, please also ensure that they have had this training. If you use the Narcan, please just let Sarah Lane know, and she will replace your supply.


It's Mental Health Awareness Month! Training to empower you and your community


Click here to register.

Free Behavioral Health CE trainings in June!

For behavioral health (BH) providers working with children and adolescents, organizations employing BH providers, and partners who work with these professionals anywhere in Washington state: North Sound ACH is hosting four free trainings in June 2022.

  • Trauma & Attachment in Children and Families | June 3, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information

  • Treating Anxiety Disorders in Children & Adolescents | June 9-10, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. More information

  • Trauma-informed CBT for Children & Adolescents | June 17, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. More information

  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) | June 22-23, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. More information

Register here by May 26 to secure your spot! For more information, email Team@NorthSoundACH.org

This free webinar series, hosted by HHS and HUD, will take place each Wednesday in May and feature leading mental health and housing professionals with a focus on mental health issues that our nation is facing in the post-pandemic world. Save the date and join upcoming webinars:

  • May 4, 1:00 p.m. ET, Overview of Mental Health in the Modern World, Code: 4670871#

  • May 11, 1:00 p.m. ET, 988 – What’s on the Horizon, Code 8477433#

  • May 18, 2:00 p.m. ET, Reducing Stigma Associated with Mental Health, Code: 5955873#

  • May 25, 2:00 p.m. ET, Now What? – Mental Health in Post-COVID America, Code: 6268721#


Foundations in Faith Community Nursing Offered in Oregon


The Faith Community Health Network of the Mid-Willamette Valley provides training and support for faith community nurses and health ministers to serve their congregations and community by promoting advocacy, improving health literacy, health equity and overall access to care, and promoting spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.


The Foundations Course Is a Faith Community Health Ministry in Your Future? A Faith Community Nurse is not simply a registered nurse who happens to be a member of a faith community. Faith Community Nursing is a recognized nursing specialty. The Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course prepares nurses to stand in the gap; to bridge the health care system and faith community. Faith Community Nurses and Health Ministers work together to open the door for important conversations about health and wellness of the mind, body, and spirit and provide additional caring connection and support for faith community members facing today’s many challenges.


Faith Community Health Network is partnering to offer the Foundations for Faith Community Nursing for active and retired nurses and a parallel Foundations for Health Ministry course for faith community lay members. The course is six sessions held on Zoom from 8am – 5pm on Mondays and Tuesdays: August 29–30, September 12–13, and September 26, and from 8am-2pm on September 27, 2022, providing nearly 40 hours of supported instruction. Course cost includes books and 38 continuing education contact hours. Cost for the six days of training is $275 for residents of Linn, Benton or Lincoln Counties in Oregon and $325 for out-of area residents. This course is open to - and welcomes - all faith traditions.


For registration information, contact: Deb Fell-Carlson, BSN, RN, MSPH, Foundations Course Coordinator and Lead Educator, at faithcommunityhealthnetwork@gmail.com or text 541-248-0595.



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.


It's Mental Health Awareness Month! Resources for Faith Communities

According to the CDC, "Mental health is an important part of overall health and well-being. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood."


Event: National Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day 2022: Peer Support for Youth and Families Thurs., May 5, 2022, 1:00 p.m. ET. Register here. SAMHSA hosts this event commemorating child and youth mental health and honoring youth and family peer support. Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Miriam Delphin-Rittmon, Ph.D., provides remarks. May 8-14 is National Prevention Week (NPW) NPW is a national public education opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health. View the The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.


May 13-15, 2022 is the weekend of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention's Faith.Hope.Life. campaign inviting faith communities to educate themselves on how to “be there” for someone who is struggling, in crisis, or who has been touched by suicide in any way.




You are invited to explore the revised and improved version of The Sanctuary Course. We're also launching our new online resource portal—which includes The Sanctuary Course for Catholics, The Sanctuary Course para Católicos (Español), and Faith,Grief, and COVID-19: A Conversation—and a new website. May it serve you and your communities well. We pray that it would ignite important conversations about mental health and faith, reduce stigma, and help churches support mental wellbeing. Subscribe at


Here are some additional resources for you and your faith community:


Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the United States, anytime. Crisis Text Line is here for any crisis. A live, trained Crisis Counselor receives the text and responds, all from our secure online platform. The volunteer Crisis Counselor will help you move from a hot moment to a cool moment.


Crisis Text Line atiende a cualquier persona sin importar su tipo de crisis, y brinda apoyo gratuito las 24 horas del día, los 7 días de la semana a través de un medio que la gente ya usa y en el que confían: los mensajes de texto. Envíanos un mensaje de texto.


Crisis Phone Line 1-800-584-3578

​Mental Health Treatment Access Line 1-888-693-7200​​


Click here to link to the Behavioral Health Community Guide for Whatcom County or here for ​More Options for Services in Whatcom County

For Peer Support Groups, connect with NAMI of Whatcom County



COVID-19 Information, At-Home Tests and Vaccination Perspectives


COVID-19 County Check Tool is a new tool to help communities decide what prevention steps they need to take based on the latest data. Levels can be low, medium, or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds, admissions, and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area.


Check your county’s COVID-19 Commmunity Level to determine the right prevention steps for you and your community.


At-Home Test Kits: Availability and Resources

There are a few different ways to get free at-home COVID-19 tests right now.

  • You can now order 4 free at-home tests to be delivered to your door: https://www.covidtests.gov/

  • WA State is also offering mail-order tests:

    • English - Home - Say Yes! To Covid Test (sayyescovidhometest.org)

    • Spanish - Inicio - Say Yes! To Covid Test (sayyescovidhometest.org)


On-Demand and Live Online Advance Care Planning Classes


PeaceHealth is offering "Your Voice Your Choice" classes online to help people complete their advance directives and durable power of attorney documents. Sharing your wishes for the care you want if you are critically ill can bring you closer to the people you love. Making your wishes known clearly in advance of a crisis is one of the biggest gifts you can give yourself, your family and friends.


Classes are offered the first Wednesday of every month 1:00-3:00 PM. The class is also on-demand and can be watched online anytime. Learn more at: www.peacehealth.org/advance-care-planning.


A Story from our Community


You might notice that this is a new section in our newsletter. Each month, we'd like to feature a health ministry from our network to share what we're doing today, especially in light of the past two years of pandemic and the ongoing challenges it has brought to the world and our faith communities.


Here is an update (summarized) from Celeste Hilde, FCN at United Church of Ferndale:



-Our church opened up for the first time on Easter due to COVID.


-Before COVID we took on getting an ADA electronic door opener put on the main door and some maintenance repairs for that door and a side door. Before the church opened up we had an in service on how to operate the new ADA electronic door.


-During COVID I put together a new First Aid box with quilts and First Aid items. Because of that one of the quilters offered to make a couple more quilts and a pillow. One morning Pastor found a man walking up to the front door and he was very cold. Pastor let him come in and use the shower, food out of the Blessing Box and let him sleep all day on one of our couches. The new quilts and pillows will be good for this type of situation, so we can wash and dry them before the next person.


-Not long after that our church became the Cold Weather Shelter.


-I showed the people where the First Aid Box is and what was in it.


-I also showed them the new blood pressure cuff from Mt. Baker Foundation and how to use it when I am not around. It is in the new First Aid Box.


-We added Narcan to our First Aid Box. HMN sent an email out on Narcan Zoom. I had some of the people watch the Zoom and I was able to get Narcan through that in service. I copied the instructions in the Narcan box and passed the instructions out to everyone on how to use the Narcan. I showed everyone that the Narcan was being kept in the new First Aid Box, too.


-The Fire Department is next door to our church, so I got the CPR manikin to show everyone where to place the pads for the AED. I made sure people knew where the AED was and had a very quick in service on how to use it. In the mean time I am scheduling a CPR class to go into more details on how to use the AED.


-Also showed people how to refill the new automatic hand sanitizer machine. We had to modify our hand sanitizer machine because we could not get Purell during Covid. The supplier came and drilled a hole in the tope of the Purell bottle so we could pour a generic hand sanitizer in till we use up what we have and get Purell back again.


-Something to keep in mind is for people to check their AEDs because pads and batteries are backordered right now. I have been waiting since before Christmas to get mine replaced.


Thank you, Celeste, for all you and UC Ferndale do and for the love you give!

Creative Offering


This creative Care Package is offered, courtesy of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center. If you click on the image below, you will find beauty in song and video, poem and image. Enjoy this nourishing time in creative community.




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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