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September 2020 Newsletter

Director's Note, Community Events & Info, Palliative Care webinars, Poem on Sitting, Special Event for faith community leaders in September

Dear health ministries community,

Just as we begin to get used to summer, the air sharpens and the trees begin their annual notification of fall. This year, it feels like fall is signalling something far bigger as we watch the wildfire smoke outside our windows while preparing to endure a NW winter during COVID-19. How will we sustain ourselves without the sun brightening our days? Without opportunities for picnics or outdoor worship services? How will we get through this election season and what will our country look like on the other side?

I think it's time to start sewing our winter coats. What will we wrap around us to stay warm inside our hearts and to endure this winter ahead? If you are Christian, Paul's letter to the Church in Colossae provides some advice for times of strife, "Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." (Colossians 3:12).

In the spirit of cultivating compassion and connection, I hope you'll join Health Ministries Network on Wednesday, September 23 at 12PM for a special presentation on the latest information on COVID-19 research and spiritual care. We've organized this event especially for faith community leaders and nurses, and health ministers -- please join us!


Amelia Vader Executive Director

Upcoming Events

HMN September Meeting

Friday, September 18, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Zoom Video Conference

Check in with and learn from fellow faith community nurses and health ministers. All are welcome! No educational speaker this month since the main educational event will be a Special Event on Wednesday, September 23.

Join us on Zoom using the meeting link sent out in our email newsletter. Didn't get a link? Email

For those who have not used Zoom before, watch this in-depth instructional video on how to set it up.

Special Event for Faith Community Leaders: COVID-19 Research & Spiritual Care

Wednesday, September 23, 12:00 - 1:30 PM

Zoom Video Conference

Please join us for this panel presentation and discussion on the latest developments in COVID-19, with local hospital chaplains, and experts in infectious disease, and family and senior health. Open discussion and opportunity for Q & A.

Email to access the Zoom login information.

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.

Foundations of Faith Community Nursing Course

September 12, 9 AM – September 26, 5 PM - Online Course

Pacific Lutheran University

Are you an RN interested in providing a health ministry within your church and community? This fall offering will be taught by Annette Stixrud.

Webinar Series: Palliative Care across Cultures

This webinar series will feature keynote speakers, panels and some complicated case studies to examine ways that inequity impacts palliative care patients and learn how to promote health equity on our teams or at the institutional level. Case studies will illustrate how our cultural identities and belief systems influence how we interact and engage with the patients and families we serve, and also examine how these elements impact family decision making when facing serious illness or death or after death care.

Together we will investigate how the medical model’s “culture” can impact how patients and families make medical decisions at the end-of-life, explore the importance of understanding and respecting culture at the end-of-life.

Each webinar will include time for Q&A.

Village Books Online Book Reading: Dick Cathell's "The Gift of Becoming"

Sunday, September 27, 4 PM

From Dick: I'm really excited about the virtual reading of my new book "The Gift of Becoming". I'm planning on sharing what basic needs were left out and why, how the book came into existence, reviews from hall of famers, national champions, and airline administrators, and how some of the poems and stories emerged out of past trauma and terminal situations with hospital patients during my 40 years as a healthcare chaplain. As you know, tragedies can spark questions it seems no one can answer. But, it's not a book about answers, but questions that have been gifted to me from patients and their family members -- questions that have helped me learn more about myself and all that I wish to become.

Monthly CHW Meeting

Friday September 25, - 11AM - Zoom Video Conference Call

Whatcom Community Health Worker Network

Join other community health workers for networking and resources. Email for the meeting link.

Diabetes Prevention Program

July through September, 25 total class sessions - Zoom Video

Whatcom Family YMCA

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. Research by the National Institutes of Health has shown that programs like the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program can reduce the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes by 58% and 71% in adults over the age of 60.

Move 4 A Cause

Every Friday, 4 - 4:30 PM - Zoom Video Conference Call

Dementia Support Northwest

Motivation can be hard to find these days, so every Friday from 4 - 4:30 PM Dementia Support Northwest will be moving and grooving to a different decade, beginning with the 1950s!! Register for this free event. $10 suggested donation to benefit Dementia Support Northwest.

COVID-19 Support for Caregivers

Weekly - Zoom Video Conference Call

WWU Palliative Care Institute

The Palliative Care Institute has initiated a weekly on-line support group for staff at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, providing in-home care, and/or hospice care, creating a virtual space for them to come together to talk about the impact of the pandemic on their work and their clients and residents -- a kind of ‘COVID coffee break room,’ a place to sit down to talk for a few minutes with others who are also struggling to reconfigure all aspects of care. By gathering their thoughts, PCI hopes be a vehicle for sharing these stories more widely with those outside their worlds. Anyone who would like to join this support group can email to request the Zoom link.

Whatcom medical corps volunteers needed!

We need your help! Health care provider olunteers are needed to revive the local medical corps. For more information and to sign up go to

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:

Virtual Advance Care Planning: Best Practice for Crisis and Beyond

From Respecting Choices

Learn about what is different when preparing for, having, and following up after a “virtual” ACP conversation. A one hour discussion among experienced program leaders.

Creative Offering


by Sharon Weldon

A reflective poem about the practice of quiet sitting in the morning. You reserve a seat for me it is free and always free. Here I can be me without an image of me. From this seat I am free to flee or sleep even though we planned to meet. From this seat You feed me salvation seeds  offered from surrounding, kneeling trees. Here we breathe together and speak, or not speak with ease.  

Photo credit: Ron Weitnauer

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