Commemorating the Feast of St. Luke: We Are Called To Be Healers

Just as in a hospital where rounds are made every day we, too, as Gospel physicians, are called to make our daily rounds in prayer and presence. I think I know what Paul meant when he said, “pray without ceasing.”

October 18th is the Feast of St. Luke the Physician, who this Network in named for. The Rev. Dr. Joe Bowden has an article in the Augusta Chronicle that discusses the need for praying unceasingly in healing ministries. Today’s complex medical care can be an extended process, lasting over several weeks or months as the patient moves from the acute to rehabilitation phase. As Fr. Bowden points out the same is true in healing ministry where we are called to “pray without ceasing. Read it all here.


National Nurses Day Prayer

May 6th begins National Nurses Week. A prayer for nurses is below.

May 6th begins National Nurses Week. Thanks to nurses everywhere for the professional, compassionate care and everything you do for your patients and their families.

Life-giving God, who alone have power over life and death, over health and sickness: Give power, wisdom, and gentleness to those who follow the lead of your servant Florence Nightingale, that they, bearing with them your presence, may not only heal but bless, and shine as lanterns of hope in the darkest hours of pain and fear; through Jesus Christ, the healer of body and soul, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Religion and a Healthy Life

The index is based on a survey of 550,000 Americans that attempts to measure the components of “the good life.”

Not surprisingly the Gallup Organization finds a significant correlation between religious people and a healthy life:

Americans who say that religion is an important part of daily life and that they attend religious services weekly also report having much healthier habits than people who self-identify as moderately religious or nonreligious.

Read it all at Episcopal Cafe here.

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Want to Reduce Stress? Invite a Friend to Church!

“Only when one forms social networks in a congregation does religious service attendance lead to a higher level of life satisfaction.”

Here’s another good reason to invite a friend to church. The 2006 Faith Matters survey shows that people are happier (and less stressed) when they have close friends sitting in the pews. Read about it here.

The survey authors found that “Only when one forms social networks in a congregation does religious service attendance lead to a higher level of life satisfaction.”

So de-stress, lower your blood pressure and evangelize at the same time. Bring a friend to church.


New Pastoral Care Resources

Some new resources up on the Pastoral Care page

A few new resources up on the Pastoral Care page, including My ICU Care, which provides support and educational material for families of an ICU patient, and two prescription assistance resources for patients who need financial help with prescriptions.


When Enough is Enough

“When are we going to get to the business of understanding when our interventions make a meaningful change in the outcome of humans and when they won’t? When are we going to finally decide that enough is enough?”

Dr. Greg Henry, past president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a leader in the specialty, writes about the lack of information given to families about end-of-life care and how to handle the inevitable functional and physiologic decline that aging brings with it.

Dr. Henry points out that emergency physicians routinely spend about one third of their time in the ED dealing with chronic illnesses that they cannot fix. Acute problems, such as falling out of bed and breaking a wrist or hip can be treated. Reversing the “ravages of time,” as Henry puts it, is another matter.

One common situation is what will happen starting next week and going through the holiday season. Families will come from far away to visit their elderly relatives. They may not have seen their relative for six months to a year and the difference is startling. Grandmother is just not the same as she was last year. Something must be done! And to the Emergency Department they will go with Grandmother in tow, of course, expecting a sure and swift reversal of Grandmother’s condition.

Unless Grandmother has an acute medical problem, an infection or electrolyte abnormality for example, there’s not that much to do. This is an opportunity, however, for compassion and caring, and a chance to educate the family about their loved one’s inevitable decline, even if it is in a crowded emergency room in the middle of Thanksgiving night.

Read Dr. Henry’s forthright article here.

How to Handle the Holidays-Women’s Retreat at Holy Comforter, Augusta

Using the Gifts of the Spirit to De-Stress the Holidays-Women’s Retreat at Holy Comforter, Augusta November 20, 9am-1pm.

Its that time of year again. As the holidays approach, stress levels increase as we try to prepare for that “perfect” Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. In reality, many people suffer from worsening depression, grief, or stress because things aren’t all that “perfect.”

Stress reduction is part of a congregational health ministry and the Deacons of the Augusta Convocation are offering a Women’s Retreat at Holy Comforter, Augusta on Saturday, November 20, 9 am to 1 pm, entitled “Using the Gifts of the Spirit to De-Stress the Holidays.”

Four speakers will present different sides of holiday preparation, designed to help you CALM your season!  Each meditation will be followed by discussion, activities, or a walk in a beautiful setting. Invite a guest and make your reservations by calling Emily at Holy Comforter, 706-210-1133 .

One excellent way to insure a blessed, peaceful and holy Advent.


Community Health Ministry at Christ Church, Augusta

Christ Church, Augusta working in partnership with physician assistant students at MCG to provide care to indigent and homeless patients.

Here’s an example of a health ministry that reaches out to the community. Christ Church Augusta has formed a partnership with physician assistant students at the Medical College of Georgia to provide health screenings and checkups to residents of the Harrisburg neighborhood where Christ Church is located, including the homeless.

This is a good example of a congregation-community partnership that provides a valuable service to the residents of the neighborhood where Christ Church is located. While every community doesn’t have access to PA students, nursing students or other health professionals in training can help others in a setting like this and get experience as well.

Read more about it here.


What’s different about Rural Health Care?

“Rural Americans face a unique combination of factors that create disparities in health care not found in urban areas.”

Life is different in the country. The National Rural Health Association gets it:

“The obstacles faced by health care providers and patients in rural areas are vastly different than those in urban areas. Rural Americans face a unique combination of factors that create disparities in health care not found in urban areas. Economic factors, cultural and social differences, educational shortcomings, lack of recognition by legislators and the sheer isolation of living in remote rural areas all conspire to impede rural Americans in their struggle to lead a normal, healthy life.”

Read more, including some interesting statistics here. This link has also been posted on the Rural Health page of the site.


Health fair at St. James’, Quitman

Health Ministry in action-St. James’, Quitman holds health fair for Brooks County.

From this week’s issue of our Diocesan email newsletter, From the Field:

St. James’, Quitman
A Health Fair Day for Brooks County
For the second year in a row, St. James’ Church, Quitman, hosted a Health Fair Day. The October 16 event included screenings for vision, blood pressure, and blood sugar, as well as a check of the participants’ weight and body mass index. A free lunch was also provided by the church.

Plans are already underway for next year when it is hoped the health fair will be able to add to the screenings offered this year by giving free flu shots.