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LUTHERAN
FAITH COMMUNITY NURSE ASSOCIATION

(LFCNA)



Spiritual Development

Who Are You?

This is the testimony of John. When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to him to ask him, “Who are you?” he admitted and did not deny it, but admitted, “I am not the Christ.” So they asked him, “What are you then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” He answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us? What do you have to say for yourself?” He said: “I am the voice of one crying out in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as Isaiah the prophet said.” John 1:19-23

Who are you? If asked that question, what would be your response?

To that question some may reply with a name. Others might be more descript, sharing part of their life’s story, their vocation, their relationships, or other ‘identifying’ information. Sometimes we may be oblivious to who we really are and what we stand for.

When interrogated by the priests and Levites, we learn more about who John is not, than getting a clear answer about who he is. He is not the Christ. He is not Elijah or the prophet. But then he responds with some seemingly cryptic phrase about being a voice crying out in the desert. What significance did that have to his listeners? Were those questioning satisfied with John’s answer or did they continue wondering? The passage does not cite their response.

Our identity is important. It may begin with a name, but more importantly we want to be in touch with who we are in our hearts and souls. What do I believe? What do I value? What do I feel called to be or do? For what would I be willing to lay down my life? As the answers to those questions unfold in life, we increasingly and more confidently know who we are.

As we stand at the threshold of this new year, I suggest that we reflect on the question that I posed at the beginning of this reflection --- “who are you?”.  Ponder who you are as an employee, family member, friend, confidante, the member of a team, and most importantly, who you are in Christ. Whatever your answer, may you most assuredly know yourself as the light that Christ calls us to be in a world that needs to know His love, peace, and grace.

Prayer:

Loving and gracious God, lead us into this new year, confident of your love and faithfulness. May we live well within ourselves, live well with others, experience and offer healing, and be a bearer of your truth and love. Let us never forget whose we are, for we are Yours. In your precious name we pray. Amen.

Submitted by Carol DeSchepper


Resources for Spiritual Growth and Development

Prayer Ventures - A prayer ministry of the ELCA

Welcome to the Prayer Ventures resource page. These petitions are offered as guides to prayer for the global, social and outreach ministries of the ELCA, as well as for the needs and circumstances of our neighbors, communities and world. Thank you for your continued prayers for the life and mission of this church.

Click here to link to the monthly list of prayer intentions:   https://www.elca.org/Resources/Prayer-Ventures

Center for Action and Contemplation

Fr. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan of the New Mexico Province and the Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
https://cac.org/


Our Vision
Amidst a time of planetary change and disruption, we envision a recovery of our deep connection to each other and our world, led by Christian and other spiritual movements that are freeing leaders and communities to overcome dehumanizing systems of oppression and cooperate in the transforming work of Love.
Our Mission
Open the door for a critical mass of spiritual seekers to experience the transformative wisdom of the Christian contemplative tradition and nurture its emergence in service to the healing of our world.

Joyce Rupp

This is a wonderful spiritual resource from author and retreat and conference speaker, and spiritual "midwife".  Joyce has a B.A. (Bachelor of Arts) in English, a M.R.E. (Masters in Religious Education), and a M.A. (Master of Arts) in Transpersonal Psychology.  She is a member of the Servite Community (Servants of Mary) and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years.  She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa.  To sign up for her monthly newsletter go to joyce@joycerupp.com. 


Daily Grace from Women of the ELCA (WELCA)

Daily Grace is an on-the-go companion for your journey, offering a faith reflection every day. Encounter God’s extravagant, boundless and often surprising grace by signing up for a daily email message. You can also download the newly updated app for your IOS and Android devices.



God Pause Daily Devotion

Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

      Click here to subscribe                    

Melissa's Prayer Journal:  The Power of Prayer in the Face of Cancer
http://melissasprayerjournal.com
http://www.MBMpublishers.com
A resource for faith encouragement and development, especially for people with health issues. In her letters to God, Melissa perfectly illustrates the power of positive coping in any circumstance! Give this book to anyone struggling with faith, health, or life issues, and let them learn Melissa’s secret for thriving in spite of difficulties!

ELCA Daily Bible Reading

https://elca.org/Faith/DailyBible/

There you will find a link to sign up.  


Lectio 365

If you are drawn to Lectio Divina as a prayer practice, Lectio365 is a daily devotional virtual resource that helps you pray the Bible every day. Written by leaders from the 24-7 Prayer movement, this resource helps you engage with the word, fix your eyes on Jesus, and connect with God in prayer.

MORNING PRAYERS – P.R.A.Y. every day - P:ause to be still. R:ejoice with a Psalm and R:eflect on Scripture. A:sk for God’s help, and Y:ield to His will in your life.

NIGHT PRAYERS – Reflect, rejoice, repent and rest each evening to process the day and prepare to sleep.

TEXT & AUDIO – Read or listen to every devotional.

The app is free and is available through the Google Play store.

                       Spiritual Direction – Seeking a Spiritual Companion

Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul. (Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, USA)

Some of you may wish to seek a spiritual director as a way to nurture your own spirituality. Spiritual maturity and growth is critical for the parish nurse.  As you support others in body, mind, and spirit, tending to your own soul is important.  Spiritual Direction is only one way of keeping yourself centered and grounded spiritually.  You perhaps have other disciplines and practices that meet this need for you.

Contact Carol DeSchepper for a more in-depth discussion of Spiritual Direction, including access to a web site to locate a Spiritual Director.

Musical Reflections, Tami Briggs, Therapeutic Harpist

  Tami is a wonderful harpist and who produced many CD's that can be used for guided meditation, yoga devotions,        relaxation exercises, helping with sleep problems and anxiety, to name a few, as well as for your listening enjoyment.    She also has books with CD's titled Reflections on Grieving, and Grace Notes: Reflections on the Harp and Healing.  Just click on the underlined title to get to her website or click here:  Musical Reflections


Nurses Honor Guard

Just this year I became acquainted with the Nurses Honor Guard.  In the spring I read an article about an Honor Guard chapter starting in NE Ohio1.  Then this summer a close nurse friend of mine invited me to attend a meeting of a newly formed Nurses Honor Guard Chapter in Cincinnati.  I was hooked and became a member that evening!  I mentioned the Nurses Honor Guard during a Region 5/6 monthly networking meeting, and most had not ever heard about it – hence the start of this article.  Deloris Bills, another Region 6 Board member told us that she had been doing something very similar in her area for nearly 30 years!  The funeral homes in her area call her to perform the Nightingale White Rose ceremony for a deceased nurse and she takes other nurses or nursing students along to assist.  Deloris didn’t know about the more formal Nurses Honor Guard Chapters either.  I’ve had the privilege of participating in three ceremonies so far and it is a powerful and touching experience, the family and friends of the deceased nurse are so grateful.  Toward the end of the ceremony a call is made to any nurses in attendance to come forward and join us for the final roll call – what a powerful bonding moment!

What is a Nurses Honor Guard and what does it do? - “The Nurses Honor Guard pays tribute to nurses at the time of their death by performing the Nightingale Tribute at the funeral or memorial service. This service is similar to a military tribute and officially releases the nurse from their nursing duties.  The ceremony is brief; it takes about 5 minutes and usually consists of reciting the Nightingale Tribute and laying of a white rose on the casket or next to the urn, symbolizing the nurse’s dedication to the profession. After the Nightingale Tribute is recited, a triangle or bell is rung after a roll call for the nurse. The nurse’s name is called three times and the triangle is rung after each call of the name. After the roll call the words are spoken that the nurse is officially released from their nursing duties. A lit Nightingale lamp is carried up at the beginning of the ceremony then extinguished and presented to the family with personal condolences made.”2


Is there a Nurses Honor Guard Chapter near me? There are many chapters in many states.  The quickest way to find out is to “google” Nurses Honor Guard with your state name and see what pops up – i.e.  Nurses Honor Guard – Ohio.  Doing a Facebook search is another way to locate Honor Guard chapters

If there isn’t a chapter near me, how can I start one?  

“Many Nurses Honor Guard members dress in the traditional white uniform complete with cap and cape.  It is not difficult or expensive to start a Nurses Honor Guard. The caps and lamps are available online and the capes are hand made with a simple pattern. Once you take the idea to nurses in your area, you form a volunteer list that you can call on. The larger the group the better, as not everyone would be available each time your services are needed. Retired nurses are also a valuable resource. Once you have a few meetings and get your caps and capes, you can make appointments with local funeral directors and let them know to offer this service to the family. It is helpful to provide them with a flyer to give to the family.  Each nurse is responsible to purchase their own white uniform and shoes.”2  

If anyone would like assistance starting a Nurses Honor Guard, contact Julie Murray at jmury581@gmail.com.

I even found an academic poster presentation about forming a Nurses Honor Guard. 3

What is done during the ceremony?  Videos of different ceremonies can be viewed by searching Nurses Honor Guard on YouTube.  Usually the following words are spoken:

Nursing is a calling, a lifestyle, a way of living. Nurses here today honor Nurse’s Name and his/her life as a nurse.
Nurse’s Name is not remembered by his/her years as a nurse, but by the difference he/she made during those years by stepping into people’s lives…. by special moments:

She Was There 

When a calming, quiet presence was all that was needed,

She was there. 

In the excitement and miracle of birth or in the mystery and loss of life, 

She was there. 

When a silent glance could uplift a patient, family member or friend,

She was there. 

At those times when the unexplainable needed to be explained, 

She was there. 

When the situation demanded a swift foot and sharp mind, 

She was there. 

When a gentle touch, a firm push, or an encouraging word was needed, 

She was there. 

In choosing the best one from a family’s “Thank You” box of chocolates, 

She was there. 

To witness humanity—its beauty, in good times and bad, without judgment, 

She was there. 

To embrace the woes of the world, willingly, and offer hope, 

She was there 

And now, that it is time to be at the Greater One’s side, 

She is there. 

©2004 Duane Jaeger, RN, MSN

Nurse’s Name, we honor you this day and give you a white rose to symbolize our honor and appreciation for being our colleague.
Nurse’s Name (ring triangle) Nurse’s Name (ring triangle) Nurse’s Name (ring triangle) We officially release you of your nursing duties. Then the lamp is extinguished and given to a family member with quiet condolences.

Deborah Frusciano, another LFCNA Board member recently shared this item from a Barbara Karnes blog about offering the ceremony for the dying nurse instead of waiting until after the death.

“I was told a patient on hospice, who was a nurse, requested the ceremony be done for her in her bedroom before she died. How I love that! Why wait until we are dead to be applauded for the good work we have done. How can we smile and even shed a tear for the show of appreciation when we are dead, too late? “4

References:

Logo fromhttps://www.fcnursehonorguard

Submitted by Norah Bertschy, RN, MSN
LFCNA Region 6 Board Member




Last updated: 02/06/24

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