What does this mean?

Phase in, phase out; change, evolution; passage; transition. These words all suggest that something is happening, there is action, there is motion.

Times of change in life are often the occasions in which a parish nurse is called on by the faith community.

The last blog entry was on loss and resiliency; another recent blog was titled “Keep calm, carry on.”

Change, even in a positive way, creates stress, a new way of doing, living, being --- and for all of us, that stress causes changes in our health of body, mind, and spirit.

Consider the following circumstances, and reflect a moment on how you might react and respond to these challenges in your own life:

    • Heart attack
    • Loss of job
    • Broken hip
    • Flooded basement
    • Turning 65, or 70, or more
    • Hospitalization
    • Loss of a beloved pet
    • Loss of a parent or spouse
    • Someone you care about struggling with addiciton
    • Facing retirement
    • Auto accident
    • Financial losses
    • Cancer diagnosis
    • Son or daughter in the military
    • Fear, anxiety, depression

God did not promise us that nothing bad would ever happen; but He did promise that He would be with us. My role as parish nurse is to be with people in difficult circumstances, sometimes being present is all that I can do. Sometimes, that is enough. There are times when Scripture and prayer help us find God and our faith in our concerns. Often the conversation includes those questions such as “Where is God? What is required of me?”

I found the answer to those questions this past Sunday June 22nd in the sermon of farewell given by our own pastoral intern Matt Fleming. He brought the story of Abraham, being called by God to get up and go, and to lead God's people to the Promised Land. I will never forget the “Matt Fleming interpretation of Scripture for Today's Language,” when he reminded us that God does indeed call us, today --- and when we answer the door, the response we give might indeed be: Holy cow! It's God! So how do we answer God's call to us, like Abraham, to move, change, do something different, get going, for God will be with you.

Together we listen for the call, for the Holy Spirit to speak to us. May our answer always be: Here I am!

~ Dorothy Ellerbroek, parish nurse, June, 2014


Dorothy Ellerbroek

The professional specialty of parish nursing combines nursing care and health ministry. In broad terms, my goals are to serve this faith community by fostering optimal health of body, mind, and spirit. I must admit that the best thing I do is to listen to others. My work involves visiting those who are homebound or ill; together with that, I may offer health counseling and education, referrals or resources for healthcare needs for all ages. The parish nurse works with volunteers, including the Health Ministry team, to bring programs and services to the congregation. To set up a time to meet with our parish nurse, email Dorothy or call the church office at (612) 927-8849.