By Carlo Piraino. Dr. Carlo Piraino, RN, served in the U.S. Navy (1981-1998). He works for the VA as associate director for Health Care Services and chief nurse executive. A member of St. Paul, Tomah, Wis., he serves as secretary of the WELS Parish Nurse Council.
“…so I will comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13)
Why do we encourage Christians to maintain optimal health? To better serve the Lord and his people! Parish nursing is an independent, non-invasive, health and wellness practice within a congregation. Unlike typical nursing positions, parish nursing is always focused on the “intentional care of the spirit.” What might that look like in our churches? WELS parish nurses are always seeking opportunities to keep God’s precious people connected to Word and Sacrament.
- A parish nurse might visit shut-ins, bringing along a listening ear, referrals to community resources, and a prayer and devotion reminding them of God’s love and promises.
- A parish nurse can help a church make its campus accessible for people of all ages and all abilities. • A parish nurse will use the time before and after services to listen to people, recognizing the opportunity to provide emotional support and to remind people that our loving Lord is with them as they face the challenges of the day.
- All this in addition to offering health education and health counseling! With their special gifts and talents, parish nurses can impact our congregations with “intentional care of the spirit.” Prayerfully consider serving your congregation as a parish nurse.
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