The history behind Wellness Ministry goes back a long way. Healing was a ministry of the early church. Christ’s ministry was all about healing, feeding the minds of his followers, supporting the healthy life styles, praying for the health and welfare of his people and getting guidance and support from God through his own prayers. The Wellness ministry of today is following the examples found in the Bible and creating opportunities in local churches to model these examples. Currently the strong ministry of a Parish Nurse or Wellness Minister has blossomed because of the complexity of the health care system and the segmented services that are offered. These persons receive special training for this ministry and support the continuing and growing Wellness Ministries in their own churches. Here at Saint Anne’s, beginning in May of 2006, we included a Parish Nurse as an unpaid staff member to lead the Wellness Ministry activities. A Wellness Ministry Team was gathered to help in this process. Saint Anne’s has always had a history of helping each other and that tradition continues today as individuals are supported in their ministries and encouraged to find new ways of ministering to each other.
Wellness Ministry logo
Wellness is the balance between the health of mind, body & spirit bringing wholeness to the entire person. The center of the logo is the Wellness Ministry Team who works together to find ways of helping this faith community keep a balance. The intertwining circles of mind, body & spirit represent the ways in which, together, they help keep the balance. Each is needed to support the whole. Prayer, education, and health are the focuses of this balance.
St. Theresa’s Prayer:
Today may there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, allowing your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you.
Wellness Ministry Team Members: This group meets to support the work of the Parish Nurse by evaluating the activities, making suggestions for future activities, and discussing the role of Wellness Ministry and it’s effectiveness at Saint Anne’s. Their first job was to come up with a name for the group and to create the logo that has been used since 2006 to help identify the Wellness Ministry. They continue to provide invaluable support and planning for this ministry.
Wellness of Body, Mind & Spirit is a Stewardship Issue!!!
God created humans in the image of God to be cared for by us – “The Bible tells me so”
“You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power. For you created all things,and by your will they existed and were created” Revelation 4:11
“For it was you who formed my inward parts: You knit me together in my mother’s womb I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works” Psalm 139:13-14
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk numbly with your God?” Micah 6:8
We take care of ourselves, God’s wonderful creations by:
- Keeping fit, exercising or being active daily
- Eating a balanced diet
- Getting enough sleep/rest
- Keeping stress to a good level
- Having a support network
- Being part of a church community
- Having prayer be an important part of life – church, home and individual
- Grieving well with support from the community
- Participating in social gatherings/activities
Wellness Ministry in Action at Saint Anne’s:
- Helping Hands is the name given to a group of volunteers who provide services to parishioners with needs. The name comes from the bible where Miriam washed Jesus feet to show love in a concrete way. These volunteers bring food to families experiencing events in their lives that make preparing meals difficult, drive people to church on Sundays when they have no other way to get there, so shopping for others when needed, help with baby sitting, drive to doctor visits, help with light housework, visit and provide companionship or listening, and other needs that are requested. There are over 30 individuals who do this ministry for our church family.
- Blood Pressure checks are done monthly at church, usually the 3rd Sunday of the month, for anyone wishing to take advantage of this service. The Parish Nurse does this and also provides some education on health and support for medical issues.
- Charity knitting group meets twice a month to knit a variety of items for identified needs. This has included prayer shawls, caps for newborn babies, caps and scarves for seamen who arrive in New York in the winter without appropriate attire, blankets for new babies, squares to sew together for blankets for the homeless etc.
- Prayer group meets once a month to pray for intercessions that have been requested and each member prays daily between meetings for the identified petitions.
- Coffee hour goodies that have included healthy choices as well as the sweets.
- Eucharistic Visitors take communion to shut-in parishioners each Sunday from the consecrated elements for that day. They also started bringing a full Eucharist service to the local nursing home where five of our members reside. This has been well received and they look forward to the next one. We plan to do this at least three times a year.
- Morning Prayer and bible study weekly on Wednesday mornings.
- Healing Ministry - Prayers and laying on of hands for healing are offered each Sunday at the time of Communion. Prayers may be for healing, thanksgiving, guidance or other needs as expressed by those receiving prayers.
After the start of the Wellness ministry at Saint Anne’s, several activities and events have happened through the initiation of others at church. These have included: Octogenarians Anonymous; biking to and from church & after church in a group on longer rides; men’s Saturday morning coffee; tours of museums; group attendance at a ball game; book group; & probably many others that are not readily known. Wellness is the ministry and more and more of us are thinking about this and finding ways to connect.
Monthly Announcer articles center around health issues and information, safety concerns, the role of mental health and social support systems, nutrition, exercise, the importance of prayer, and other areas related to health and wellness of the whole person, body, mind and spirit.
The Wellness ministry team meets several times a year based on what is planned and what feedback the parish nurse needs. They generate new ideas and critique what has happened. Prayer is always part of the meeting, at the beginning and the end. The following prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book is a favorite that has been used at the end of each meeting.
Lord, It is night.
The night is for stillness. Let us be still in the presence of God.
It is night after a long day. What has been done has been done; What has not been done has not been done; let it be.
The night is dark. Let our fears of the darkness of the world and of our own lives rest in you.
The night is quiet. Let the quietness of your peace enfold us, all dear to us and all who have no peace.
The night heralds the dawn Let us look expectantly to a new day, New joys, New possibilities.
In your name we pray. Amen.
May all who read this webpage find strength, encouragement and excitement about what this ministry has meant to Saint Anne’s. All are encouraged to talk to a team member or to volunteer to help in one of the many ways available. Everyone is welcome. You can reach the Parish Nurse through the church office.