Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association

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Welcome to the website of the Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association!  We seek to be the light of Christ as we integrate faith and health in the ministry of parish nursing.  Here you will find information about parish nursing, tools to assist you in your ministry, as well as updates on our progress and activities. May God bless you with peace and joy!

Rising News

ELPNA has selected Wild Apricot, a product of Personify, to provide cohesive membership management, programming, and website services for our members and colleagues. We hope you will find the new system beneficial to your needs and we welcome your feedback and recommendations! We are also opening the Membership and Communications Committees to individuals who have or would like to gain technology skills to promote our organization.  Please contact Carol DeSchepper with your comments or to volunteer at elpna.national@gmail.com

Technology Tip

We are trying to include pertinent links to resources and references for your access. Links will be underlined for ease of identification. Even if a DOI (Digital Object Identifier) exists (and some do have active links), we will try to add the American Psychological Association (APA) format for retrieving online information with the link, such as referencing the online site for use of APA (Purdue Online Writing Lab (n.d.).

Purdue Online Writing Lab (n.d.). General format. Retrieved May 28, 2021 from https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/research_and_citation/apa_style/apa_formatting_and_style_guide/general_format.html

"We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love...There  is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies." 
~Martin Luther King Jr.

The COVID Corner

Facts about
the Delta Variant

Information, misinformation what are we to believe?  In the search to understand what the best approach to the COVID pandemic is, many are trying to share their thoughts and feelings. Here are mine; COVID-19 is real, vaccines are effective. 80% of new COVID cases in the US are linked to the Delta strain of the virus. Doctors and scientists are seeing that where a person infected with the original COVID strain had the potential to infect 2.5 people, the Delta variant may cause infection in 3.5-4 people.  Loss of taste and smell and cough are not as prevalent with this strain. Fever, sore throat and headache may have one thinking they merely have a summer cold and not COVID, quickly spreading the virus to other unvaccinated individuals.

Katella, K. (2021, July 22). 5 Things To Know About the Delta Variant.  Yale Medicine.

Jeanine McGrath, RN, CCE, CD(DONA)/
Silver Spring, MD 20906-1042
Region 8

Wondering how important that second vaccine dose is? Well, wonder no more! In a study of 500,000 health care personnel in 25 states within the US, being fully vaccinated (7 days or more after the second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines) reduced COVID-19 symptomatic illness by 94%, while having only one dose of the vaccine decreased the effectiveness to 82%. Encourage everyone to be fully vaccinated!

CDC. (May 14, 2021). Largest CDC COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness study in health workers shows mRNA vaccines 94% effective. Retrieved June 1, 2021  from https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/p0514-covid-19-vaccine-effectiveness.html

Wise Words for all Centuries

Martin Luther

“God has created medicines and provided us with intelligence to guard and take good care of the body so that we can live in good health…act like a man who wants to help put out the burning city. What else is the epidemic but a fire which instead of consuming wood and straw devours life and body? Therefore, I shall ask God mercifully to protect us.

Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance infect and pollute others, and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own or the death of others.

If my neighbor needs me, however, I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely, as stated above. See, this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God. If the people in the city were to show themselves bold in their faith when a neighbor’s need so demands, and cautious when no emergency exist, and if everyone would help ward off contagion as best he can, then the death toll would indeed be moderate. But if some are too panicky and desert their neighbors in their plight, and if some are so foolish as not to take precautions but aggravate the contagion, then the devil has a heyday and many will die.

On both counts this is a grievous offense to God and to man-here it is tempting God; there it is bringing man into despair.” Martin Luther, circa 1527.

Luther, M. Whether one may flee from a deadly plague. Works of Martin Luther. vol. 43.  p. 131-132.

Full Text:
Luther, M. Whether one may flee from a deadly plague. Devotional Writings II, ed.  Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald, and Helmut T. Lehmann, vol. 43. Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999. 119–38. 

Join today!

Faith Communities Promote Health Equity

Health equity means that everyone has an equal opportunity to be as healthy as they can be. This includes physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health.   According to the NCCDPHP, this also means that no one is disadvantaged because of social position or other socially determined circumstances.*  

What better place to cover all the aspects of health but our own faith communities?  Each month Advocate Health publishes a Bulletin Insert with on a variety of topics.  We link these bulletins on our website in the "For Members Only" section under  Parish Nurse Resources/Ministry Tools. Click here to access the Advocate Health Bulletins. This month the topic is Health Equity and provides resources and ideas for faith communities to promote and act on increasing the health equity in their church and community.  Be sure to check this out.  

If you are not a member yet, just look below to find out how easy it is to join.  

* National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2020, March) Health Equity .
Health Equity | CDC

Phyllis Bruce, Communications Committee Chair

Loving Heavenly Father,
We serve in your name and stand in awe of your faithfulness. Help us to listen for your still small voice as we seek to love you more deeply, serve others with compassion and justice, and share with them Your grace and peace. Shower us with your reckless and abiding love.  In Your precious and Holy name we pray.  Amen

Upcoming Events

Grants Available for Parish Nurse/Faith Community Nurse Ministries

We have an exciting opportunity for Lutheran congregations! Members of the ELPNA have long been supportive of new parish nurse ministry start-ups and are acutely aware of the challenging financial situations of congregations. In response to this need, the ELPNA will annually provide funds for start-up or development of a new focus in an existing parish nursing ministry, for a minimum of two (2) Lutheran congregations. Congregations can request up to $750.00 in grant funding.

Click here for more information and for the application form.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Matt 5:14-15 (The Message)

In Honor of
Valborg Tollefsrud, RN
By Ann Rabie, St. Paul, MN (Region 3)

Valborg is an amazing and dedicated woman of faith.  She became a parish nurse after she retired from being a professor of Nursing at St. Olaf College.  She is now over 90 and continues to be in contact with members of her congregation, many of whom are younger than her.  

We invited Ann Rabie, a former student,  to share her story about Valborg.  Ann also served as parish nurse at St. Anthony Park Lutheran Church for many years, has been Chair of the Region 3 Board of Directors, and now enjoys traveling and spending time with her family.  

Click here for Ann's story about Valborg. Scroll down.  

For as the heavens are higher
than the earth,

    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.

For you shall go out in joy,
    and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
    shall burst into song,
    and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Isaiah 55:9,12 (NRSV)

Not a member yet?

ELPNA exists to support Parish Nurses/Faith Community Nurses who are Lutheran or who serve in Lutheran Congregations. If you are from another denomination please contact
elpna.national@gmail.com for further information.

Read More About Membership!

Please contact us with any website recommendations or corrections at elpna.national@gmail.com

Click for ELPNA brochure:

Email us at:

Mail us at:
PO Box 8117
St. Paul, MN 55108

Last updated: 07/24/21

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