Evangelical Lutheran Parish Nurse Association

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Spiritual Development

Be the Voice

By Carol DeSchepper, Spiritual Director, ELPNA Executive Director

If I preach the gospel, this is no reason for me to boast,
for an obligation has been imposed on me,
and woe to me if I do not preach it!  I Corinthians 9:16

When I was young and trying to discern my life’s vocation, there was a time when I thought I would want to be a pastor.  I had ‘preached’ a couple of times as our youth group hosted the Easter Sunday sunrise services.  More importantly, it was a calling where I could help people.  Looking back, it was probably good that I did not pursue that career.  God definitely called me to nursing and health care and that has seemed like a perfect fit. 

I admire pastors a lot! It takes a lot of mental and spiritual creativity to put together thoughts that will inspire, bring hope and help others find and know God.  Plus they have to be very wise businessmen and women to successfully lead a church.  They are judged by all of their members and sometimes supported by only a subset of them. 

The reality, however, is that we are all called to be a pastoral presence in the world and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Most of us do not do that from the pulpit, but by who we are as a Child of God in everyday life.  Some days we are the audience and in almost every encounter, we are the voice.  Whether we speak or act (by being a caring and compassionate presence), we want to be the face of Christ to others.

Each day, in all we do, let’s share the message of God’s love.  That might be by standing with another in physical pain, listening to the emotional heartache of others, sharing the grief of those who released their loved one back to God, and/or being sensitive to the spiritual emptiness that is felt by the down-trodden or marginalized in your community.  

Compassionate God.  Today we ask for serving and loving hearts. Help us to assure others that they are infinitely loved by you.  In our ministry this day, help us to embody the Gospel by who we are and how we care.  Amen.

Resources for Spiritual Growth and Development

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.

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
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


There you will find a link to sign up.  

Center for Action and Contemplation
Fr. Richard Rohr

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. At this link he provides a daily reflection that challenges the reader to deeper spirituality.  


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

Last updated: 78/1/21

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

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PO Box 8117
St. Paul, MN 55108

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