It's a new year, hallelujah! Is this not what we have all been hoping for? A fresh start, a clean slate, a new opportunity for some goodness to shine through the mess that was 2020. But is that really what we have received so far in 2021?
On the first day of the year, two people were killed and five injured during a bombing in the Sinai Insurgency; eight 19 year olds were killed from carbon monoxide poisoning in Tribistivo, B&H. On subsequent days this week, there have been countless deaths from violence, wars, disasters, and of course, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Things are looking pretty grim. For the nonbeliever, I am not sure there is much left to put one's hope in. But for the Christian, a new heaven and a new earth awaits:
"And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.' And he who was seated on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.'" -Revelation 21: 3-5 (ESV)
Do you hear that, brothers and sisters? He is making all things new! Will we continue to experience struggle, pain, disappointment, and grief in our lives? Absolutely. But God promises to be with us in our trials, to provide for us daily the things we need. In John 6:35, Jesus says that he is the "bread of life." He meets our need for sustenance, both spiritually and physically, here and forevermore.
You might be asking, how does knowing Jesus make things new today? We have a future hope that we can rest in, but how does Jesus provide the "bread" we need to make it through the day? When we commune with God, we are invited to experience his presence: when we read and study his Word, spend time talking with him in prayer, engage in Christian community, and participate in worship. What is it that God is inviting you into this year?
For many of us, including myself, this is an invitation to trust and to rest. To place my worries, fears, and hopes for 2021 into his hands. And then to rest assured that he is going to take care of my needs. He is going to be the "bread" that I need today, tomorrow, and until I breathe my last and join with him in eternity where he has indeed made all things new.
What Do My Dues and Donations Pay For?
Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN · NCF National Director, JCN Editor in Chief
Do you ever wonder what your dues support...and why NCF asks members for donations? Your membership fees pay for your subscription to JCN and help cover expenses from postage to writing Bible studies. Fourteen NCF staff lead student and professional ministry, prepare JCN, manage our massive communication processes, and so much more.
NCF is highly committed to keeping membership fees low--the lowest among professional nursing organizations. Membership income covers only 15% of our annual expenses. Remaining income is raised through donations from ministry partners like you who want to see Jesus impact nursing.
Would you consider giving financially to support this work? All donations are tax deductible. Give online or mail checks made out to InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, P.O. Box 7895, Madison, WI 53707-7895 and include a note your gift is for NCF.
Thank you for being an NCF member!
January Journal Club
Nurses are constantly sharpening their cultural and professional awareness to offer patients culturally congruent care. As nurses of faith, we also want to emulate Christ. During the January Journal Club on Thursday, January 21, using the JCN article "Offering Culturally Congruent Christian Care" (July/Sept 2019 issue), we’ll drill into these facets of care. Join the discussion to strengthen your theoretical and practical understanding of what it means to care for patients holistically and appropriately. Article co-authors Jennie Gunn and Linda Sue Hammonds join the JCN editors to interact with nurses on this topic.
Join us Thursday, January 21st, 2021 at: 8 pm Eastern / 7 pm Central / 6 pm Mountain / 5 pm Pacific to earn 1.5 hours of CE!
Or, call (253) 215-8782 with Webinar ID: 957 5857 0974
View the required reading and more information here!
Student Ministries Online National Retreat
Jen Wojtysiak, BS, ThM • NCF Student Ministries Director
It has been quite a semester! As we transition from one semester to the next, we want to start our time being still with the Lord. Nursing students and nursing faculty are invited to our first ever online national NCF student and faculty advisor retreat. Come for a time of worship, small group processing, and individual reflection on the topic of being still! Please pass along the information to any student or faculty, they do not need to be a part of NCF currently. The cost for the 2.5 hour retreat is free!
Christy Secor, DNP, RN, CDWF · NCF Professional Ministries Director
January is a time of reflection for many of us. And let’s be real – there’s been a lot to reflect on during 2020. Meditating on Psalm 139, one phrase is repeated...you are there. As we look back, we are reminded of God’s continual presence. It’s an assurance we can take with us into 2021. You are there. Praise God, you are there! Continue reading the reflection for January and NCF’s prayer requests by clicking here.
Do you need support and encouragement? You are welcome to join with other nurses across the country each Sunday for an hour of prayer at 7 pm Eastern / 6 pm Central / 5 pm Mountain / 4 pm Pacific. Email us at email@example.com to let us know your interest and we’ll email you the Zoom link.
Understanding How the COVID Vaccine Works
Much has been shared about the COVID-19 vaccine as a mRNA vaccine. As nurses, understanding the way in which this type of vaccine works can help us provide important information to our patients and those in our communities.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) is a naturally occurring component of all our cells. As a “messenger,” it carries instructions for making proteins.
The COVID-19 mRNA vaccine contains a piece of genetic material found in the spike of the coronavirus. Because mRNA is extremely fragile, the RNA is placed inside a lipid bubble that goes into the cytoplasm of the cell. The mRNA does not move into the nucleus of the cell so it does not change our DNA. It does trigger a response of both T cells and B cells to attack and block the virus before degrading.
These resources offer additional information about mRNA vaccines: