January 2020 Vital Signs

In This Issue:

  • He Makes Ministry Possible
  • Scholarships for NCFI World Congress! 
  • Nurse Group Leader Video Conversation 
  • Improving NCF Member Retention 
  • Meet the Twin Cities NCF Group
  • How to Grow Your NCF Nurse Group!

He Makes Ministry Possible

Coming into this role, I have to admit…I wasn’t sure what I was getting into. I knew ministry had its challenges. I’ve worked in ministry before. But I wasn’t prepared for the way the Lord was going to work on my heart. 

            “Trust me, Christy. This is my work.”

            “Spend time with me. Then check your email. It will still be there.”

            “You can’t carry the burdens of others. Give the load to me.”

I’ve had good intentions and goals, only to run into one barrier after another. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve faced difficult family challenges as my oldest son has dealt with depression and considered suicide. I’ve had amazing conversations with nurses across the country. I’ve seen God do miraculous things like the incredible growth we’ve experienced in our nurse groups this past year. At the same time, I’ve been frustrated for not being able to be a better support and go deeper with each of you in the work you’re doing. 

I am learning. Learning more about who I am. Learning more about my dependence on the Lord. Opening my heart to lean into the pain, to ask questions, and to listen for the Spirit’s response.

There’s not a one of us who isn’t busy. We all are dealing with “stuff.” Stuff at home and work and school. Through it all, I’ve been reminded by so many of you of your prayers and your support. You are an encouragement to me. You’ve shared from your own pain and life experiences. You’ve reminded me to keep looking up. You remind me that He makes ministry possible.

I pray this newsletter and the opportunities we have for connecting, supporting, and lifting each other up will remind us of the grace and power of His divine love in our own lives, the lives of our families, and of the individuals and communities we serve. May we also be reminded of the power of Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20a). Look up!

Christy

Scholarships for NCFI World Congress! 

This summer we have a special opportunity to join with other Christian nurses from around the world at the NCFI World Congress. The conference is being held in beautiful Colorado at Colorado Christian University July 13 – 17, 2020. You can access more information about the conference by clicking here.

As a way of facilitating your ability to participate in this conference, NCF is offering scholarships that can be used towards the $450 cost of the conference. Please click here to complete the the brief application.

Questions? Please feel free to reach out to me at Christy.secor@intervarsity.org – I look forward to seeing you there!

Nurse Group Leader Video Conversation

Relationship is what NCF is all about…it’s more than a tag line for any of us. It’s what we want with the men and women who participate in our nurse groups. It’s what we need for ourselves. Relationship with Jesus Christ. Relationship with each other.

As leaders of our nurse groups, there are unique challenges and barriers we can face in this work and ministry as well as much we can learn from one another.  On the last Tuesday of each month, we’ll have an opportunity to come together to talk, laugh, and pray. We’ll share what’s going well and have an opportunity to ask questions of other leaders. We hope you can join us for these conversations.

Our first conversation is scheduled for: Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 7 pm Central Time via live webinar: https://intervarsity.zoom.us/j/580848756

Meeting ID: 580 848 75 / One tap mobile +16468769923,,580848756# US (New York) +16699006833,,580848756# US (San Jose)

Nurse Group Leader Discount! Remember as nurse group leaders that you receive a 43% discount on the cost of your membership. Simply use the code NCFNL43 when you check out. Just one way we want to say thank you for all you do.

Improving NCF Member Retention

We need your input! You each have special insight as nurses and leaders into the needs of our profession and for the challenges we face. We want membership in NCF to be relevant and to provide our members with benefits that keep them engaged in NCF as a ministry and as a professional nursing organization.

Currently we are contacting different vendors to see if they will provide discounts to our members. We’ve received good news from Allheart who is willing to provide 20% off the site price, which includes sale/clearance items (stay tuned for more info in February Charting the Way!). Our members can also receive a 5% discount for Welch Allyn and Littmann stethoscopes. We’re also working on providing more Bible studies for you and your groups.

What new benefits would you like to see added? Are there current benefits you would like to see more of? Share your thoughts and feedback with me at Christy.secor@intervarsity.org – and thank you!

Meet the Twin Cities NCF Group! 

The Twin Cities Nurses Christian Fellowship group meets in a church located in downtown Minneapolis three times a year providing CE for participants. 

Our leadership team prays each summer for God to provide insight for a theme we’ll focus on during the year. Last year our focus was on mentorship and we kicked off a pilot connecting nurses with new nursing graduates. This year we are discussing ethical issues we each face in our practice.

A member of our leadership team provides two soup options with others on the team providing snacks, bread and dessert. After a 30-minute time of fellowship, we transition into our program for the next hour. It’s an opportunity for the experiences of nurses to be communicated and for participants to share their own voice. 

Marilyn Chambers, the Twin Cities NCF Coordinator, offered this feedback about the value of Nurses Christian Fellowship groups:

  • Our NCF group is a place for nurses to connect with people who can truly understand the roles of nursing and the day-to-day experiences of a nurse. It’s a place where we can discuss the highs, lows, tears, and joys of being a nurse.
  • Our group meetings are a place to receive encouragement and be reminded our identity is found only in Christ and not a title, a role or a position.
  • It’s a place to receive honest feedback of my own quirks and less than stellar qualities and to know I am still valued.
  • Our group interactions provide an opportunity to affirm personally that I am a recipient of Grace and a child of the King.
  • Nursing really is a holy calling and we do make a difference in the lives of students, patients, family, staff, visitors, as well as our community. 
  • We can learn from others in our clinical skills and keep up with issues that are taking place in our profession.
  • Our Twin Cities NCF group keeps me grounded in my faith.
Dee Huanca also serves on the Twin Cities NCF leadership team. Dee shared her experiences with NCF:

I have been involved with NCF since 1957. This relationship has helped me so much to develop my skills as a Christian nurse. I recall as a student learning that I am caring for people as a service to the Lord or as His work through me. When people were difficult to work with, I was able to not judge them realizing that Jesus would work with them. This concept has made all the difference in my practice. 

Having colleagues who were Christians provided support. During my entire professional life, I have had nurses I could confide in and ask to pray with me. There were times I was involved with difficult ethical issues. It was so helpful to call upon NCF staff to discuss and pray about this with me. I never felt alone. The workshops and the Journal of Christian Nursing has provided many ways for me to develop new skills. The impact of being involved in working as a group to define spiritual needs, to provide CEU’s, to engage in local, national and international interaction has always help me stretch and grow as a nurse. And, now as a nurse with many years of experience it is wonderful to have the opportunity of encouraging and supporting others.

Thank you, Marilyn and Dee, for sharing your stories. Please pray for the members of the Twin Cities NCF team and that we would continue to listen to God’s voice as we seek to draw more nurses to our group:

  • Marilyn Chambers
  • Mary Thompson
  • Margaret Taylor
  • Dee Huanca
  • Christy Secor
  • Connie Dreyer
  •  Karen Greseth
  • Janet Seeley
  • Mary Martin
  • Lori Anderson

Our prayers for one another make a difference! You are also welcome to share your praises and requests with our NCF Prayer Team by using this link.

How to Grow Your NCF Nurse Group!

Wondering how you can grow your NCF nurse group? We are here to help! Here are some resources and suggestions:

  • Encourage nurses in your area to attend meetings by starting an NCF Bible Study series or sharing Spiritual Care resources. 
  • Let us help invite others into your group with email invitations to NCF members in your area. Reach out to Jessica Harper, NCF Marketing & Communications Manager, if you're interested.
  • Pick up some NCF Swag, like a water bottle, t-shirt, pens, or stickers to spark conversation about your NCF group.
  • Drop off goody bags at nearby hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, clicnic, and medical offices with fliers about your next meeting with some sweet treats!

I Want to Pray for Your Meetings! Just a quick reminder to please include me with any emails you send to your groups about upcoming meetings. I add these meetings to my prayer calendar so I can be praying for you. Thank you!

In Christ,

Interim Director / Professional Ministries Director, Nurses Christian Fellowship/USA