The annual Nurses Sabbath at the Westvale church was canceled this year because of the COVID–19 pandemic the world is now experiencing. However, that did not prevent the church from honoring and thanking all nurses, nurse practitioners, nursing students, and nurse’s aides/assistants for all the hard work they are doing during this crisis.
On Sabbath morning, May 9, which occurred during National Nurses Week, the church held a special service for nurses during its livestream broadcast. National Nurses Week is May 6-12, and 2020 has also been designated the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife.”
Nathan Hamm, a chiropractor and nurse practitioner, led the singing. “Shine, Jesus Shine,” the first song in this special service, was most fitting, since we need Jesus’ light to shine in this world today.
The American Nurses Association always has a special theme for National Nurse’s Week. This year they did something different and had a different theme for each of the four weeks in May. The theme for the first week (May 1-9) was self-care. Joan Payne, a retired nurse practitioner and currently one of the faith community nurses for the Westvale church and the New York Conference, presented the sermon and spoke on self-care. She mentioned that nurses can be so busy caring for others that they may forget to take care of themselves. Payne mentioned that everyone, not just nurses, needs to take care of themselves so that they can be in good health physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually.
Physically, she shared that one should follow the NEWSTART principles, which are Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunshine, Temperance, Air, Rest, and Trust in God. “For emotional health that involves feelings and attitudes, we must not hold grudges or be revengeful. We must be forgiving toward others. Also, we need to turn all our anxieties and worries over to God,” said Payne. “Maintaining social health is a little more difficult, with social distancing in place, but we should connect with each other through phone calls, writing letters/notes, and, yes, connect through e-mail and texting. Our spiritual health is most important. We all need a personal one-on-one relationship with God and to spend time with Him each day.”
After the sermon, Hamm closed the service with the song, “Here I Am, Lord.” Much prayer and work went into this special service, and God answered and truly blessed, as many positive comments were heard afterward.
—Faith Community Nurses staff, Westvale church