Parish Nursing - Brotherly Love Ministry
December Update: Christmas is quickly approaching and there are so many things to get done before the big day. The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can easily overwhelm and cause stress to even the most relaxed and organized person. We are all busy shopping, decorating, baking cookies, sending cards, attending holiday parties and cooking food for family and friends. We are in a time crunch to get everything done and this is very stressful. I would like to offer some tips on how to celebrate that “perfect” holiday and manage stress so you can enjoy the holiday season.
1. Make a list of the tasks you need to do to prepare for your holiday celebration. Look at your schedule and determine which day you can complete a task. This will keep you on a time schedule, so you can complete tasks on time instead of waiting until the last minute.
2. It is okay to ask family and friends to bring a side dish or dessert if you are hosting a party or family meal. This decreases the amount of time you spend in the kitchen and decreases the financial cost to host a party.
3. Make a friendly gesture for someone struggling during the holiday season - it may be a friend, relative or neighbor who is ill, facing financial hardship, or spending the first Christmas without a loved one who passed away this year. This act of kindness will warm your heart and make you feel the true meaning of Christmas!
4. Make as many special memories as possible with your family and friends. When you remember the 2023 Christmas season, you should remember the good times, the laughing and the smiling—not if you rushed to vacuum the carpet or clean the bathroom before someone stopped by to visit.
5. Please take time to do something for yourself. For example, sitting in the living room with just the Christmas tree lights on while drinking your favorite beverage, watch a Christmas movie on tv, or just relax at the end of a busy day.
6. Take time out of your day to reflect on the blessings in your life and pray for those in need this holiday season. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed, remember that “Christ” is part of the word Christmas and He will be the light of the world that guides you this holiday season.
I would personally like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
May peace and good health be with all of you!
Kim Vaupel, RN
History: In September 2023, a new ministry was started at Grace Lutheran Church. The goal of this ministry is to promote the health, wellness and safety of the members of Grace and the community. Brotherly Love Ministry was named in honor of my brother Leonard Sterner, Jr. who passed away unexpectedly in September 2019. Since my brother was proud that his sister was a nurse, I have decided to use the memorial donations given to Grace in his name to start this parish nursing ministry. This memorial fund was used to pay for the classes I needed to take in order to obtain a certification in faith community/parish nursing, and also to attend a lay eucharistic communion class. After this, I will be available to assist Pastor Samantha with visiting the homebound and ill of the congregation. I will also be a resource to the congregation to answer any medical questions and offer support to the congregation as needed.
Next I will be updating the church first aid kits, and will create a kit for use in case of a medical emergency which will include a blood pressure cuff, a glucometer to check blood sugars, snacks to treat low blood sugar, and a pulse oximeter to check oxygen levels. I am also asking for anyone certified in CPR to contact me at the number below, as I will be creating a list of those members certified in CPR. I plan to coordinate a one-hour class taught by the Macungie Ambulance team to teach “hands on CPR for the community” to anyone interested in learning this skill.
On a monthly basis, I will be speaking to the congregation about how to prepare in the event of medical emergencies, fire emergencies and gun violence emergencies. My goal is to raise awareness and prepare the congregation for these different emergency situations, and be available to the members of Grace as your parish nurse. I look forward to sharing information with all of you in my monthly newsletter column in the newsletter, and on this website.
Peace be with all of you!
Kim Vaupel, RN