Grace Episcopal Church
Thursday, March 05, 2015
Sustainably Fueled by a Higher Power
Our Health Ministry
Grace Church is committed to being a healing congregation and and to providing a welcoming and healing environment. We see a common theme of healing running through every single thing we do here.
Healing at Grace starts with the offer of an open invitation for people to explore and deepen their faith. We welcome visitors and guests in an accepting and open minded fashion we want people to know they can come to Grace Church just as they are. God welcomes everyone to the feast and so do we.
With leadership from our parish nurse, Donna, who has many years of experience as a professional nurse, with a strong recovery ministry on site, and with a number of others in the parish offering healing gifts, we have developed a formal health ministry at Grace Church. Donna takes blood pressures and confers with people about their health questions twice a month during coffee hour, and she is also organizing educational events for the wider community, including talks by local health professionals on topics of interest such as naturopathic medicine and end of life planning.
Grace has felt God calling us to find new ways to support the people of our church and the wider community in making healthy life decisions for mind, body and soul. We are striving for true spiritual health in, between and among us. There's plenty of room for your involvement in our parish health ministry. Contact Donna if you have questions to ask or contributions to make, and you can learn more about Donna further down this page.
Grace Church offers healing prayer regularly, including at each Sunday service. It is also available upon request at other times.
Healing prayer includes having holy oil placed on your forehead (an ‘anointing’) and personal words said to you by one of our healing ministers. You do not need to be any certain kind of ill to receive healing prayer, since we all stand in the need of healing every day.
You may approach healing prayer with a specific prayer request for yourself or a loved one, but you don’t need to say anything at all – just be open and willing to receiving God’s healing power through the laying on of hands.
If you would like to know more about healing prayer, request a prayer of healing, or are interested in exploring the possibility of taking part in the church's healing team, please contact the church office.
Meet our Parish Nurse
Donna Voges, RN
On an ordinary day last year Donna was driving down Main Street and noticed a sign for the Recovery Service at Grace Church. She was delightfully surprised and thought, “this church is special”; opening its arms to welcome the recovery community. After attending a few Friday night services she felt inspired. She clearly heard the message from Grace Church that she was welcome just as she was, to grow in her relationship with God. She decided to try out a few Sunday services and started to wonder what she might do to contribute in some small way to the Grace community. After prayerful consideration and discussion with Elsa, she decided to establish a parish health ministry program at Grace.
Donna’s journey began on Long Island as a member of a large traditional Italian family who celebrated often with food (every Sunday at Grandma’s) and more food. Ron, her husband, and Donna have two wonderful daughters who live and work in New York City. Donna received her BS degree in Nursing from SUNY - Stony Brook in 1980 and is an RN licensed to practice in N.Y and Connecticut. While still living on Long Island, she had the opportunity to work in many different specialties of hospital nursing. She started out on an Acute Medicine floor before she transferred over to Oncology. Donna’s experience with patients and families struggling with end of life issues taught her many lessons for which she will be forever grateful. Because of her experience with addiction in a close family member while growing up, she has a special interest in this area of medicine. She eventually accepted a position that specialized in the treatment of chemical dependency. This was followed by working in a voluntary psychiatric inpatient unit and being the Psychiatric Liaison Nurse for the Emergency Room. When she moved to Trumbull in the spring of 1990, she worked in Acute Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Norwalk Hospital and later transferred to Norwalk Hospital’s new Long Term Care/Sub acute facility (Honey Hill Care Center) as Care Planning Coordinator. The last position she held at Honey Hill was Director of Nursing Services.
Donna feels that with each other’s help, we can develop and grow this parish health ministry and raise awareness of the relationship between health and spiritual wellbeing. Donna’s mission is to provide health education, programs, and support which can assist others to make healthy lifestyle choices. Many illnesses and premature deaths can be prevented by integrating current medical and behavioral knowledge, with a strong focus that health and wholeness of body, mind and spirit are essential to our total wellbeing.
Grace Church and Donna, our Parish Nurse, have hosted the following session
Getting the Care You Want When You Need It the Most:
5 Wishes for care at the end of life
Wondering how to start a conversation about your health care wishes?
Thinking about choosing a person who will speak for you if you can’t speak for yourself?
Considering which medical treatments you would want or not want in a serious health crisis?
Want to make sure your wishes are honored?
There are some things you can think about before crisis strikes
so that you and your family are prepared to deal with life threatening illness with understanding and care.
Advanced planning makes all the difference.
It is a hard topic to face, but an important one – not only for you, but for your loved ones.
Come learn about the “5 Wishes” program for making plans for your medical future
At a workshop facilitated by Donna Voges and Elsa Worth
This workshop took place in Feb 2011
But Donna, our parish nurse is happy to run it again
whenever there is an interested group.
Contact her if you are interested.