A commitment to serve as Faith Community Ministers

By Barb Arland-Fye
The Catholic Messenger

Davenport — Seven women who are committed to being the hands and feet of Christ processed into their Faith Community Ministry anointing service May 6 as the song “Hands & Feet” by Audio Adrenaline played.

Barb Arland-Fye
Dr. Erling Larson III anoints the hands of Susanne Nelson of St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf during the Faith Community Ministry anointing service May 6 in Davenport.

These seven were among nine women from different faith traditions who represented the last Faith Community Ministry class of the Genesis Health Ministry Nursing program:

Lori Bruning of Viola United Methodist Church, Viola, Ill.; Tracy Clark of Harvest Bible Church, Davenport; Kellie Duzan of Lexington Community Church, Lexington, Ill.; Susan Herman of Our Lady of Victory Parish, Davenport; Jennifer Kessler of St. Mary Parish, Fairfield; Maureen Kopecky of Sacred Heart Parish, Bedford, Iowa; Charlotte McGovern of Our Lady of Victory Parish, Davenport; Susanne Nelson of St. John Vianney Parish, Bettendorf; and Heidi Warrington of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Waterloo, Iowa. (Two of the graduates were unable to attend the service.)

The graduates, who will provide a healing presence, not medical care, to the members of their faith communities, organized the service. It included a tribute to Jennifer Hildebrand (see column, Page 2), who served as coordinator of the Health Ministry Nursing program since 2012. The service took place in the Adler Health Education Center of Genesis Health System in Davenport and kicked off National Nurses Week.

Before anointing the hands of the new Faith Community Ministers, Dr. Erling Larson III asked them a few questions, including this one: “Are you willing to be a listening, supportive, and healing presence for all those to whom you are called to serve, seeing in each the dignity and the face of Christ?” Each responded, “I will.”

He asked them, collectively, whether they would willingly work with other Faith Community Nurses and Ministers in their communities, and other groups, who share common goals and ambitions to help with projects and events that promote health of body, mind and spirit.” Those present responded, “We will.”

In his closing prayer, Dr. Larson said: As Faith Community Ministers you are called to be living reminders of God.

“So, God please help these students to walk in your presence and be so connected to you that they will be filled with the power of your Spirit and will sing your praises just by their actions. Inspire them to speak out on behalf of those in need of loving care.

“Grant them the courage to seek out those in need of healing. Give them wisdom to guide their days and give them compassion for all.”

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