Last week I was fortunate to present a keynote talk to Faith Community Nurses of Virginia at their 13th annual retreat held at Cacapon Resort State Park outside of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia.
80 parish nurses and coordinators of congregational health ministries assembled in the hills of West Virginia to be renewed and gain insight into how they can better minister to members of their congregations and communities. This year’s retreat theme was a western one – “Rounding Up Wholeness” and the primary coordinator was Reen Markland, the Regional Parish Nurse Coordinator at Winchester Medical Center. Reen and I worked together closely to plan my two talks to the group.
On Sunday, my focus was on self care, and the talk title was “Caring for the Called – Why You and Your Lasso Must Be Strong.” Monday’s follow-up talk was titled “Saddlin’ Up Spirituality and Health – Common Threads Between a Vibrant Life and a Strong Lasso.” Throughout the talks I used a lasso to represent faith and a relationship with God. The focus of the talks was urging the participants to strengthen their relationship with God so that they could better manage the stressors in their lives and better care for others. I reminded them that there are children of God (1 John 3:1) and to care for themselves as such.
During the three-day retreat, I attended two very informative workshops. A Reiki Therapy talk was presented by Eka Kapiotis and Patty Scheder – both associated with the Massage Therapy program at Warren Memorial Hospital in Fort Royal, VA. You can read more about Reiki, considered to be controversial by many Christians, at this Christian-based site.
The other workshop was on the planned certification process for Faith Community Nurses to begin in 2010. It was presented by Vickie Morley, Faith Community Nurse Coordinator at Shenandoah University. Parish nurses will want to read a brief overview about the upcoming portfolio certification process at this link.
Kudos to Reen and the entire planning committee for organizing such a professional and rewarding retreat!
As a side note, the Cacapon resort is a jewel of a place and I highly recommend it as a location to get away and relax. The on-site Robert Trent Jones designed golf course was unrelenting but I enjoyed playing a round of golf with a group of Canadians that were there for the week.