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Published: Saturday, 4/16/2005

Nurse group seeks to boost physical, spiritual health

In the early days of Christianity, before the existence of hospitals and medical clinics, it was the church that took care of those who were sick. Mary Jane Fulcher, head of the Congregational Nurse Project of Northwest Ohio, thinks it's time to bring physical and spiritual health together again.

"Somewhere along the line it became disconnected. People started going to doctors for their physical health and ministers for their spiritual health. We need to connect them again," Ms. Fulcher said in an interview this week.

The Congregational Nurse Project will hold its 12th annual seminar, titled "Faith, Hope, and Miracles," Wednesday in Sylvania for nurses and social workers, counselors, pastors, pastoral staff, and church lay leaders.

The northwest Ohio branch of the CNP was founded in 1993 and now has more than 150 congregations and 400 nurses participating, said Ms. Fulcher, a registered nurse.

The members provide a variety of services but the most common is making nurses available for health-promotion programs and for linking spirituality and health, Ms. Fulcher said. The nurses also visit congregation members who are hospitalized and sometimes provide health-care services in people's homes, she said.

Wednesday's seminar will feature a talk by Nancy Evans, a registered nurse who wrote a book called The Walk to Jerusalem. "Her program gets people to improve their health by walking," Ms. Fulcher said. "The participants combine the number of miles they walk, and add it up to reach a certain destination. The one that Nancy Evans did was walking to Jerusalem."

In Ms. Evan's program, participants calculate how far their combined walking miles would take them, estimate which country those miles would have reached, then gather for weekly meetings to discuss the culture and religious traditions of the countries they are "visiting" on their journey.

Also speaking at the seminar will be Faith Bresnan Roberts, a registered nurse for more than 30 years and an expert on "spiritual distress" who will explore the power of hope and miracles.

The 12th Annual Congregational Nurse Project Seminar: Faith, Hope, and Miracles, starts at 8 a.m. and continues through 3:45 p.m. at Sylvania United Church of Christ, 7240 Erie St., Sylvania. Registration is $65. Information; 419-262-1462 or online, www.cnpnwo.org.

their health by walking," Ms. Fulcher said. "The participants combine the number of miles they walk, and add it up to reach a certain destination. The one that Nancy Evans did was walking to Jerusalem."

In Ms. Evan's program, participants calculate how far their combined walking miles would take them, estimate which country those miles would have reached, then gather for weekly meetings to discuss the culture and religious traditions of the countries they are "visiting" on their journey.

Also speaking at the seminar will be Faith Bresnan Roberts, a registered nurse for more than 30 years and an expert on "spiritual distress" who will explore the power of hope and miracles.

The 12th Annual Congregational Nurse Project Seminar: Faith, Hope, and Miracles, starts at 8 a.m. and continues through 3:45 p.m. at Sylvania United Church of Christ, 7240 Erie St., Sylvania. Registration is $65. Information; 419-262-1462 or online, www.cnpnwo.org.



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