Why have Parish Nurses when there are governmental agencies?
The most compelling reason to have Parish Nurses is that Christians are called to care for the sick and dying the way Jesus did. As Eugene Petersen expresses it in The Message, “The Word [becomes] flesh and blood and [moves] into the neighborhood ...” (John 1:14)
Communities are filled with hurting people who long for today’s Good Samaritan to touch them with expert tender loving care. Government programs may be good, but they will never be enough.
As the health care system becomes more technological, the need for advocates increases for often individuals are too sick to muster the energy and time to deal with the system. Families may lack information about resources that are available. Parish Nurses in their role as liaisons provide a crucial “connecting link.”
A further reason to have Parish Nurses is that they are there to pray with the sick and their families in moments of greatest need. Health team members can lift sufferers into the presence of the One who is the true healer.