by Isabel Cutler, former Parish Nurse of Christ Church Cathedral
In 2003 I held a meeting in the lounge and asked some health care professionals to attend to look at the possibility of starting a Cathedral health ministry.
Thirty people attended to listen to what seemed a very unstructured dream, but from that meeting to this year of 2021 (18 yrs) the health ministry and parish nurse ministries have grown at Christ Church Cathedral with the support of our Church, the Clergy and Laity.
At first its growth was one step at a time, through the spearheading by a Parish Nursing Ministry which we began in 2005. With an enormous team of congregational members with every kind of unique skills (not only health related but lawyers, accountants etc, offering their support; while others drive a car to appointments and other knit a prayer shawl), the Parish Nurse has provided invaluable expertise as afforded by her Registered Nurse status to support and direct those who are not well in our church community and beyond. So often we were told, "I do not need you now but it is such a comfort to know you are there.” Of course there are plenty who need us, and much to do.
I am writing this as Kathleen prepares to step back after 5 years. She has built on the legacy left for her so that the Health and Parish Nursing ministries today are vibrant, relevant to Cathedral life and the world as it stands today.
We have a great deal to be grateful to her for. I, for one say: thank you Kathleen you are a good and faithful servant of the Lord and you have followed His direction to accomplish His work at the Cathedral.
We see with COVID-19 the enormous physical and mental health toll this pandemic has brought, and as we come through it there will be much to do to support so many, in body, mind and spirit.
Now that I am no longer a Parish Nurse, nor a current member of the Cathedral family, from where I sit (on the edge of the world in Newfoundland in a different but similar role) I so appreciate the blessing we were given by God to provide this ministry for others.
It is only on God's call for this ministry that it has flourished. Now at this time of transition, we await his direction for another Parish Nurse if that is meant to be, whether from New Brunswick or farther afield. All God’s work has a season but I pray that this work, this ministry will continue according to His plan and in His care.
Meanwhile, gratitude and love outpouring for Kathleen as she begins another part of her own journey. Well done and if it were not for COVID, big hugs, and sending of all God’s blessings for the future.
Parish of Isle aux Morts, NL
It is wonderful to hear from you and know that we are still in your prayers. From that first meeting on, I have been drawn into the health ministry. Thank you for all you do! You have inspired and helped so many.
Lovely to read your reflections Isabel. Miss you so much at our MU meetings.