Nurses’ and Therapists’ Joint Conference
This year’s conference will be entitled ‘Whatever Next… Developing a Biblical response to current healthcare trends’ and will be held 3 - 5 March 2006 at the Quinta. John Wyatt will be the main speaker, and will be looking at how we respond as Christians to issues impacting on healthcare in the 21st Century. As ever, I will be doing two seminars on overseas mission for nurses, midwives and allied professionals.
Christian Nurses & Midwives
CNM has a new website (www.cnm.org.uk) and expanded quarterly newsletter (with an increasing mission focus). I am working with the CNM Council towards charity registration and they have just been accepted as members of Nurses’Christian Fellowship International (The equivalent of ICMDA for nurses). Student membership is growing (>30), as is overall membership (>130 including students), but there is a need to raise the profile of the fellowship considerably, as this probably represents a little over 0.5% of all the Christian nurses, midwives and health visitors estimated to be in England & Wales. If you have any colleagues who are Christian nurses, midwives, health visitors, please put them on to me and encourage them to think about joining CNM.
Nurses’ Christian Fellowship International (NCFI)
A major conference is planned for August 2006 in the Netherlands (see www.ncfieurope.org for more details) on ethics and spirituality in nursing care. Pablo Martinez will lead the daily Bible studies. We hope to see over 300 Christian nurses attending from all over Europe. Again, do encourage any of your Christian nursing or midwifery colleagues to think about coming.
I also had a fruitful meeting with the UK chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Nurses of Nigeria (FCN) in Luton in early November.They sent three delegates to a CNM meeting later that month in London, and we hope to see links strengthen between these small but dynamic groups. There are many other African, Asian and European Christian health professionals now working in the NHS, and linking with them to encourage them in their faith and witness remains a challenge, but our links with ICMDA, NCFI and HCFI should make this more achievable in the coming year.
This is an opportunity for the church to be encouraged to pray for and support the health professionals and informal carers living in their congregations. In 2006 this will be on 15 October.We have kept an overseas emphasis in the programme and resources each year (available as a CDROM from me at the CMF office, or online at www.healthcaresunday.org.uk).
In November I attended the Global Missions Health Conference in Louisville. This event draws together more than two thousand Christian health professionals, medical and nursing students and others with an interest in working overseas, for a two-day conference. It is a mission mobilisation event similar to our HealthServe Day, but on a considerably larger scale. It was a great encouragement to see so many young health professionals and students of all disciplines with a keen desire to serve the Lord in global mission.We hope to run similar event in the UK over the next eighteen months. Watch this space.The Global Connections Healthcare Mission Forum will be held on 11 May this year (with a second one pencilled in for October/November), and will look at ‘What are the issues affecting the viability of Christian Hospitals in the 21st Century?’The autumn event will be looking at community healthcare and development as part of healthcare mission. More information will be available shortly on the HealthServe website, www.healthserve.org.