Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI)
In April the European Committee (which I chair) met in Cluj-Napoca, Romania at the invitation of a group of Christian nurses in Cluj seeking to form a national fellowship. To further that end, they had agreed to host the 2010 NCFI European Regional Congress, held every four years. Plans for the event are well underway, including building leadership training into a pre-conference programme. The theme will be 'Caring Across Borders – the challenge of nursing in a globalised world'.
Next spring we will have the fourth NCFI Europe students conference on 'Spirituality and Care' in Bergen, Norway; and for the first time NCFI will be involved with ICMDA as part of the Eurasia Conference in Schladming this September, with an allied professions stream in the pre-conference programme. I will be doubling up, as I am also co-ordinating the HIV pre-conference for the ICMDA HIV Initiative.
2008 will also see the NCFI World Congress in Jos, Nigeria, which will focus on the global health crisis and the role of Christian nurses in shaping local, national and global responses. While there I will also be exploring with NCFI further links at global as well as regional level between CMF/ICMDA, International Saline Partnership, and PRIME.
NCFI has also been pursuing links with Healthcare Christian Fellowship International (HCFI). HCFI and ICMDA are increasingly working closely together, and we hope to build a strong three way partnership between the networks over the next few years. NCFI is focusing increasingly on training and equipping Christian nurses at all levels to lead and influence their professions, in national and global health policies.
Healthcare Sunday – 19 October
One key link between NCFI, ICMDA and HCFI at the UK level has been through organising Healthcare Sunday – a day when UK churches can focus on the roles of Christian health professionals in their congregations. This is becoming increasingly a global event, with many countries round the world holding events and services particularly to pray for and support health workers. CMF has been involved in the UK since Healthcare Sunday started and we are exploring with HCF and others how resources can be made more widely available around the world. See www.healthcaresunday.org.uk for information and resources.
The coalition has just released Micah's Challenge, written by leading Christian authors including Jim Wallis, Tony Campolo, Tim Chester and René Padilla. It explores the scriptural and practical basis for Christian engagement with global poverty. They have also launched Impact, an online resource for churches and individuals to engage with campaigning and lobbying on behalf of the world's poor. www.micahchallenge.org.uk