Health & Wellness Advocacy Team

Nurses who are members of the Health & Wellness Advocacy Team gave blood pressure checks to members of the congregation who wished them.

Nurses who are members of the Health & Wellness Advocacy Team gave blood pressure checks to members of the congregation who wished them.

This group educates parishioners on health and advocates for those needing access to the health-care system, including helping them navigate the system. The long-term goal is to establish a Parish Nurse program (For an example of a Parish Nurse program, click here.)

Responding to the Gospel call for compassion and healing service, this team seeks to fulfill the call to charity and love as expressed in the Gospel story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). As Jesus points out in this story, we are called to be “neighbours” to one another and to offer compassionate care and healing. Christians through the ages have generously responded to people in need of care. Charity, the love of Christ, is at the heart of each team members response to those in need of assistance. We seek to offer Christ’s presence through our presence with our community and neighbours.

Here are a couple of examples of the work that the team does:

Flu Season Advice

As flu season hits, team member Pat Pocock, who is a nurse, emphasizes in a talk to the congregation the importance of washing hands with soap and water to prevent the spread of the disease. But if only hand sanitizer is available, Pat explains there is a proper way to use it.

Nutrition Workshops

In this video, team member Philip Templeton explains a partnership the team has with two community organizations to help people learn how to grow and cook their own food.

The Team’s Terms of Reference

Purpose: To work together with the teams and committees of the Church of the Ascension to integrate faith and healing holistically and provide a parish  outreach ministry focused on health and wellness.

  • To be a supportive presence, support during uncertainty, grief support, understanding and advocacy.
  • To set principles, priorities and parameters relating to health and wellness advocacy in the parish.
  • To be the Health Council Support for Parish Nursing and the Parish Nurse.
  • To align all work with parish teams and committees.
  • To facilitate with parish members discernment in issues related to health and wellness


  • Promotes the close relationship between health and faith by affirming and supporting the journey towards wholeness in the relationship of body, mind and spirit.
  • Outlines principles that encompass all aspects of a model of health and wellness advocacy and parish nursing.
  • Monitors selected outcomes of work and ensures that there are systems to continuously improve the health and wellness within the parish.
  • Receives issues for discussion and discernment, considers and acts in partnership with parish members to assist with strategies to resolve the issues.
  • Advises, makes recommendations, and implements a course of action related to professional standards of practice and care related to parish nursing.
  • Complies with parish and Diocesan privacy and confidentiality policies.
  • Liaison with other Parish ministries, Community Health Organizations, and refers to other health care providers and/or community support service as needed.
  • Provides education including courses, seminars and workshops for the parish on a wide variety of health related issues, and communicates good health concepts
  • Provides specific counseling to individuals to support better care of themselves.
  • Maintains records of all interactions and outcomes. (one to one or as a team)

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