Coming Events at Bethel and a Goodbye
By Kathy Ferguson, RN, Parish Nurse
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 ESV
There are many health and wellness events coming to Bethel in the weeks and months ahead. This month’s newsletter will highlight these events. I will also include an update on what is going on with COVID-19. And yes, COVID is still here. I will conclude with some reflections on my privilege to serve as Bethel’s Parish Nurse the past 7+ years.
Grief Discussion and Support Group
- Wednesday, August 10, 2022, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. in Bethel’s Chapel
- Topic: Grief and Self Care
- Presenter/Facilitator: Georgena Fail, Bereavement Coordinator, Heartland Hospice
- Contact Kathy Ferguson, RN, Parish Nurse if you would like to attend: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday, August 15, 2022, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. in Bethel’s Chapel
- Register for appointments at worship services on the weekends of July 30/31 and August 6/7 at the table in the Narthex. We need 15 people to register for appointments.
- This blood drive supports Mayo Clinic’s blood donation program
Bethel Health Fair
- Save the date: Sunday, October 9, 2022, 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon
- A variety of exhibitors for all age groups will be present
- More information will be coming in September
Flu Shots at Bethel
- Save the date: Sunday, October 9, 2022, 10:00 a.m. – 12 noon in the church office conference room in conjunction with the Health Fair
- HyVee will be providing flu (influenza) vaccinations on a first come, first serve basis.
- More information will be forthcoming
What’s new with COVID-19?
It was on March 6, 2020, that the first case of COVID-19 was identified in Minnesota. Here we are, over two years later, and COVID-19 is still a part of our lives. In the last two years we have learned a lot about COVID—tests to identify the virus have been developed, ways to protect ourselves have been recommended or mandated, vaccines have been developed, effective treatments have been identified, and yet the virus is still with us. Many of us have not seen anything like this in our lifetimes. Is COVID-19 gone? No. Are most people acting like COVID-19 is gone? Yes. News has just come out in the past few weeks about a more transmissible subvariant of the Omicron variant—BA.5. The Bethel Re-engagement Task Force, although no longer meeting regularly, has continued to monitor the COVID-19 situation. Olmsted County has been on a bit of roller-coaster with Community Levels of COVID-19 moving between high, medium, and low levels on a weekly basis. You may notice that when Olmsted County is at a high level, the signs go back on the doors indicating that masks are strongly recommended.
We do not know what the future holds related to COVID-19, but the recommendations from the CDC still hold true:
- Get the COVID-19 vaccine. Everyone six months of age or older is now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Contact your health care provider with specific questions.
- If you are sick, stay home.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, get tested. You may either test using an at-home test or contact your health provider about getting a test. If you test positive with an at-home test, please contact your health care provider to see if you should receive treatment.
- Follow the CDC guidelines for quarantine and isolation if you have a close contact or test positive. These guidelines change frequently. Current recommendations can be found on the CDC COVID-19 website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html
- Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
- Wear a mask in public indoor spaces if the area has a high Community Level of COVID-19.
- Wear a mask in public indoor spaces if you are immunocompromised or are in close contact with someone who is immunocompromised.
- Wear a mask if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask! I do.
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, goodbye… (From The Sound of Music. Thank you, Rodgers and Hammerstein.)
This is my last newsletter/article/blog as Bethel’s Parish Nurse. It is very bittersweet for me to write this. I am looking forward to being retired (for the second time)! On the other hand, I will miss being Bethel’s Parish Nurse. It has enriched my life beyond measure.
Many of you have asked what my plans are for retirement. Here they are:
- ENJOY LIFE! Life is too short to not make the most of every moment. I learned this the hard way. I plan to grab every chance at joy and happiness I can in the weeks, months, and years ahead. I plan to spend plenty of time around the people I love and those who enrich my life.
- I am going to remain a Bethel member. I will be attending the Saturday evening service, but you may see me some Sundays.
- I will take a few weeks to decompress and reflect on my experiences as a nurse, a Christian, and a human being.
- I want to volunteer. One of the organizations that I feel is making a difference in peoples’ lives is The Landing and I plan to volunteer with them. I will see where else my strengths/interests lead me as a volunteer in this world.
- I am going to go to more of my grandsons’ hockey games and help with transportation for them, as needed.
- I am going to do more reading, hiking, biking, walking, and practicing yoga.
- I have a lot of home improvement projects to work on in two houses. (Notice that this is last on my list.)
I felt the Holy Spirit nudge (it was really a push) me to accept the Parish Nurse position in late 2014 even though I felt I wasn’t qualified and wasn’t sure I wanted to continue in the nursing profession. I am so glad that I didn’t ignore that nudge. I now feel the nudge to retire, and I decided not to ignore that either. The Holy Spirit has a pretty good track record with me, and I will continue to let the Holy Spirit, God, and Jesus be my guides.
Thank you, Bethel, for this amazing opportunity for me to grow as a nurse, as a person, and as a Christian.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Be well. Be happy. Enjoy life.