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New occasions teach new duties.

This is the tenth year that the IPNRC has been publishing Parish Nurse Perspectives, a continuation of the earlier publication, Perspectives in Parish Nursing, started by Ann Solari-Twadell when the IPNRC was located in Chicago. We are thrilled that this issue features programs from the Central Time Zone, and give thanks to Sherry McIntyre, Health Ministry and Parish Nurse Coordinator with the Indiana Parish Nurse Resource Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, for serving as Guest Editor for this issue.

This last decade has seen much growth in the professional specialty practice and ministry of parish nursing, as well as many changes in each of our lives. In my own life, the last few years have transformed my small children into high school students. I have grieved the loss of some loved ones, said goodbye to many friends in parish nursing and ministry who have retired or navigated other changes, and moved cross-country with my family.

Now, it is time for a new start in my ministry. I am taking the summer off before beginning a new ministry on September 1st as Executive Director of Northwest Parish Nurse Ministries. This organization, which serves more than 800 parish nurses, was founded by Annette Stixrud, and now includes programs started by Carol Story (Puget Sound Parish Nurse Ministries) and Cynthia Gustafson (Carrol College, Helena, Montana), along with other groups in this large eight state region.

I shall miss you. While I will continue to write the "Ask Deborah" column for the Church Health Reader (find it at, and will look forward to seeing you at future Westberg Symposia as an attendee, I will miss working with you through my daily association with the IPNRC.

Rev. Dr. Granger Westberg has been a great inspiration, and he certainly kept reinventing ministry, so I'm thrilled for this new challenge and for the joy of working with the folks at NWPNM. There will be big shoes to fill, following the retirement of the current Executive Director, Rev. Bruce Strade. But "new occasions teach new duties," so it's time to renew, and then get to it.

We are all in this together, and may God bless us all. I shall dearly miss my colleagues at the IPNRC/DPNM, LLC and at the Deaconess Foundation which has supported us for so many years. I shall also miss you, but please come to the Symposium and we'll visit there!


Rev. Dr. Deborah Patterson

Executive Director

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Author:Patterson, Deborah
Publication:Parish Nurse Perspectives
Date:Jun 22, 2011
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