Celebrating Nurses’ Sabbath

Featured Article, June 2024

For over 40 years, the beginning of May has been a time designated for acknowledging nurses. For many workplaces it’s now a week-long celebration concluding on May 12, the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is long considered to be the founder of modern nursing.

This year, the Medford Seventh-day Adventist Church in southern Oregon designated May 4th as “Nurses’ Recognition Sabbath,” an idea strongly supported by church members and leaders alike. In preparation for the special program, organizers were astonished to discover the church had 33 nurses! When including retired nurses, CNA’s and MA’s, the number of recognized individuals jumped to over 40.

As soon as members arrived in the morning, it was evident that this was a special Sabbath! Two RNs were stationed at tables in the lobby to welcome members and take vital signs (BP, P, O2 %). After completing blood pressure screening, church members were gifted a decorative notecard with printed Bible promises addressing fear and anxiety.

Upon entry to the sanctuary, members viewed the listed names of nurses, retired nurses, CNAs and MAs projected on the big screen. When scanning the bulletin, applicable participants were designated in the order of service with ‘RN’ after their names. Further demonstrating their commitment to a life of service both professionally and personally, the musical accompaniment, children’s story, nurses’ recognition, and invocation were all performed by RNs.

Donita Jensen, an advanced practice nurse spoke briefly about her call to nursing which went back to when she was a little girl in the mission field where her parents were serving in Malawi, Africa. She cited Luke 9:2 “And He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”  BSB

All nurses were invited up front for a dedicatory prayer of blessing. In recognition of their commitment to service, each nurse received a gift bag including a box of nursing themed scripture promise cards, ‘nurse’s notes’ pen, note pad, stress ball with inspirational message, and a full-page information sheet on Faith Community Nursing and the AAFCN website.

Carol Rogers, a retired RN, expressed appreciation for being acknowledged and included: “I felt so special, and truly appreciate all that the church has done to recognize us nurses!” Here at the Medford church, we will continue to pray for all nurses of faith, pray the Lord gives them strength for selfless service; that by His Spirit they are enabled to be a blessing and give hope to those they are called to serve.

By Ginnie Kim, RN, MSN

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