Dr Lynda W Miller, from Canada was a wonderful blessing to us. As a leading nurse educator, she was keen to hear of the work in New Zealand that she invited herself! She shared her model of parish nursing and the work in Canada but was just as interested to learn of cultural safety implemented in nursing in New Zealand and the recent initiatives in the Pacific Island churches in Auckland. Hilda Faasalele of the Healthy Village Action Zones updated us on the challenges and joys of providing primary health care within the church, whilst being funded by Auckland DHB and local PHO's.
The conference opened with a service of thanksgiving at St Michael and all Angels, where Nurse Maude worked as New Zealand's first District Nurse. Elaine Tyrrell, the first Anglican parish nurse and founding Chairperson reminded the congregation of the "threads" of the people and countries being woven together throughout history like a mat as God gave the vision to many individuals. The woven mat is significant in Pacific Island culture for its uses and its construction. The NZFCNA mat is made of the many people who had been involved in different ways in being faithful to a call from God to this ministry. The threads are international, with Dr Miller being our fourth international visitor and NZFCNA a member of the Global Forum for Parish Nursing.
Much was learnt from the weekend and not just from our speakers, who brought a strong message on prayer, listening, and working with the spirit as we ministry in our role. There was also much to hear from the participants and their individual stories and history. God is good and we thanked Him for the individuals who have shared in our journey. We look forward now to the next decade of growth as we share the vision of faith community nursing as a means of Christian ministry and outreach.