to accompany and give back hope



Parish Nursing Health Tips prepared by
Margaret Black, RN EdD, PN


Your Parish Nursing Health Tip 
for the week of April 25, 2021

Life in Pandemic Times

As I have mentioned before, 50% of our tendency to be optimists or pessimists is genetic.  We have no control over that. Of the remaining 50%, 10% is due to external circumstances (e.g. COVID-19) and the other 40% is something we can work on.  Right now I think COVID has managed to turn all of us into pessimists! We are awash in grief, fear, anxiety, anger, loneliness, depression - the list goes on.  When we are in this kind of state, even trying to summon the willpower to think about possibly changing our outlook is too much effort.

However a family member recently sent me an email with a poem which made me think again.  Here it is. I hope it helps you too.


Today, upon a bus, I saw a very beautiful woman
and wished I were as beautiful.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle
She had one leg and used a crutch,
but as she passed, she passed a smile,
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I have two legs; The World Is Mine

I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd would do no harm.
And as I left he said to me
"I thank you, you've been so kind
It's nice to talk with folks like you"
You see, he said "I'm blind."
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I have two eyes, The World Is Mine

Later walking down the street,
I saw a Child That I Knew
He stood and watched the others play,
But he didn't know what to do.
I stopped a moment then I said
"Why don't you join them, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word
I forgot, he could not hear
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I have two ears, The World Is Mine

With feet to take me where I'd go
With eyes to see the sunset glow
With ears to hear what I would know
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine
I've been blessed indeed
The World Is Mine

"If my poem made you feel thankful,
Just forward it to your friends.
After all, it's just  a reminder that
we have much to be thankful for.
Give the Gift Of Love, it never comes back empty!
I have been truly blessed with my awesome friends".

By Joy Lovelet Crawford


Like this author, I have also been blessed with AWESOME FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS including you who are reading this. Most especially I am blessed with the knowledge that God is always with us and loves us unconditionally.  When you feel too overwhelmed, tell your loving Heavenly Father and open yourself to feel His Presence in your life. Together we will get through this.

Blessings to all of you.

Margaret Black
Parish Nurse


Your Parish Nursing Health Tip 
for the week of April 4, 2021

The Incomparable Gift

Holy week and Easter weekend:  I have been thinking about “the incomparable gift” this week, but struggling with conflicting ideas.  Originally the answer was “Life”.  Then I thought about the homeless, the prisoner, the sick and grieving, the lonely, etc.  For many people life is NOT a gift but an en endless, meaningless struggle.  Then “Love”  suggested itself to me.  So important, but somehow incomplete.  Today, after the Maundy Thursday & Good Friday services, the obvious answer came to mind. 

Where do Love & Life intersect? 

In Jesus on the Cross. As others have noted, it wasn’t Roman soldiers, Jewish rabbis, and nails that put Jesus on the Cross.  It was Love. And that Love gave all of us Life, both here and in eternity. Life filled with God’s Love is God’s “incomparable gift” to us. Like all gifts, we are meant to use and enjoy it.

But how do we live this “incomparable gift” in our own lives?

When we are sick, in pain, grieving, lonely, afraid, we don’t feel joyful. And that’s OK. These are normal human experiences which we have to acknowledge and live through, but we will get through them.  When I think about what Jesus must have gone through on the Cross and on the days leading up to it, whatever I’m experiencing, pales in comparison.  But Jesus accepted it as God’s will and that helped Him to fulfill it.

Although sometimes our problems are self-inflicted, other problems are just part of living. Whatever the source of our problems, we also have to accept God’s will and follow where He leads us. Reading and talking about it is not enough. We have to allow ourselves to experience God’s Presence on a daily basis. For me this may happen in seeing a beautiful sunrise, receiving a call from a loved family member or friend, or in recognizing the abundance of my life (a roof over my head; a full fridge; heat when I’m cold; clean water, hot or cold, for a shower or drink at the touch of a tap). Having spent a couple of months in Kenya on a mission trip has made me acutely aware of things we accept here as a normal part of life. 

How then do we live in a way that helps others experience God’s Love in their lives?

Right now we are limited by COVID restrictions, but there are still avenues open to us.  I might call someone I know who is lonely, or offer to pick up something at the store for a friend who can’t get out, or donate to a charity for the homeless.There are many possibilities. Just pick one thing a day that can help someone else and you will have made a difference in their life. That is the Living God’s Love.

Wishing you a Blessed, Happy, Healthy Easter.
Margaret Black
Tri-Church Parish Nurse


Your Parish Nursing Health Tip 
for the week of February 20, 2021

Life in End Times

My microwave beeps when it has heated my food and I glance at it to check the time. Instead of giving me the time, it simply says “End”.  That reminds me of the biblical passages in Revelation dealing with the “End Times”.  There will be wars & rumours of wars, plagues, darkness, etc. before the End.  Many of us may feel right now like we are living in these dark times - COVID-19 and its new variants that keep us in isolation, loved ones with serious health problems, job & business losses, loneliness, depression, anxiety, climate change that threatens our future on earth. It is a difficult time for everyone.  How are we meant to get through all of this?

First we can remember that our parents and grandparents survived their “end times” experiences - World Wars, depressions, previous pandemics (Spanish Flu, SARS, etc.) and other dangerous infections (Ebola, polio, measles, mumps, and so on). And they did it without the technology that helps us to stay in touch with each other now. I suspect each generation has its “end times” experience at some point. Maybe that is an important part of our earthly experience. It can help us to grow and seek new ways of dealing with difficult challenges. We can care for and support each other even at a distance.  We can learn healthier ways of living on earth that don’t threaten to destroy it. God gave us a Garden. Hopefully, with God’s help, we can learn to be good stewards.

Next we can remember that every night eventually ends in a morning filled with light. The Bible reminds us that we may spend the night weeping but joy comes in the morning. The challenge is to get through the night. Gratitude can help. There are many things in our lives that we take for granted - warm, comfortable homes; abundant food & fresh water; the love of family & friends, etc. We tend to focus on what we are losing and forget the many things we have to be thankful for. Every day find at least one thing in your life that gives you comfort & joy. That becomes a ray of sunshine to help you through the darkness.

Finally, remember that we are not alone. Jesus said, “Bring your burdens to Me”. Instead of carrying our fears and troubles by ourselves, we can leave them at Jesus’ feet. He didn’t promise us an easy life but He did promise to be with us always. I often find myself trying to “run the world”. Then I am reminded that is God’s job, not mine, and thankfully I can let things go. Together, with God’s help, we will get through these difficult times and find we are stronger, better, more caring people as a result. Thank God for His blessings each day and watch for the morning’s light. This is not The End.

Margaret Black
Tri-Church Parish Nurse



fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia in both lungs.

How does it spread?
Through respiratory droplets spread when you cough/sneeze;
close personal contact (e.g. touching or shaking hands);
touching something with the virus on it,
then touching your mouth, nose or eyes
before washing your hands.

Protection of yourself and others?
Wash your hands often
(after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose,
touching common-use areas,
such as door handles, elevator buttons, etc.)
with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
(back and front, special attention to nail areas);
use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available;
avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
avoid close contact with people who are sick;
cough or sneeze into your sleeve instead of into your hands;
stay home
to avoid spreading the illness to others.




A new year… a clean slate…
Abundant Life

Caregivers Also Need Care
Christmas Hope
Dreaming of a BLUE Christmas…
Emergency Preparedness

Faith and Values

Fall Savvy Promotes Winter Safety
Fraud Protection
Fun in the Sun
Health and Well-being
Health Problems 1: Type 2 Diabetes
Health Problems 2: Type 2 Diabetes in Children
Health Problems 3: Coronary Heart Disease
Health Problems 4: The Cancers
Learning to Listen
Lessons from the Past
Let it Go
No Excuse Sunday
No Other Gods
Palm Sunday - Passion Sunday
Season of Lent
Self-Defence 1: Healthy Nutrition
Self-Defence 2: Healthy Activity
Sleep and You
Stress 1: Do You Have Balance in Your Life?
Stress 2: Ways of Managing Stress
Stress 3: Stress and Disease
Stress 4: Post-Traumatic Stress
Stress 5: Factors Influencing Our Perception of Stress
Stress 6: Making Changes
Understanding Grief
What is Health?

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