Parish Nurse Ministry

As Parish Nurse, Cathy Thomas’ mission is the intentional integration of the practice of faith with the practice of nursing so that people can achieve wholeness in, with, and through the community of faith in which parish nurses serve.  Parish Nursing is recognized as a nursing specialty by the American Nurses Association.

The roles of the parish nurse include:

Integrator of Faith and Health
Assists parishioners to achieve high levels of wellness by improving both spiritual and physical health.

Health Educator
Provides opportunities for the congregation to learn about health issues, individually and in groups.

Health Counselor
Discuss health concerns emphasizing early response to small problems and encouraging healthy lifestyle changes.

Referral Advisor
Provide referrals to healthcare and social services within the community.

Health Advocate
Speaks out to help members of the congregation or community obtain needed health related services.

Developer of Support Groups
Facilitates the development of support groups for the church and others served.

Volunteer Coordinator
Recruits, prepares and oversees congregational volunteers who help those in need.

The Services offered by parish nurse include:

  • Blood pressure screenings
  • Confidential home or telephone visits to homebound individuals, and occasional accompaniment to strategic physician appointments
  • Personal consultation for finding physicians, medication management and researching medical diagnoses
  • Referral to community resources including support groups, senior services, home health services, caregiver support, disability services, hospice and other resources
  • Coordination of health education classes
  • Health information in newsletters and in the Resource Center

Health Ministry and Parish Nursing address not only how a person heals but also asks, “What keeps people well and how can we assist in that process”?

You can reach Cathy through the church office at 206-546-4153, extension 103, or email her at

If you are interested in being a part of the Parish Nurse Ministry, please contact Cathy or Pastor John.

About Cathy

Cathy Thomas, RN, OCN-Emeritus

Cathy’s passion for health and serving Jesus has led her to Parish Nursing. She is a registered nurse, oncology certified and recently retired.   She is married to Herb and they enjoy 7 busy grandchildren.


Parish Nurse Office Hours

First Sunday of each Month

  • 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Tuesdays and Wednesdays

  • 9 a.m. -Noon

Other appointments may be scheduled.  All information is held confidential.

You can reach Cathy through the church office at 206-546-4153, extension 103, or email her at

If you are interested in being a part of the Parish Nurse Ministry and First Lutheran’s Health Cabinet, please contact Cathy or Pastor John.

Palliative Care

What the Bible says about being sick and receiving care…

         “Hear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.”   —Psalm 86

          In the day of my trouble, I will call to you, for you will answer me. Among the gods there is none like you, O Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, O Lord; they will bring glory to your name. For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, ONews Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave. The arrogant are attacking me, O God; a band of ruthless men seeks my life…men without regard for you. But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O Lord, have helped me and comforted me.”

Thank God for these wonderful words of David’s prayer; when we are sick and facing the uncertainties of health and life, these words can bring comfort and strength. These words can re-focus our hearts of faith and help us seek support and care. Let me introduce the concept of “palliative care”.

Palliative Care: To palliate means to reduce or eliminate suffering, and so palliative care can be applied to any patient who is having symptoms that cause suffering or impact their daily functioning. This is not only for end of life situations! There are many areas in palliative care; certainly eliminating symptoms and pain become paramount, but also addressing other areas may reduce the stress caused by not addressing specific issues. After pain and symptom management, ethical issues (what does the church say – or where is GOD?) may need to be addressed. Cultural considerations (in our country we do things differently), communication (what am I saying, or how can I tell you what I want), loss (of health, body functions, life), grief (pre-grief) and bereavement and final hours (how will they be managed) are all concerns that weigh heavily on patients and family members and friends. All of these areas can be concerning, and yet when these issues are brought to the forefront, the concerns can be acknowledged and clarity will guide the steps moving forward.

I will be teaching a class during the New Community Hour that will help guide the steps of people needing care and those of you providing care. This can bring difficult topics to light, with practical ways and conversation starters, and providing steps to follow. Watch for calendar updates for the specific dates. In the meantime, if you have current needs that need to be addressed, please come see me.