“And now let us believe in a long year that is given to us, new, untouched, full of things that have never been.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke

presidentMarleneI am always excited about the ball dropping in Times Square on New Years’ eve. Not only does it symbolize the end of a year, it also launches a new one filled with anticipation and endless possibilities. This is also relevant to the Health Ministries Association as we reflect on 2012 with gratitude and look ahead in 2013 to new beginnings.

2012 was a year full of purpose and meaning for the organization. As we continued on our path to strengthen our infrastructure and further expand our external partnerships, many exciting developments have occurred. In this time of unpredictable challenges in the field of healthcare, from demographic shifts about who should provide care to how it should be delivered, HMA has taken steps to position itself as an emerging force in healthcare discussions nationwide. From the development of health ministry transitional care models to research and documentation initiatives, HMA is the recognized leader in faith and health.

Due to our members and their input, HMA leadership has also been focused on improving HMA’s visibility and raising its profile. In this process, it has been important to recognize how far the organization has already come acknowledging the stellar one it is today, a reflection of the incredible work done by so many of those who pioneered this movement. We are grateful for the time and talent of so many volunteers nationwide, who passionately believe in the mission and vision of HMA. As a membership organization, each of us must take responsibility to broadcast how strong and impressive our work is and to take every opportunity to share about health ministries and faith community nursing as frequently as we can.

HMA begins 2013 with great momentum. We have many exciting projects and opportunities that will be taking shape this year The 2013 HMA Conference, Faith Communities: Building Collaborative Engagement Models for Health in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada is filled with impressive presenters and the newest information available in health ministries and faith community nursing. It will again be structured for varied disciplines and will provide opportunities for discussions and networking with knowledgeable leaders. I encourage you to consider joining us at this year’s conference to continue our path of claiming our pivotal role in health.

I am also very excited about the enhancement of the HMA website to a WordPress platform, which is going give us the opportunity for some new and exciting communication possibilities. The Website Marketing Guidance Committee has been working for months on developing strategies for optimizing the HMA website. Their recommendations will help us to expand into some new areas of communication for HMA members and allow us to be more effective in providing you with the essential information you need for your practice. The details are still unfolding and we will announce the new features this spring.

HMA leadership will continue to pursue the development of the professional models for health ministries and faith community nursing in 2013. Many initiatives are underway and I know you are going to be energized by the endless possibilities ahead for your practice. I once again encourage each of you to make this the year that you get involved in your membership organization. We have many opportunities for you to serve on various committees. This is your organization and you are the future of HMA. For leadership opportunities contact me and I will make sure you are connected with the appropriate person.

This is a new year, full of possibilities for health ministries and faith community nursing. Let’s be grateful for having the opportunity to work in this amazing ministry and for the friendships and support we have found in each other. Let’s work together to make this the most ambitious and successful year yet for HMA.