New Year

Every morning after I get out of bed and feed the cats who are clamoring for breakfast, I step outside.  Whatever the conditions—cold, warm, dark, sunny, cloudy, rainy, clear—a few moments out in the new morning wakes my mind and centers my spirit.  The Sun is still burning, the Earth is still turning, and we’ve come around to see a new day.  I woke up, I’m breathing, and I get to witness another dawn.  We’re being given a new day!  Let’s wake up and cherish it and all God’s good creation
Every single day is an astounding gift.
And now we’ve lived the days to a new year.  365 days, another revolution around the Sun, and here we are at 2020.  We reflect on the year past—the personal and global joys and griefs….  We look ahead to the days of life ahead, hopefully with more hope than trepidation…!

Health Ministries Association has much to be thankful for over 2019: a new Executive Director, Julie Ruchniewicz, who’s bringing good energy and ideas to our work together; a new Office Manager, Kristina Heaton, who’s stepped adeptly into running our office and interfacing with you; previous Office Manager Michelle Randall and interim Office Manager Mona Hughes who gave their care and skills to HMA; new members joining us in this much-needed field of health ministry; new partnerships emerging with other groups striving to enhance health in different ways. 
We look forward to 2020 with confidence in new possibilities. Here are some samples:

  • “One Voice, One Vision: Wisdom for Healthier Communities,” this year’s conference and annual membership meeting, which will take place September 13-15 in the Chicago area.  Information on poster submissions and sponsorship opportunities can be found at
  • new opportunities for education and networking by HMA members.  A Membership Task Force is working on ideas for expanding not only membership but also offerings to members.  The “2020 Vision” opportunity is one example; see details in this newsletter.  The task force welcomes your ideas for recruiting, educational, and networking opportunities.  Feel free to contact Julie Ruchniewicz ( or me ( with your suggestions!
  • the next revision of The Faith Community Nursing Scope and Standards. : While the bulk of the work will not begin until next year, keep an eye out for opportunities with this important work in developing the next edition, in conjunction with  the American Nurses Association and their Nursing Scope and Standards of Practice. 

Finally, as we move into a new year, I’m grateful for each and all of you.  You give heart and soul to furthering faith and health where you are.  You are HMA.  I can’t wait to see what we do together in 2020!

Peace, Shalom, Salaam—
Rev. Karen MacDonald, M.Div.
President, Health Ministries Association