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I was so excited to read "Needed: Christian Presence in Holistic Nursing." I've had a heart for holistic nursing, but have been discouraged by the New Age presence. I rejoice in the election of Charlotte Eliopoulos as president of the American Holistic Nurse's Association. I am rejoining the group to be salt and light in the world.

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Chary Horton


Ponder, TX


The article, "In Defense of Life" leaves me wondering if many secular institutions are implementing policies that are unconstitutional. I question if we are over-influenced by "political correctness" and have lost a sense of our personal freedom. Yes, we must exercise discernment and discretion in sharing our faith, but only in institutions that afford this freedom? This troubles me!! It may be in these particular institutions that the gospel message most needs to be heard.


I recommend Christian Rights in the Workplace by Dr. Jay Alan Sekulow, published by The American Center for Law and Justice. It is a valuable resource in understanding our rights as Christian nurses.


Deborah Tuttle


Willoughby, OH


Stegmeir Responds

In response to Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner's article in Summer 2002, I feel that we agree that there are elements of truth in secular nursing theories. It was a mistake for me to use the word "adjust." A better phrase is "learn from and use" in the context of our own Christian worldview. An example comes from Thomas Merton, an early Roman Catholic monk, who became interested in Buddhism and started the first Christian-Buddhist dialogue. He liked Buddhism's tradition of compassion, nonviolence and its indictment of ego-centered thought. It reminded him of the goal of Christian humility and his Christian faith was enriched through his understanding of Buddhism. While we do have wonderful sources of biblically based nursing concepts, the challenge is to make them available to nursing students so that they can learn from them and use them in practice.


Diane Stegmeir


San Jose, CA


Spring Reflections

I noted the article about research on prayer, "Does Prayer Really Help?" (spring 02). I am bothered by research on the effects of prayer. The researchers treat prayer as if God were a machine and dispenses out our requests. God does not always heal. In order to study something scientifically, there must be a reasonable expectation of cause and effect, otherwise it is useless to study.


Elaine Hecker


Fullerton, CA


Thank you for providing a Christian perspective on nursing issues. I've had a subscription to JCN since shortly after beginning nursing school and plan to continue after graduation.


In "A Circle of Prayer," I was surprised to read that Nola takes her patient's names before her church for prayer. As student, we are taught to keep our patient's names confidential. I can understand requesting prayer for patients in general.


Although the article, "Spiritual Care: Lingering Questions" was interesting, I feel that reading from the Book of Mormon or the Qur'an is beyond our Christian practice. Although we need to respect our patient's beliefs, we also need to respect our own beliefs.


Angela M. Acker


Rib Lake, WI


I am a regular reader of JCN and am consistently referring my chaplain colleagues to articles that have implications for hospital chaplaincy. One such article was, "Spiritual Care, Lingering Questions" which reported on how nurses can appropriately communicate their faith to patients. I want to thank the authors for their nuanced presentation concerning a subject that is so important and yet has important ethical considerations that can be overlooked in our desire to share our religious faith.


One error I wish to address. The article states that nurses "could encourage them to invite their pastor in to baptize the person who has just died." Doctrinally, Christian baptism is for the living. If asked by a family to baptize a deceased person, I offer a formal blessing instead. In my experience, this is very helpful to the family.


As a pastor and hospital chaplain, I can provide far more effective ministry in death-related situations when I am called long before death occurs, and before the patient is actively dying. I encourage nurses to talk with their chaplain and work out protocol so that there can be effective teamwork in providing spiritual care.


Chaplain W. Noel Brown


Harbert, MI


JCN Around the Globe

The winter 02 issue included an article, "Caring for Children of Other Faiths." This is a topic close to my heart as I work cross-culturally in Korea. The article contained new and helpful information.


I also read "An Important Lesson" over and over. It is so important that nurses pay attention to people that other's think are not important. Jesus would do the same.


Carol Findlay


Seoul, South Korea


I have thoroughly enjoyed JCN for many years. Thank you for an excellent publication.


Daphne McRostie


Malaga, Spain