Morning Light Staff
- Board of Directors
- Jane Hickson
- Cynthia Miller
- Kit Taylor
- Karin Smith
- Jane Hickson
- Christian Science Nurses
- Karrell Dowling
- Elizabeth O’Berry
- Phyllis Weil
- Debbie Watfor
- Office Staff
- Fawn Griffith
- Sarah Taylor
- Fawn Griffith
- Practitioner Advisory Committee
- Cheryl Fejes, C.S.
- Sally Horntvedt, CS
- Cheryl Peters, C.S.
- Kitty Wilson, C.S
Sunbeams of Love
As Spring approaches we are reminded of Our Leader’s words, “Human hope and faith should join in nature’s grand harmony, and if on minor key, make music in the heart. And man, more friendly, should call his race as gently to the springtide of Christ’s dear love.” (Misc. 330:7) This year the Morning Light Christian Science nurses will be calling you “to the springtide of Christ’s dear love” by visiting you in your churches. We are making a concerted effort to be available for your questions and needs. And as always it is a joy for us to visit with our Church family!
Many, many thanks for the loving kindness our supporters have shown to Morning Light Foundation and to those who called upon the services of Morning Light this past year. The prayers and funds you have given have enabled those in need to receive not only tender, loving care and wisdom in the sick room, but also the staunch, invincible support the Christian Science nurse brings to defend the innocence of man while attending to the patient and working with the Christian Science practitioner.
In 2017, we look forward to expanding our progress through your unselfish support. Read on in this newsletter for news from our CS nurses, a word from our Administrator and testimonials of those who called on Morning Light’s services. Meet our new CS nurse, Debbie Watford and follow the link to read (or listen) to the inspirational talk given by Marjorie Dagnall at the Morning Light 2016 Annual Meeting.
Much love and gratitude,
President, Morning Light Board of Directors
2017 Spring Fundraising – We Need Your Help!
This is a good time to tell you that we hold 2 fundraisers each year – and we hope you’ll consider joining our current campaign! We have a goal to raise $30,000 by June 1st. Please note that this is not a matching grant campaign (we hope to launch one of those in early September) so every loving gift made to Morning Light is especially precious, no matter how large or small!
Every Church has a Nurse
Remember the play on Broadway in the 60’s titled “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum?” Well, last January a funny (and remarkable) thing happened on the way to a workshop – when Morning Light returned to Raleigh, NC for a follow up ‘lunch and learn’ session with the members and attendees of 2 local churches. A Morning Light nurse and I arrived the evening before and mapped out an engaging agenda for the next day – or so we thought. After Sunday’s church service, Elizabeth and I launched into our greeting and extension of the previous year’s presentation. Within 10 minutes, we were way off script – I had no idea where we were going with our presentation. I prayed, “Dear God, if this isn’t it, please tell us what to do.” Immediately, a lady put up her hand and said, “Before you go on, I want to thank the church members who comforted me when my husband passed last April.” Then another person spoke up, and another – opening up a fresh conversation. Everyone was suddenly engaged in expressing gratitude, appreciation and love for each other. Then it happened – a total shift took place in my thought. Instead of us going there to serve, we were being served. From a teaching and informational standpoint, the entire meeting had shifted to us listening and being informed. In other words, in one grand realization, we were not gathered together to learn about or to provide service, but to be the service. We were one of them, eating, sharing our stories, listening as they talked about their love and service to one another. At the close, a couple sitting next to me came forward, and he said, “I will soon be retiring and would like to look into CS Nursing.” His wife, with tears in her eyes, said, “The ideas shared have given me the courage to face a challenging situation.”
On the drive home, it was clear how we were going to proceed with our outreach – it’s called ‘parish nursing.’ What is that? The dictionary defines it as ‘a nurse, visiting a local church with its field of activity.’ I define it as ‘a Christian Science nurse, visiting a local Christian Science church with its field of activity.’ It was practiced 2,000 years ago by the early Christians. This approach was familiar to us – we were already doing it in the Savannah, SC/Low Country. So this is what we did. We sent letters to several churches asking them to announce to their congregations that a Christian Science nurse would be visiting on a certain Sunday. They were invited to meet the nurse after the service, to make an appointment or just speak with her informally about anything related to Christian Science nursing.
Our first stop was Charleston, SC. We met 30 minutes before a Wednesday meeting and told them about Morning Light’s services. As everyone was leaving I heard myself say, “We’ll be back next month, and every month after that.” We were committed – even to the surprise of the Christian Science nurse. We decided then and there that she would return regularly just to be an available and accessible presence they could tap into, if desired. By the third month of visiting, she was making house calls with their Care committee, giving them support and guidance. This was repeated all the way down the coast – the rest is history. She was one of them, serving in many capacities. One, in particular, included an invitation from the Hilton Head church in South Carolina to participate in conducting Sunday services for the Marine recruits at Parris Island (see Phyllis Weil, p. 3). That was in 2011, and that work still continues. In 2017 alone, we will make 155 visits to 56 churches and societies in Georgia, the Carolina’s, Alabama and Tennessee.
Mrs. Eddy knew that the Christian Science nurse was essential to the cause of Christian Science – so much so that she provided a Nurse bylaw in her church Manual. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance that our Christian Science nurses be recognized and welcomed as an integral part of our church communities. The outreach I’ve just outlined is important because it ensures that Christian Science nursing is seen as a normal and natural activity of church.
There is a nurse in your midst just waiting to be discovered! If you don’t think your church has a Christian Science nurse, call Morning Light and you’ll meet her.
ANNUAL MEETING ADDRESS:
Three Strings and Four Dimensions
A talk by Marjorie Dagnall of Aptos, California
……..(excerpted)……Some of you might be aware of a most interesting story, which is credited as appearing in the Houston Chronicle many years ago. It was a report of a concert given by Itzhak Perlman, the virtuoso violinist in New York City. The account described how Mr. Perlman, who as some of you know, was afflicted with polio early in his life, and walks with braces and crutches. Slowly and painfully he made his way across the stage that night, put down his crutches, undid his braces and then began to play. As he played there was a loud snap like gunfire as one of the violin strings broke. The orchestra stopped playing and, of course, all eyes were on Mr. Perlman to see what was going to happen. Would he be given a second violin or would he just replace the broken string and then continue with the concert? According to the report, he did neither. What he did do was described in the following statement:
“…he waited a moment, closed his eyes and signaled the conductor to begin again. The orchestra began, and he played from where he had left off. And he played with such passion and such power and such purity, as they had never heard before. Of course, anyone knows that it is impossible to play a symphonic work with just three strings. I know that you know that. But that night Itzhak Perlman refused to know that. You could see him modulating, changing and recomposing the piece in his head. When he finished, there was an awesome silence in the room. And then people rose and cheered. There was an extraordinary outburst from every corner of the auditorium. He smiled, wiped the sweat from his brow, raised his bow to quiet the audience – not boastfully, but in a quiet, reverent way – and said, “You know, sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can still make with what you have.”
Such an interesting and provocative comment.
The writer of this article added: ”What a powerful line that is.” And then went on to say, “Perhaps that is the way of life – not just for an artist, but also for all of us to find out how much music we can play with what we have left…”
What Morning Light Nurses had to share…
Phyllis Weil, South Carolina
In my work for Morning Light, I serve as a Visiting Christian Science nurse for Savannah and the Low Country. Morning Light also supports the Hilton Head Church’s Christian Science service at Parris Island’s Marine Recruiting Depot. I am honored and grateful to be able to participate in this ministry and introduce these young men and women to Christian Science. Many of the Recruits have had no religious background or study. They are attentive and ask thoughtful and intelligent questions about what they are learning. Here are some of the questions they ask:
- After reading the Bible Lesson today, it’s clear to me we’re supposed to be healers. How do we learn to do that?
- I was raised Catholic. Would you please explain the difference between Catholicism and Christian Science?
- I like the concept of God as Father-Mother. Are there any other religions that recognize that?
One Recruit was hospitalized and told the Chaplain to ask the Christian Science representatives to visit her. We had a wonderful visit and left her with Christian Science Literature and the Bible Lesson. She expressed such a devotion to her goal of becoming a Marine and such a positive thought on prayer and the support of Christian Science which she felt akin to her thought. The day after our visit, the Recruit received an early release from the hospital and returned to training at Parris Island.
Recruits have asked me to pray for them to handle the stress of training, homesickness and not receiving mail from their families. I have written letters of encouragement to them and, in return, received letters of gratitude thanking me for reaching out for them and to them. Christian Science nursing is an illustration of Mothering qualities, nurturing, looking after carefully, fostering and cherishing. These are the qualities that heal the sick, reform the sinner, and bind up the broken hearted.
Elizabeth O’Berry, Metro Atlanta
“To attend properly the birth of the new child, or divine idea, you should so detach mortal thought from its material conceptions, that the birth will be natural and safe.” (SH p. 463)
This spiritual truth, among others included in the Mother/Infant packet of citations, articles, and testimonies that we give new parents, provides good instruction and a firm foundation for all phases and needs during pregnancy, childbirth and care of the newborn. Our goal is to be as available, accessible, and helpful as possible and we hope that mothers will call on us at any time during the pregnancy or after the baby is born. We are happy to assist in countless ways! Here are two excerpts from letters written to Morning Light:
“I was so thankful for Christian Science nursing care when I had my baby last winter. The Christian Science nurse visited me daily in the hospital after the birth and brought such a wonderfully uplifting spiritual thought to an intensely medical environment. She was also able to graciously and patiently navigate amongst the medical nurses and my non-Christian Science husband. After we left the hospital, we were so fortunate to have a couple of weeks of overnight assistance with the baby at home. During those visits, I was able to get much needed rest and overcame the challenges with feeding that had arisen with my first child. We are immensely grateful for the Morning Light Mother/Infant program.”
“There is no way to truly thank Morning Light for the loving care [the nurse] has given our family over the past two weeks. The Christian Science nurse has made a profound impact on giving our baby a wonderful start to her experience here (since her true existence is eternal) through instructions, support and encouragement. I cannot imagine these past two weeks without this support, and I’m so humbly grateful that God would provide such a precious resource to our family.”
Of course, these instances were a huge blessing to the Christian Science nurse as well!
Karrell Dowling, Metro Atlanta
Let me tell you, in particular, about the Visiting Christian Science Nursing Service.
First of all, we love hearing from you and will gladly visit to talk with you, make recommendations for care, and give the assistance that is needed. Christian Science nurses respect your privacy and dignity, maintain a sense of order while working in your home, and listen for guidance from our heavenly Father-Mother-God to do and say the right things. We expect to be witnesses to the healing Christ in every situation. Our prayers are to see the perfect idea of God in everyone and let God reveal this through quick and whole healing.
Here are comments from a patient and her daughter about a Visiting Christian Science Nursing call: “One day last month, I had a serious problem and woke up after having a bad night of throwing up and feeling like I was ready to die. I finally called the Christian Science practitioner to ask for help. When my daughter called later, I said to her, ‘you will have to take me to Morning Light Lodge.’ She called the Christian Science nurse instead.
…..The CS nurses were so wonderful. One stayed overnight, and the next day I was eating a little and felt much better. The third day I was up, and the fourth day I even went to my exercise class. I’m so grateful to the CS nurses, to the CS practitioner and, of course, to God for His goodness in giving Mrs. Eddy this wonderful Science.”
(And from the daughter): “During the twenty-four hours the Christian Science nurses stayed with my mother, I never felt the need to pursue any treatment except Christian Science. The healing began taking place within the time the CS nurses were with my mother on the first day. On the third day my mother met the CS nurse at the door and they read the Bible Lesson together – the healing was evident. My mother and I are very grateful for this healing and the Christian Science nurses.”
So here we are – ready to meet your need for care and be a witness to your healing.
Meet Debbie Watford
The last thirty plus years have been filled with lots of Christian Science Nursing and mothering – which for me is pretty interchangeable. In 1987, I moved to Charlotte to be the visiting nurse for Carolina Haven, a service that included North and South Carolina. As the years unfolded and my children grew up, I did a variety of other types of Christian Science Nursing, including facility nursing, home care and having residents share my home. In the summer of 2016, I started helping Morning Light Foundation and, for 2017, was asked to join the staff. Morning Light has been such a blessing to me;; I love Christian Science Nursing and the collaborative work which Morning Light offers. I’m really excited to bring In-home Christian Science care back to North Carolina.
What is Morning Light all about?
Morning Light’s model is based on the vision that with a team of skilled Christian Science nurses, we can provide inspired, skilled CS nursing care to one patient at a time – either in the patient’s home, or in our home-like setting at the Lodge. We also function as a resource to those whom we may not be able to serve directly. There is always a right answer to meet each need, and we are available to assist with finding that answer.
Four Journal-listed Christian Science nurses are employed full-time – two in the Atlanta metro area, one in the Carolinas, and one in Savannah and the South Carolina Low Country. Morning Light offers several options for Christian Science nursing care:
- Visiting CS Nurse Services in metro Atlanta, Savannah/Low Country, and Charlotte, NC. All VCSN’s are on-call 24/7. Visits usually last one-two hours.
- In-Home Care for individuals for short periods of time. A Morning Light CS nurse may stay for several nights or up to a week.
- Morning Light Lodge in the metro Atlanta area is for those who need support away from their home. The Lodge is opened only when we are caring for a patient. One patient is admitted at a time, though there may be exceptions depending on the need.
- Mother/Infant Services include: 1) meeting with the parents and creating a birth plan; on-going consulting, sharing of metaphysical and practical ideas to prepare for baby’s arrival and comfort; 2) appropriate support during the birth in accord with local regulations and state law; and 3) continuing consulting just afterwards for mom (and dad), to assist with learning to care for the newborn.
Morning Light Finances
Once again, we rejoice at this proof of Divine Love meeting every human need.
No one is ever turned away based on their inability to pay.
Discovery Bound Clean-Up Day at Morning Light Lodge
Saturday, March 26th 2017 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Discovery Bound families and friends will gather for an afternoon of beautifying the grounds at Morning Light Lodge. This has become an annual opportunity for meeting our Christian Science nurses, sharing tasty snacks and having a fun time together.
2017 Annual Meeting – Save the Date!
We’re pleased to announce that Andrea Jenks McCormick will be our speaker for the Morning Light Annual Meeting in October. Mark your calendars and plan to join us!
Morning Light Christian Science Nurses – Coming to a Church Near You!
Throughout the year – 2017
In 2017, Morning Light CS Nurses plan to make 155 outreach visits to 56 churches and societies in Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama and Tennessee. We can’t wait to see you!