New Testament Deaconess Phoebe : An Integral Part Of Faith

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Health and healing was an integral part of faith communities connecting all the way back to Biblical times. New Testament Deaconess Phoebe is noted for opening her home to the sick and needy in Romans 16. Pioneering in parish nursing is deeply rooted in the practice of the renowned Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), who advocated that healthcare must be holistic and practical. Florence Nightingale belief that God is the Creator of all things and that God and nature causes healing is what steered her crusade. (1) Throughout her work she is notable due to her compassion to the poor and diligence to patient care. (3) She is famous for her contribution during the Crimean War in 1854. With medical conditions deplorable and hygiene being neglected deadly inflection were rampant. Nightingale along with 38 volunteer nurses cleaned the hospital and reorganized patient care reducing wounded mortality rates from forty percent to two percent. (3)
The modern notion of parish nursing originated with Granger E. Westberg, who is viewed as a pioneer in the arena of health and healing in faith communities. Westberg, a Lutheran clergyman, shattered barriers in the areas of theology, clinical pastoral education and holistic healthcare. His work included him being a parish pastor, hospital chaplain, professor of practical theology and teacher of medical students. (4) Westberg held conferences discussing religion and health at the University of Chicago Medical and Divinity School which combined

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