Posted 27 March 2016
Church staff often visit in hospitals and nursing homes, leading devotions, conducting acts of worship and taking action in terms of social welfare.
However, according to Terje M. Lund, senior advisor to the diaconate at Tunsberg diocesan office, many people want closer contact between health workers and church workers. It’s part of the reason that the booklet Tro og håp (Faith and Hope) has been published.
Mr Lund is the founder and main person responsible for bringing together the resource booklet for health care workers and patients’ families. It contains hymns, short prayers and other texts.
He said: “Many people will benefit from someone helping them to read or sing a familiar song or hymn, read a familiar Bible verse about faith and hope, or read a prayer and blessing. For employees in the healthcare sector this booklet can be a tangible helping hand in the daily care of patients.”
Mr Lund said the booklet had come about through collaboration between the diocesan office in Tonsberg, employees of municipal health authorities and congregations of the Norwegian Church.
He added: “The resource booklet is a response to the circular from the Ministry of Health and Care (1st December 2009) on ‘The right to one’s own religion and belief practice’, in collaboration between health and care services in the municipalities and religious communities.
“Whoever receives health services also has the right to practise their faith or beliefs – alone or in community with others.”
The first edition of Tro og håp has had a print run of 14,000 copies, with one copy having been distributed to every department in nursing homes, residential and treatment centres and hospitals.
Distribution is organised by diocesan offices across the country, through deans, priests and deacons. [Church of Norway news]