Parish Health’s Mission:

 Opening doors to Christ by promoting the Spiritual, Physical and Mental Health of all members of First Lutheran Church and our Community.  


August is National Immunization Awareness Month

Some people call them immunizations. Others call them vaccinations or shots. Whatever you call them, immunizations are one of the best weapons we have against many serious diseases such as measles, pneumonia, and the flu, to name just a few. It’s important to know which shots you need and when to get them.

Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu vaccine every year. Many other shots work best when they are given at certain ages.

For More Information go to:   or

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month 

It seems there is a national observance month for everything!  And most of them are important and should be recognized!  This month we are asked to focus on childhood obesity and also eating more fruits and vegetables.

* CHILDHOOD OBESITY  One in 3 children in the United States are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity puts kids at risk for health problems that were once seen only in adults, like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.  Here are a few ideas for your family to make healthy choices together to prevent obesity.

*Get active outside: Walk around the neighborhood, go on a bike ride, or play basketball at the park.

*Limit screen time: Keep screen time (time spent on the computer, watching TV, or playing video games) to 2 hours or less a day.

*Make healthy meals: Buy and serve more vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods.

*Taking small steps as a family can help your child stay at a healthy weight.

Children are back to school!  Here are some ideas for healthy snacks:

Snacks don’t need to be unhealthy. There are plenty of options for healthy snacks that give your kids important nutrients and help control hunger between meals.

Try these healthy snack ideas.

* “Ants on a log” (celery with peanut butter and raisins)

* Fresh or canned fruit (canned in 100% juice, not syrup) with fat-free or low-fat yogurt

* Whole-grain crackers with low-fat cheese

* Vegetable “matchsticks” (thin sticks made from fresh carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers)

* Whole-wheat bread, rice cakes, or apple slices with peanut butter

* Quesadillas (low-fat cheese melted in a whole-wheat tortilla)

* Unsalted pretzels or air-popped popcorn

* Baked (not fried) tortilla chips and salsa

* Whole-wheat pita bread with hummus (dip made with chick peas)

* Keep fresh fruit in a place that’s easy to reach in the refrigerator or on the table. This will make it easier for kids to grab a healthy snack.

* Snack healthy on the go.

* Take unsalted nuts and unsweetened dried fruits, fresh vegetables, or fresh fruit in small reusable containers or baggies.

* Pack low-fat string cheese sticks.

* Set the rules.

Teach your kids to ask before they help themselves to snacks.  Eat snacks at the table or in the kitchen, not in front of the TV.  Serve snacks like pretzels or popcorn in a bowl. Don’t let kids snack directly out of the bag or box.  Drink water, milk (fat-free or low-fat), or 100% fruit juice instead of soda or fruit-flavored drinks.

Keep an eye on the “What’s Happening” link for upcoming events related to congregational health. The following is more information on some of our health ministries:

Blood Pressure Checks are done one Sunday every month in the church office by Denise, Parish Nurse.  See the “What’s Happening” link for dates.  

  • About 85 million Americans — one out of every three adults over age 20 — have high blood pressure. (Nearly one of out six don’t even know they have it.)
  • The best way to know if you have high blood pressure it is to have your blood pressure checked.
  • Your blood pressure numbers and what they mean
    117 over 76 millimeters of mercuryYour blood pressure is recorded as two numbers:

    • Systolic blood pressure (the upper number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls when the heart beats.
    • Diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) — indicates how much pressure your blood is exerting against your artery walls while the heart is resting between beats.

    Which number is more important?
    Typically, more attention is given to systolic blood pressure (the top number) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to the increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term build-up of plaque and an increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.

    However, elevated systolic or diastolic blood pressure alone may be used to make a diagnosis of high blood pressure. And, according to recent studies, the risk of death from ischemic heart disease and stroke doubles with every 20 mm Hg systolic or 10 mm Hg diastolic increase among people from age 40 to 89.

  • For more information on Blood Pressure and Heart Health visit the American Heart Association at:


Prayer Shawl Ministry

Prayer Shawls are made by members of First Lutheran Church as a gift of love to the recipient.  The shawl is meant to symbolize the love and embrace of God. Each shawl has been lovingly made and prayed over for someone going through a difficult time.  It is hoped that the use of the prayer shawl will bring comfort and blessing.

For more information on this ministry or if you are interested in making a prayer shawl please contact Denise at 847-5656 or email

Grief Support

The following two local agencies offer excellent grief support:

1. Hospice of the Red River Valley (HRRV). For more information and program schedules at HRRV call 800-237-4629.

2. David Donehower Funeral Home.  The Caring Cup support group at David Donehower meets every 2nd and last Wednesday of the each month.  For more information on The Caring Cup call 218-847-4147.

You can also contact Denise, Parish Nurse for any needs or more information regarding grief and loss at the church office.

Visitation Ministry

Are you interested in spending a little time each month easing someone’s loneliness, reading scripture with someone or just providing a listening ear?

For more information on this ministry please contact Denise at 847-5656 or email

Morning Out Program

Every Monday First Lutheran Church Library

   For People with Alzheimer’s or a Dementia related Disease

   For more information, call Lutheran Social Services @ 218-847-0629 or the church office @ 218-847-5656


PH-logo-1A licensed Registered Nurse who: Integrates faith and health practices by communicating and collaborating with other ministries in the church to meet the faith and health needs of the congregation.

Provides Health Education…

By supplying health information through a variety of resources

Becomes a personal health counselor…

When discussing health concerns with parishioners where they are living, recovering or in other settings

Is a referral agent…

Networking within the church and community to assist parishioners to gain access to appropriate resources and services

The Parish Health Ministry and Parish Nurse do not replace medical care, pastoral care, home health or community health nursing.  Direct care is not provided.  All concerns and information shared by members are held in confidence.

Personal Visits

  • Home
  • Phone
  • Hospital
  • Nursing Home

Blood Pressure Screening

Once each month(Check Newsletter for date)

Other times by parishioner request

Health Advocate

Assist with referrals

Provide spiritual support

Health Education

Instrumental in providing information on health topics. Forums on other topics of spiritual, emotional, and physical health offered on an occasional basis.

Visitation Ministry

Meeting spiritual needs of home bound members by being a listening presence with a heart of compassion.