A Shared Mission of Healing


Volunteers from a congregation can extend compassionate care beyond the walls of the medical center and agencies. Each FaithHealth role offers a strengths-based approach and serves as a bridge between people and resources for health. The roles typically involve some combination of caregiving and capacity building.

8 Strengths of Congregations



Videos by Gary Gunderson

From the book Deeply Woven Roots


The Activated Congregation

5 levels of engagement

Faith leaders can consider how their congregation might be organized to live into this more integrated, whole, seamlessly-woven human fabric that includes the hospital and public health.


Strengthen Community Structures



Connects to local public health and social services, both governmental and private.


Might have recognition day for its members who work in these settings.


May attend public meetings to offer words of support.


May have education days and materials to help people enroll in programs such as Medicaid, the exchange, financial help from hospitals, etc.


Own the Healing Story


Claims the work as their own by telling their story in which they are their own heroes.


Not somebody else’s story (the hospital) but their own strengths, capacity, structures.



The hospital (and others) play enabling and supporting roles, sometimes quite important.

Secretary, youth director, choir leader, assistant women’s prayer group leader and others find key roles—along with members with medical training whether employed or retired.


Build Capacity


The clergy or care team trains, learns and adds capacity.


For example: Clinical Pastoral Education, Center for Congregational Health, Community Nursing, Area Health Education Centers, etc.

Key: this is congregational capacity, not just individual credentialing.

Best if congregation and hospital somehow jointly honor this.


Share & Care


A complete cycle of care for at least one person jointly cared for by the hospital and congregation.


Care goes beyond members to include neighbors.

Currently about 500 congregations at this level.




Congregation makes itself known. Hospital has contact information for clergy or care team partners with some acknowledged roles. This could be developed around free parking.