Blessing of the Hands
Bridging the Gap between Physical and Spiritual WellnessPublished: Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Lutheran SeniorLife was thrilled to support Trinity Lutheran Church of Butler in the church’s outreach to the employees of Butler Memorial Hospital during the hospital’s Health Care Employees Week celebration in May.
The outreach activity was a “Blessing of the Hands” ceremony, where hospital employees could have their hands blessed and anointed with oil. The health team at Trinity discovered the idea at the annual Anointing & Appreciation event held by the Southwestern Pennsylvania Lutheran Synod and Lutheran SeniorLife.
After discussing the concept with Health & Wellness Ministry Coordinator Patty Davidson, Pastor Joel Benson of Trinity shared the idea with Cheryl Ramsey, hospitality services manager for Butler Health System.
Ms. Ramsey and other coordinators of the hospital’s celebration were excited to have the church offer this activity to employees. “We appreciated this opportunity for our staff to reflect on the importance of finding balance between their caring hands and hearts and the science of healthcare,” Ms. Ramsey stated.
While the hospital’s administrative team focused on publicizing the opportunity to staff, Trinity’s health team worked with Patty Davidson to coordinate logistical matters, including creating an appropriate atmosphere for the service.
Eight members of Trinity’s health team volunteered for a combined 12 hours, to allow anyone from any shift to receive the blessing. A total of 60 hospital employees took advantage of the opportunity.
There is already talk of returning for next year’s celebration at the hospital. Ms. Ramsey noted,
“I heard from several people in my department on how much the prayer touched them.”
After receiving the blessing, hospital employees were offered a handout with additional prayers and blessings, as well as “prayer pockets” made by Trinity’s prayer shawl ministry.