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Spearfish UMC health care ministry cares for whole persons

By: Janelle Jones, Spearfish UMC


The Spearfish UMC health ministry offers blood pressure check stations as a way to help with health awareness of church members. Blood pressure and blood sugar is checked annually. Photos courtesy of Spearfish UMC.

Spearfish UMC has an active health ministry team with many activities. This ministry originally began when the church had a parish nurse, but as the parish nurse position was discontinued after a few years, a new ministry was born. This ministry is based on prayer including a monthly prayer card that specifically lifts the pastor and family and current church activities in prayer.

Prayer is promoted at the monthly communion prayer stations.  During communion people can request prayer for themselves, others, and offer prayers of Thanksgiving.  On Wednesdays there is an open prayer time where people in the church and the community are prayed for.

Health forums are held periodically including topics like arthritis, home safety, alternative treatment choices, SHINE, and addiction/treatment options. There is an annual diabetic screening including blood pressure screening.

Several years ago, this team started to provide caring meals. Many people donate money or offer to cook or deliver meals. Following surgery, funeral, or special needs, these meals are greatly appreciated. 


Joann Follette and Gertrude Thompson at a Spearfish Health Ministry blood sugar checkup station.

Print materials are provided to those who grieve for the following year. Recently, a book has been provided to anyone who has gotten a cancer diagnosis. In about 6 months, 10-12 persons have been comforted by this resource. Some are given to “friends of friends” beyond the church family.

This health ministry covers physical and emotional health resources and assistance, all based on prayer. Pastor Scott McKirdy praised this team for the way they serve the needs of the church and community and help him to be in ministry to all God's children. 

The Health Ministry Committee promotes a "healthy congregation, which includes spiritual, physical, and emotional health"  We also care for our community by the "emergency food bags" that are distributed, prayer, and grief follow-up to people outside our church.