Australian Faith Community Nurses Association Inc. (AFCNA) is the peak professional body for Faith Community Nurses (FCNs) in Australia, promoting and practising
♥ Faith in Action
♥ Hope in Expression
♥ Love in Motion
…through Faith Community Nursing.
We educate, develop, promote and support FCNs participating in the pastoral Health and Care Ministries (HCM) of Australia’s Christian faith communities.
We will continue to be the lead professional association in Australia to inspire, progress and promote the FCN role and HCM in this country and beyond.
We want to see pastoral health and care ministry within faith communities grow locally and internationally, to effect God’s plan of justice, compassion, hope, healing, transformation, health and salvation.
To achieve that vision and purpose the Australian Faith Community Nurses Association (AFCNA) provides:
- education, resources, professional standards and networking opportunities to support and equip FCNs for Christian pastoral health and care ministries;
- information, resources and education to Christian faith communities to enable them to commence nurture and sustain viable health and care ministries;
- promotion and publicity of the FCN role in the broader community;
- liaison with government, other entities, and professional organisations locally, nationally and internationally on behalf of AFCNA members to further AFCNA’s purposes.
The extended open hand symbolises the FCN who is ‘faith in action’ and ‘hope in expression’ - providing support, guidance, nurture, care and compassion, which is afforded to all people within and beyond the faith community; seeking to promote health and wellbeing, and empower the person in the process of being and becoming all God intended them to be.
The unfolding flower symbolises the FCN/ who is ‘love in motion’, providing the freedom for people to live an abundant life. Each person within the faith community is unfolding their God given potential, and journeying toward wholeness in and through Jesus Christ. The FCN is connected to, and in relation with the faith community, which is central to her/his nursing and/or health care.
The descending dove symbolises the Holy Spirit
The flower may also be interpreted as a descending dove symbolising the Holy Spirit’s empowerment of the FCN enabling her/him to react and respond to others with the love of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is central to the FCN’s life and professional practice and the faith community’s growth and vitality.
The outer circle represents God in whom we find our being and our belonging.
The shaded inner circle represents Jesus Christ who fills our lives with love and peace, joy and hope, who enables us to live abundantly - here and now, and in eternity when we die.
AFCNA membership is open to nurses and other people interested in health and care ministry. Pastors, priests, pastoral care workers, and other health professionals are welcome to join us.
AFCNA members are provided with:
- annual courses and/or conference opportunities
- consultancy re professional practice issues
- resources to fulfil the FCN role
- peer networking
- research consultation
- publicity brochures
- newsletters with health promotion information, 3 per year
- practice standards (under review)
- continuing education
- a resource manual (under review - contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org)
To join us
By supporting AFCNA through a subscription you are granted access to all of our resources as well as discount offers for conferences, on-line education and other events.
As a thank you for becoming a member you will receive an eBook The Faith Community Nurse role is an important function of church ministry
Full membership is only $30 AUD per year ($20 concession and students) which is tax deductible for nurses.
You can add a donation to your membership. AFCNA is a registered charity that is entirely staffed by volunteers, and our work is entirely funded from donations. Your gift enables us to grow and develop this ministry.
For a video about membership, and more information on costs and the advantages of joining a professional nursing organisation and to subscribe online click here
Connect with us
This how we began in Australia
Faith community nursing has its historical origins within the religious orders and deaconess movements of the early Christian church. The late Reverend Granger Westberg, Lutheran Pastor and strong advocate of holistic health care, reinvigorated this movement in the 1970s-80s by introducing parish nursing to the USA. Westberg realised that nurses had broad knowledge across the health disciplines, which provided the requisite professional linkages between the churches and the health care system that promoted care of the whole person.
The specialty of faith community nursing, formally commenced in Australia in February 1996, when a seminar to introduce the FCN role was held in Adelaide, South Australia. Five faith communities (1 Lutheran, 1 Anglican, 2 Roman Catholic parishes, and 1 ecumenical agency working with homeless youth) began a demonstration project later that year. AFCNA was formed in 1996 to support FCNs in their specialty nursing practice.
The first AFCNA quarterly newsletter was produced in May 1996. AFCNA was incorporated in May 1997 and held its first FCN preparation course in July 1997. Courses have been held most years since then in Australia and in New Zealand which has commenced its own association the ‘New Zealand Faith Community Nurses Association’ in 2000.
AFCNA is an ecumenical group and is not aligned to any specific denomination. It supports other denominational networks within Australia and seeks to work ecumenically with all Christian churches in a spirit of unity and cooperation.
Click here for a more detailed History of Faith Community Nursing in Australia
Click here for information on the international formation of parish nursing