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Spring 2016



There is no city that does not dream 
from its foundations. The lost lake
crumbling in the hands of the brickmakers,
the floor of the ravine where light lies broken
with the memory of rivers. All the winters
stored in that geologic
garden. Dinosaurs sleep in the subway
at Bloor and Shaw, a bed of bones
under the rumbling track. The storm
that lit the city with the voltage
of spring, when we were eighteen
on the clean earth. The ferry ride in the rain,
wind wet with wedding music and everything that
sings in the carbon of stone and bone
like a page of love, wind-lost from a hand, unread.

From Poems (Knopf Doubleday (c) 2000)

There is No City that Does Not Dream | Anne Michaels, Poet Laureate, Toronto, 2015-2018

Dear Friends,

Spring is upon us.
This year's spiritual retreat was different. Instead of being restricted to parish nurses only, as in times past, we opened registration to all those interested in the Health and Healing ministry.

The theme of the retreat was Vital Connection: Increasing our Vital Connection with God.

We were at the Salvation Army Jackson's Point Conference Centre on beautiful Lake Simcoe. Although early March, the weather cooperated and we enjoyed every single moment. Our joy was tinged with sorrow, however, because one of our parish nurses, Marlene Ronson, RN, Parish Nurse died shortly before the retreat. (Continue reading this newsletter for Marlene's obituary and picture.) Her death reminded us of our own mortality. Yet the opportunity to celebrate her life together allowed us to bond with each other. We remembered that life is precious and that God is here with us, right now.  Moments of rest were interspersed by a book study led by Luba Rascheff, MDiv, ICHM staff member, and worship was conducted by Janis Constable, RN, Parish Nurse. Benjamin Williams, PhD., Psychologist from Southdown led us in a mindfulness exercise. (Continue reading this newsletter for more about our retreat.)

Joanne Jasper delivered her Christmas Message and Message in her capacity as President of the Parish Nursing Interest Group (PNIG).

Last but not least, we incorporated the Featured Parish Nurse of the Month. Our Featured Nurses for February, March, April and May were: Carole Beam, RN, Parish Nurse and ICHM Board member; Carol Rose-Kudelka, RN, Parish Nurse and ICHM Board member; Nancy Gordon, RN, Parish Nurse; and Janis Constable, RN, Parish Nurse.
Many blessings as we move forward toward success in our Health and Healing Ministry,

Submitted by Luba Rascheff, ICHM staff

Max, the tall, white-haired gentleman who greeted us upon arrival at the Salvation Army Jackson's Point Conference Centre asked, "Would you like me to build a fire for you?"  His words filled my heart with joy and I gratefully accepted.

Warm, bright flames and the sound of crackling logs warmed our bodies and spirits as we sat in the softly-lit lounge and introduced ourselves. It was already dark outside and the expansive field of snow behind the centre glistened in a multitude of sparkling "stars."

It seemed as though our three days at Jackson's Point went by almost too quickly. We laughed, cried and shared with one another.

A Life Remembered
One of the most memorable moments was a memorial service we held for Marlene Ronson, RN, Parish Nurse and member of the Calvary Baptist Church, who passed away shortly before the retreat. Marlene, who never missed a single retreat, was planning on coming to this year's retreat. Each person read a scripture selected by Janis Constable, RN, Parish Nurse and Worship Leader. We held the service at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, the exact time that Marlene's funeral was taking place in Toronto.

Vital Connection
Our theme this year was Vital Connection. I led us in a discussion of Brian D. McLaren's book, Naked Spirituality: A Life with God in 12 Simple Words. We covered key concepts that contributed to strengthening our connection to God. We explored the author's idea that spirituality is "seasonal" and that as we "cycle through" seasons of spirituality, we mature and grow closer to an understanding of God that becomes more "naked" or, "authentic."

Continue reading this article here.
Joanne Jasper welcomes us to the 2016 Retreat. | Photography credit: Luba Rascheff
Frost on trees on the grounds of the Salvation Army Jackson's Point Conference Centre. | Photography credit: Carole Beam
Luba Rascheff, MDiv, in green jacket, leading book study. Janis Constable, RN, Parish Nurse and Worship Leader, is on Luba's left. | Photography credit: Nancy Gordon
Severe allergic reactions (e.g. anaphylactic reaction) occur when the body's immune system strongly reacts to a particular allergenic protein or irritant. These reactions may be caused by food, insect stings and medications.
Representatives from Health Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), allergy associations and the medical community have identified ten substances most frequently associated with food allergies and allergic-type reactions. These substances are often referred to as the ten priority food allergens and include eggs, milk, mustard, peanuts, seafood (including fish, crustaceans and shellfish), sulphites, sesame, soy, tree nuts, and wheat and other cereal grains containing gluten.

Information for Consumers

Health Canada and the CFIA work together to provide information to consumers and the food industry, and have created a series of pamphlets with information on each of the priority food allergens:
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Mustard
  • Peanuts
  • Seafood (Fish, Crustaceans and Shellfish)
  • Sesame
  • Soy
  • Sulphites
  • Tree Nuts
  • Wheat
Other information on severe allergic reactions can be found on the Health Canada website in an It's Your Health bulletin.
When the CFIA becomes aware of a potential serious hazard associated with a food, such as undeclared allergens, the food product is recalled from the marketplace and a public warning is issued. Allergy alerts are posted on the CFIA website.

In This Topic

Allergen Labelling

On February 16th, 2011 Health Canada Published Amendments to the Food Allergen Labelling Regulations in Canada Gazette, Part II (CGII)
Canada's new food allergen labelling regulations came into force on August 04, 2012
The Food and Drug Regulations require that most pre-packaged foods carry a label and that their ingredients appear in a list in decreasing order of proportion. However, some ingredients used in food products which were previously exempt from declaration in the list of ingredients, (e.g., components of margarine, seasoning and flour) will now be required to appear on food labels also.
Health Canada has worked with the medical community, consumer associations, and the food industry to enhance labelling requirements for priority allergens, gluten sources and sulphite in pre-packaged foods sold in Canada. Proposed new regulations will strengthen labelling requirements by requiring that the most common food and food ingredients which can cause life-threatening or severe allergic reactions are always identified by their common names so that consumers can easily recognize them on food labels.
Health Canada published its proposed regulatory amendments in Canada Gazette, Part I, on July 26, 2008 to allow for public comment. Health Canada took into consideration all comments received until November 28, 2008 before bringing the final regulations forward and publishing them in the Canada Gazette, Part II. For more details on Canada's new food allergen labelling regulations, and other information on food allergen labelling, please see Health Canada's Allergen Labelling webpage.

Allergen Research

Laboratory methods are required to detect undeclared allergens in food. In the early 1990's, Health Canada began a pioneering method development program, which resulted in methods for the detection of peanut, soy, milk, egg, hazelnut, Brazil nut and crustacean tropomyosins. These methods were transferred to CFIA laboratories for use in their compliance program with regards to the presence of undeclared allergens in foods.
Follow this link for more information on the research being conducted by Health Canada's Food Allergen Program.
Join Health Canada's Food Allergies e-Notice, a free service to stay on top of issued advice as well as regulatory and scientific developments in the area of food allergens and intolerances in Canada.
For more information on food allergies, you may contact one of the following groups:
Some of these hyperlinks provide access to Web sites of organizations not subject to the Next link will take you to another Web site Official Languages Act. The information found there is therefore in the language of the site.

This article was provided by Maryanne Atkins who accessed it here. | Image credit: www[dot]therootofhealth[dot]com


Save the date:  The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Canadian Association for Parish Nursing Ministry (CAPNM) 2016 will be held in Toronto, Ontario between June 2-5 at the University of St. Michael's College, University of Toronto. For details, click here.

Maryanne Atkins is Retiring

Maryanne Atkins
I have been with ICHM for just under four years, working in the office. I have been privileged to meet some truly dedicated, passionate people. The work done by Parish Nurses is inspiring. Generous donors continue to support the work of ICHM, therefore, they indirectly touch the lives of many.

On a personal note, I live in Aurora, have two, grown, married children and I am about to embark on my most exciting venture to date. My daughter is expecting our first grandchild. I am retiring at the end of May and I really look forward to seeing what comes next.

My husband and I have a trip planned in June to Ireland and Scotland and we are excited about that. I have joined the Seniors' Centre in Aurora, and I am already partaking in some of the physical activities. I understand the need to stay active and take care of my health. I love to walk and my fitness challenge is to meet my goal of 10,000 steps per day (I have a fitbit). I love to read and spend time with my kids and my close friends.

I will miss my ICHM Family and will remember my time here fondly.

InterChurch Health Ministries Canada is now a Charity Partner of ChangeIt®! This is a new way to give while making everyday purchases. ChangeIt lets you automatically round up your purchases and donate the difference to us!

For example, if you pay $2.82 for a large coffee using your BMO® and RBC® Credit Card or select Credit Union Debit Card*, $0.18 will be rounded up and given to InterChurch Health Ministries Canada .

At the end of each month, you will receive a donation notification directly to your inbox to let you know how much you contributed in the previous cycle. At the end of each year, you’ll also receive an Official Donation Receipt for Income Tax Purposes from InterChurch Health Ministries Canada for every penny you donate!

If you’re a BMO® and RBC® Credit Card or select Credit Union Debit Card* holder and would like to support InterChurch Health Ministries Canada through ChangeIt, here’s how you can get started:

  1. Sign up your BMO® and RBC® Credit Cards or select Credit Union Debit Cards* at
  2. Select InterChurch Health Ministries Canada and set your rounding limits
  3. Use your BMO® and RBC® Credit Cards or select Credit Union Debit Cards* and start making a difference

As a donor, you can track your donations online, control your rounding preferences and even set a monthly maximum. ChangeIt makes giving easy, and this small change can make a huge difference for promoting a Health & Healing Ministry in every congregation.

Help us spread the word about this incredible opportunity for others to support InterChurch Health Ministries Canada with every swipe of their BMO® and RBC® Credit Cards or select Credit Union Debit Cards*! Tell your friends, your family and your social networks – it all starts with a little change!

Thank you so much for your faithfulness,

Joanne Jasper
InterChurch Health Ministries

®All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders.

*A select group of Credit Union Debit Cards are also available for enrollment. To see the list please go to


Are you interested in connecting with other Parish Nurses, possibly from around the world? Joining online groups, sharing and learning? If you said yes, then the Westberg Faith Community Nursing Online Platform is for you. To express interest, send us an e-mail at with your name and e-mail address. You will then receive an invitation to join. It's that simple.
Submitted by Maryanne Atkins, ICHM staff

5 Questions to Ask about Your Medication

Patients are at high risk of fragmented care, adverse drug events, and medication errors during transitions of care. Ensuring safe medication transitions is complex. It requires patients to be an active partner in their health to ensure that they have the information they need to use their medications safely.

ISMP Canada, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Patients for Patient Safety Canada, the Canadian Pharmacists Association and the Canadian Society for Hospital Pharmacists have collaborated to develop a set of 5 questions to help patients and caregivers start a conversation about medications to improve communications with their health care provider.

It may be particularly helpful for patients to ask these questions at transitions of care. Examples include:
  • doctor's appointment (e.g., family physician or specialist, dentist)
  • interaction with a community pharmacist
  • discharge from hospital to home
  • visit by home care services
  1. CHANGES-Have any of your medications been added, stopped or changed, and why?
  2. CONTINUE-What medications do I need to continue, and why?
  3. PROPER USE-How do I take my medications and for how long?
  4. MONITOR-How will I know if my medication is working, and what side effects do I watch for?
  5. FOLLOW-UP-Do I need any tests and when do I book my next visit?
  • Keep your medication record up to date
  • Remember to include...
  • Drug allergies
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Herbal/natural products
  • All medications including non-prescription products


Submitted by Maryanne Atkins, ICHM Staff

RONSON, Marlene Sharon —

(Registered Nurse - Toronto General Hospital, Class of 1967)

Marlene Cowley, in her 71st year, beloved wife of Donald Edwin Ronson for 48 years. Loving mother of Shawn and Matt Ronson. Dear sister of Paul Cowley (Lorna) of Aylmer; Wendy Dunits (Roger) and Renee Peat (Mike) of Peterborough. Lovingly rememembered by her grandchildren Nate and Charolotte and her nephews.

A memorial service was held at CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH, 72 Main St., on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at 11:00 a.m., followed by a memorial reception. If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Grace Pascoe Care Centre Food Bank at Calvary Baptisit Church, 72 Main St., Toronto, ON M4E 2V7.
Marlene Ronson at the Toronto Central Parish Nurse Professional Practice Group Meeting (PNPPG) held at Windermere United Church on January 16, 2016. | Photography credit: Luba Rascheff, ICHM Staff

Save the date: Our Annual General Meeting (AGM) will be held on May 14th, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. - 12 noon at Peoples Church, Room E102,  374 Sheppard Ave East, North York, ON M2N 3B6. The theme will be about helping refugees at the grassroots level.


Also on May 14th, from 12 noon - 3 p.m. at Peoples Church, our Education Day guest speaker will be Thanh Campbell, "Orphan #32." This event includes lunch. For more details and to register, click here.

Morrocan Chicken with Apples
Submitted by Maryanne Atkins

Tender chicken pieces are lightly seasoned and quickly poached with apples in chicken broth. Don't peel the apples, the red skin provides colour and fibre. Serve with cooked rice or couscous and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. 
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
  • 4 skinless boneless Ontario Chicken Breasts (about 1 lb/500 g)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) cinnamon
  • Pinch each of salt and pepper
  • 2 Ontario Apples
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) cornstarch
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vegetable oil
  • 1 Ontario Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove Ontario Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) minced fresh gingerroot
  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) undiluted canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley
Trim excess fat from chicken breasts. Combine cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper; spread evenly on chicken breasts. Set aside. Core and slice apples into thin wedges; toss in lemon juice. Set aside. In small bowl, combine cornstarch and 2 tsp (10 mL) cold water; set aside.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger; stir-fry until onions are slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
Add chicken breasts; brown lightly on both sides. Pour broth over chicken and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, until chicken is almost cooked, about 4 minutes.
Add apples and lemon juice to chicken, cover and cook until apples are tender but not mushy and chicken is no longer pink inside, about 2 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove chicken and apples to warm plates.
Stir cornstarch mixture and stir into liquid in pan; cook over high heat until  
slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Pour over chicken. Sprinkle with parsley.
To prepare couscous for 4:
Bring 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) water or chicken broth to a boil. Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) instant couscous, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Nutrients per serving
  • Protein: 36.0 grams
  • Fat: 6.0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 56.0 grams
  • Calories: 422
Source: https://www[dot]
Image credit: http://forkfingerschopsticks[dot]com/apple-moroccan-chicken-apple-stew/

My Parish Nurse Journey with the Salvation Army Peterborough Temple
Submitted by Joanne Shadgett


I was blessed to be born into a Christian family and at an early age learned that "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." Philipians 4:13 (NIV) I was the second daughter of five children of Salvation Army Ministers. One sibling died in Jamaica where we lived while my parents were missionaries for five years. Two younger siblings spent the majority of their lives confined to wheelchairs.

My Parish Nursing Journey began in 2002 following ten years of Hospital Nursing and 22 years with the Victorian Order of Nurses (VON). In October 2002, I began the Parish Nurse Education course with ICHM Canada and over the years had the privilege of sharing with both the Oshawa and the Peterborough/Cobourg Professional Practice Groups. What a wonderful group of friends/colleagues who indeed became a great support over the years. Thus began my Parish Nurse Ministry that was a partnership between VON, three days a week, and Parish Nurse, two days a week. I was, for once, freely able to combine my Christian beliefs and Spiritual Care along with my Medical Care, truly uniting Body Mind and Spirit. I was able to provide care to not only our Congregation members but also to members of our Community Shelters as well as our Food Bank and Trustee Clients. Following my retirement from VON in 2009, I was able to continue as Parish Nurse for our Church and Community and Family Services Dept. The care that I was able to give to those in need during my 12 years as Parish Nurse truly was done to strive to fulfill the words of the Lord in Jeremiah 33:6, "I will bring health and healing." With mixed emotions, I officially retired in June, 2015.

In my Retirement, I am enjoying being able to travel more with my husband, Murray, and spending time with our 15 grandchildren and one great grandchild. We have Murray's eldest daughter in Alberta and my son, Joel, and daughter-in-law, Marissa, and our youngest granddaughter, Naomi Grace, in Nova Scotia.

My service to the Lord has continued as I co-ordinate the visitation that our volunteers provide to our sick and shut-in and many Nursing and Retirement Homes in Peterborough. I enjoy singing in our church choir and love scrapbooking and sewing for my newest granddaughter.
Joanne Shadgett

Joanne Shadgett

ICHM Canada is looking for leaders to chair various working committees for the overall advancement of our mission, vision and goals. If you feel that 2016 is your year to develop leadership skills within our growing organization, contact: For details, click here.
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44 Metcalfe Street, Aurora, Ontario L4G 1E6 | T: 416.209.6597 | E: info@ichm.caWebsite |  Facebook  | Twitter | LinkedIn

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InterChurch Health Ministries Canada · 44 Metcalfe Street · Aurora, On L4G 1E6 · Canada

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