Congregations may wish to honour healthcare workers during COVID-19 by celebrating the faith of this founder of modern nursing.

Black-and-white portrait photograph of Florence Nightingale at about age 40.
This photograph of Florence Nightingale (c. 1860) was taken by Henry Hering (1814–1893) and hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, London, England.
Credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons

May 12, 2020 marks 200 years since the birth of Florence Nightingale. It is well known that the “Lady with the Lamp” dramatically lowered the death rate of soldiers during the Crimean War, improved conditions for the sick in Victorian England’s workhouses, and pioneered modern nursing reforms. It is less well known that her dedication to nursing was her faithful response to God’s call to care for the sick.

United Church people have been asking how we can honour the ministry of healthcare workers, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities of faith may wish to use the newly created worship service On the Life and Faith of Florence Nightingale (available under Downloads, below and on the Vocations worship webpage) at any time during Nightingale’s bicentenary in 2020.

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