When she retired to her home town in Dallas, Oregon, 10 years ago, Julia Quiring Emblen discovered that many of the former leading members of the church she had attended were now homebound or in care homes. She also discovered that many of them were isolated, largely cut off from their church, and had few visitors.
Julia decided to do something about the situation. She launched a visitation ministry, gathering together church members who would agree to visit the lonely. The visitors met weekly for training, and eventually Julia put together a training manual. The ministry grew, and so did the training manual, until it had become a book.
It has been my privilege to assist with making this manual available to a wider audience through the Mill Lake Books imprint I established a couple of years ago. It was published in December 2014 under the title Visiting Mrs. Morgan: A Handbook for Visiting Aging, Homebound and Hospitalized People.
Given our aging population and government funding cuts to professional chaplaincy programs, the need for volunteer visitors is increasing rapidly. That makes this is a very timely and useful book. It is an essential guide for chaplains, pastors, elders, deacons, parish nurses, church members, family members—and anyone else who might have occasion to visit someone who is aging, homebound, or in a hospital. The book can be used as a handbook for a 10-week group discussion by members of a visitation ministry. Or any individual can read this book at his/her own pace.
The nine chapters creatively address common circumstances visitors are likely to encounter. They offer practical suggestions for what visitors can talk about and simple activities the visitor and the person being visited can do together. The goal of each chapter is to help the visitor make the interaction memorable, providing encouragement to the person being visited.
Julia Quiring Emblen is eminently qualified to write this book. She has a BSN from Oregon Health Sciences and a Masters in Nursing and a PhD in Education from the University of Washington. In addition to extensive nursing experience, she has taught clinical nursing courses and helped establish BSN programs at Bethel College in Newton, Kansas, and Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia.
Visiting Mrs. Morgan is printed and distributed by Lightning Source/Ingram, so it is readily available via bookstores and internet retailers.