Faith in Focus

Faith in Focus:

CorrespondentNovember 30, 2013 

Staff members at WakeMed gather for Tea for the Soul, which gives them a chance to escape the hospital’s hectic pace.


One of the most meaningful acts that Lil Galphin and the seven other members of the Spiritual Care team at WakeMed Hospital perform is helping new parents say both hello and goodbye to their baby who has passed away at the hospital. The team helps the parents take photos of their little one and even makes a plaster imprint of the baby’s foot for the parents to have something tangible of their child to keep forever.

“The parents can see how tiny their foot was and even the little wrinkles on their toes,” Galphin said. “I had a mom tell me that if her house was on fire that the first thing she would take to safety was the cast of her baby’s feet.”

The team works with patients and staff to help support them in their own personal beliefs in a way that is comforting and healing to them in a stressful and chaotic time. Galphin said that sometimes it is helping a person recite their favorite Bible verse, while for an agnostic person it might be talking about their family.

“We have a Catholic Bible and rosary beads for Catholic patients,” Galphin said. “Just this morning I was researching Buddhist end of life rituals so we can have statues, CDs and guided meditations available for our Buddhist patients.” The team holds a variety of worship services at the hospital, including an interfaith service, Catholic Mass, Muslim prayers and a Jewish Shabbat.

During a patient’s final days, the team keeps the room stocked with refreshments and tissues to let the family focus on the patient. “Listening and letting someone share stories at the end of their life is so important,” Galphin said. “We try to help with any reconciliations that are possible as well.” Each patient is given a memory quilt made by volunteers for people to write prayers or memories on the quilt. “The family can wrap their loved one in the quilt as they pass so that the person is helped with the memories,” Galphin said.

The team is also there to pray with a nurse who has lost a patient that they are close with or do the Healing Hands ritual, where water is poured over their hands to remind them of healing and comfort. Each quarter the team also holds Tea for the Soul for each unit to give the staff a break from the hectic hospital pace.

“We want to remind them that if you spend 10 minutes taking care of yourself that it will help you focus better on caring for others,” Galphin said. During the teas, the break room is filled with tea, coffee, snacks, relaxing music and mandalas to color. Staff can even be found fingerpainting and making figures out of clay during the tea.

“We try to take care of each person that walks through our hospital doors, whether they are a patient, family member or staff,” Galphin said. “We try to give compassionate care to everyone and make sure that our staff feels respected in everything that they do for others.”

Community Christmas Celebration

The 13th Annual Community Christmas Celebration will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, and Friday, Dec. 6, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Raleigh Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 5060 Six Forks Road, Raleigh. The event includes a display of more than 300 crèches (nativities) from around the world along with music from local schools and churches. In addition to traditional wooden crèches, the celebration also includes glass, metal, stone, shell, fiber and chocolate crèches. For more information, visit

Breakfast book club

Unity Church of Raleigh is having its Breakfast Book Club from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Dec. 7, at Dancing Moon Books & Gifts, 1840 Wake Forest Road, Raleigh. The book club will discuss “Christian Healing” by Charles Fillmore, which offers readers basic principles of healing. Books are $14.95 with a 10 percent discount for attendees, and a love offering will be collected. For more information, email or visit

Soapstone UMC Music of Christmas

The Soapstone United Methodist Church Music Ministry will be performing a celebration of Christmas music at 3 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 8, at the church, 12837 Norwood Road, Raleigh. Performers include the handbell choir, vocalists and instrumentalists. The concert is free. For more information, visit or call 919-846-2212.

Christmas at Christ Worship concert

The community is invited to the Christmas at Christ worship concert at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Christ Baptist Church, 400 Newton Road, Raleigh. The event includes performances by Christ Baptist Church Worship Choir, Worship Orchestra, and Adoration Student Choir. The event is free. For more information, visit or call 919-573-5454.

The Promise of Life concert

As part of the 2013-2014 Concert Series, the Music Ministry of St. Raphael Catholic Church in Raleigh will present The Promise of Light by Joel Raney at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec 8, at the church, 5801 Falls of Neuse Road. Familiar carols and inspiring original music will be paired with scripture readings to tell the Christmas story. The concert is free, but donations will be accepted to help cover costs and to support the future of the Concert Series. A reception will follow the concert. For more information contact Brad Croushorn, Director of Music Ministry and Organist, at 919-865-5716 or

Do you have some faith news to share? Sent it to correspondent Jennifer Gregory at For events, please give two to three weeks of notice.

North Raleigh News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service