Blessed to Be a Blessing

June 11, 2012

By Dr. John C. Van Nuys

Journal Review

June 9-10,2012

On Thursday our community made a giant step forward in faith when the ribbon was cut on the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic, which will soon begin operating a free medical and dental clinic at 816 South Mill Street in Crawfordsville.

The Free Clinic is the latest incarnation and mission of the Christian Nursing Service to make sure that all receive the care they need. Following Thursday’s ribbon cutting, the Free Clinic began its capital campaign to fund three major objectives: First, to remodel the Mill Street location from a bank branch office to a medical clinic; secondly, to raise the funds needed for the first years of operation; and thirdly, to establish an endowment to ensure the ongoing funding of the clinic.

While major donors are doing what only they can do, you and I need to do what only we can do, which is to give generously and sacrificially to ensure that the Free Clinic is established.

The spiritual writer Frederick Beuchner defines the Biblical term sacrifice as giving up something important for someone more important. I have also read that a leading indicator of spiritual maturity is a willingness to be inconvenienced for the Gospel.

Most of the miracles performed by Jesus involved acts of healing. I can think of no better way to follow Jesus than by helping him continue to heal folks today who are hurting and unable to afford the care they need. To that end, I encourage you to give generously and sacrificially to help the Free Clinic dream become a reality.

If your church does not have room in its budget to make a gift, host a pitch-in supper with a free will offering to go to the Clinic. Instead of a big office Christmas party this year, how about planning now to host a more modest one with the difference going to the Clinic? There are many creative ways to find opportunities to give.

I encourage your congregation, business, organization, and family to find a way to bless the Free Clinic. Talk to your pastor, manager, club president, or spouse about getting involved. To make a pledge or to donate, contact the Montgomery County Community Foundation, either online at, in person at 119 N. Main St., Crawfordsville, or by mail at P.O. Box 334, Crawfordsville, IN 47933. To learn more about the free clinic visit

I love the story of how a pastor once gave an appeal from the pulpit for mission giving only to be met after worship by an exasperated church member who complained: Give! Give! Give! That’s all I keep hearing around here!” To which the pastor replied, “Thank you. I have never heard a better definition of the Christian life than what you just said.”

Give a sacrificially generous gift to God through the Free Clinic. It will bring great joy to God, to our neighbors who are hurting, and to you.

Celebrating Beginnings… June 7, 2012

June 8, 2012

Residents of Montgomery County and the Board of Montgomery County Free Clinic, Inc. gathered at 816 Mill Street to celebrate (1) beginning the campaign to raise funds for The Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic and the Montgomery County Free Clinic Endowment; (2) beginning the transition of 816 Mill Street to the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic; and (3) beginning the next chapter of Christian Nursing Service. Dr. Mary Ludwig shared her thoughts at this celebration:

The Journal Review also published a front page story about the Celebration: Free Clinic One Step Closer.

See picture album of the event by clicking HERE.

Free Clinic is a Matthew 25 Solution

June 4, 2012

Journal-Review, May 30, 2012
Pastor Gary Lewis, First United Methodist Church, Crawfordsville, IN

For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in. I needed clothes and you clothed me. I was sick and you looked after me ….

I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:36, 40)

On Thursday, June 7, at 2 p.m., the board of directors of the Montgomery County Free Clinic Inc. will be hosting a Celebration of Beginnings as the Christian Nursing Service (CNS) moves to a new future with the Dr. Mary Ludwig Free Clinic. The clinic will offer basic medical and dental care to the uninsured of Montgomery County.

I have had the pleasure of being a small part of this effort. The clinic will be located right across the street from the Big Dipper and nearby Milligan Park. The Big Dipper brings back many memories for me.

When I was a youngster, my Aunt Alma lived on Elmore Street. Every Fourth of July we would set up our chairs in her tiny front yard to enjoy the fireworks display. Throughout the summer months, it seemed, I would enjoy baseball in the park and look forward to our visits to the Big Dipper. I wish I could share the news of this development in her neighborhood. She would have been happy to hear about it.

The bad news is that we have many people in Montgomery County who do not get the health care they need. Many of them have jobs but lack the means to purchase health insurance. The rising cost of health care even makes matters worse.

It is truly a Matthew 25 solution to a major community need. Through a collaborative effort between physicians, nurses, dentists, the local hospital, the county health department, the school system and others, a not-for-profit organization was established. A nurse practitioner and a nurse manager will be employed. All of the physicians, dentists and other health care professionals will be volunteers.

Hopefully, those who have volunteered for the CNS clinic will continue their service as greeters, receptionists and assistants in the new clinic. Up to 5,000 persons in our community lack health insurance and the clinic will also take the pressure off of the hospital emergency room. The goal is to have every willing resident to be identified with a physician.

If the community support continues, the clinic will be located at 816 South Mill Street, Crawfordsville, a few doors down from the Milligan Memorial Presbyterian Church where the Christian Nursing Service (CNS) has been housed since 1968. The clinic will be named in honor of Ludwig, a pediatrician who spearheaded the Well Baby Clinic of CNS.

The clinic will also serve as an immunization center for children of Montgomery County, an education center toVolunteer nurse seeing a patient at Christian Nursing Service improve the health of all residents and the administrative hub for Christian Nursing Service’s popular Meals on Wheels ministry.

Much remains to be accomplished, but the evidence so far indicates wide community support for this important effort. As a member of the board, I was thrilled to hear the news that North Central Health Services of Lafayette (NCHS) has partnered with us. We need to raise $300,000 to obtain $900,000 from NCHS.

The resulting $1.2 million will be used to transform the MainSource bank on Mill Street into the free clinic. In addition, we will need to raise $175,000 each year to operate the facility and $1 million for an endowment fund to help support the ongoing costs of the clinic.

I believe Montgomery County is a caring community and we fill find folks willing to donate in this important effort. If you can join us on June 7 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony, please do so.