Early in my career I began some outreach to area faith communities with a purpose of serving area congregations by sharing the many resources Laureate Group has to offer, including the opportunity of expressing your faith in a senior living community. One of the special relationships I gained through this effort is Father Mike.
At the end of last year, he notified me that he was retiring. Fortunately for us he wanted to step up his volunteer efforts and agreed to minister in one of our memory care units on the North Shore. I recently asked him to share what he’s experienced in his new role and he sent me the following note on expressing your faith in a senior living community:
A Time to Connect
When I was asked to consider leading worship for the residents in your memory care, I considered it a challenge to be creative with an ‘inter-faith’ assemblage.
What surprised me was that often, the children of those being cared for in suites dropped by regularly to stay and pray with mom or dad. Since ours is an informal opportunity to pray, make connections and sing, all are welcome to join us, including staff who pray and sing along.
After leading worship for 43 years nearly every weekend and weekdays too. What is unique about our gathering is that, in the words of St. Paul, ‘now there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female…but all are one.’
Pause for Prayer
While there are many stripes of religious expression, in our setting our main focus is on cultivating and nurturing the faith of the assembled residents. These connections free us from who is right and what is not acceptable doctrine in our prayer time.
In this form of prayer, we lift up the needs of the families, staff and members of the community with petitions spoken or held deep within, usually concluding with the Lord’s Prayer.
I have found that familiar verse, prayers and songs are well received for, among us, there is joy, laughter, sincerity, many needs, and trust that in God’s hands such as we are, we are held in good stead.
Expressing Your Faith in a Senior Living Community
Finally, I believe caring for residents in any facility provides the opportunity to lead and prompt them to celebrate the faith that has sustained them all their years.”
What a gift this ministry has been to so many. I am confident there are many such experiences occurring throughout area senior communities, and am counting my blessings that I have had the pleasure of being privy to this one.
We never outgrow our need for faith, and the opportunity to express it. Find a Laureate Group senior community in your neighborhood to learn more.