We are walking through all kinds of changes impacting our communities in these days. One part of our local communities that could receive special care and ministry these days are our local skilled nursing facilities and retirement communities.
Here are a few ways your church could help:
- PRAYER: Pray for our residents. Many of them are in situations with ever-changing restrictions, with visitors banned and group activities extremely limited. Pray for encouragement. Pray for all of our workers in senior care facilities — that God would strengthen, encourage, and use them to be a blessing to others. Pray that chaplains and Christian workers would be able to share the love of Jesus with co-workers and residents. Pray for Lutheran, Tanglewood Manor, Magnolia (Frewsburg Rest Home), Absolut Care, Heritage Ministries, Chautauqua Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and many other facilities in our region.
- CARDS AND PHONE CALLS: If your church has a connection to someone in a nursing facility, call them. Check in on them. A “thinking of you” phone call goes a long way. Also, letters are a phenomenal source of encouragement. Perhaps your church could “sponsor a local facility.” Church members could write encouragement notes, even sharing about themselves and their family, like a pen pal introductory letter. These would be a welcome respite for many residents. A church could call the front desk or activities office at most facilities and make these connections.
- CHILDCARE: Many staff members in senior care also have to navigate school closings and determine how they will balance work and childcare. If people in your church have friends, neighbors, or family members who work in senior care/nursing, pleaseconsider how you might provide some childcare to them, if you are able to do so safely and responsibly. This is a ministry that multiplies in its impact. In providing childcare, you are allowing someone to have the time to continue to work and serve our seniors.
If you’d like to discuss these ideas further, need a starting point, or have other suggestions, please contact me. I look forward to how we can pray and serve together.
Senior Chaplain, Heritage Ministries