Easter Program at Nursing Home

He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, Luke 24:6

Awesome is the best word I could use to describe the Easter program this year at Allied Nursing Home. Every one of our young people gave it their best. The residents were deeply moved and there were plenty of tears mixed in with their smiles. I am thankful for the small but dedicated staff who transported 30 people or so down to the dining room and then back up to the various floors. But this post is not about how we did; as much as it is an encouragement to you that nursing home outreach is both a blessing and is very do-able in your own community.

For those of you thinking about beginning or extending a nursing home outreach here are three thoughts – Planning – Prayer -Preparation

Planning is easy to do but is most often overlooked. Maybe the importance of planning in ministry is under estimated because it just doesn’t seem very spiritual. But looking ahead at your calendar, asking people in advance if they would be willing to help and checking what resources your group will give you a clear outline of the challenges ahead.

I confess that Prayer is something I often forget. Oh yes I do pray at home but I am ashamed of how often I rush in with my plans and personal energy forgetting that only prayer binds us together with God and one another. This year I started off the same way but as our first practice time began chaotically I realized how desperately we needed to pray. If we wanted to be able to share the Easter message of Hope in a way that would touch people’s hearts only God could make that happen. No amount of planning substitutes for the blessing of God. When we linked hands in prayer as an expression of our dependence on Jesus Christ He stepped into our circle and began bringing all the pieces together for His glory.

We can plan and even pray but without preparation we will not be doing our part of what God has for us to do. Preparation is just another word for commitment. Preparation is commitment played out over a period of time. We prepared for seven weeks for our 25 minute program. Sometimes only half of our people showed up. I had to learn to be more flexible with and ask what the youth thought about the various parts of our program. But through it all everything, our young people stuck with it, pulled together and did their best. When the night came for telling again the story of Easter they were ready. The song we opened with talks about the story of Mary anointing the feet of Jesus. It is just 7 days vefore the cross and Jesus tells the crowd it is in preparation for his burial. As the nursing home residents expectantly filled up the dining room that night those opening words perfectly mirrored my own feeling.

“As the people filled the hall Mary trembled at the door

Holding tight the fragile jar that held her treasure store”

We were holding our treasure store of the love of Jesus Christ in the fragile jars of our lives hoping to have the chance to once again pour it out on His feet. I would invite you to be ready to pour out your own treasure stores of God’s love in nursing homes in your own city or small town. The opportunity that lies outside of our church doors is to reach the weakest and most vulnerable of our communities with the love of Jesus Christ. For more information about nursing home ministry you can view any of the 20 or more videos on my Youtube channel – PastorPete51 – or contact me directly by email @ revpete51@gmail,com God bless you as we work together to reach the Least of these!

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did itto one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40

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Devotions for Care Givers

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

This week the head of the volunteer network at our facility said that everything she learned about life she learned from her brother who had been born with Down’s Syndrome. We usually think of people like her brother as the care receivers and we the givers. But in God’s economy we find that often people like her brother are the greatest givers. I also have discovered as a chaplain at a long term care that I have become a member of a community. This community is not based on racial or economic characteristics but on our shared experiences. Our days are not only measured by hours nor is our calendar neatly divided into seasons. One phone call, a doctor’s diagnoses or a night of pain can change what we are facing today. I wrote Reflections of Hope to be a healing balm to help strengthen our faith as we together struggle to love and serve. Our souls sometimes limp through the valley of death but our greatest hope is that He walks with us!

If you are either a care giver or receiver you may find this small book to be a help. The softcover is available now and the E-book releases on the 7th. I have it set up for free lending and for those who purchase the soft cover the E-book will be free. Thank you for following this blog. I will continue to share the highs and lows with you of our community and it is my prayer that together we could learn when to give and when to receive. We know that what ever end of the equation we are on today, everything we have comes from the Lord Jesus!

Reflections of Hope

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The Old Rugged Cross

This live recording was done during our church service this past Wednesday at Allied Nursing home. The Old Rugged Cross is being sung by special request from a lady whose Mom had recently passed away at our facility. Because of Hipaa rules we couldn’t show the faces of any of the residents but you can hear them as they sometimes they join in the singing.

If you are doing music ministry at a nursing home I would encourage you to make eye contact and be as close as you can to your people. The purpose of our music is not so much to entertain as to draw out people into joining in worship with hymns such as The Old Rugged Cross. For more information on nursing home ministry please feel free to contact me by e-mail at revpete51@gmail.com. There are many training and inspirational videos available at the Youtube channel Pastorpete51 and some books and training manuals for a minimal cost on Amazon. Have a blessed week and thank you for taking time out of your day to listen!

 

The Power to Change the World

For anyone who is struggling with the frustrating sense of uselessness let me tell you about my good friend Ann. Ann* (not her real name) passed away just before Valentine’s day. For the last three years she came almost every week to our church service in the respiratory unit at the nursing home. Because of her trach it was hard to understand much of what Ann said. But Ann has changed the world. Her consistent faithful presence was noticed by her daughter who also began coming many Wednesday afternoons.

Continue reading “The Power to Change the World”