God’s vineyard (the Church) is vast and beautiful. It covers the earth, bearing fruit through God’s people for the healing of the world. One corner of His vineyard, however, is sometimes invisible and often forgotten. It’s made up of countless elderly souls who are no longer seen when their churches gather on Sunday morning. I’m speaking of those who are in their later years, who are no longer able to live independently in their own homes and are now residing in nursing facilities.
Through Lutheran Senior Care Ministries our church is actively involved in bringing God’s love to those who are dear to God in 30 nursing facilities in Allen County. LSCM has a team of chaplains who visit in these facilities and conduct weekly services so that residents can experience what we sometimes take for granted–namely, a chance to “go to church”.
Some may ask, “Isn’t it the responsibility of every pastor to visit his/her members in the nursing home?” My answer to that is, “absolutely.” Our members in nursing homes cherish their pastor’s visits and look forward to receiving the Sacrament. But there’s something else about the church experience that people also miss–that is the fellowship of the saints. What’s more, it’s surprising how many residents in elder care facilities do not have a church or a pastor to look after them. LSCM chaplains are often called upon to baptize a person or conduct a funeral for someone who somehow got “lost” or “missed” by the church in earlier years. These souls are precious, and they make up a county-wide congregation of over 500 worshippers each and every week.
As we did last year, Church Council has decided to dedicate our Lenten envelope offerings to Lutheran Senior Care Ministries. Based on our membership, our goal for supporting LSCM in 2019 will be $544. Please help as you are able by using the Lent envelopes in your box of envelopes or in the pew card holders.
Joy and peace and blessings to you all!