Field Report: Signs that Parish Life is Developing at Southbrook Care Center in Springfield
by Chris Herman
This encouraging report is from Bradley Winsler after a Sunday service a few weeks ago. Bradley is a Parish Lay Reader, who has been a key leader and man on the ground (along with James Chasteen and Tammie Winsler) at Southbrook Care Center in Springfield, Ohio:
I was really touched yesterday. Anna, probably our oldest resident, was taken back to her room by James (I normally take her back and anoint her). So I went back to visit her and pray with her. When she saw me she lit up and said, “I thought you weren’t here and I thought ‘Where is my pastor?'” I had never been considered a pastor by a resident…”
Research, including my Master’s work, indicates that in the unique culture found in the nursing home environment, a relationship with a specific pastor is considered by 87% of residents to be either important or highly important components of parish life. Our ministry strategy includes having a leader dedicated to each specific congregation and so even though we have mission efforts ongoing in multiple facilities, we have one person in each who serves as the day-to-day “champion” for each specific site. I oversee all of these leaders and I report to our Bishops and our Board, and of course, we all answer to Christ.
That Anna was happy to see Bradley, a pastoral figure in the facility, may be an indication of progress toward our goal of robust and holistic parish life. Also, of course, it is great that Anna feels loved!
For the widows,
December 15, 2017
August 31, 2016
August 24, 2016