Monthly Archives: August 2016

Right place at the right time

Sometimes God lets us see what He is doing in special ways.  Here’s a little glimpse of fruit springing forth from a new non-traditional parish beginning to form in a nursing home.  I hope it encourages you as much as it encourages us at St. Lazarus Mission. For almost three months our mission team has been working in Southbrook Care Center.  We are experiencing many things together for the first time there.  This past Sunday we experienced, together, for the first time, the death of a beloved parishioner.  At the beginning of our afternoon Communion Service, a man came in and announced that his mother had just passed away.  This resident, Beatrice, regularly attended, received Communion, and was a friend to many residents at the service.  Tears began to flow, Fr. Chris went with the grieving son to comfort him, and the service resumed.  At the conclusion of the service, we sang “Amazing Grace.”  And it was then that we got a peek through the window of heaven. While the congregation was singing, some of Beatrice’s family members came into the room and stood as though in awe in the back of the room.  The anthem was beautiful, and in a sense, one could say it was angelic — it was sung with such humility, purpose, and strength.   Many of us were deeply touched.  I cannot speak for everyone, but I myself was keenly aware of the presence of the Lord and was greatly comforted. Here’s what we saw through that window:   The church is alive in Southbrook Care Center!   In their functioning as a church, the residents, the least of the least, were able to minister to those around them with the healing comfort of Jesus Christ.  This was not a case of “outsiders” bringing in comfort…this was the residents, those from…

Read More

Meet Our Leaders

This summer has been very exciting for St. Lazarus Mission.  We added communion services in two more nursing care facilities!  In June we began weekly communion services in Southbrook Care Center in Springfield, Ohio.  And on Aug.14th, we began a monthly communion service in Grafton Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Dayton, Ohio.  This is a milestone for St. Lazarus Mission.  On Aug. 14th, we were able to provide worship and communion to 101 precious souls in one afternoon!  God is good! Fr. Chris and I didn’t do this by ourselves.  Far from it!  God called a broad team to carry out the mission.  We are grateful for our many volunteers, our Board of Directors, our financial and prayer supporters, and our faithful leaders.   Some of you may not know our leaders who serve at our newest locations.  Let me introduce them to you! At Southbrook Care Center, we are privileged to have Deacon Postulant, Bradley Winsler, and his wife, Tammie.  Bradley and Tammie are members of Christ the King Anglican Church in Dayton, Ohio.  Bradley is also a seminarian working on his MA at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.  This dynamic husband and wife team dived head-first into nursing home ministry nearly two years ago at Livingston Care Center.  It soon became apparent that God has big plans for them.  Their faithfulness is an inspiration, and their loving care makes them especially cherished by the residents.   At Grafton Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, we have Joseph McNamara and his wife Deepika.  Joseph and Deepika are also active members of Christ the King Anglican Church.   Joseph has been a faithful servant at Livingston Care Center and a local group home for almost ten years.   He took the initiative to extend his important and fruitful ministry from the group home…

Read More

Just A Bunch of Little Old Ladies? Not!

  The final words a close friend living in a nursing home said to me before he died were, “I love you, Father Chris.”  He was a man who took his mission seriously.  Even on the day he died he wrote a letter to a Lawrence County Jail inmate to support the ministry of Fr. Franklin Sanders, Rector of Christ our Hope Anglican Church in Westpoint, TN.  This is what real men do.   Last week, also in the nursing home, I anointed four men with oil.  One of them is a really good friend.  He has a deep voice, and his eyes light up when, after every prayer time each week when I anoint him with oil, he smiles saying “Go Bucks!”  In his wheel chair, which he insists upon propelling with his own massive arms, he seems like he probably was a linebacker way back when.  When he rolled through the doorway he turned around and said in a loud voice, “I love you, Father Chris.” Three more men asked for me to pray for them that day and all three, without any timidity, told me they loved me — “I love you, Father Chris.”   My point for this post is not to tell you how loveable I must be.  Rather,  I write about these men who say, “I love you…” because they break a stereotype we might carry with us that people in nursing homes are unable to articulate their love for others.   They also break another stereotype that seems to have permeated our culture that tells us that nursing homes are filled with little old white ladies.  While there are mostly little old white ladies today, the reality is our demographics in nursing homes are shifting just as they are everywhere.  Before long, the…

Read More